How to Visit New Orleans by Streetcar
When I was a kid we lived for a short time in the Crescent City, also often called The Big Easy. We visited New Orleans like we were tourists, and by the time we got to know it a bit it we moved away. But New Orleans has stuck with me. I like it for many reasons.
- Jazz is a part of the New Orleans soul
- The food is some of the best in the continental United States
- The vibe is laid back, especially in the humid summertime
- The people smile often
- Coffee and beignets are a great start to your day
One easy way to visit New Orleans is to use the vintage streetcar system. There are 4 separate streetcar lines in New Orleans, and an all day pass will cost you three bucks. Use your pass along with the handy RTA app and you’ve got a cheap, easy way to see New Orleans neighborhoods. Check out this article for complete information about the 4 routes and notable stops along the way. (We road the St. Charles Line to the Camellia Grill for a late breakfast more than once.)
New Orleans Jazz
You can’t visit New Orleans without listening to jazz – it’s all around you. Besides the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, there’s venues from touristy to back-street to enjoy. I was a big fan of the late Pete Fountain, and still think he is the king of golden, mellow tones. I’ve long since gotten rid of my records, but I still have the album he autographed for me when I was a kid.
You’ll likely hear both blues and jazz as you visit these clubs.
The Apple Barrel is tiny but mighty.
The Spotted Cat Music Club serves up jazz just outside the French Quarter.
Preservation Hall, founded in 1961 to help preserve the rich New Orleans music heritage, sees plenty of tourists but I believe every visitor to New Orleans should go once.
Check out this list on Yelp for more of the top music venues in The Big Easy.
Finding New Orlean’s best food
I’m prejudiced that the best local food is in the small hole-in-the-wall places out in New Orleans’ many neighborhoods. Some of these little places have been around for generations, just like many of the restaurants in the French Quarter. It’s easy to find many lists of the best, including this list from Food and Wine that details 15 New Orleans local places to eat. For the best poboy you’ll ever put in your mouth, make it over to Guy’s on Magazine Street. You’ll never want one anywhere else! When you’re ready to try a muffuletta go right to the source, Central Grocery and Deli. Its founder invented the muffuletta. For dinner, try the century-plus year old Mascal’s Manale. It’s been serving up shucked oysters and traditional New Orleans food since 1913, and is known for inventing barbecue shrimp. You’ll find a mix of tourists and locals at Cafe Du Monde, and you can stop by anytime since it’s open 24/7. Even though you’ll probably wind up with powdered sugar all over yourself, eating the traditional set of 3 beignets is a tradition for visitors to New Orleans.
When and How to Visit New Orleans
Plan your visit to the Crescent City in late winter or early spring (February through mid-April) for the best show of flowers and mild weather. Summer, be warned, is humid! If you can’t get there in the beautiful New Orleans springtime, visit in late fall or early winter. We can arrange package trips to New Orleans for a long weekend or a week. Contact us at email@example.com or call us during business hours at 941-720-1842. New Orleans will seduce you with its traditions and the new vibrant parts of town, too.