The French Quarter in New Orleans

Certainly the highlight of any trip to New Orleans, Louisiana is visiting the French Quarter. With a history that dates back to 1718, there are many different sites to see when spending time in the French Quarter. One of the first things that comes to mind when talking about the French Quarter is Bourbon Street, which is in the heart of the neighborhood. Regardless of the time of year, it can be raucous with many different bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. Although there are parades and special events during Mardi Gras, the street is pretty much an outdoor party all year as people are allowed to take drinks with them in plastic cups as they walk the streets. Although it can be a fun street to visit, there is certainly a lot more to see in the French Quarter than just Bourbon Street.

Walking Bourbon Street at Dusk
Very Busy Jackson Square
St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square

Jackson Square with its bronze statues of Andrew Jackson and proximity between the St. Louis Cathedral and the Mississippi River is an absolute must to visit. It is a beautiful park and is usually surrounded by artists selling arts and crafts as well as performers entertaining the crowds that gather in the area. A walk along the river or taking a tour on one of the historic paddle ships such as the Natchez should also be on your agenda. Obviously the St. Louis Cathedral, which is the oldest continuously operating catholic cathedral operating in the United States, is worth spending about an hour visiting. Located next to the cathedral is The Cabildo where you can see exhibits providing information on the history of New Orleans and Louisiana.

Historic Streets
Artists in Jackson Square
Voodoo Shop

In addition to the restaurants and typical tourist shops, you will find several voodoo shops in the French Quarter where you can buy yourself a voodoo doll or perhaps have a psychic reading done if you are interested. You will also find many different tour companies that offer ghost and cemetery tours and you will find many of them walking the streets after it the sun goes down. If you want a more lively way to spend your evening, there are lots of nightclubs offering live music, including jazz, Dixieland, as well as modern rock bands. As the night goes on, Bourbon Street becomes livelier and livelier and it is certainly not an environment for anyone under the age of 21.

Carriage in the French Quarter
Sign for a Voodoo Shop
Another View of Bourbon Street

Any trip to New Orleans should include sampling many of the varieties of food that are very specific to the region. You can find many different styles from inexpensive to the most formal meals. You should certainly expect long lines at many of the restaurants that don’t take reservations and for those that do accept them, you should plan to make reservations well in advance. In addition to the various foods such as po-boys, oysters, seafood, and crawfish, there are also several specialty drinks that can be found. Having a Hurricane or Sazerac are certainly worth having if you are looking for a unique adult beverage.

Natchez Riverboat
Mississippi River
Walking the Streets at Christmas

Overall, we would say that spending time in the French Quarter is a lot like visiting the Las Vegas Strip, meaning that it is probably worth about three or four days and is certainly not a great place for children to visit after dark. Regardless of the time of day, we really enjoyed walking the streets of the French Quarter including Royal Street with all of its art galleries, Jackson Square, and even spending time on Bourbon Street.

Inventor of the Hurricane Drink
St. Louis Cathedral
Beautiful Architecture

The St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana

Located in Jackson Square in New Orleans is the St. Louis Cathedral. The cathedral dominates the skyline as you walk around the square or along the waterfront. We had visited during the holidays, so the interior of the church was decorated for Christmas, adding to the beauty of cathedral. Although there has been a church on the grounds since 1721, the St. Louis Cathedral was constructed between 1789 and the initial completion occurred in December of 1794. There were many enhancements to the cathedral over the years, including the addition of a clock and bells.

Jackson Square, Andrew Jackson’s Statue, and the St. Louis Cathedral
The Cathedral Organ
The Altar Display
The Baptistry

In 1964, the St. Louis Cathedral was dedicated as a minor basilica by Pope Paul VI. There is a statue of Andrew Jackson across from the cathedral to commemorate his triumph over the British which occurred there. The ceilings of the cathedral have wonderful artwork, which is quite beautiful to see. One of the most fascinating features within the cathedral is the Scallop Shell Pulpit that allows the voice of the speaker to bounce off of the soundboard and back towards the congregation.

St. Louis Cathedral
Ornate Ceiling
Scallop Shell Pulpit
The Cathedral Interior

Although the cathedral has actually been rebuilt three times, it is the oldest continually active cathedral in the United States. Needless to say, there are many places to see when planning a visit to New Orleans, but seeing the St. Louis Cathedral should certainly be on your itinerary. You will likely find many different performers and people selling local art in the courtyard outside of the church entrance.

At the Edge of the Park
Walking into Jackson Square
Looking Up at the Clock Tower
Nativity Scene Inside the Cathedral
Stained Glass Window
Joan of Arc Statue

Scrumptious Jambalaya with Roasted Red Pepper Sausage Recipe

When visiting New Orleans, you will have the option to try a variety of wonderful regional dishes, including Jambalaya. Jambalaya is a rice dish that usually has Andouille sausage, but we’d gotten a roasted red pepper sausage from our butcher and decided to use it instead. It turned out to be delicious and was really an easy recipe for a weekday dinner. Shrimp, chicken, or pork can also be added in addition to the sausage, but we chose to keep it simple and just use the sausage. If you like it spicier, you can also add more cayenne pepper.

Everything Needed for Jambalaya


  • 1/2 lb Roasted Red Pepper Sausage (or Andouille sausage) – cut into slices
  • 1 cup Uncooked Rice
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – diced
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion – diced
  • 2 stalks Celery – sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 cups Chicken Stalk
  • 2 tbsp Ground Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Roasted Red Pepper Sausage


Combine the paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Heat the butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage in the butter and oil until it is golden-brown. Stir in the spices and cook for another minute before adding the tomatoes, onion, celery, and red pepper. Continue to sauté for about another 5 minutes until the vegetables become soft. Turn the heat down to low and add the chicken broth and rice, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking. Serve in bowls.

Adding the Vegetables to the Sausage
Cook the Rice in the Broth
When the Rice is Fully Cooked
Enjoying a Nice Bowl of Jambalaya with Roasted Red Pepper Sausage