10Best place to connect with history in New Orleans

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.



Outside the city
Chalmette Battlefield
Photo courtesy of Derek Bridges


While there is plenty to keep you occupied in New Orleans proper for days on end, there are a host of excursions that provide valuable insight into the history and culture of the region. A visit to the Chalmette Battlefield, just seven miles...  Read More



Now serving as the city's official welcome center, Basin Street Station was formerly the New Orleans Terminal Company, a historical touchstone that remains in what was once the transportation crossroad of the city of New Orleans. Today Basin St....  Read More



Founded in 1833, Lafayette Cemetery stands out as one of area's earliest and perhaps the city's first planned cemetery. It was specifically designed to accommodate funeral processions and is distinguished by its intersecting avenues and lush...  Read More



The New Orleans Streetcar is the most historic mode of transportation in the Crescent City. Traveling through the middle of major streets such as St. Charles, Canal and Carrollton and soon Rampart Street, the streetcar is an affordable method of...  Read More



What began as a military parade ground known as Place d'Armes in 1721 is now the colorful heart of the French Quarter, a meeting place for musicians, voodoo queens, fortune tellers, artists, grifters, historians and tourists – you can usually...  Read More

French Quarter
St. Louis Cathedral


It looks like a fairy tale castle, but in fact, St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the US. Originally built in the late 1700s, the present structure, with its white, three-steepled façade, is actually the...  Read More

French Quarter


Wrought iron fences, exquisite gardens and lush antebellum homes line the streets of the Garden District. The area, bordered by St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street, as well as Jackson Avenue and Louisiana Avenue, is where the city's original...  Read More

Historic New Orleans Collection
Photo courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection


A museum, research center and publisher, the collection was founded in 1966 to preserve the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Located in a historic complex of French Quarter buildings, the Historic New Orleans Collection...  Read More



The New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park takes guests on an informative, enthralling journey through the history of jazz. Free and always open to the public, this site's Visitors Center - across from the French Market – serves as the ideal...  Read More

French Quarter


A national landmark celebrating the development of music in America, Preservation Hall specifically strives to "to protect and honor New Orleans Jazz." It may not look like much at first glance, and those bench seats are anything but...  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth