Mr. R and I fell in love while sipping granitas and dusting our noses with sugar at the Cafe Beignet in the Musical Legends parks off of Bourbon St. That was six years ago, and we have made a point to return at least once a year since then (sometimes more). I haven’t been able to pin point exactly what it is about the French Quarter that inspires me, perhaps it’s my undying love for history and architecture. Perhaps even further its the strange mysterious culture of the past that allows your creative side to break down its barriers to explore and explode with every taste, hymn, word and paint stroke.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post or two about perusing the malls of the French Quarter such as Canal Place and The Riverwalk Outlets. But to truly experience the French Quarter and feel these Big Easy vibes one must venture beyond the walls of every mall USA and dive headfirst into all the local flavor by hitting the historic streets.
Madame Laveau’s House of Voodoo
739 Bourbon St & 723 Peter
If you visit any voodoo shop while in town, Marie Lavaeu’s House of Voodoo is your must visit. Holding true to its roots since 1988 this shop will completely immerse you into a long forgotten culture in a incredibly mysterious chapter of New Orleans past.
Bottom of the Cup Tea Room
327 Chartres St.
After spending the day wandering along the aging streets allow yourself to take a seat and sip of some tea. The shop is full of all sorts of new age odds and ends, as well as their own specialized tea leaf concoctions. Psychics no longer freely roam the store reading out the leaves at the bottom of your freshly empty tea cup, but they are waiting in the back to read your cards, your palms, as well as your tea if you so choose.
Forever New Orleans
700 Royal Street, 606 Royal Street, 308 Royal Street
Forever New Orleans is one of my favorite must stop souvenir shops! This has a little something for everyone at quite reasonable prices for what you can find somethings for in the French Quarter.
The Giving Tree Gallery
738 Royal Street, 829 Chartres Street
Though quite pricey the home decor, jewelry, wooden maps, and timepieces are all like none other you have seen before. This shop of whimsy will stir your muse and excite your senses at every turn!
The French Market
1008 N. Peters Street,
Just behind the infamous Cafe Dumonde is the original French Market that dates back to 1791. This unique Flea Market experience brings you booths of home decor, fashion, collectibles, unique crafts, and so much local flavor to eat! The bathrooms are clean, the booths are plenty, and the deals are astounding!
Have you been to any of these shops? Which do you think would best match your NOLA wanderlust?