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New Orleans Architecture Guide

New Orleans Architecture Guide

Thanks to its diverse cultural heritage, for centuries New Orleans has been known for its stunning array of eye-catching buildings. From Greek Revival to classic Victorian to Queen Anne styles, few other cities in the world can compete with the Big Easy’s architectural masterpieces. Here are some must-see highlights.

French Quarter

Many of NOLA’s top architectural gems are found in the historic French Quarter. This area is known for its creole cottages—single-story structures with pitched roofs and stucco or wood exteriors, typically built from 1790 to 1850—as well as taller creole townhouses. The latter are characterized by their iron balconies, steep side-gabled roofs, and brick or stucco facades.

Garden District

The historic Garden District, another of the city’s iconic neighborhoods, boasts equally impressive architecture. Many of the double-gallery houses here date back to the mid-19th century and are recognizable by their covered two-story galleries framed by columns—the New Orleans version of the American townhouse built at a time when the area was considered a suburb of the city.

St. Charles Avenue

Leafy and residential St. Charles Avenue is lined with stately oaks and grand mansions dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Nicknamed “the Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues,” St. Charles is home to one of the best collections of historic mansions in the South with many architectural styles represented, including Greek Revival, colonial, Victorian, Italianate, and Queen Anne.

Throughout New Orleans

No matter where you are in New Orleans, you’ll likely see what’s called a shotgun house, the city’s predominant type of residential building. These narrow, single-story structures, typically no more than 12 feet (3.5 meters) wide, were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their wooden exteriors are often adorned with lacy Victorian ornamentation.

New Orleans–Area Plantations

At one point in the city’s history, thanks to the cotton industry there were more millionaires in New Orleans than in any other city in the United States. This great wealth led to the construction of numerous Antebellum plantations along Louisiana’s River Road, well worth an excursion from the city.

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4 Tours and Activities | All New Orleans Tours

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Experience Cajun Country: Swamp Boat Adventure and Plantations Full-Day Tour from New Orleans

Experience Cajun Country: Swamp Boat Adventure and Plantations Full-Day Tour from New Orleans

star-4.5
Go beyond the French Quarter and discover the unique Cajun and Creole cultures of New Orleans during this full-day swamp and plantation tour. Venture deep into the bayous, with a small group limited to 8, to see Cajun living and spot wildlife like alligators and pelicans. Then, admire the beautiful architecture and learn about the history of Houmas House and Laura plantations. Upgrade your ticket to include a high-speed airboat ride through the bayous.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$194.00
From
$194.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Garden District and Mansion Walking Tour

New Orleans Garden District and Mansion Walking Tour

star-4.5
Experience the best of New Orleans’ opulent Garden District. On this walking tour, marvel at the enormous antebellum mansions, learn about some of the district’s famous residents including Anne Rice and Sandra Bullock, and visit homes used in the films 'Interview with a Vampire' and 'Dracula 2000.' See the elaborate above-ground tombs at Lafayette Cemetery, one of the city’s most significant ‘Cities of the Dead’.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.00
From
$29.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Louisiana Plantations Tour with Lunch from New Orleans

Small-Group Louisiana Plantations Tour with Lunch from New Orleans

star-4.5
Experience the elegance of New Orleans’ antebellum south on this full-day historical plantation tour. In a small‐group, visit San Francisco Plantation and Houmas House Plantation, where you’ll view stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and former slave quarters while hearing fascinating – and often somber – pre‐Civil war histories from expert guides.  You'll also enjoy a private luncheon, served exclusively for your group at Houmas House.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$169.00
From
$169.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Small-Group Historical Sightseeing Tour

New Orleans Small-Group Historical Sightseeing Tour

star-4.5
Discover New Orleans’ vibrant history through its dynamic history on this sightseeing tour. Enjoy a small group van ride through the city, viewing the diverse architectural wonders of the French Quarter, the Garden District, Esplanade Avenue, and Bayou St John. You’ll disembark for small-group walking tours of the St. Louis Cemetery No 3, City Park, and the Longue Vue House and Gardens—a masterpiece of architectural and horticultural history.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$96.00
From
$96.00
Taking safety measures