Best Walking tour of Garden District New Orleans 2024 1
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Best Walking tour of Garden District New Orleans 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the famous travel memoir Get Lost, and welcome to the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans day! The Garden District is the classiest, most upscale neighborhood in New Orleans. Many celebrities have gorgeous homes here. After the French Quarter, it’s probably the most popular area for tourists in NOLA.

Now of course, if you’re a tourist to New Orleans, you need to know the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans. And if you are a celebrity and you are interested in buying a house in the Garden District, thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to recommend me on Twitter because as far as I know, the only celebrity who currently follows me is Taye Diggs.

If you’re not a celebrity, you’re still welcome to read my blog, and you can have a fine day with the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans eating artisanal donuts, stealing from football dynasties, and indulging in the finest Reveillon dinner that money can buy. Come hungry and with comfy shoes! Our day begins with a walking tour!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Walking Tour of Garden District New Orleans

#1 TOP PICK

Best Walking tour of Garden District New Orleans 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
GARDEN DISTRICT TOUR
✔️ Surprisingly affordable
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

saint louis cemetery no 1 new orleans

NEW ORLEANS CITY TOUR
✔️ Includes Garden District
✔️ Includes French Quarter

#3 PICK

Best Walking tour of Garden District New Orleans 2024 3

ALL OTHER NEW ORLEANS TOURS
✔️ Choose your favorite tour
✔️ Find the best deals

walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

Morning: walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

I love walking tours when I travel in general. They’re a great way to meet people when solo traveling. If those people happen to be creepy weirdos, it’s very easy to escape them when the tour is over. Also you learn lots of fun facts on tours, and who doesn’t love fun facts?

But the Garden District is an especially perfect neighborhood for a walking tour because you really need a guide to tell you all about the history behind the different buildings and monuments and help you find the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

And the last time I was in the Garden District I took a fantastic walking tour that I really want to recommend to you.

Check rates and availability easily by clicking here.

The tour was informative and encompassed the three best things to do in the Garden District: fancy celebrity homes, history, and the Lafayette Cemetery No 1. As usual, I will be generous and share with you:

THREE FUN FACTS: Best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

best things to do in the garden district
1) what’s up with the cemeteries?

The cemeteries might be the number one of all the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to see. Most people who visit New Orleans notice that the cemeteries are special because people are buried above ground in “houses of the dead”. Apparently, each “corpse mansion”, a term used exclusively by this blog, is owned by a different family.

Every time someone in the family kicks the bucket, they have to open up the tomb and stuff the new body inside. Then they add the newly deceased’s name to the exterior of the tomb. Sometimes people move away and stop paying for the upkeep of the family tomb, which is which some of the corpse mansions look like this:

best things to do in the garden district

This tomb is even more depressing and spooky than the average tomb, which is saying something.

best things to do in the garden district

How did you get the graves aside from dying? You didn’t need to be a member of the 1 percent to afford a stay in a cadaver hotel. Sometimes unions would own a burial plot that could accommodate many of their members.

I particularly liked this tomb for the Jefferson Fire Company No. 22. My great-grandpappy was a New Orleans firefighter, so I felt familial pride as I stared at this monument to the flame-fighting brethren of the New Orleans area.

I also wondered how they managed to put out fires with that confusing contraption pictured on the side of the tomb. Can that really be what olde-tyme fire trucks looked like?

Note: Lafayette Cemetery No 1 is closed at the moment, but you can still get good information and views of the graves from the outside, which you will see on the tour.

best things to do in the garden district
2) What sort of historical facts are there?

You’ll learn a lot about the history of New Orleans from exploring these gorgeous houses, which are definitely one of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things. I can’t give away all the tour guide’s secrets, but I will tell you a bit about the Colonel Short Villa. This house is famous for its lovely fence that looks like metal cornstalks.

Many guides will tell you that Colonel Short made the fence to look like corn because his beloved wife was from Iowa. This is…completely false. Iowa wasn’t even famous for corn when this house was built. The reason the fence looks like cornstalk is because the design was very expensive and Colonel Short wanted to show off.

There’s a hotel in the French Quarter that has a similar design on its fence, and you might hear the carriage guides telling their customers a similar story about the owner being in love with a woman from Iowa. Don’t you believe it!

best things to do in the garden district
3) any local celebrities?

Another one of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to do is hunt for famous homes. As I mentioned, many celebrities such as the Manning family, John Goodman, Zion Williamson, Nicholas Cage, and Ann Rice live or have lived in or owned homes in the Garden District.

Part of any tour of the area will involve showing off their abodes. You might even get a fun, gossipy celebrity story, or three.

But my favorite celebrity abode in the Garden District is Sandra Bullock’s because it looks just like where a good witch would choose to live. It’s actually built in the chalet style, which is pretty unusual for New Orleans because the city doesn’t get any snow.

Is Sandra Bullock a good witch? You read it on this blog first!

things to do in the garden district
24 Hour Tip

Unless you are staying in the Garden District, you are going to want to take the St. Charles Ave. streetcar here. A streetcar ride is definitely one of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to do. Just get off at the Jackson Avenue stop!

It’s like taking a ride into history because the St. Charles streetcar is the oldest operating streetcar in the world! The streetcar costs basically bupkis.

24 Hour Treasure

One of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to do is get breakfast at the punctuation friendly restaurant amalgamation called District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. Do NOT pass up the opportunity to get an unusual NOLA-specific donut here.

My favorite is the red beans and rice donut, which is filled with a creamy and tasty rice pudding. If you’re not an adventurous eater, they always have “normcore” flavors like glazed and chocolate available too.

At the end of the tour, our friendly guide offered to walk us all to the nearest bus stop and wait for a bus, but I was planning to stay in the area, so I declined. Roast beef was my game and Parasol’s was the name I was looking for!

24 Hour Tip

That’s all the secrets of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans that I can share with you for now.

You’ll have to go ahead and book the tour for yourself!

Check rates and availability by going here if you want to learn more!

best things to do in the garden district
24 hour treat: roast beef po’boy at parasol’s

Going to New Orleans and not eating a po’boy is like slapping an angel in the face. Why would you do such a horrible thing? For the rich’boys among us, a po’boy is the New Orleans version of a hero or grinder, except way better.

First thing to know is that you need to eat the po’boy on the special fluffy on the inside/crunchy on the outside baguette that you can’t get outside of New Orleans. You can fill the po’b with pretty much anything you want, but it’s best to get it “dressed” with lettuce and mayo. I usually prefer seafood po’boys. However, as the specialty at Parasol’s is the roast beef po’boy, I decided to make an exception.

You don’t technically get the roast beef po’boy in the Garden District. You get it in the neighboring hood known as the Irish Channel. But I still think walking over to the Irish Channel and ordering a po’boy counts as one of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to do

things to do in the garden district

The Garden District was historically the English-speaking neighborhood in New Orleans, and the wealthy Brits and Anglophiles who lived there wanted to have their Irish servants. But of course, they didn’t want old Paddy living in their neighborhood. So the Irish settled the area next to the Garden District, hence the charming sobriquet of the Irish Channel. Isn’t bigotry fun?

There is apparently some sort of ferocious roast beef po’boy rivalry between Parasol’s and a nearby restaurant called Tracy’s. I like the roast beef po’boy at Parasol’s because they put a little garlic butter on the bread and garlic butter makes everything better, except maybe creme brulee. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t finish the whole thing!

best things to do in the garden district

If you’re looking for a couple of other options for lunch, I also recommend Cochon Butcher, which is right near the World War II Museum, where we will be going next. They are famous for their meats, and they make a mean muffaletta, which is a classic New Orleans sandwich, always made on sesame loaf, with tons of meat and olive salad.

best things to do in the garden district

Another great lunch spot, just a short walk from the Garden District, is Cafe Porche, which is a real local spot. You’re not going to read about this in Lonely Planet.

They serve breakfast all day, and I recommend the Lakeview Morning, which comes with eggs, grits, a flaky biscuit, and some truly exquisite catfish, which you can get fried or grilled. It truly doesn’t get more New Orleans or more delicious than this!

best things to do in the garden district

walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

Afternoon: World War II Museum

Many people wonder why the National World War II Museum is located in New Orleans. At last, a question I can answer! The WWII Museum used to be the D-Day Museum, and New Orleans is a natural American home for the D-Day Museum.

First of all, NOLA was where the famous Higgins boats used in the D-Day landing were built. (You know these boats because they provided a sturdy backdrop to endless shots of young men dying horribly in Saving Private Ryan.)

Also one of the founders of the museum, historian Stephen Ambrose, taught at the University of New Orleans for many years. Eventually the D-Day Museum mighty morphed into the WWII Museum.

things to do in the garden district

Now, I know some angry New Orleanian is out there writing me an email to tell me that the World War II Museum isn’t one of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to do because it’s not in the Garden District.

I know that already! But it’s my favorite museum within walking distance of the Garden District, so I think it still counts as one of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to do. Plus, if I called this the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans and the WWII Museum, that would be terrible SEO. So just deal with it.

You should definitely buy your ticket in advance because the lines can be crazy.

If you just want museum admission, get this ticket.

If you’d like to include the 4D World War documentary narrated by Tom Hanks (aka David S. Pumpkins), get this ticket.

You could spend all day profitably in the WWII Museum, and we only have half a day. So I’m going to encourage you to spend your time wisely with…

The approximately top 5: WWII Museum edition!

best things to do in the garden district
1) Meet the King of Hollywood

Many WWII era planes are on display in this museum, and if you are a military history nerd, I assume this will put a little swing music in your step. I’m more of a film geek, so I was interested to learn about Clark Gable, aka Rhett Butler, and his service in the Army Air Corps.

During the 1930s, Clark Gable was the biggest movie star in the world. But when the United States entered World War II, Gable joined up and actually flew combat missions, even though he was too old to be drafted.

Apparently Hitler promised a reward to any German who could shoot down Gable’s plane. That is some badassery on Gable’s part! Can you imagine, say, Vladimir Putin bothering to call for a hit on Leonardo DiCaprio?

If you’re more interested in contemporary kings of Hollywood, I suggest the film Beyond All Boundaries. It is shown every hour at the museum, and it is narrated by Mr. Tom Hanks. They say the film is 4D because it has effects like rumbling seats and real smoke and water in the theater.

Also at the end, Lew Zealand comes out to throw fish at you.

best things to do in the garden district
2) 1943 jeep

There are two main exhibits in the WWII Museum. The first is the Road to Berlin, which traces the path of the Allied troops in the European theater from its beginnings in North Africa. You’ll learn all about the campaign in North Africa against Nazi general Erwin Rommel, and it’s disturbing to realize how close the Allies came to losing the war.

Antique jeeps aside, I loved how the museum recreates the actual path that the Allies took, so you feel like you are tracing their steps through North Africa, Italy, and Germany. More museums should take this interactive approach. There’s a reason the WWII Museum is ranked the 2nd best museum in the world on Tripadvisor, y’all!

3) Battle of the Bulge exhibit

The most immersive part of the road to Berlin exhibit is the recreation of the setting for the Battle of the Bulge. My favorite story I learned here is that when the Germans asked the Americans to surrender, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe responded, “NUTS!”

I feel like McAuliffe dined out on that story for the rest of his life. I know if I told off a bunch of Nazis in such spectacular fashion, I would never let anybody else in the entire world forget it.

best things to do in the garden district
4) p-40 warhawk

Of course, once you’ve taken the Road to Berlin, you need to finish off the Axis powers. That will require a stroll down the Road to Tokyo. My favorite artifact here is this shark-face plane pictured above. Why did they do this? Did they think the shark would scare off the kamikaze pilots? Did it just help the American pilots keep their courage up? Was this the origin of Shark Week?

Jaws aside, this section taught me so much about the war in the Pacific. I had no idea that there were battles fought in places like the Philippines, Burma, and India. I can’t even blame my teachers because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to teach kids everything they need to know about history. That’s what historical museums are for!

best things to do in the garden district
5) Get to know the troops

If you get on this train at the entrance to the museum, you get assigned a real soldier. You can check in with him and his progress as you follow the Road to Berlin or the Road to Tokyo. It’s a little frustrating because I kept wanting to “help” my soldier as if he were a character in a video game. Then I remembered he was a real person and reality is very disappointing.

If you’re into identifying with people who died under tragic circumstances, take part in Final Mission USS Tang. You will be assigned the role of a real crew member of the USS Tang, which was a submarine deployed by the Allies in WWII.

As you can guess from the title of the exhibit, the USS Tang did not make it intact through the war. Neither did most of its crew. You get to see if your crew member made it through the battle at the end of the exhibit. (Spoiler! Most of the crew did not survive.)

Final Mission is the most depressing interactive exhibit at a museum I have ever seen. I can only imagine that the purpose is to bring us closer to an awareness of our own mortality, which is an impressive feat for any museum exhibit. So I say, two thumbs up! Highly recommended.

To check rates and availability, get this ticket.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Walking Tour of Garden District New Orleans

#1 TOP PICK

Best Walking tour of Garden District New Orleans 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
GARDEN DISTRICT TOUR
✔️ Surprisingly affordable
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

saint louis cemetery no 1 new orleans

NEW ORLEANS CITY TOUR
✔️ Includes Garden District
✔️ Includes French Quarter

#3 PICK

Best Walking tour of Garden District New Orleans 2024 3

ALL OTHER NEW ORLEANS TOURS
✔️ Choose your favorite tour
✔️ Find the best deals

best things to do in the garden district

walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

Evening: Dakar NOLA

Dakar NOLA is a relatively new Senegalese restaurant that is one of the most exciting restaurants in New Orleans. It’s not exactly one of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans things to do because it isn’t in the neighborhood, but it’s close enough.

It was jam-packed with people when I was there, so be sure to reserve your table ahead of time. It was definitely worth it. As a solo diner, I was seated with another family, which made for a delightful evening.

Dakar is a tasting menu restaurant, which means that everyone is served the same meal. We started with a welcome drink made from Senegalese ataya tea and mint, and some wonderful bread and butter. (Dakar didn’t have its liquor license yet when I went, so the drink was not alcoholic.)

best things to do in the garden district

The first course was the Last Meal, made with black eyed peas, crab meat, and palm oil. It’s based on the food that enslaved people would have eaten before being forced to set sail from West Africa to New Orleans.

I feel very strange saying that I enjoyed this dish, but it was packed with powerful flavor, and it also made me think about brutality and injustice. How often does that happen at a restaurant?

best things to do in the garden district

Next, we have the fonio salad, made with a healthy and nutritious grain called fonio, as well as citrus, finger limes, and apple vinaigrette. It was the perfect refreshing dish after the rich first course.

best things to do in the garden district

I’m honestly not sure I can prepare you for the amazing amount of main courses that there were at this dinner, but I will do my best. We have a fish course, consisting of red snapper, bitter greens, and sweet butternut squash.

best things to do in the garden district

And the main course, a sumptuous Senegalese rice dish called jollof. The family that I was sitting with was from Ghana, which is also famous for jollof, and they said this was “almost as good as their mom’s”. High praise indeed!

best things to do in the garden district

And finally we have a unique take on New Orleans barbecue shrimp, done with a tamarind glaze. See how many main courses there are? So many. But we are still ready for dessert.

best things to do in the garden district

This was a thiakry pie, which is made with millet, but actually strongly resembles pecan pie, a popular dish in New Orleans. I loved how the meal made so many connections between New Orleans and Senegalese food.

This pie was served with ataya ice cream and mint, which was a lovely callback to the drink at the beginning of the meal. And it was a perfect end to our day of the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

Where to Stay?

New Orleans is the kind of city where you want to splurge a little on your hotel. After all, the motto is “laissez les bons temps rouler”, and nothing makes the good times roll faster than a little luxury. Plus it’s easier to take advantage of the New Orleans nightlife if you’re in a centrally located hotel, and those are a bit pricey.

I recommend the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.

It’s located right in the French Quarter, but it’s not crazy expensive. The rooms are comfortable and beautiful. Plus, the hotel is haunted! What more could you want for a New Orleans day trip.

If you want something a little less expensive, on the north end of the French Quarter, try the Homewood Suites by Hilton French Quarter.

This hotel is a little bit more of a walk from the main attractions in the French Quarter, but the rooms are massive and comfy, and the price is definitely right.

Finally, I recommend the Le Pavilion Hotel.

It’s got an amazing location in the Central Business District which is within walking distance of the French Quarter, but not as noisy. It’s in a gorgeous historic building. Plus they have a free peanut butter and jelly spread every night. What more could you want?

If you’d rather explore great deals for tons of other hotels in New Orleans, click here.

This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay during your day with the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans. With hundreds of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

best things to do in the garden district

That’s the Best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans

What would you do on the walking tour of Garden District New Orleans? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in New Orleans right now? And who’s creepier: Nicholas Cage or the vampire Lestat? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know.

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in New Orleans

I also have an excellent New Orleans guided tour day if you want to see the city with a local. If you’d prefer a different experience, try this one day in New Orleans itinerary. You can try a day in New Orleans Louisiana City Park.

On top of that, we have a day of New Orleans fun things to do. Get on the best New Orleans swamp and plantation tours. How about trying 24 hours in New Orleans? Fall for the best New Orleans food walking tours. And you can even follow the New Orleans schedule Saints travel tips.

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