Motorized French Quarter Tour Map and Destinations
When you take our Motorized French Quarter tour, you will visit both the Upper and Lower French Quarter. The tour covers over 40 blocks of the Vieux Carre and takes approximately 70 minutes.
As you take in many of the sites on the French Quarter tour map below, you will see 100 images on your personal hi-def monitor. While interesting stories and facts about New Orleans will surely captivate and entertain you, the images will make New Orleans history come to life before your eyes!
French Quarter Tour Map image courtesy of David Rumsey Map Collection, http://davidrumsey.com
Upper French Quarter Destinations:
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Your adventure begins when you our vehicle arrive to meet you at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel located at 717 Orleans Street between Bourbon and Royal. The Bourbon Orleans is a significant historic site and a prime example of the importance of the French Period in New Orleans and Louisiana. There, you’ll board your “Time Machine” to begin your motorized journey.
The Gardette Le Pretre Mansion
Your first stop will be to view the Gardette Le Petre Mansion for an engaging introduction to New Orleans folklore.
J.B. Debois House
On the next block, you will see the balcony of the J.B. Debois House. It is one of the finest examples of hand forged wrought iron craftsmanship in the French Quarter. This building dates back more than 200 years.
The Mississippi River
On your journey to the Mississippi River, we’ll point out the site of the Old French Opera House. We’ll also pass by the Historic New Orleans Collection. At the river you can exit the vehicle and take a 100-foot stroll to see the “Mighty Mississip'” up close. It is so important to New Orleans and Louisiana life and history, and some real surprises about it will be revealed to you!
Following our visit to the river, we’ll stop at Bienville Place. You’ll hear the fascinating stories of French explorers and colonists who transformed the “mud hole” they found into today’s beautiful “Crescent City.”
Lower French Quarter Destinations:
Madame John’s Legacy
While journeying from Bienville Place to Madame John’s Legacy, you will hear the fascinating story of how Spain came to control New Orleans. Madame John’s is the perfect place to connect the dots between the French, Spanish, and early American periods. It is also a prime example of eighteenth-century Louisiana French Colonial Creole architecture.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar
From Madame John’s, you’ll journey to this famous building that dates between 1773 and 1781. There are many legends about where the Pirates Laffite spent their time in New Orleans. This bar is home to one of them. Were Pierre and Jean Laffite owners of a smithy? Most historians think not, and the spelling of their last name offers a clue as to why! Nonetheless, this is a perfect setting for you to learn more about the Laffites and the Battle of New Orleans.
Old Ursuline Convent
Following our stop at Lafitte’s Black Smith Bar, you will continue on your tour to The Old Ursuline Convent. It is the oldest French Colonial building in the Mississippi Valley. It became home to the Ursuline Nuns who arrived in New Orleans in 1727. They have a very long and rich history in New Orleans, and you will be fascinated by their stories. Their good works included educating the local people, (both wealthy and poor) and caring for the sick and needy. The Ursuline Nuns even played a “divine” role at the Battle of New Orleans,” and you’ll learn how and why!
Across the street from the Ursuline Convent is the Beauregard-Keyes House. It was built in 1826 and became home to many prominent New Orleanians. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Confederate general most famous for firing the first shot at Fort Sumter. Frances Parkinson Keyes was a famous, prolific author who wrote over 50 books, many of them while living in the home. World chess master, Paul Morphy, was also born in the house. Paul Morphy’s grandfather was Don Diego Morphy. Don Diego Morphy’s story is one of intrigue; he was the Spanish Consul during the Battle of New Orleans. He was also a spy! You will learn about him and other spies, including Americans, who reported directly to and were paid by Luis de Onis, the Spanish Ambassador.
The Old US Mint
Next, you will stop at the Old US Mint, built by President Andrew Jackson in 1838. It is one of the sturdiest buildings in New Orleans. It’s site, Fort St. Charles, is also where two events occurred that changed New Orleans forever, and both involved executions. The first occurred at the beginning of the Spanish Domination and the second when Union forces captured New Orleans in 1862. You will discover what happened and why.
The LaLaurie Mansion
After stopping at the Old US Mint, you will continue your tour to the LaLaurie Mansion. Here you will learn about the power of storytelling in New Orleans. Madame LaLaurie built the home in 1832. She lived there with her physician husband, their children, and slaves. One night in 1834 a fire broke out in the kitchen, and when people responded, they found unspeakable horrors. You will learn about how newspapers, books, television shows, and movies have built upon and sensationalized their stories. As a result, it has become almost impossible to separate fact from fiction and reality from fantasy, and retellings of the events by local ghost tour experts grow ever more exaggerated and grotesque.
Andrew Jackson Hotel, the site of the first US District Court in the Louisiana Territory
A little further down Royal Street is the site of the first US District Court in the Louisiana Territory, the Andrew Jackson Hotel. Judge Dominic Augustin Hall presided, and his courtroom was the scene of an event that remains significant to this day. You will learn about the prologue and aftermath of General Andrew Jackson being fined $1000 for contempt of court shortly after The Battle of New Orleans!
Next door to the Andrew Jackson Hotel, you will see the Cornstalk Hotel. It features one of two identical whimsical cast iron fences in New Orleans. Made by Wood & Perot in Philadelphia in 1858, they delight guests and visitors from around the world. You can see the other one at the former home of Colonel Robert Henry Short in the Garden District. While Colonel Short purportedly claimed to have “commissioned” it for his wife who pined for the cornfields of Iowa, both examples apparently came from a catalog.
Your tour will end at Jackson Square, one of the most important and exciting historical travel destinations in the United States!