Best Local Things to Do
Algiers Point: Pretty as a Picture
Take the ferry from the foot of Canal Street and you’ll disembark in Algiers Point, NOLA’s best-kept-secret-neighborhood.
Just across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter is a magical hamlet: a gorgeous, postcard-perfect village with friendly neighbors, homey restaurants, quaint watering holes, and some of New Orleans’ finest architecture, all within walking distance and inside the city’s boundaries but what feels like worlds away from the bustle of downtown. Take the ferry from the foot of Canal Street and you’ll disembark in Algiers Point, NOLA’s best-kept-secret-neighborhood. Check out my picks on where to eat & drink and what to do while visiting the neighborhood in our
Neighborhood Guide to Algiers. If you’re visiting on a Wednesday during summer, do not miss the free, outdoor music festival Wednesdays on the Point, which features a stellar lineup of New Orleans musicians, plus food, drinks and crafts for sale.
The 2015 season lineup includes zydeco swing with Chubby Carrier, blues legends Jon Cleary with Walter “Wolfman” Washington, the all trombone funk of Bonerama, Cajun spitfire Amanda Shaw, and ends on August 5, 2015 with the one-and-only
Rebirth Brass Band. Come take the ferry and party in Algiers Point on Wednesdays this summer!
The ferry to Algiers Point departs every half hour from the foot of Canal Street and costs a nominal $2 each way (exact change/cash only). The ferry has service most days until 9:45 p.m. with reduced hours on weekends. Most ferries in service have room for bicycles and scooters on the lower-level deck; the lower deck entrance is below the ferry terminal.
Wait for the ferry inside the Ferry terminal at the foot of Canal Street, just next door to Spanish Plaza, The Audubon Aquarium and the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk.
Algiers Point porches are just bursting with personality. Go and explore and discover the best of New Orleans in one of my favorite neighborhoods around.
There’s nothing quite as quaint as a tiny shotgun home, and this gorgeous example is on Opelousas Avenue, about 3/4 mile from the ferry landing. Opelousas Avenue is notable for its live oaks and other native trees that give this thoroughfare full shade all day long.
At the intersections of Pelican Avenue, Lavergne, and Verret Streets is a preserved old Gulf service station and a view of the old commercial district that has barely changed over the years. It’s next to Confetti Park, an aptly named, pocket-sized playground.
If you don’t have the time to fully explore the neighborhood, try the several-block stretch of Delaronde Street beginning at the Dry Dock Cafe, just a short walk from the ferry. This charming double has an extra burst of personality with a snowball door hanger ornament.
Another ideal, short walk from the ferry should be down Pelican Avenue next to the ferry landing, which runs parallel to Delaronde Street a block over. Look for the Tardis/telephone box of the Crown and Anchor Pub, and take a quick stroll down Pelican.
Crepe myrtles make an excellent framing device for an already picture-perfect home. They’re green a good portion of the year, but when they’re in full bloom, they are spectacular.
Algiers Point is all about porches: gorgeous porches that make even a die-hard, jaded New Orleanian consider finding a real estate agent and packing up for a new neighborhood. One of my favorite things about the architecture of Algiers Point is the variety of decorative elements found on the shotgun homes. All the brackets, decorative moulding, spindles, and even the paint colors inspire with their variety and endless patterns.
If you’re visiting the Point in summer, it’s not hard to find one of our most ubiquitous flowering trees. They provide that pop of color that is unmistakably New Orleans.
Bermuda Street is one of many charming walks from the levee with rows of some of the best examples of New Orleans architecture of any neighborhood.
In summer, Wednesdays on the Point is the perfect reason to ride the ferry and have fun in Algiers Point. This free, weekly afternoon/evening festival has the best in live New Orleans music, neighborhood vendors and food trucks, local brews, and amazing sunset views, and it’s perfect for the whole family. Wednesdays on the Point runs through August 5, 2015, this year.
Whether you sit up on the levee or down in the batture close to the stage, you’ll have a great time meeting the neighborhood at Wednesdays on the Point in Algiers Point. It’s just another terrific free festival, and this one’s extra special because of the downtown and French Quarter views.
There is a lot to eat and drinks at Wednesdays on the Point. One of my favorite festival vendors is Ajun Cajun Ninja, serving up Japanese street fare, like shrimp yakisoba, and their famous slow-cooked Beef Yakiniku Po-Boy. There are neighborhood soul food vendors selling mouth-watering ribs, juicy hamburgers, and traditional NOLA-style po-boys and jambalaya, and there’s even a local pizza truck and snowballs, not to mention sodas and NOLA-brewed beers on draft. Come for the music, stay for a meal.
Wednesdays on the Point is located just a few yards from the Ferry Landing on the batture on the river side of the levee along Patterson Drive. You can see the old Algiers Courthouse on Patterson on the other side of the levee. The vantage point along the Mississippi River Trail that runs along the levee is phenomenal. The trail is a great place to go for a run or walk, or bike.
Shopping with a view of Jackson Square, anyone? Several neighborhood crafts vendors at the weekly festival sell custom, colorful New Orleans themed t-shirts, like this Algiers neighborhood tee. You can also find pottery and art for sale along the river.
Dance your cares away during the golden hour and into the sunset at Wednesdays on the Point. Blues man Johnny Sansone gets the crowd going.
Experience the sunset behind Jackson Square with expansive views of the city from Algiers Point, steps from the ferry landing.
Legendary New Orleanian Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians tribe performs with Johnny Sansone at Wednesdays on the Point.
There’s nothing like a New Orleans sunset, especially when there’s incredible music to accompany a beautiful afternoon in one of the most picture-perfect neighborhoods anywhere.
Photos by Paul Broussard