Garden District

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


Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

1400 Washington Ave

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.


Commander’s Palace

1403 Washington Ave
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.


2800 Magazine S
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.


2800 Magazine S
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.



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).


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.

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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

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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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