Your tour of the enchanting French Quarter begins in Musical Legends Park. Choose a morning or evening start time and meet your friendly local guide for a 2.5‐hour educational promenade. You’ll set off first for the Mississippi riverbank. Admire paddlewheel steamboats drifting on the water and learn about the levee system that converted this sea‐level swampland to a livable space, ripe for agriculture and building.
Along the way, visit the waterside French Market. Legend has it that this site – now the oldest open‐air market in the US – was once a bartering market for Native Americans. Wander through the stalls and check out local produce, fish and Creole delicacies. Then pass by the Ursuline Convent, the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley, en route to your next stop: Jackson Square.
On the site of the original Place d’Armes, Jackson Square is an honorary landmark to New Orleans’ war hero Andrew Jackson. See Louisiana’s Cabildo and Presbytere museums and the Pontalba Apartments, the oldest apartment buildings in the United States! Pass by the origination point of the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 as you head into St Louis Cathedral.
Afterwards, you’ll have the rare opportunity to visit a Creole courtyard, generally cloistered from the public, and see a quadroon ballroom – both architectural symbols of the complexity and singularity of Creole culture.
Between stops, enjoy some literary landmark spotting and performance art in the streets! You’ll pass the building where Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire, visit William Faulkner’s home and stroll through Pirate’s Alley, the infamous location replete in legend of pirates, duels and covert negotiations.
Your 2‐mile (3.2 km) walk ends near the Mississippi River levee.