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 St. Charles Streetcar Line has been running since 1835 is the oldest continuously operating line in the world. This historic streetcar rolls down oak-covered St. Charles Avenue past Tulane and Loyola Universities and all the way down to Canal Street and the French Quarter.
Hop on the St. Charles 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.
South Carrollton at Willow
The South Carrollton at Willow stop is a great way to access Oak Street, a vibrant hub for art, music, and food, which historically served as the “main street” for the Carrollton area before it became part of New Orleans. For a delicious New Orleans meal, try Jacques-Imo’s, a quirky restaurant serving traditional Creole dishes like étouffée and unique creations like shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake. After your meal, you’ll want to head next door to Maple Leaf, one of the city’s most iconic music clubs, frequented by legends like Rebirth Brass Band and George Porter.
St. Charles at Tulane/Loyola
If you’re feeling studious and contemplative, you’ll want to get off at the Tulane/Loyola stop. This is the best way to access the two university campuses, where you can find historic architecture, libraries, and enthusiastic college students. Across St. Charles Avenue from the universities is Audubon Park, home to walking/biking paths, a playground, a golf course, and more. This is the perfect place to hop off the streetcar and enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of an oak tree.
St. Charles at Jefferson
The St. Charles at Jefferson stop is only a short walk from a handful of Uptown attractions. Prytania Theatre is Uptown’s independent movie theater, showing everything from blockbusters to indie films and classics. The theater is tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, great for a rainy or hot day. When you’re ready to cool off, head to Creole Creamery, which makes in-house ice cream and sorbet. If you’re looking for a good vacation read, you can walk over to the Milton H. Latter Memorial Library. This library is located in a beautiful, old St. Charles Avenue home.
St. Charles at Peniston
By this point, you might be ready for a break. The St. Charles at Peniston stop will bring you right in front of the Columns Hotel, a historic hotel featuring a porch with (you guessed it) prominent columns. This is the ideal place to stop for a Sazerac or old fashioned. If you’re more in the mood for wine, you can walk a couple short blocks to The Delachaise, a funky and cozy wine bar with a sweet patio serving French food.
St. Charles at Washington
The St. Charles at Washington stop is the best way to access Lafayette Cemetery No.1, with its famous above-ground tombs. There are 1,100 family tombs and over 7,000 people buried there, including the Mayfair Witches. Right across the street from the cemetery is Commander’s Palace, an iconic New Orleans restaurant famous for its Jazz brunch, top-notch service, its bread pudding soufflé.
St. Charles at Lee Circle
If you’re an art enthusiast or history buff, St. Charles at Lee Circle is the stop for you. This is the best way to access two of the most prominent art museums in New Orleans – the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Contemporary Arts Center. On Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Ogden hosts “after hours,” which offers a chance to see the art while listening to live music and sipping wine or beer. This stop is also steps away from The National World War II Museum. Designated by Congress as America’s official WWII Museum, it showcases all aspects of the war from the 1930s prelude, to the Normandy Invasion and the battles of the Pacific Islands.
St. Charles at Lafayette or Carondelet at Lafayette
Depending on which direction you’re going, this stop will drop you off either on St. Charles or Carondelet. Here, you can easily walk to Lafayette Square and Gallier Hall, the former New Orleans City Hall. Lafayette Square has been a site for city events and concerts through the years and still hosts festivals and live music today. If you’re in the mood for some fine dining, Donald Link’s Herbsaint is just down the block. This is a great place to try a bowl of chicken, tasso, and andouille gumbo.
Canal at St. Charles or Canal at Carondelet
The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar will take you all the way to the French Quarter. The Canal Street stops drop you off at the entrances to Bourbon Street and Royal Street. Whether you’re in the mood to party on Bourbon Street or browse the antiques and art on Royal Street, this stop is the perfect starting point for a New Orleans adventure.