The French Quarter is a very old section of the city of New Orleans. When the city was established in 1718 the French Quarter was considered the center of New Orleans. There are many historic buildings that lie within the boundaries of the French Quarter. The area that contains the French Quarter comprises six by thirteen blocks. There are two main types of architecture featuring the French Colonial and Spanish settlements that made up the area's culture. The wrought iron balconies are prominent in the French Quarter.
When traveling in New Orleans directions are always in relationship to the French Quarter, Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. Visitors will go in one of four directions; upriver, downriver, riverside or lakeside. Visiting famous landmarks in New Orleans such as the French Quarter offers a variety of hotels, clubs, restaurants and historic buildings.
Bourbon Street has a mixture of music clubs which feature jazz, traditional Creole or Cajun cuisine restaurants and hotels with southern hospitality. Evenings come alive on Bourbon Street as it becomes crowded with people partying. Traffic is not allowed on this street at night so that visitors can amble between establishments. There are boutiques that offer a unique shopping experience on Bourbon Street and "gentlemen's clubs'' that are still in operation.
Jackson Square is surrounded by many historical buildings as well as having a statue of Andrew Jackson astride a horse. The square was once called the Place d' Armes and now is a place where street musicians perform for tips. Sometimes there are formal concerts held in Jackson Square. Directly across the street from Jackson Square are three buildings dating back to the eighteenth century. The Cabildo and the Presbytere are museums. St. Louis Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church and academy. Artillery Park offers a great observation of the French Quarter.
The oldest farmer's market is located on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. It stays open twenty four hours a day and provides the opportunity to purchase many types of goods. There are places to get a t-shirt or to get the preparations for a full meal. Fresh produce and snack food is available at many of the stalls.
There are streetcars that will take visitors to the Riverwalk, the Jackson Brewery Mall and the Moonwalk. The Moonwalk follows the Mississippi River from Artillery Park. Tourists are able to sit on steps and put their feet in the mighty Mississippi. Ocean going traffic is plentiful and so are the steamboats that travel up and down the river. Visitors can find dinner cruises on a paddle wheeler with authentic New Orleans cuisine and jazz music entertainment. There are also harbor cruises for daytime sightseeing that last about two hours.
Many of the hotels in the French Quarter are historical buildings. The Monteleone Hotel is one of them with six hundred rooms, two restaurants and meeting rooms for business travelers. Visitors can also find bed and breakfasts, condominiums or guest houses. The French Quarter is alive with things to do at any time of the day or night.