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St. Charles Street New Orleans – A Family Friendly Guide

st. charles nola

St. Charles Street New Orleans –

A Family Friendly Guide

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The Saint Charles Streetcar Line has been running for over 150 years.  You don’t want to miss out on a ride on the oldest continuously operating streetcar during a family trip to New Orleans.  But where to go and what else to do?

We were staying at the Roosevelt New Orleans, so it was easy for us to get on the St. Charles Streetcar at Stop #256 – Canal and Carondelet.  The Regional Transit Authority has a wonderful website and app that makes getting around very easy with reliable schedules that show you the moving streetcars locations and wait times.

Explore New Orleans

The Saint Charles line features vintage streetcars that pass through the Central Business District, the Garden District and Uptown.  You’ll pass antebellum mansions, Loyola and Tulane Universities, and Audubon Park.

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Visit Audubon Park

You can wait for the shuttle that will take you to the Zoo entrance but if you are up for the walk, it is an enjoyable one.  After passing the Gumbel fountain, it doesn’t matter if you go right or left, you will find a playground shortly along your path.

If you go to the right, you will pass the Crepe Myrtle Grove and wind along the oak-lined jogging path.

If you go to the left, you’ll be able to pass the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition Entrance gate, the Hunt Street bridge, the Olmstead Lake (Lagoon), and the World War I Monument Gardens.

Get the Zoo Scoop before you go to know when Sea Lions are training or to be ready for various animal encounters and feeding sessions.

Besides the beautiful crafted environment at the zoo, my favorite don’t miss exhibits are:

Bambu Village – an Asian discovery trail

Monkey Hill – climb to the top

Louisiana Swamp – highlights Cajun culture

Jaguar Jungle – a dig site, nocturnal house, and a Mayan Village play area

And of course,

Audubon Aviary – 30+ species of beautiful birds in free flight

Cool Zoo– We didn’t get to experience it but if you’re there at the right time (summer or early fall), it looks like a great option!

Audubon Zoo Splash

Audubon Zoo tickets are $24.95 for adults or $19.95 for children and seniors. If you want to know about accessibility or COVID rules, check the FAQ’s where you will find there are wagon rentals available for $15 and wheelchairs for $8, as well as, what is not permitted at the zoo.

It’s always nice to know how much lunch might cost you before you go: Lunch Options

You may be wiped out after the zoo but if not, hop on the shuttle to take you back to the St. Charles Streetcar and head back towards the Garden District.

Tour the Garden District

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 

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Keep in mind that you need to return to the streetcar and then take it back down St. Charles to Washington Ave. in enough time to walk around by the 3pm closing time. (Yeah, we goofed that part up.)  Always double check the hours for closures prior to visiting.

Some notable tombs inside:

  • Judge Ferguson of Plessy VS Ferguson case
  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Secret Society Tomb
  • Jefferson Fire Company #22 Tomb
  • New Orleans Home for the Incurables Tomb

For a free walking tour guide of the cemetery, see Free Tours By Foot

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 findagrave.com
  • 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.

Book the Best Selling Garden District Tour Right Here.

Garden District Home Tour – Self-Guided

Notable places to wander by: Remember that many of these are private homes and we should always use discretion as to not disturb the owners or occupants the same as we would want to be treated by guests around our own homes.

  • Commander’s Palace 1403 Washington Ave

Head down Washington Ave to Commander’s Palace, an iconic landmark and winner of seven James Beard Foundation Awards.  On the menu, you might find Turtle Soup, Molasses Glazed Texas Quail, and Creole Bread Pudding Souffle as the Classic Creole Luncheon.  But there’s also fit options like Chilled Cantaloupe Soup and Chili-Lime Gulf Fish. Or just take a picture and keep moving…

Commander's Palace
  • Musson-Bell House 1331 Third St

1850’s Greek Revival home commissioned by the maternal uncle of Edgar Degas

  • Walter Grinnan Robinson House 1415 Third St

Built in 1859

  • Along Coliseum St, you will pass by Sandra Bullock’s house
  • Brevard House 1239 First St

1859 “transitional” (Greek Rivival & Italianate) home once owned by Anne Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire

  • Caroll-Crawford House 1315 First St –

Built in 1869, another example of Italianate features.

  • Morris-Israel House 1331 First St

Also called the House of VooDoo Ritual, this house is the center of spooky tales and whispers of hauntings.

Haunted Mansion
  • The Seven Sisters 2329 Coliseum St

Row of Shotgun style houses

  • Pritchard-Pigot House 1407 First St,

Greek Revival

  • Briggs-Staub House 2605 Prytania St

Gothic Revival

  • You’ll also pass the Women’s Opera Guild Home and another Anne Rice home.
  • Colonel Short’s Villa 1448 Fourth St,

The Cornstalk Mansion

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 Hotels.com
  • 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.
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