New Orleans, Louisiana, known as the Crescent City, is one of the most culturally diverse cities in North America. All the neighborhoods in New Orleans have special things about them that distinguish them from each other and play a valuable role in the multiculturalism of the city.
New Orleans’s most famous neighborhood, and home to Bourbon Street, is the French Quarter. Originally called the Vieux Carré (Old Square) because the city was built around a square, the French Quarter is the cultural hub of the city. With its fervent Spanish and French influence, it can be recognized by its narrow streets and unique architecture, strongly resembling cities in Europe.
The Garden District, called this for its park system containing stunning gardens, basins, fountains and canals, this neighborhood in New Orleans is the home to some of the oldest homes in the city. With beautiful gardens all around, and antique shopping on Magazine Street, the Garden District is one of the most popular neighborhoods in New Orleans for visiting tourists.
Uptown is one of the neighborhoods in New Orleans where you can find the impressive plantation homes built on St. Charles Avenue in the late 1800’s. Shoppers and restaurant enthusiasts will appreciate the small trendy stores and restaurants. The St. Charles Streetcar can also be seen traveling throughout Uptown.
Adjacent to Uptown is the Carrolton neighborhood of New Orleans. Formally a resort area, Carrolton feels like somewhat of a college town. With Tulane and Loyola Universities nearby, and the coffee-shop laden Oak Street shopping area, most won’t feel that they are in an urban area.
For a more urban feel, the Central Business District (CBD) and neighboring New Orleans Arts District (Warehouse District)are the neighborhoods in New Orleans that house a good portion of the city's fine art galleries, world-class museums, theaters, dance performances, music performances and fine dining. The CBD and the Warehouse District are busy cultural areas, especially for the locals, who avoid the tourist crowds of the French Quarter.
One of the most cosmopolitan neighborhoods in New Orleans is the Faubourg Marigny/Bywater area, which is located right next to the French Quarter. Marigny was originally a plantation, whose Creole owner was responsible for the making the casino game of “craps” popular. When you stroll down the streets of the Marigny, you can hear the music coming out of some of the best Jazz clubs in the United States on Frenchman Street.
When looking for a laid-back atmosphere, visitors and locals alike take the short ferry ride to Algiers Point. The great views of the Mississippi River and Crescent City skyline coupled with the huge oak trees and Victorian cottages have special appeal to the artists and the musicians who typically live there. Visitors who want learn about how the magnificent Margi Gras parade floats are made can visit Mardi Gras World.
Mid-City, literally in the middle of New Orleans, houses many of the above ground cemeteries that are famous from television and film because the whole area is built below sea level. It is also home to City Park, similar to Central Park in New York, which is the site of the world famous New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest). Every spring people from all across the globe come to celebrate New Orleans’s music legacy.
The famous brass bands come from an area in Mid-City called Tremé. Tremé is the oldest African-American neighborhood in the United States and is still of great significance to the African-American population. Claude Tremé, a black immigrant from France, owned the plantation that once occupied the Tremé area. This was the only area of the country that regularly allowed free persons of color and freed slaves to buy their own property.
The last of the neighborhoods in New Orleans is New Orleans East. New Orleans East is a broad classification that includes Gentilly and the Ninth Ward. Gentilly, originally swampland that was built up with dirt and equipped with drainage pumps so settlers could build homes, proudly claims Dillard University and was one of the most damaged areas after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Katrina unfortunately shone a world spotlight on the Lower Ninth Ward, which was the area affected most by the hurricane.