The Garden District – A breathtaking side of New Orleans

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A city with a special vibe, a city that screams “come on down, let’s have some fun”.  We have been to New Orleans a number of times before, but never tire of it.  When we lived in Texas, we’d visit frequently and also on more recent trips with friends.  Trawling the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, beignets which are those soft pillowy donuts showered with powdered sugar, cajun and creole restaurants, musicians around every corner, are all synonymous of what New Orleans is all about.  What we had never experienced before though, was the Jazz Festival that typically takes place around May.  A group of about 11 of us decided to rent a B & B in the Garden District.  Although we had taken the St. Charles Street car before, we had never really stopped off to admire the architecture or the gardens around the area.  This trip definitely changed that for me.  We all parted ways at different times of the day for various music events.  Hubby and I had tickets to see Sting and Rod Stewart.  What fun!  Now back to the Garden District to get a view of what we experienced.

These stately mansions line St. Charles Avenue – a canopy of oak trees provides shade and respite from the long hazy days of summer. Restaurants, shops and bars on Magazine Street are just a stones throw away.  So, this was the ideal spot to stay for a week, explore and take in the music and culture that New Orleans has to offer.  Look at all the detail in these gorgeous mansions.

Each of the homes was so individual yet in tune with the city and its history.  I must have walked up and down these streets several times, yet never tired of admiring all the grandiose Victorian homes and gardens.

Peeping through little courtyards through the wrought iron fences offered another view of the house shrouded in shrubbery and fountains.

Every verandah stood out, how I wish I could have entered the space to see for myself.  There is an official self-guided tour with a map that points out all the famous people’s homes and also the history of the homes and the plantation owners who built each home.

A great escape from the craziness of Bourbon Street don’t you think?  Southern architecture at its best!

Although I didn’t note some of the famous homes here, I did read that Sandra Bullock and John Goodman have homes in the Garden District, in addition to major sports celebrities.

Since it was way past spring, we did not see too many flowering trees, but oleander, hibiscus and magnolias were evident all over.

We turned the corner, and some of these smaller homes came into view, but were just as charming and appealing.

Nearby is the historic 19th century above ground Lafayette Cemetery.  The cemetery has a garden like appearance which is fitting for the neighborhood it is located in.  You’ll find a lot of mature trees around.  Did you know that New Orleans is located slightly below sea level? When water levels rise, so do the coffins.  For this reason, the tombs are above ground.

Always a fun city, so much to see and do no matter what time of the year you might be visiting. On our last trip a couple years ago, we accompanied some of our British friends who were visiting at the time.  On that trip we visited plantation homes, and went on a swamp tour. This time we rented a car and took a day trip to the bayous. The culinary scene in New Orleans lets you experience a variety of cuisines –  we ate crawfish, po boys, crab cakes, gumbo and a whole lot more.  We also saw the World War 11 museum which we had never seen before, I highly recommend it.   Have you ever visited New Orleans?  What was your experience like there?

 

25 Replies to “The Garden District – A breathtaking side of New Orleans”

  1. Great photos.We twice went to New Orleans, when someone was trying to recruit my husband. This area was so charming, and so many flowers. Was there a house called the 3 sisters’ house? Or something like that? Anyway, I had a hard enough time living/enduring Houston, that I’m glad we never moved to New Orleans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to visit Mimi, but like you, we too lived in Texas the first 8 years of “coming to America” in a small SE town in Beaumont, TX. We visited NO a few times when we lived there, and I still enjoy it very much. But to actually live there would be tough. The heat was unbearable, but the winters were great 🙂

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  2. Brings back great memories Loretta! A sister who has a home not far from New Orleans just invited me to come down and pay another visit to that beautiful city. Maybe in the Fall when it’s cooler. The Garden District is a must for all gardeners and those interested in stunning Southern architecture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’d definitely say wait till the cooler weather – the weather now is probably impossible to endure. I agree though, it’s a lovely city, just so much to see and do. I think if we were to visit again, we’d stay in the Garden District again. 🙂

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  3. All those flowers remind me of where I live (although enjoying the English country garden flowers where I am right now). What a marvellous glimpse of that elegant area of New Orleans. Just dream of visiting that Jazz Fest. How wonderful.

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    1. Thank you Sally. So where do you live? I have family in England, so visit quite often, and each time, I always try to make it a point to visit some new gardens. I hope you are able to visit New Orleans someday and enjoy jazz fest.

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      1. Don’t even remind me of the s word Loretta….ha ha. I think I should book way in advance as March is their high season, right?

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  4. What a beautiful place! New Orleans has been on my bucket list for years now. It seems like one of those few cities that is truly unique. No other place quite like it. And that fun-loving, easy-going vibe is right up my alley. One day…

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