This green and pleasant district is an idea place for a stroll among magnificent mansions and beautiful parkland.
The Garden District has been created from the former plantation lands and is now designated a Historic Landmark District. Based on the original 1806 design by New Orleans architect Barthelemy Lafon, it encompasses lavish mansions and spectacular gardens, pretty cottages and ornately decorated villas, set amongst verdant parkland dotted with canals and fountains.
Many of the original 19th-century buildings are preserved, designed in the Greek revival style, and several of the streets are named after Greek muses. The smaller homes have been turned into delightful shops or bed-and-breakfast accommodation, while notable landmarks include the Anshe Sfard synagogue, Lafayette Cemetery No.1 and a historic skating rink now converted into a shopping mall with a difference.
George Washington Cable House commemorates one of Louisiana’s most influential writers, whose accounts of early Creole life have ensured this important era in the history of the state has been chronicled for posterity. His home on Eighth Street is now a national monument. The Commander’s Palace dates from the 1880s and has a long-standing reputation as one of the finest dining establishments in the whole of America.
Magazine Street is a haven for shopaholics, offering everything from local souvenirs and crafts, antiques and collectables to gourmet products, while stylish boutiques line St. Charles Avenue to the north. Stay in one of the charming bed and breakfasts on this fashionable avenue and wake up to the sound of traditional trams trundling past your window.
The Garden District is transformed every October by the quirky Zombiefest parade, when the undead take over the streets in a fancy-dress frenzy that channels the dark arts of Voodoo. The annual bake-off competition in July is an altogether cosier affair, showcasing the authentic taste of Southern hospitality.
Buses and trams serve the Garden District, and there is plenty of on-street parking. Take a leisurely stroll around this beautifully preserved neighbourhood, or join a tour to discover the history behind its manicured lawns and elegant facades.