Jackson Square, French Quarter
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It's wonderful to walk around the French Quarter looking up at the wrought-iron balconies spilling over with flowers and listening to the sounds of street musicians. The focal point of this area is lush, tropical Jackson Square. As you walk through the ironwork gates from Decatur Street to the square, before your eyes is the most delightful sight, the iconic St Louis Cathedral with the statue of Andrew Jackson on horseback in the foreground. It looks like a Disney-inspired fairytale, perfect in every way. On either side of the cathedral are two adorable French-inspired buildings, the Presbytere and the Cabildo. You can go inside the Cathedral and light a candle, or check out the history exhibits in the Cabildo. Outside the Cathedral, psychics, caricaturists, and magicians have set up tables.
Cross Decatur Street to Washington Artillery Park and walk up the high staircase for a view of the Moon Walk on the Mississippi River and red trolleys on one side and St Louis Cathedral on the other. You can watch the horses with carriages trot by.
Walk down Decatur Street and get a bite to eat at Gazebo Cafe while enjoying the live music, which starts around noon. Pass the golden statue of Joan of Arc on your way. If you like farmers markets, continue along Decatur Street past Gazebo Cafe to French Market, a gathering of shops and stands with fresh produce and tourist souvenirs. Another spot with live music in the afternoon is Crescent City Brewhouse, which is on the western end of Decatur Street (see addresses below).
For another spot where you can eat while listening to live music, check out Frenchmen Street, a cozier spot than the French Quarter, where the locals go.
If you need a break from the crowds and heat, sit down for an Imax film at Audobon Aquarium of the Americas, on the western edge of the French Quarter by the Mississippi River.
There are a lot of people who look like they've had a hard life hanging around in New Orleans. It can make you pretty sad as you walk around.
After dark, it's not very safe in this area.
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St Louis Cathedral, 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans LA 70116.
Crescent City Brewhouse, 527 Decatur St, New Orleans LA 70116, call (504) 522-0571.
Gazebo Cafe, 1016 Decatur Street, New Orleans LA 70116, call (504) 525-8899.
There is plenty of two-hour metered parking along Decatur Street and the side streets, that you can pay for with a credit card or cell phone app.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.