Streetcars are one of the most scenic, historic, and fun ways to get around New Orleans. There are four operating streetcar lines in the city: the famous St. Charles Avenue Line, the Rampart/St. Claude Line, and the Canal Street Line.
The Rampart/St. Claude Line reopened in 2016 after lying dormant since the late 1940s. This historic streetcar runs down Rampart Street, which divides the French Quarter and the Tremé, the oldest African American neighborhood in New Orleans and the birthplace of iconic New Orleans musicians such as Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, Alphonse Picou, Lucien Barbarin, and “The King of Tremé” Shannon Powell.
Hop on the Rampart/St. Claude Streetcar for $1.25 in cash for a one way ride, or choose from an array of Jazzy Passes for unlimited streetcar rides for one day, three days, or more. Here are some of our favorite stops along the route, and what to do while you’re there.
Canal at Rampart Rail
The Canal at Rampart Rail stop is for the theater-lovers – it puts you within easy walking distance of the Saenger Theater, Joy Theater, and Orpheum Theater. Shows at the Saenger include Broadway tours, while the Orpheum is home to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Joy hosts concerts with both local and touring musicians and comedians.
Rampart at Conti
This is the perfect stop for culture lovers. If you cross over to nearby Basin Street, you’ll find St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, where renowned Voodoo Preistess Marie Laveau is believed to be buried, along with other famous and notorious New Orleanians. You’ll have the chance to see the above-ground tombs and learn about the characters who once walked the Crescent City. Note that all guests must be accompanied by a tour guide to enter St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, and tours are offered Monday – Saturday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m., and Sunday at 10 a.m. Also located on nearby Conti Street, the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture celebrates all types of Carnival traditions. From masquerade balls to Walking Clubs to Kings and Queens to Cajun Mardi Gras, you’ll learn all about the celebrations.
Rampart at St. Ann
The N. Rampart at St. Ann stop in the perfect stop for those who are looking for a relaxing break. Find a quiet bench to read or people-watch at Louis Armstrong Park, a public space honoring the legacy of great jazz musician Louis Armstrong. The park occasionally hosts live music events and boasts plenty of attractions, including duck ponds and sculptures. Be sure to pay a special visit to Congo Square, where in the 1800s, enslaved people gathered and make music on their Sundays off. It was the only place enslaved people were allowed to gather for music in the city. Some say the rhythms of jazz were first developed here.
Rampart at Ursulines
Continue your cultural education at the N. Rampart and Ursulines stop with a visit to the Backstreet Cultural Museum. Located in the historic Tremé neighborhood, the museum is home to the city’s largest collection of Mardi Gras Indian Costumes, and includes exhibits on other New Orleans traditions, such as jazz funerals. If you’re ready for a drink at this stop, check out Effervescence, an upscale champagne bar on Rampart Street or pop around the corner to Cosimo’s, a beloved French Quarter dive bar.
St. Claude at Elysian Fields
You might be ready for a bite to eat by the time you get to St. Claude at Elysian Fields! Don’t worry, this stop is home to Gene’s Po-boy’s, where you can grab a famous hot sausage or catfish po-boy and a daiquiri. If you’re ready to party at this stop, walk over to Allways Lounge for a burlesque, comedy, or variety show, or make new friends in karaoke at Kajun’s Pub.