Streetcars - St Charles Avenue, New Orleans
If you plan on going for a ride on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, you might as well make it all the way to the Audubon Park/University District. Like the Garden District, this part of the city was developed during the 19th century and features some amazing architecture and green spaces. Audubon Park was the site of the "World Cotton Centennial", a World Fair held in New Orleans in 1884. As it often is the case with world fairs, all the structures were torn down after the event, but the park designed by John Charles Olmsted (the newphew and student of Frederic Law Olmsted) has been preserved almost in its entirety. I really enjoyed walking along the 2.7-km jogging/cycling trail that goes around the park, and I suspect that people traveling with kids would very much enjoy stopping by the zoo.
Right across the street from Audubon Park you'll find the Tulane University and Loyola University campuses, two of the city's most prominent universities. While the Loyola campus is a bit small, the Tulane one is quite large and its early 20th century buildings make up an interesting collection of architectural styles. The park and the two campuses are also dotted with beautiful live oak trees, some of which have been rather artfully beaded by the students!
This is the cheapest ($1.25) and some of the most interesting and scenic family fun in the city. Take the Street Car from where it starts on Canal St. all the way to the end and back. You will see the garden disrtict, Tulane, and meet lots of interesting people. The cars themselves are lovely antiques and nice to see for their own unique beauty and charm.
This streetcar is a long-standing icon of the main New Orleans area. The drab, green cars run on electricity from Canal street through downtown and the Garden District all the way past the universities (Tulane and Loyola) and into the uptown area.
There are a lot of sights along the way. The street car passes past Lee Circle, with the column memorializing the Confederate leader. Past the houses of the Garden district with their large immaculate grounds. Past the universities, and onto the public library. Then turns around and makes the whole run back to the tall skyscrapers of downtown.
For only $1.25 (exact change only) you can ride the old wooden benches and relax. The windows pull up and it is quite an enjoyable ride. Highly recommended to escape the heat or idle away an afternoon.
New Orleans historic St. Charles Streetcar travels from Canal Street, through the Garden district, past Loyola and Tulane Universities and Audubon Park (& zoo, great alligators here!) where it takes a right-hand turn at Riverbend to continue up Carrollton Avenue.
A little fact for ya!, New Orleans St. Charles Streetcars have been declared moving national historic landmarks.
The St. Charles Streetcar is a great way to tour the Garden District, but to avoid paying each time you board it's a good idea to purchase a one or three day VisiTour Pass. It's good for unlimited rides on streetcars and all buses in New Orleans Parish.
Board the streetcar directly across Canal Street from Bourbon Street in the French Quarter at Canal and Carondelet streets.
Drivers don't call out stops so if you plan to get off @ the Garden District, shopping at Riverbend or visiting Audubon Park, the Zoo or either Tulane or Loyola University you'll need to watch for your stop.
Quite easily my favorite area and street in New Orleans, St Charles Avenue is lined with southern mansions in various styles of architecture including Greek Revival, Colonial, and Victorian styles such as Italianate and Queen Anne Style. Because New Orleans - the largest city in the Confederacy - was captured early in the Civil War, the lack of hostility, forced resistance and bombardment, allowed it to remain as the largest collection of antebellum architecture today.
There are several ways in which too experience this but to truly capture this canopy covered street lined with these homes go by foot.
I had bought an all day pass so I could take a nice long ride on the St. Charles streetcar. Rode through the Garden District, passed Loyola University, Audubon Park and ended up in an area called the Riverbend, formerly the town of Carrollton.
The Tram Car Ride through garden district is a must! You will be enchanted at you move through this ditrict through a canopy of green and gorgeous trees which complement the awe inspiring houses that date back to many many centuries back.
Takethe St. Charles trolley line the entire distance from downtown to its termination point, getting off intermittently to explore pretty areas passed in the Garden District.
You'll pass many beautiful 'Garden District' homes and can enjoy a casual lunch at the end of the line in one of several cafes.
Riding the Streetcar to the Garden District
The ride in the streetcar is a must when visiting New Orleans, and walking around the Garden District is a nice change from the French Quarter.
Basically, the Garden District was built by the American society of New Orleans, who, disdained by the old French Creole gentry in the French Quarter, thumbed their noses at the Creoles by constructing sumptuous mansions and the Garden District was born.
The oldest operating street railway system in the United States takes you along the the magnificent sights of what is surely one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. The streetcar line goes back to 1835.
You can get to a lot of the places outside of the Quarter and in the city by public taransportation. The St Charles street car is really a fun ride and a great way to spend some time. It's been down sine the you-know-what and it is truely missed. It'll be back and when it does, don't miss it. The photo is one of the st Charles cars currently running on the River line.
Take a ride on the trolley. It's a 1.25 each way and you MUST HAVE exact change. About halfway through the trip, you will pass the Real World New Orleans House, The Belfort. The route also passes Tulane University and lots of great houses.