New Orleans has come along way since a French explorer stumbled upon a swamp settlement back in 1699. Its history and architecture is a vivid aspect of the Big Easy’s colorful personality.
Founded in 1718 as a walled military outpost, the French Quarter was a colonial oasis in the New World, a rich tapestry of French, Spanish and African cultures that combined to create a hybrid personality all its own. The passing of more than three centuries has seen it ravaged by fires, floods, misguided development, benign neglect and gentrification, yet through it all, the Quarter has never lost its identity, its human scale, its bohemian soul.
In a world of Disney-esque attractions, the French Quarter is unfailingly authentic. This continuous residential neighborhood nestled on the bend of the Mississippi River is not an interpreted historic attraction, it is 120 blocks of the real deal. And that's just the beginning of the history lesson you can take everytime you start on a wander. In New Orleans, there are an astounding 20 historic districts on the National Register, more than any other city in the United States.