Did you know you could get almost anywhere in New Orleans by walking and not taking the streetcar or taxi to your destination? This is exactly what I did except for the one time I hopped on the St. Charles streetcar to see what it was like while I was in the city. Other than that, I walked everywhere I went during the time I was visiting with friends who lived there. I couldn’t ask them to take me to all the places I wanted to see since they both worked. I knew I would be relying on my feet to get me around.
While visiting my friends, I stayed in the shotgun house they were renting. It was located in the Irish Channel which turned out to be the best location for wherever my feet wanted to take me for the day. I mean I had a general idea where I wanted to go but never knew where I would be heading until I woke up that morning. Plans change…. And could change again…. Nothing was set in stone since I wanted to experience New Orleans without feeling like I had to be somewhere at a certain time.
Irish Channel to French Quarter via Camp Street: 4.1 miles one way/8.2 miles round-trip
This was, hands down, my favorite walk to the French Quarter. I don’t know if it had to do with walking down Magazine Street which I feel like I had heard about before I made my trip to the city. Or falling in love with Camp Street and taking that particular street to the French Quarter every day I wanted to get down to the Quarter. Or maybe knowing it was one of the easier routes and I knew I wouldn’t get lost if I stayed on this particular route.
- Head northwest toward Magazine Street
- Turn right on Magazine Street
- Turn left on Jackson Avenue
- Turn right on Camp Street
- You should stay on Camp Street until it becomes Chartres Street (you would pass under the Pontchartrain Expressway; the street names change when you get closer to the Quarter)
Don’t forget to stop at the gas station on the corner of Jackson Square for a hot chocolate when it is cold outside. They do have other drinks if you do not care for hot chocolate. I stuck to the hot chocolate whenever I headed in this direction because it was November when I was in Louisiana and it was colder than I thought it would be.
Irish Channel to Audubon Park via Magazine Street: 3.3 miles one way/6.6 miles round-trip
This walk to the park should have only been about six miles round-trip but I didn’t stay on Magazine Street like I should have. I ended up turning onto a couple of different streets getting lost along the way. I ended up miles out of the way which made this day one of my longest walks while I was in the city. Getting lost doesn’t have to be a bad or scary thing. It wasn’t for me because I had the chance to see more of New Orleans.
- Head northwest toward Magazine Street
- Turn left on Magazine Street
- Continue on Magazine Street until it runs into Audubon Park and Zoo
I didn’t walk to Audubon Park and Zoo to see the animals but to walk through the park. Don’t forget to make a stop at the Clubhouse Cafe if you are here around lunch-time. I sat outside on the veranda and had the best lunch of shrimp po’boy, french fries and a tall glass of iced tea. What more could you ask for as you look out over the grounds and wanting to pinch yourself because you can’t believe you finally made it here. No, I didn’t pinch myself but still I couldn’t believe I was actually in New Orleans.
Irish Channel to St. Charles Avenue: 1.9 miles one way/3.8 miles round-trip
By far, this could have been my shortest walk if I allowed it. Knowing me, I knew I wouldn’t only be walking to St. Charles Avenue. If you are here, you need to walk along Constance, Coliseum and Chestnut Streets before you get to St. Charles Avenue. Take your time and look at the houses along these streets because they are huge; each one is different than the one next to it. I would do this with each street before winding my way down to St. Charles Avenue and the street cars that are along this street.
- Left or right on St. Charles Avenue
You can’t go wrong if you decide you want to go left and not right or vice versa. I walked down one side of the street before crossing the street and walking down the other side. Don’t forget that you can stop at Washington Avenue to see Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 before you make your way to St. Charles Avenue. It isn’t that far off the path that you can’t see this while you are in the area.
Have you ever been to New Orleans? What are some of your favorite walks when you are in the Big Easy? What is it about these walks that you love? Is it that they are out in the open and easy to find? Is it one of those hidden gems that not many people know about except you and the locals? What is it about these walks that make them special to you?