Garden District

  • Written by Katy Reckdahl
  • Audio by Eve Abrams
  • Photos by Cheryl Gerber

SEE

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

1400 Washington Ave
8am-2:30pm

Of all the classical cemeteries in New Orleans, this one is our favorite. It may not possess celebrity corpses like Marie Laveau, but its overgrown lushness imparts a sense of tropical entropy and fecundity all at once. The immediate presence of death is brilliantly contrasted with all the blooming, Garden District life erupting all around.

St Charles Avenue

We don’t have an issue calling St Charles Avenue the most beautiful street in America. There is no greater concentration of mansions in the country, each one a testament to an architectural school and tradition in terms of age, design, concept and execution. The addition of hundreds of live oak trees providing shade and fresh air, plus the cranking romantic nostalgia of the St Charles Streetcar, only add to the loveliness.

Although this grand avenue technically extends from Canal St to Carrollton, forming a wide smile on the bottom of the city in the process, we would say the best parts of the St Charles begin in the Lower Garden District, around Jackson Ave. There are plenty of ways of exploring the street, but we highly recommend jogging (on the neutral ground), biking or using the streetcar.

There are too many historical buildings to list here, but some of note include Touro Synagogue, near the intersection of General Pershing St; the Latter Memorial Library, which occupies an Italianate mansion; the Brown Mansion, at Valence St, a Romanesque structure that is the largest mansion on the avenue; the Anthemion house, on the opposite corner of Valence, which once served as the Japanese consulate, and the Columns Hotel, at Peniston St, which houses one of the better bars in this part of town.

EAT

Commander’s Palace

1403 Washington Ave
504-899-8221
lunch & dinner daily

Commander’s is one the grandest of the grande dames that make up the Old Line Creole culinary constellation of New Orleans. Incredibly rich gastronomic standbys keep diners happy, while strong martinis have them rolling out the door when they’re ready to settle up. If you come here, come correct when you do – this is a seersucker and bow tie sort of place.

Coquette

2800 Magazine S
504-265-0421
lunch & dinner Wed-Sun, dinner Mon, closed Tue

Louisiana inspired food, a deep wine selection and an atmosphere that feels simultaneously upscale and leisurely makes for an excellent dining experience on Magazine Street.

Atchafalaya

2800 Magazine S
504-265-0421
dinner daily, lunch Mon, Thu & Fri, brunch on weekends

The hearty cuisine of rural Louisiana gets satisfyingly kicked up a few levels via rich ingredients and amazing chef skills at Atchafalaya. Brunch is when this spot really shines; the duck hash and Bloody Mary bar are a revelation.

DRINK

Bulldog

3236 Magazine St
lunch til close

One of the best beer pubs in the city, the Bulldog maintains an enormous variety of brew on tap and a beer garden that’s pretty much perfect when the weather is nice (and this is New Orleans, so the weather is almost always nice).

Columns

3811 St Charles Ave
lunch til close

This chic historic hotel happens to have a lovely bar full of leather seating, old carpeting, attractive Tulane students looking to impress other attractive Tulane students, Southenr gentry and a fine pour of bourbon.

Our Local Publisher Partners

The Arts Council of New Orleans

The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

WWNO

WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

WWOZ

WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

PRC

Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

NOMA

As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

Southern Food

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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