clock menu more-arrow no yes

French Quarter Fest 2019: Where to go and what to see in the Vieux Carre

7 can’t-miss places to check out during the fest

View as Map

Between its 250 musical acts and 60-plus food vendors, there’s no shortage of things to do at the French Quarter Festival, which takes over the Vieux Carre April 11-14. And because its 23 stages are sprinkled throughout New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, there are plenty of cool spots to scope out between sets. If you don’t get to the French Quarter often—or if you’re looking to take a breather from the crowds—consider checking out these free, festival-adjacent attractions.

Read More

1. Hotel Monteleone

Copy Link
214 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-3341
Visit Website

It’s a great idea to support food and drink vendors—that’s how the free festival generates its income—but if you want to step inside for a spell, the Hotel Monteleone is the place to do it. The circa-1886 Beaux Arts building is architecturally and historically significant, having hosted Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner. It’s also gorgeous, and the gently revolving Carousel Bar serves the best brandy milk punch in town.

2. Louis Armstrong Park

Copy Link
701 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 658-3200
Visit Website

French Quarter Fest celebrates Louisiana music in genres ranging from gospel to trad jazz—and almost all of it sprang from a little patch of ground in Armstrong Park. Congo Square was where enslaved people and free people of color socialized, played music, and danced on Sundays during the 18th and 19th centuries, and it’s often cited as the birthplace of jazz. Plus, Armstrong Park’s shady lagoons and walking trails offer a nice respite from the crowds and heat.

3. The Historic New Orleans Collection

Copy Link
533 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-4662
Visit Website

This free museum offers insight into the French Quarter’s past as well as a high-tech look at its present, thanks to the interactive installations in its newest exhibition space at 520 Royal Street. Seventy-five artists have work on display at the Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina exhibit. Check them out, then download the Architectural Tour app to learn more about the historic buildings that surround you.

4. M.S. Rau Antiques

Copy Link
630 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(888) 711-8084
Visit Website

M.S. Rau is the antiques shop where billionaires buy knick-knacks, but you don’t have to be part of the 1 percent to walk around in slack-jawed awe of its bronzes, art, and mind-blowing Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina Model B. A player piano’s upper cabinet houses a self-playing violin trio that was one of the 1910 World’s Fair’s wonders of the world. (Its price tag is $885,000.)

5. St. Louis Cathedral

Copy Link
615 Pere Antoine Alley
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 525-9585
Visit Website

You’ll find food vendors, first aid, merch, and the Hilton Stage at Jackson Square, so you might as well pop into North America’s oldest cathedral while you’re there. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, the cathedral features free tours (grab a docent if one is available) and self-guided tours with a $1 donation for the pamphlet. There’s also plenty of pew seating if you just want to sit and admire the Rococo-style gilded altar.

Via Shutterstock

6. Brieux Carré Brewing Co.

Copy Link
2115 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 304-4242
Visit Website

This tribute to New Orleans bounce rapper Nicky Da B is as colorful, exuberant, and over-the-top as he was. It’s a good selfie spot in the Marigny triangle, and it’s attached to a microbrewery.

7. Crescent Park Trail

Copy Link
Crescent Park Trail
New Orleans, LA 70117

The entrance to this 1.4-mile linear riverfront park sits at the edge of the French Quarter, near the base of Elysian Fields Avenue. Climbs the stairs (or take the elevator) to get over the flood wall and railroad tracks, and you’ll find a wharf-shaded pavilion with restrooms, swings, and skyline views. Continue down the path to enjoy its gardens, running trails, green space, dog park, and many Pokemon gyms.

1. Hotel Monteleone

214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

It’s a great idea to support food and drink vendors—that’s how the free festival generates its income—but if you want to step inside for a spell, the Hotel Monteleone is the place to do it. The circa-1886 Beaux Arts building is architecturally and historically significant, having hosted Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner. It’s also gorgeous, and the gently revolving Carousel Bar serves the best brandy milk punch in town.

214 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

2. Louis Armstrong Park

701 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

French Quarter Fest celebrates Louisiana music in genres ranging from gospel to trad jazz—and almost all of it sprang from a little patch of ground in Armstrong Park. Congo Square was where enslaved people and free people of color socialized, played music, and danced on Sundays during the 18th and 19th centuries, and it’s often cited as the birthplace of jazz. Plus, Armstrong Park’s shady lagoons and walking trails offer a nice respite from the crowds and heat.

701 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70116

3. The Historic New Orleans Collection

533 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This free museum offers insight into the French Quarter’s past as well as a high-tech look at its present, thanks to the interactive installations in its newest exhibition space at 520 Royal Street. Seventy-five artists have work on display at the Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina exhibit. Check them out, then download the Architectural Tour app to learn more about the historic buildings that surround you.

533 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

4. M.S. Rau Antiques

630 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

M.S. Rau is the antiques shop where billionaires buy knick-knacks, but you don’t have to be part of the 1 percent to walk around in slack-jawed awe of its bronzes, art, and mind-blowing Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina Model B. A player piano’s upper cabinet houses a self-playing violin trio that was one of the 1910 World’s Fair’s wonders of the world. (Its price tag is $885,000.)

630 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

5. St. Louis Cathedral

615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116
Via Shutterstock

You’ll find food vendors, first aid, merch, and the Hilton Stage at Jackson Square, so you might as well pop into North America’s oldest cathedral while you’re there. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, the cathedral features free tours (grab a docent if one is available) and self-guided tours with a $1 donation for the pamphlet. There’s also plenty of pew seating if you just want to sit and admire the Rococo-style gilded altar.

615 Pere Antoine Alley
New Orleans, LA 70116

6. Brieux Carré Brewing Co.

2115 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

This tribute to New Orleans bounce rapper Nicky Da B is as colorful, exuberant, and over-the-top as he was. It’s a good selfie spot in the Marigny triangle, and it’s attached to a microbrewery.

2115 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

7. Crescent Park Trail

Crescent Park Trail, New Orleans, LA 70117

The entrance to this 1.4-mile linear riverfront park sits at the edge of the French Quarter, near the base of Elysian Fields Avenue. Climbs the stairs (or take the elevator) to get over the flood wall and railroad tracks, and you’ll find a wharf-shaded pavilion with restrooms, swings, and skyline views. Continue down the path to enjoy its gardens, running trails, green space, dog park, and many Pokemon gyms.

Crescent Park Trail
New Orleans, LA 70117