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The Garden District is a place where romance blooms and memories are made. Visitors wishing to explore this magical neighborhood are met with oak-shaded streets, brick line sidewalks, and a variety of historic houses, ranging from single-story cottages to grand mansions. Its green canopy has become its most famous and memorable characteristic, featuring an abundance of hibiscuses, crepe myrtles, angel trumpets, and bougainvillea.
The Garden District was established by the American elite and originally became part of the City of Lafayette in 1833; however, the name was not officially dubbed until 1852, when it became a part of New Orleans. The Garden District is considered an early example of a luxury suburb most known for its architectural design. The area consists of a variety of homes ranging in size, a cemetery, a shopping center, and a large public avenue. The Garden District began with two houses on each block surrounded by a large garden, but in the late 1800’s, lots of land began to be subdivided in an effort to make the area more urban. This meant yard sizes were reduced, and houses were surrounded by cast-iron fences. Many of the 19th century mansions followed this trend, and as a result, the Garden District became well-known for its architecture as well as its scenery.
Today, the Garden District sits in pristine condition, standing strong after enduring several hurricanes that have attempted to mar its beauty. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and identified as a National Historic Landmark. A number of celebrities, including actors and athletes, call this magical place their home. Visitors can enjoy their day sitting in the shade or strolling down the oak-lined street, soaking in one of the most stunning man-made environments in the world.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Visitors can explore one of the oldest city-governed cemeteries in New Orleans while in the Garden District. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 received its name from the original City of Lafayette and is the home of a rich history. Among the 500 wall vaults, visitors can find the resting place for several notable people, including many first-generation settlers who immigrated to New Orleans primarily from Ireland and Germany. Overall, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 contains 1,100 family tombs and over 7,000 people are estimated to be buried there.
Magazine Street, a major thoroughfare in New Orleans, stretches across six miles and runs parallel to the Mississippi River. The origin story of Magazine Street’s name is not fully known, but there are two theories of how it came about. Many believe it received it named from the warehouse that the Spanish Governor built to store exports, while others believe its name stems from an 18th century colonial ammunition magazine.
Magazine Street offers a break from the stereotypical mall experience, offering retail street stores mixed throughout charming homes. These stores offer a wide variety of unique products, including but not limited to pottery, furniture, clothing, books, toys, and jewelry.
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue is considered an embodiment of all things New Orleans. It is known as the “Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues” and characterized by a grand and leafy residential avenue, stretching for more than five miles before ending near South Carrollton Avenue. In 2007, St. Charles was labelled as one of the American Planning Association’s top 10 Greatest Streets, marking its place in history as an icon of Southern style and charm. It has served as a magical gateway for visitors making their way to New Orleans for nearly two centuries.
St. Charles is the home of the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world: the St. Charles streetcar line, which began operating in 1835. It was successfully added to the National register of Historic Places in 1973. Thanks to its combination of vivid scenery and rich history, St. Charles Avenue has cemented itself in New Orleans tourism culture and remains a popular place for visitors from around the world to this day.
Experience the Garden District Yourself
Visit the Garden District and experience its lush green walkways and historic scenery firsthand! Cajun Encounters is the perfect way to experience the District while hearing about the details that make it great from the mouths of well-trained guides committed to giving guests the best New Orleans experience. Tours take place on air conditioned buses, offering uninterrupted views unlike any other tour available.
Cajun Encounters City Bus Tours offers tours at three different times of day. The morning tour includes daily pick ups at 8:30 am and offers guests a look into the historic city, including the experience of coffee and beignets for breakfast. The mid-day tour begins at 11:15 am daily and offers a complete city tour, including a drive through the 9th ward. The afternoon tour begins daily pick ups at 2:30 pm and offers a full city tours, lasting for two and a half hours.
Visitors can experience an authentic look into the well-known neighborhoods that make New Orleans a famous tourist destination, including the Garden District and the French Quarter. Attractions that guests are guaranteed to see include, but are not limited to: Café Du Monde, Jackson Square, City Park, and so much more. With a backstory as intricate as New Orleans’, visitors have the ability to see a variety of historical landmarks. This includes the famous St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, the mighty Mississippi River, and the lasting effects of the notorious Hurricane Katrina.
Cajun Encounters works hard to ensure guests’ safety during these trying times. As a result, tour sizes are limited and tour times are reduced to allow for proper disinfection between tours. High touch surfaces, such as seats and railings, are sanitized multiple times per day. Hand sanitizer is provided on location, and masks are worn by each staff member and are available for guests who wish to wear one.
Buy your tickets and start exploring today by visiting https://www.cajunencounters.com/tours/city-bus-tour/ or calling 504.834.1770.