There’s more to New Orleans than it’s reputation as a playground for adults would have you believe. During the day, families can enjoy the city in a whole different light.
No visit to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to the French Quarter and its famous Riverfront where paddle wheelers cruise up and down the Mississippi River and Jazz musicians and street performers entertain visitors as they stroll from Jackson Square to Canal Street. This is where we like to bring our six-year-old when we visit family in New Orleans.
We start our day at Café Du Monde – the original French Market coffee stand – with hot beignets loaded with powdered sugar, hot chocolate and Café Au Laits (dark roasted coffee and Chicory). People watching is fun from the open-air patio, but even better in Jackson Square.
We’ll circle the Square perusing the artists’ work, enjoying the live Jazz music and street performers: jugglers, mimes, acrobats and more. Someone always suggests someone else get his or her palm read, but no one ever does.
After we’ve had our fill of Jackson Square, it’s time to visit America’s oldest public market, the French Market to do some souvenir shopping and sample many delicious eats as the locals have been doing in that very spot for three centuries now.
Then we climb aboard the Riverfront Streetcar (it’s never called a trolley in New Orleans) and ride it to Canal Street where we exit for the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. We could walk, but why when you can ride a streetcar!
By now we’re hungry again and the best place to eat and enjoy fantastic views of the Riverfront is Poppy’s the Crazy Lobster Bar & Grill. A fun, lively atmosphere, great food, attentive service and live music mean everyone is happy.
Just for kicks, we’ll take the Canal Street/Algiers Ferry across the river to Algiers Point and back. It’s free and gives you some of the best views of the Crescent City.
We ride the Riverfront Streetcar back to the French Market Parking lot where we parked our car and pronounce it another perfect day in one the most imperfect but magnificent cities in the world: New Orleans.