is one of the highlights of our New Orleans City Tour, and a great place to take a pause from some of the more tourist-y areas of New Orleans. According to Fodors.com, the top reasons to visit the Garden District are to take in its history and architecture, shop on Magazine Street, and visit the numerous art galleries.
History and Architecture
The Garden District was laid out as part of the city of Lafayette in 1833 and annexed to the city of New Orleans in 1852. The area was thriving during that era, and what was to become the Garden District was a collection of plantations that were sold off in parcels to “new moneyed” Americans who built spectacular homes with lavish English-style gardens.
The architectural designs favored at the time included Greek Revival and Italianate, and the area now has what is considered the most well-preserved collection of antebellum homes in the nation. Some of the homes are still known by the names of the families that built them over 100 years ago.
Named the “Garden District” for its vast spectacular gardens, this New Orleans Neighborhood is noted for its amazing scenery, where the gardens bloom twelve months a year.
Magazine Street runs for six miles through the Garden District and part of Uptown, and is “the place to be” in New Orleans outside the French Quarter. The street is an eclectic collection of shops, restaurant and galleries, including 51 antique and furniture stores, 29 art galleries, 34 restaurant and bars and 60 home décor and gift shops.
Throughout the year the Main Street Merchants Association (MSMA) sponsors several special events including Champagne Strolls, the Spring Fling and Merriment on Magazine Street, an annual December event that includes Santa Claus visits and caroling. The 2nd District Police Station sponsors the Magazine Street Blues Festival in November.
Magazine Street also hosts a wide array of art galleries showcasing local and nation artists in folk art, fine art, photography, blown glass and ceramic sculpture, to name just a few.
On the first Saturday of each month, the galleries on Magazine Street host Art Walks, during which stay open late, offering art openings and refreshments from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. Since this area is a Louisiana Cultural District, there is no sales tax on any original art purchased.
The Garden District is just part of our New Orleans City Tour, one of several tours we offer in New Orleans and a great way to get to know the city.