St. Charles Street, New Orleans: Your Ultimate Family-Friendly Guide

Estimated read time 13 min read
st. charles street - audubon zoo

The Magic of St. Charles Street

All aboard, adventurers! Step onto the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world and prepare for a journey that’s like a ride through time.The rich history and colorful culture of New Orleans will come to life right before your eyes as the wheels clatter along the tracks. The St. Charles Streetcar Line connects the opulent Roosevelt New Orleans to the expansive natural refuge of Audubon Park. It’s your ticket to a rich, family-friendly experience that encapsulates the heart of NOLA. Imagine you and your family cruising by antebellum homes and bright murals, each stop marking the beginning of a new chapter in your New Orleans adventure novel. Sounds incredible, right?

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So, you’ve decided to plant your vacation roots at the Roosevelt New Orleans, eh? Fantastic choice! The elegance of this hotel pairs perfectly with the vintage charm of the St. Charles Streetcar. And guess what? The Roosevelt New Orleans sits conveniently close to Stop #256—Canal and Carondelet, making it oh-so-easy for you to catch a ride.

But don’t rely on luck; turn yourself into a streetcar-savvy navigator with the Regional Transit Authority’s indispensable website and mobile app. These digital gems offer real-time updates, including streetcar locations and wait times.

Armed with technology and a sprinkle of local knowledge, you’re not just riding the St. Charles Streetcar—you’re mastering it. So, hold on tight, the adventure is just getting started!

Explore New Orleans

Exploring the Highlights along St. Charles Street

This route takes you on a picturesque journey past historic antebellum mansions, through the Central Business District, the Garden District, and Uptown. Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of Loyola and Tulane Universities as you go by. Seriously, this route is like a “Best Of” album of New Orleans, offering snapshots of the city’s most iconic landmarks and neighborhoods.

Central Business District: A Vibrant Melting Pot

The journey kicks off in the heartbeat of the city, the Central Business District. This neighborhood is where past meets present in the most dynamic way. Think historic 19th-century facades next to state-of-the-art skyscrapers. Art galleries and trendy cafes add a splash of modernity, tempting you to disembark for a closer look.

Garden District: A Window to Antebellum Elegance

As the St. Charles Streetcar makes its way into the Garden District, you’ll find yourself transported back in time. Majestic antebellum mansions rise amidst lush gardens like sentinels of the past. 

These houses, many of which were built before the American Civil War, are a living history lesson and a testament to Southern grandeur. From intricate ironwork to imposing columns, each mansion tells its own story. Notice how each stately home is adorned with intricate ironwork and vibrant blooms, like magnolias and gardenias, that fill the air with a sweet fragrance. Truly, it’s Southern living at its finest.

Uptown and Universities: The Heartbeat of New Orleans

Just when you think the journey can’t get any better, the streetcar rolls into Uptown, the city’s cultural playground. Here, you’ll encounter the invigorating scenes of street music, bustling markets, and the sort of delightful chaos that makes New Orleans unique. To add an educational twist, Loyola and Tulane Universities make their cameo appearances, offering a glimpse of vibrant campus life amid the city’s history.

So there you have it—a grand tour of New Orleans, all from the comfort of your St. Charles Streetcar seat. Cameras ready? Trust me, you’ll want to capture every moment of this family-friendly adventure.

Family-Friendly New Orleans – Audubon Park Adventures

Audubon Park is a hidden gem of family entertainment just waiting to be discovered! As you step off the St. Charles Streetcar, imagine meandering pathways, centuries-old oak trees, and, yes, the famed Gumbel fountain. 

Audubon Park map credit: Audubon Park

Adventure Awaits: Choose Your Path

As soon as you step off at the Gumbel fountain, you’re faced with a delightful dilemma: which way to go? You’re in for a beautiful walk whether you choose right into the dreamy Crepe Myrtle Grove or left toward the historic 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition Entrance. Children may enjoy the wonders of nature while their parents capture these picture-perfect settings—every step is an Instagrammable moment!

Playground Galore: Where Kids Run Free

What’s the best part? Both paths lead to fantastic playgrounds that are kid-friendly. Think slides, swings, and all the classic fun your little explorers could want. It’s ideal for a family picnic or simply letting the kids run about as you take in the natural beauty surrounding you.

Adventure Awaits: Choose Your Path

As soon as you step off at the Gumbel fountain, you’re faced with a delightful dilemma: which way to go? You’re in for a beautiful walk whether you choose right into the dreamy Crepe Myrtle Grove or left toward the historic 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition Entrance. Children may enjoy the wonders of nature while their parents capture these picture-perfect settings—every step is an Instagrammable moment!

Playground Galore: Where Kids Run Free

What’s the best part? Both paths lead to fantastic playgrounds that are kid-friendly. Think slides, swings, and all the classic fun your little explorers could want. It’s ideal for a family picnic or simply letting the kids run about as you take in the natural beauty surrounding you.

Audubon Zoo Splash

Zoo Extravaganza: Must-See Exhibits

Before you plunge into this animal kingdom, be sure to check out the Zoo Scoop for real-time updates on exciting events like Sea Lions training and interactive animal encounters. 

Personal Faves for the Fam

Monkey Hill is a must-see, a literal playground for monkeys that’s just as entertaining for the humans watching them. Then there’s Jaguar Jungle—an enthralling dig site, a nocturnal house, and a Mayan Village play area all rolled into one. Trust me, it’s like an adventure story come to life, especially if you’re journeying with young explorers!

Zoo Budget Tips

Adult admission ranges between $30 – $35 depending on peak times, and for the kiddos and seniors, it’s $25 – $30. And hey, don’t forget to always check the official site for limited-time offers; you never know what gems you’ll uncover for extra savings.

Audubon Park and Zoo offer a winning combination of nature, history, and kid-friendly attractions. From playgrounds to primate hills, it’s a family-friendly haven where every moment is a chance for a new discovery. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to create some lifetime memories in this iconic New Orleans destination!

Touring the Garden District & Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Make sure to allocate enough time to explore this history-laden area. With free walking tours and various self-guided scavenger hunts, there’s no end to the fun or education.

Notable Tombs to Visit

Here’s where history comes alive—or rather, lays in eternal peace.

  • Judge Ferguson of Plessy vs. Ferguson: You’ve read about it in history books, and now you can stand before the tomb of the judge himself.
  • Jefferson Fire Company #22 Tomb: This isn’t just a memorial; it’s an evocative glance into 19th-century community life.

Walking among these tombs is like paging through a living history book, one where the ink never dries.

If you’ve never visited a cemetery before, you might wonder why or what to even do at one.  Here’s some things you could do while being mindful and respectful of the resting place:

  • Meditate – it’s usually a very peaceful environment.
  • Reflect on your own mortality or the loss of loved ones
  • Lay flowers at a grave or several graves just because.
  • Plant a flag by the headstone
  • Lay pebbles artistically by a grave – shape of a heart or flag, something nice.
  • If you’re looking for a certain grave, try to find it first on
  • Photography – you could create a picture scavenger hunt.  Find something that represents or is sculpted: woman, cross, bird, child, soldier, your favorite, etc.
  • Headstone scavenger hunt: tallest, largest, earliest dated, most recent, group memorial, war veterans, longest name, specific time period, matches a popular street or community name in the area.
  • Before you do any headstone rubbings, always check to see if it’s allowed first.

My favorite thing to do is always just to walk and talk, spend quality time enjoying the scenery.

The Ultimate Self-Guided Tour of New Orleans’ Garden District 

Okay, adventurous families and history hounds, ready your walking shoes and charge those cameras! We’re about to stroll through the Garden District, and you won’t want to miss a single snapshot-worthy moment. Remember, a lot of these architectural wonders are private homes, so let’s be respectful and keep the noise down—a quick photo and a silent “wow” should suffice!

Kicking Off Your Tour at Commander’s Palace

Address: 1403 Washington Ave

Start your journey at Commander’s Palace, an iconic New Orleans landmark that has raked in a whopping seven James Beard Foundation Awards! You might be tempted to dive right into their Turtle Soup or Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé, but if you’re keeping it light, they also offer Chilled Cantaloupe Soup and Chili-Lime Gulf Fish. Loyalists swear that the “Grande Dame” of the Garden District even has a resident ghost. Snap a pic to remember this gastronomic Mecca and then head eastward on Washington Ave.

Commander's Palace

Musson-Bell House 

Address: 1331 Third St

Just a few blocks away, you’ll stumble upon this stunning 1850’s Greek Revival home. Fun fact—Edgar Degas’ maternal uncle commissioned this beauty. Worth an Instagram story, right? Now, keep moving east on Third Street.

Walter Grinnan Robinson House 

Address: 1415 Third St

Built in 1859, this spot is a must-see for architecture aficionados. Continue walking eastward on Third Street, soaking in the age-old charm of this architectural marvel.

Star-Spotting on Coliseum St 

Hey, ever wondered what Sandra Bullock’s house looks like? Make a left onto Coliseum Street, and keep those peepers peeled. Give a nod to the celeb lifestyle and keep walking southward on Coliseum.

Brevard House 

Address: 1239 First St

Once owned by Anne Rice, author of “Interview with the Vampire,” this 1859 “transitional” (Greek Revival & Italianate) home is another stop you won’t want to miss. : Anne Rice’s “The Witching Hour” features a home that is said to be inspired by this very mansion. Imagine walking through the pages of a novel! Head southeast on Coliseum, then make a right onto First Street. 

Caroll-Crawford House 

Address: 1315 First St

Next up is this 1869 Italianate gem. Just keep ambling east on First Street, and you’ll run right into it.

Morris-Israel House 

Address: 1331 First St

Fancy a little spooky folklore? Known as the House of Voodoo Ritual, this one has tales that’ll give you a delightful shiver. Continue on First Street. This house is often discussed in local lore as being haunted. Though these tales are speculative, they add a mysterious allure to this already impressive mansion.

Haunted Mansion

The Seven Sisters 

Address: 2329 Coliseum St

A row of Shotgun-style houses that ooze charm. Head back north on Coliseum Street to feast your eyes on these sisters. These houses were reportedly built by a father for his seven daughters. Each house is similar but has its own unique features, much like sisters in a family.

Pritchard-Pigot House 

Address: 1407 First St

One more Greek Revival masterpiece before we call it a day. Head back south to First Street for this one. This house has been meticulously restored and is often considered one of the best-preserved examples of this architectural style in New Orleans.

Briggs-Staub House 

Address: 2605 Prytania StThis Gothic Revival gem is worth the detour. Head west on First Street, then make a right onto Prytania Street. It’s the only house in New Orleans entirely in the Gothic Revival style. Built by Charles Briggs, it’s also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983.

Bonus Stops You’ll Pass:

  • Women’s Opera Guild Home: Culture vultures, don’t miss this one.
  • Another Anne Rice Home: Yep, she loved the Garden District.
  • Colonel Short’s Villa: 1448 Fourth St – This home is famous for its intricate cast-iron fence adorned with a cornstalk pattern, which is said to have been designed to make Colonel Short’s wife less homesick for her native Iowa.
  • The Cornstalk Mansion: Get those cameras ready for one last hurrah! Known for its cornstalk fence, similar to Colonel Short’s Villa, this house is often said to be one of the most photographed in the entire Garden District.

And there you have it—a whirlwind tour of the Garden District that promises architectural wonders, historical nuggets, and maybe even a celeb sighting or two. Ready, set, explore!

Capture the Essence of St. Charles Street, New Orleans

From historic landmarks to family-friendly spots, St. Charles Street offers something for every type of explorer in your clan. Book your Garden District tour today and let’s make this New Orleans trip unforgettable!

To See More Things to do in New Orleans:


We know how important it is to save money so we can have more to spend on the things we love.

Here are our favorite travel resources for saving money and planning your trips.

  • Booking Flights: To compare flights and set price alerts, search on Google Flights or Momondo
  • Accommodations: We typically stay in mid-range or boutique hotels with loyalty programs.  That way we earn ourselves free stays to help extend our vacations and getaways for free.  Learn more about earning your free stays here.  For vacation rentals, we prefer to book using VRBO (for the lower fees and better support than Airbnb, sorry, we’re not big fans of the alternative) You can also book vacation rentals on
  • Travel Insurance: We feel pretty strongly about this, travel insurance is a MUST for international trips, and if you still aren’t sure why, check out our Travel Horror Stories. We recommend comparing your options with Squaremouth , learn more here
  • Local Attractions:  We utilize memberships to help us see more when we travel. NARM members get free or discounted access to reciprocal member Art museums, Arboretums, Historic Sites, and Nature Centers throughout North America. AHS reciprocal membership includes gardens throughout the U.S. and Canada. ASTC membership gives reciprocal access to Science Centers and Museums. America the Beautiful National Parks Pass allows entry into National Parks for $80 annually.  You could spend less than $300 for all 4 memberships depending on your local museums and have access to hundreds of museums, parks, and gardens.  Memberships often pop up on Groupon so always look there first.
  • Save more with loyalty programs, read how to get more free flights and hotels here.

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  1. 1

    New Orleans is one of my favorite places to visit. I remember taking the street car down to this restaurant as you turned the corner. Boy it was greasy, but one of the best burgers, ever. Your images are stunning. Makes me want to go back.

  2. 3

    Excellent post! I like the Google Map and your photography. And you’re absolutely right about the Garden District; it often gets overlooked by people who just know about the French Quarter. Which, the French Quarter is nice! But so is the Garden District and other parts of Mid-City.

  3. 5
    gloria patterson

    So many great places to see and visit. My sister and I have been talking for the last year about a road trip. I would fly from WV to TN and we rent a car and drive to New Orleans. We were there a lot of years ago but did not have enough time to do and see all we wanted to.

    • 6
      Portia O'Laughlin

      I recommend at least 3 days but you could do 5 to 7 without being bored or going hungry! TN to New Orleans sounds like an awesome road trip. Memphis to New Orleans wouldn’t be too long of a ride plus start with good food and end with good food, I like it!

  4. 7
    gloria patterson

    So many things to do there!! My sister and I have been talking for over a year of going back to New Orleans and spending some time there. It have been over 15 years since we were there. And we are adding to our to do/visit list

    • 8
      Portia O'Laughlin

      New Orleans is truly the one place we could visit over and over again. Keep it on the list, watch for good prices and have a great time!

  5. 9
    June S.

    It has been many years since I have been to New Orleans, I need to go sometime again with my husband. We both sure could use a break from where we live right now.

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