Photo: Horse-drawn carriage in residential neighborhood

Though not far from Bourbon Street's raucous nightlife, the French Quarter's residential neighborhoods are a refuge of Old World tranquility.

Photograph by Jennifer Zdon, Getty Images

When you think of New Orleans, you may have a vision of dancing the night away on Bourbon Street, but there’s plenty to see and do for families. In the Quarter, tour the Cabildo, the site of the Louisiana Purchase Transfer, and now a vibrant part of the Louisiana State Museum. Just a couple blocks away at Café du Monde on Decatur Street, pick up some beignets—French doughnuts—and then head to Washington Artillery Park for a view of the mighty Mississippi and Jackson Square. To see other neighborhoods, ride the streetcar along St. Charles. For $1.25 one way, you will pass New Orleans’s famous old mansions, churches, the Touro Synagogue, and Tulane and Loyola Universities.

Where to Play

No visit to the city known for its annual Mardi Gras celebrations would be complete without a tour of Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. You will see how the Mardi Gras floats are made—from sculpting, to painting, to animating the mega-floats. Across town, ride the antique carousel in City Park. To see Louisiana’s swamp creatures in the city, visit the Audubon Zoo. The history buffs in the family will love the National World War II Museum, and everyone may well be fascinated with a tour of New Orleans’s famous aboveground cemeteries.

At Day’s End

In the city of voodoo, older children will enjoy the New Orleans French Quarter Ghosts & Legends Tour, led by a theatrical guide who promises that the tour is “totally appropriate” for kids. Or try a cemetery tour with Historic New Orleans Walking Tours or Save Our Cemeteries.

Based on articles from National Geographic Traveler and compiled by Stephanie Robichaux

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