ASTA Neighborhood Guide: The Garden District

Granduer, opulence, and history are a few of the words that come to mind when describing New Orleans's Garden District. With rows of antebellum mansions, pristine gardens and southern charm, the Garden District stands out as one of the country's most lovely neighborhoods, and a popular destination for visitors to the city. The self-guided walking tour through the Garden District is the perfect way for a solo traveler to take in this grand New Orleans neighborhood. 

The Garden District's most popular destination is the intersection of Prytania Street and Washington Avenue. Here, in the heart of the neighborhood, you will find shopping, cafes and the historic Lafayette Cemetery # 1. As one of the most well-maintained city cemeteries, Lafayette #1 has been immortalized in film, literature and photography and is a popular attraction for many tourists. Guided tours of the cemetery are available.

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Directly across the street you are sure to recognize the iconic Commander's Palace. In operation since 1880, Commander's is a New Orleans culinary institution and we believe that every person should eat there once (or a maybe a few times) in his or her life. 

Originally laid out in 1832 by Barthelemy Lafron, the Garden District was created after the Louisiana Purchase as a settlement for the new American residents of New Orleans not eager to mingle with those of European descent, who primarily lived in the French Quarters. These Americans were made wealthy by cotton, sugar, insurance and shipping commissioned leading architects of the time to create classic homes in Italianate, Greek Revival and Victorian styles. The homes were built on generous plots allowing for the cultivation of magnificent gardens for which the area is named.

General boundaries for this famous neighborhood are St. Charles Avenue to Magazine Street and from Jackson Avenue to Louisiana Avenue. Bus, carriage or walking tours of the neighborhood are offered daily. Or, stroll the oak-lined avenues on your own. No matter how you choose to explore the Garden District you are sure to be charmed by its splendor.

Check to find available rooms in the Garden District

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