oak alley plantation is one of the most visited plantations on the "river road". orginally named bon sejour it was built by george swainey in 1839. it is now called oak alley because of a double row of giant live oaks that were planted prior to 1837. this beautiful greek revival plantation home is surounded by a colonnade of 28 doric columns. oak alley plantaion is listed on the national register of historic places.
the address is 3245 SR 18. located near the town of vacherie.
the jean lafitte national park is located in the barataria swamp about 25 miles southwest of downtown new orleans. there are a number of walking trails at the park where you can see the various ecosystems of the swamp. the barataria swamp was once home to the famous pirate jean lafitte. the jean lafitte national historical park and preserve is a very interesting side trip from new orleans. see my jean lafitte national historical park and preserve pages for more information.
from downtown take BR 90 southwest to SR 45 south. the park is located near the town of crown point.
While not entirely off the beaten path, Magazine Street if missed my many. Once a quaint little neighborhood it's become quite an alternative shopping area with lots of cool cafes and pubs. The street itself may garner fair attention but the side streets are still empty residential areas with great big old mansions.
New Orleans is renown for its music, being the birthplace of jazz and a bastion of the blues. According to the locals, the main area for live music is now a bit off of the main French Quarter area. A street called Frenchman, just east of the Quarter, has a lot of places. Nearly 2 every block, packed with live, local music acts from all sorts of genres: blues, rock, jazz, zydeco. My favorite is d.b.a., but there are plenty others: Blue Nile, Apple Bar, Snug Harbor, d.b.a., Hookah Bar... the list goes on and on. There are also bars, restaurants, cafes, plenty to occupy your night.
It was a rainy weekend with brief spurts of sunshine when we came to the city. People walked the streets with umbrellas in hand, as others hurriedly threw on plastic poncho's and continued with their sightseeing or shopping.
When the drizzle would turn to more of a downpour, we'd dash into a shop or stop to pause in a restaurant for a soda or glass of wine. As the wet streets reflected the lights onto the pavement, it created a striking photo. This is one of my favorites!
Rain or shine, New Orleans seems quite different from most U.S. cities.
The fanciful balconies or galleries fronting New Orleans buildings are made from cast iron and not wrought iron as some suppose.
Thanks to Mark (ATXTraveler), I learned there was a difference between balconies and galleries. Balconies are supported from the building itself, while galleries are supported by poles affixed to the ground.
As you navigate the streets of New Orleans, you'll soon discover the charm these architectural elements add to a building. Whether festooned with hanging ferns and plants or accented with pots of colorful flowers, balconies and galleries definitely add a distinctive touch to the New Orleans cityscape.
Traveling the side streets of the city, you'll see a variety of hues on many of the homes and buildings.
In the French Quarter you may see bright lemon yellow paired with pale green shutters; seashell pink with neat white shutters or a creamy white with royal blue shutters all adding so much character to the block on which they sit (pics # 1-3)
These colorful homes and buildings are so much a part of this historic city, that without them it would just not be NEW ORLEANS!
Throughout the French Quarter, street tiles like this appeared, bearing their former names when under the control of the Spanish from 1762-1803.
Their cracked and aged condition make them a very appealing reminder of the city's early days. However, despite their appearance, the Spanish government donated these tiles to the city of New Orleans a mere 30 years ago.
I think they add quite alot of character to their surroundings and remind visitors of the rich history of Louisiana.
The Prytania Theatre in New Orleans is the last remaining single-screen movie theater in suburban Louisiana. Watching a movie there brought back loads of childhood memories for me. It's an old-fashioned theater from the early 1900s that has undergone extensive renovation. (I think the work wasn't quite complete when we were there, because the sink from the men's room was out in the hallway, although fully operational.)
The Prytania shows first-run and classic films. When we were there in spring 2008, we saw George Clooney's "Leathernecks," and as you can see from the photo, the coming attraction was the new Indiana Jones movie. Get your ticket, buy a bag of popcorn, and settle into your seat!
5339 Prytania Street, Uptown
A 3+ hour trip through the back streets of the city. The tour was on the fat tired bicycles that everyone in New Orleans seems to ride (cracked streets are no place for racing bikes). It was as much tour as bike ride, with maybe 10 stops, where the guide (Jeff, a really friendly guy, who had lots to say about anything we asked) filled us in on local history.
Stops included a local neighborhood cemetary (without other tourists), the spot where the creoles used to fight their duels, and the place where the Po Boy was invented amongst others. Our guide had stories for every part of town and when we were done, we felt we really had a better idea of why the culture of New Orleans was so unique and where all the traditions that we always heard about came from. Definitely recommended.
Algiers Courthouse was built in 1896. The Richardsonian Romanesque style building was constructed after the Algiers Fire of 1895, when approximately 200 homes were destroyed, to replace the Duverje plantation home (1812) that had served as a courthouse. The present courthouse is the third oldest continuously used courthouse in the State of Louisiana. Feel free to enter and browse this interesting building and check out the Algiers’ Jazz exhibit in the foyer.
At the rear of the courthouse are the old stables, the site of the forthcoming Algiers Museum.
To get there: Take the Algiers Ferry. Once you leave the terminal, walk up Morgan until you see the Courthouse on your right.
Holy Name of Mary Church was built in 1929 in Tudor Gothic style with over 75 stained glass windows (several from the Meyer firm of Munich, Germany) and beautiful marble and artwork from an earlier church. The Catholic parish in Algiers was established in 1848, and a small wooden church was built across from the Duverje home on Morgan St. In response to a growing population, the congregation first built at this location (a mid-19th century site of voodoo dancing and a Federal prison camp during the Civil War) in 1870.
To get there take the Ferry from Canal Street to the West Bank and walk along the levee until you get to Olivier. Walk up Olivier until you see the church on your right.
"Across the river" - as the locals call it, is Algiers Point, a mostly-residential area showcasing historic buildings. Accessible by a ferry which leaves the convention center at the end of Canal Street, you'll immediately begin to feel as if you've left New Orleans -- keep in mind that the post in this area is still New Orleans. You'll find find super-friendly neighborhood bars like Old Point bar and a quasi British pub like Crown and Anchor complete with grub and local fare. A walk through this area will prove and showcase all the architecture this and curb appeal the residents have become so proud of.
A must do for a truly unique experience.
From New Orleans we planned to drive all the way to Florida. We heard that it was pretty close, about two and 1/2 hours so we decided to do the drive and visit some new States. I am really glad that we did that. I discovered a new vacation destination that I would like to go to. Alabama. The beaches there are so beautiful and the people are warm and friendly. If you dont believe me, go check it out for yourself.
We actually didnt make it out to Florida. We got to Alabama in 2 hours and the lady at the welcome desk suggest that we go check out the beaches. She said we wouldnt regret it. We took her advised and we were glad we did.
The Great River Road is a road that goes from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. We decided to take a drive and check out the plantation homes along the way. This road wasnt exactly what we expected. Its called the Great River Road because it follows the river along side it. The problem is that if you wanted to see the river you really cant because of the levys. That was alittle disappointing but it was better than being on the highway and not seeing anything. Along this road you will be able to see a few plantations homes and if you really want to see the river you can park the car and climb up the grassy hill levy. We didnt do that but I wished I did.
You can see Destrehan Plantation, San Francisco Plantation, Laura Plantation, and Houmas House and Tezcuco Plantation.
We didnt stop at all these places but we did stop at a few. I also took some pictures of churches along the way.
We took the 10 freeway til La Place then got on the Great River Road. It is also called Route 44.