Garden District Tour, New Orleans (Self Guided)

Dating back to the 19th century, Garden District in New Orleans is famous for its heritage mansions and cottages. Along with the heritage sites you will discover several great specialty shops. Take the tour below and discover the beauty and unique atmosphere of the Garden District.
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Garden District Tour Map

Guide Name: Garden District Tour
Guide Location: USA » New Orleans (See other walking tours in New Orleans)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Author: ann
George Washington Cable House

1) George Washington Cable House

George Washington Cable House is a cottage in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the home of George Washington Cable (1844–1925), an American novelist who wrote of Creole life, during the period in which he rose to national prominence. He lived in this home during 1874-1884. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Christ Church Cathedral

2) Christ Church Cathedral

The Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal is the first non-Roman Catholic Church in Louisiana. It was founded in 1803 as Christ’s Church. It is also a very popular tourist attraction and was designated as a cathedral in 1891.

The church was built for Protestant members of the community. The church we know today is actually the fourth version of the Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal. The first church was erected in 1816 on the corner of Canal and Bourbon street. It was designed by Henry Boneval Latrobe.

The second place of worship was erected in 1833. It was built by James Gallier Sr. and featured a Greek temple design. The third church was built by James Gallier Jr. and featured Gothic architecture. It was located on the corner of Canal and Dauphine streets.

The current church was built by Lawrence B. Valk in 1886. It was built to address the growing congregation and moved to an area closer to where its parishioners lived. It is located on St. Charles Avenue and Sixth Street and features Gothic design.

The cathedral has a feeding ministry in conjunction with the Restoration Embassy and the Advent House, which acts a spiritual retreat and education center. Sunday services are at 7:30 am, 10 am, and 6 pm. Weekday services are at 12:15 pm. Saturday services are at 9:30 am.
Lafayette Cemetery

3) Lafayette Cemetery (must see)

Located on Washington Avenue in the Garden District is the impressive and majestic Lafayette Cemetery. The memorial park is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city. It is also a popular shooting location for movies. Scenes from the movie Interview with a Vampire were shot at this location. Benjamin Buisson designed the layout of the graveyard.

Established in 1833, the burial ground was formerly part of the city of Lafayette. In 1852, it became part of New Orleans when the city annexed Lafayette. It was also part of the Livaudais Plantation where many burials took place. The cemetery fell into disrepair for many years, until the Save Our Cemeteries organization launched a restoration project.

Notable residents include the Brigadier General Harry T. Hays of the Confederate Army, the tomb of the Smith and Dumestre families, and the Brunies family tomb. In addition, there are tombs for the Chalmette Fire Company #32 and the Jefferson Fire Company #22.

Visitors will enjoy looking at the artwork that decorates the many crypts and will appreciate the weathered beauty of the tombs. The cemetery is part of the National Register of Historic Places and the World Monuments Fund Watch List. Tours of the facility are offered by the Save Our Cemeteries organization.
Commander's Palace

4) Commander's Palace

Commander's Palace, the pride of New Orleans, is a restaurant known for good food, great customer service, and its many spacious dining rooms. Opened in the 1880s by the Brennan family, the eatery features authentic contemporary Cajun cuisine. One cannot visit New Orleans without eating at this café. It is located in the famous Garden District.

As soon as you enter the doors, you will be impressed with the festive atmosphere and the friendly staff. Colorful balloons decorate each chair and a live band serenades patrons with jazz on Saturdays and Sundays.

Some of the delicious cookery you will encounter at this jewel are turtle soup with sherry, pecan-crusted Gulf fish with champagne-poached jumbo lump crab, and praline parfait. One of the reasons for the excellent cuisine is the restaurant’s “dirt-to-plate within 100 miles” policy. This ensures that patrons receive the freshest food possible. Another reason for the excellent food is the culinary staff. Chef Tory McPhail is the current chef and Chefs Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme previously worked at the restaurant.

Commander's Palace is the best of the best and the recognition that they have received proves it. Some of the accolades bestowed on the establishment include the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the James Beard Foundation, the 2008 Best New Orleans Restaurant from Gambit's Best of New Orleans, and the 2009 Best of Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator Magazine.

Private parties can be scheduled and include a party planner to make sure your event is memorable. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. Dinner hours are Monday through Sunday from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Jazz Brunch is from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday and from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm to Sunday. They are closed on Christmas Day and Mardi Gras.
The Rink

5) The Rink

Dating back to the 19th century, "The rink" was a famous skating rink. However the building has since been converted into a small shopping mall. The Rink is famous for its specialty shops, among which you can find the Garden District Book Shop, where Anne Rice held the first signings of her books.

Operation Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm;
Anshe Sfard Synagogue

6) Anshe Sfard Synagogue

Anshe Sfard is a synagogue in the Garden District neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. The congregation was founded by Hasidic Jews from Lithuania. The congregation today is Modern Orthodox. It is located in the historic building at 2230 Carondelet Street. Anshe Sfard's historic 1925 building features a barrel-vaulted ceiling ribbed with beams studded with electric light bulbs, a decorative feature common at the time, it was inspired by the great excitement over the newly invented incandescent bulb. The Rundbogenstil exterior is brick, with triple arched Neo-Byzantine doors. After Hurricane Katrina, Anshe Sfard was damaged. It did not reopen until 2006. The synagogue's Torah scrolls were rescued during Hurricane Katrina. The congregation, located a short walk from downtown hotels in the beautiful Garden District, welcomes tourists and business travelers to attend services.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in New Orleans, Louisiana

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Creating your own self-guided walk in New Orleans is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Churches in New Orleans

Churches in New Orleans

New Orleans has some of the oldest and the most beautiful churches in Louisiana. Some of them, like St Louis Cathedral, have become iconic symbols of the city, others are considered to be "fresh air" to the busy business quarters. The churches here combine different architectural styles. The tour below includes some exquisite examples of places of worship in New Orleans.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 km
French Quarter Nightlife

French Quarter Nightlife

A city well-reputed for its never-ending party and carefree attitude, visitors to the French Quarter in New Orleans may not be surprised by the amount of great nightlife establishments found through the district but will certainly be impressed by the lively night of hot live music and ever-flowing drinks they experience once they are here. Take New Orleans’ Nightlife Tour in the French Quarter...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.3 km
Architectural Tour in New Orleans

Architectural Tour in New Orleans

If you are looking to learn about the heritage sites of New Orleans you might want to take this tour. Widely known for its variety of unique architectural styles, the city has lots of fine examples of buildings in the Greek Revival, the American Colonial and the Victorian styles. Check out the tour suggested below for an orientation.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

New Orleans possesses a rich cultural and historical heritage and has a long and captivating story to tell. Whether you are interested in history and art or are intrigued by the mystical side of the world, the museums and the art galleries of New Orleans will never cease to impress you. Check out the Cultural Walking Tour below and discover the best museums the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Unusual Shopping Tour in New Orleans

Unusual Shopping Tour in New Orleans

Sick and tired of big malls that are pretty much the same everywhere? New Orleans has a few shops to surprise you with. Whether you are looking for some interesting or weird souvenir to bring home to your friends or whether you would like to have a piece of New Orleans for yourself, the following tour will take you to the right places to find it.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Uptown Walking Tour in New Orleans

Uptown Walking Tour in New Orleans

Dating back to the 19th century, Uptown represents a big area of New Orleans situated on the East bank of the Mississippi River. Major attractions are located in the Uptown New Orleans Historic District. Take the tour below and discover by yourself the best that Uptown has to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in New Orleans for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best New Orleans has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting New Orleans's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the New Orleans Pass, New Orleans Sightseeing Pass, or the New Orleans Pass (by Musement).

A city pass combines all or multiple New Orleans's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving your precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of New Orleans hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Terrell House Bed and Breakfast, The Quisby.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as New Orleans, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of New Orleans typically costs somewhere between US$16 and US$65 per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of New Orleans in comfort listening to a live on-board commentary (English only) from a local expert, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route as often as you like. The tickets are valid for one (24 hours) or three days (72 hours).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of New Orleans – this usually lasts about 2 hours (upgrade to 3 hours is possible upon request) and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

- Taste your way through New Orleans' neighborhoods - the French Quarter and River area - on a gourmet tour of the city and find out if the fuss about its food scene is well justified. Check out some of the famous restaurants and hotspots under the guidance of a passionate and knowledgeable local.

- Summon your bravery and curiosity to explore the ghastly side of New Orleans on a ghost walk in the French Quarter set to reveal the stories of voodoo, vampires and witchcraft, bring light to the darkest corners of the city, and prepare you to hear the tales of its supernatural past and present.

- If you have a penchant for posh architecture and celebrity dwellings, make sure to take this morning walk in New Orleans' Garden District replete with impressive examples of Greek Revival and Italianate styles including the homes of Hollywood stars and other art celebrities. There are also quite a few historic locations waiting to be discovered on this tour as well.

- Whisk yourself away to the yesteryear New Orleans aboard the authentic paddle-wheel steamboat cruising along the Mississippi River. Feel the beauty and romance of the days long gone amid the sound of a live jazz band, lavish buffet dinner, and gorgeous sights along the way.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in New Orleans, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Cajun Country or Louisiana Plantations. For as little as circa US$170-180 per person you will get a chance to discover the Cajun and Creole cultures, visit some of the oldest and finest plantations on the Mississippi River, learn about the pre-Civil War history of American South, feel the taste of antebellum Louisiana, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in New Orleans and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle (or even boat, whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.