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Best Local Things to Do

Bike the French Quarter

The French Quarter is the perfect neighborhood in New Orleans to bike (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or just want a little fresh air, New Orleans is a great city for biking. In the French Quarter, bikes are the perfect transportation device, since the neighborhood is so popular, vehicle traffic is often congested. If you want to spend a relaxing afternoon biking the French Quarter, we’ve got your stops. Note: this light itinerary is suitable for most fitness levels.

American Bicycle Rental Company & Freewheelin’ Bike Tours

We rented our bikes at the American Bicycle Rental Company, a family-owned and operated shop that features American-made bikes. In addition to rentals, American Bicycle Rental Company also offers tours Freewheelin’ Bike Tours. We highly recommend taking one of their tours through the Garden District or the Marigny and Bywater.

The Route:

Source: Google Maps

St. Louis Cemetery No.1

Start your ride at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the site of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau’s tomb. Visitors are not allowed inside the cemetery unless they are part of a tour, but we recommend joining one at the door – you won’t regret learning about the above-ground graves. Tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Sunday at 10 a.m.

Armstrong Park

On your way back to the French Quarter proper, stop in Armstrong Park to visit historic Congo Square, a special site of African American history, and once a place where enslaved people gathered on Sundays to dance and play music. This may be where jazz was born.

Armstrong Park photo courtesy of Cultural Landscapes Foundation (photo credit: Jane Satterlee)
Armstrong Park photo courtesy of Cultural Landscapes Foundation (photo credit: Jane Satterlee)

St. Louis Cathedral

Make your way to St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square. St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest Cathedral in the United States. Jackson Square is the site where Louisiana was first made a United States territory in 1803 following the Louisiana purchase.

Lunch at St. Cecilia, and a visit to Old U.S. Mint and French Market

It’s time for lunch, so park your bikes by the Old U.S. Mint and grab some BBQ shrimp and grits or red beans and rice at St. Cecilia. Make a little time to mosey to the French Market for a special souvenir or visit the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint.

The historic French Market. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Crescent Park

If you want to admire a unique view of the city, bike over to Crescent Park’s Mandeville Wharf, where you can look back over the river at the French Quarter and the Central Business District.

Royal Street galleries

Starting at Esplanade Avenue, bike up Royal Street to take in all the unique shops and galleries. We recommend quick stops at Frank Relle Photography, Antieau Gallery, and Gallery Orange.

Cyclists on Royal Street. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

One last stop

Before heading back to American Bicycle Rental Company to drop your bikes off, be sure to reward yourself with a treat. Happy riding!

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