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Garden District Walking Tour

Updated: April 10, 2024

The Garden District, or 'Lafayette City' as it was once known, is part of Uptown New Orleans.

This area is just a short streetcar ride from Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, but it feels like a world apart.

Free Tours by Foot - New Orleans Walking ToursExcellentFree Tours by Foot - New Orleans Walking Tours4.9 Based on 1960 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onJesika Y.Jesika Y. ★★★★★ Kayla L. Was a great guide for the food tour of New Orleans. Very passionate and educational about the city and its rootsAlso did a tour with Daniel C. for the garden tour. Very entertaining and got a better understanding of the New Orleans areaTeea T.Teea T. ★★★★★ We went on the French Quarter tour with Daniel and Garden District tour with Sean on a recent trip to New Orleans. Both tours were amazing and we learned so much! Loved the experience and really appreciate that these tours are available to everyone no matter background/current circumstances. Amazing experience, would highly recommend and will be joining another Free Tours by Foot in the future!V FV F ★★★★★ Daniel was a fantastic guide. Lively, engaging and very knowledgeable. Highly recommend his tours.Sydney J.Sydney J. ★★★★★ Lisa was fantastic!!!Sarah K.Sarah K. ★★★★★ Lisa is a great storyteller! My family (including teen boys) had a fantastic time hearing the ghost stories around the French Quarter! We highly recommend the tour!Noah S.Noah S. ★★★★★ Very spooky ghost tour by Lisa. I will not look at the French quarter the same after!Natalie B.Natalie B. ★★★★★ We absolutely loved our Voodoo tour! Sandy was an amazing and respectful tour guide and we all felt like we left the tour with a better understanding of NOLA history. Everyone on our 9 person bachelorette trip really enjoyed our tour and would highly recommend to any other large groups looking for something fun and historical to do in the cityteresa F.teresa F. ★★★★★ First time to NOLA and took the Voodoo tour with Sandi- so great! She is an astute historian and explained the nuance of this fascinating and confusing religion that is often maligned and misunderstood. I love this city!!!Naf M.Naf M. ★★★★★ I've done multiple free tours by foot, and Robi's voodoo tour, was the absolute BEST tour I've ever had. It was more than just a tour, it was truly a healing experience with an actual Voodoo priest. Get ready to get enlightened, and learn a lot about science, history and religions. Just go with an open mind and be kind to the absolute best guide in the city ❤️ I recommend this tour to everyone !Heather W.Heather W. ★★★★★ LisaLisa ★★★★★ Took a voodoo tour last week with Sandy and it was phenomenal. Starting in Armstrong park with the drum circles in Congo Square where we learned the significance of both voodoo and that space we went through the French quarter and learned much more about voodoo practices. Sandy was extremely knowledgeable, provided lots of information and answered questions along the way. Highly recommended the tour and Sandy!Denise H.Denise H. ★★★★★ We did the Voodoo tour with Sandy and she was great. Very informative and learned so much. Great stops throughout with great historyRita T.Rita T. ★★★★★ Sandy was a wonderfully informative tour guide. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants an in-depth, historically accurate tour about voodoo and New Orleans cultural history.Cheryl M.Cheryl M. ★★★★★ We did a Friday morning voodoo tour with High Priest Robi, and he was great! So knowledgable, and such a character. Highly recommend you spend time with him if you really want to learn what voodoo is all about, and what it is not.Robert C.Robert C. ★★★★★ Went on the voodoo tour with Sandy. I cannot recommend more. Amazing tour; I learned a lot.Nikita M.Nikita M. ★★★★★ I did the Voodoo tour with high priest Robi and it was incredible! An absolute must do. He's so interesting and dynamic, one of the highlights of our trip.Casey C.Casey C. ★★★★★ We did the Voodoo History tour with Sandy. It was very informative and entertaining. It's definitely worth going on if you're visiting New Orleans.Patrick TPatrick T ★★★★★ Robi is a national treasure.N MN M ★★★★★ Just finished the ghost tour with Lisa! She was amazing!!! So knowledgeable and honestly couldn’t have asked for a better guide! Would have never known half of what I now know!!!Megan S.Megan S. ★★★★★ The voodoo tour by Sandy in the French quarter was great! I learned a lot about the voodoo religion from her and was fascinated to better understand the history, what is myth, and more about the New Orleans history, too. Definitely recommend.Esther Y.Esther Y. ★★★★★ I did the ghost tour with Lisa and had a great time! Lisa took us through a few spots, and it was such a delight to hear the stories accompanying the sites. Lisa made sure we had plenty of opportunities to take the photos we wanted and to answer all the questions we had - highly recommend this if you’re in New Orleans!Daniel J. H.Daniel J. H. ★★★★★ Looking for fun, information-packed walking tours of New Orleans? Sign up to hang out with Andrew F. on one of his Free Tours by Foot. I Iearned a great deal about the history of the French Quarter, the evolution of jazz, how local visual artists rose to prominence and the stories behind some literary greats' connections to New Orleans on Andrew's Music, Arts and More tour. Next time I'm in the Crescent City, I'll be doing another of Andrew's tours.Alicia T.Alicia T. ★★★★★ Great tour. Learned so much!Prem P.Prem P. ★★★★★ We had Kayla, she was super engaging and answered all of the groups numerous questions. Had a great time, laughed a lot, and learned a lot.TC P.TC P. ★★★★★ Loved it and loved Priest Robi.Ghulam M. I.Ghulam M. I. ★★★★★ Very informative walking tour.Margaux V.Margaux V. ★★★★★ Toured with Sandy and it was a blast! Not a boring rehash of history , Sandy made it fun and engaging! Highly recommend!Desiree GDesiree G ★★★★★ Toured with Sandy and she was so great. She is very well informed and is warm and entertaining. Definitely recommend her!Anastasia S.Anastasia S. ★★★★★ We loved our tour of the French Quarter with Sandy! Very funny and informative. Would highly recommend!Julia R.Julia R. ★★★★★ We did the French Quarter tour a few days ago with Shaun (hope that's the way his name is spelled :D) and it was very informative. Shaun told a lot of interesting stories and shared many funny tidbits with us too. His recommendations were good as well. Even though he had problems with his voice, he went through with the tour and we had no problems understanding him or anything. I hope he's fine again. Can totally recommend! 🙂Jack C.Jack C. ★★★★★ Kayla was the best. She is so full of life (and information) that I almost liked the walking. 🙂 We were introduced to various foods and a masters course in the culture and cuisine of New Orleans. Thanks girl!Gabriel J.Gabriel J. ★★★★★ Kayla LeMaire, this tour was very immersive and the food was delicious. It was apparent that lots of thought, time, and care was put into this tour. There were some real “hidden gems” in the tour I would’ve never payed attention to otherwise. Delicious food, very informational with the history of the food and the area, very kind and personable lady.Morgan D.Morgan D. ★★★★★ We took a ghost tour with Lisa and a voodoo tour with Priest Robi! Both were excellent but I adored Priest Robi! They have the most amazing energy and so much information. I would 100% recommend taking the ghost tour with Lisa and I would damn near DEMAND yall take the Priest Robi Voodoo tour! Fantastic individuals and free tours by foot is a great program! Thank you yall!!!!Awilda H.Awilda H. ★★★★★ Signed up for vodoo tour with Robi but Sandy did the tour instead. She was awesome very knowledgeable and funny. Gave us the true history of vodoo and versus the Hollywood version.Melanie L.Melanie L. ★★★★★ Andrew was the best tour guide! He was extremely informative, funny and offered lots of great trivia as well as tips on other great places to see in New Orleans outside the French Quarter. I would highly recommend this tour!Ashley-Rae R.Ashley-Rae R. ★★★★★ I had two tours on the same day, one with Robi and one with Andrew. I cannot say this loudly enough, if you're in New Orleans and you want to book any kind of tour, do it with Free Tours by Foot! Their tour guides are next level!The Voodoo tour with Robi was actually life changing, he was so kind and knowledgeable, and incredibly funny, which made the whole tour an absolute joy to attend. I learnt so much the beautiful teachings of voodoo and the rich history surrounding it and its origins. I felt so at home and Robi was so incredible with the group making everyone feel welcome and included. And thanks to Robi's recommendations we got to see drumming in Congo Square on Sunday and I'm reading a brilliant book on Hatian Vodou that he suggested!The Music, Arts, & More tour with Andrew was just wonderful! We learnt about the origins of Jazz in New Orleans, the evolution of the sound to what we hear today, and the stories of those who perfected it. I had a smile on my face the whole way through this tour. Andrew was so generous with his time and answering questions, and clearly has a real passion for everything he is talking about. I highly suggest jumping on this tour if you can!Free Tours by Foot lived up to every hope I had after finding them on Youtube a few years ago. Their thorough videos also helped me HUGELY in planning when and where I wanted to go in Nola, so much so that when I got here I barely needed a map! Not to mention all the places I got to visit that I would never have found by myself! Their videos will be a lovely source of nostaligia to watch when I get home. They are all beautiful people and some of the most well versed and learned tour guides in the city. It was a genuine pleasure to have had the oppertunity to go on multiple tours, I felt so at home.Thank you Andrew & Robi for an experience I will never forget, and for all of your kind words and recommendations!- Ashley Rae - United Kingdom xcarly R.carly R. ★★★★★ Had a great voodoo tour with Sandy. Super informative, respectful, and had some top notch dry humor sprinkled in to keep the spirits lightAlexandra B.Alexandra B. ★★★★★ Sandy was amazing ! She was very knowledgeable and entertainingMaya T.Maya T. ★★★★★ Book the Voodoo Tour with High Priest Robi! I have been all over the world, done hundreds of tours. THIS WAS THE BEST ONE. Robi is kind, intentional, thoughtful, knowledgeable, hilarious, and full of love and colour and humanity and ugh I just wanted to stay and hug him forever. Thank you for your special light and insights, I will come back just to see you 🙂 Merci mon frere.Rae S.Rae S. ★★★★★ We have taken all the tours in New Orleans that Free Walking Tours has to offer and loved them all. This last trip with did the Vodoo Tour High Priest Robi and the Treme tour. Both were excellent, I highly recommend and the communication is great.Nina R.Nina R. ★★★★★ Kayla gave an amazing food walking tour with so much great information on the history of the food in New Orleans and Louisiana as well as great recommendations of where to get the best experience with food. I highly recommend her tour. She made the tour so much fun while also getting to try out some of the amazing food in the area. A great big thumbs up!Richa S.Richa S. ★★★★★ We had a great ghost tour with our guide, Lisa! She was an amazing storyteller and we had a blast learning about the history of the city. We’ll be sure to recommend these tours to others.Keisha’sKeisha’s ★★★★★ I recently went on the NOLA food tour with Kayla as our guide, and it was an absolute delight! Kayla was not only extremely friendly, but her knowledge and entertaining personality made the experience even more enjoyable. The team even accommodated me by promptly sending directions to the next stop when my food order at the French Market took longer than expected. However, the highlight of the tour for me was definitely Johnny’s Po’Boy – a must-visit spot!I had such a fantastic experience on my first tour that I couldn't resist booking another one today. Our guide, Robi, led us through the Voodoo tour, and I was blown away by his expertise. He completely shattered all my preconceived notions about the Voodoo religion with his wealth of knowledge. I highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for a deeper understanding of Voodoo.Bryan C.Bryan C. ★★★★★ Kayla did an awesome job explaining the food and culture of New Orleans. We also stopped at places I never would have found on my own without the tour.Renee CRenee C ★★★★★ It was our first time in NOLA. If you plan to visit the French quarter, we highly recommend Free Tours by Foot.We did 3 tours in total. French Quarter tour and Voodoo tour were both by Sandy, Ghost tour was by Andrew. Some things you can learn online, but it's way better and more fun when you have guides like Sandy and Andrew to interact with and be educated by. It really felt like they were your friends who took the time to tour you around their town.We're happy we did these tours. Had we stayed longer, we probably would have done the other NOLA tours they offered. 😉Katerina K.Katerina K. ★★★★★ we did the voodoo tour with roby and let me tell you he was the kindest, realest and sweetest person i have ever met. He was very wise and i personally learned a lot from this experience!!! Roby truly deserves the world!D GD G ★★★★★ We had such a great time with Kayla LeMaire on 3/15, taking in her French Quarter Food Tour. If you contact Free Tours by Foot and find out what day she's giving the tours she will provide you with so much history and fact about the food culture in the NOLA area. One of the most enjoyable things we did on our vacation.Ravi V.Ravi V. ★★★★★ Great tour! Sandy was a great guide and very informative. Highly recommend!Kayla L.Kayla L. ★★★★★ I did the voodoo tour with Sandy and it was great! She was incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I learned a ton and got to see some interesting parts of the city. I highly recommend!Roman L.Roman L. ★★★★★ We did the French Quarter Food Tour and the French Quarter tours with Kayla, and we thoroughly enjoyed both. Kayla was an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable, and a wonderful storyteller. She also gave us some excellent food and dining recommendations. 👍Brooke B.Brooke B. ★★★★★ We had Andrew as our tour guide and he was FANTASTIC! A local who was so knowledgeable and funny. The tour flew by in the best way as we were so engaged the whole time. Highly recommend doing a ghost tour in New Orleans as it really helps you to learn more about the city and see more of the French quarter.Penny L.Penny L. ★★★★★ We took a French Quarter tour with Sandy who was fantastic. It was about 90 minutes long, very interesting, informative. I loved it.Sara T.Sara T. ★★★★★ Roni was awesome. Loved the Food Tour. We really enjoyed the stories and the food tastings!jon P.jon P. ★★★★★ Sandy with the voodoo tour was great, the best of 4 tours we took. Sandy shared a ton of information about the religion, all while telling some of the best stories we heard all week with a nice dose of sardonic wit that had us laughing out loud while we learned way more than we bargained for. A must do.Samantha B.Samantha B. ★★★★★ Had a great history walking tour of the French quarter lead by Andrew F. He was super knowledgeable of the history of the city and gave us great recommendations for food, shopping and listening to jazz music.P & V K.P & V K. ★★★★★ We did 2 tours with Daniel as our guide and they were wonderful! He is super knowledgeable, entertaining and amusing. I don't think there was a question he couldn't answer. If you get Daniel as your guide you will not be disappointed. Communication was also excellent.Michael A.Michael A. ★★★★★ Went on the voodoo tour with sandy!!! It was great with loads of accurate information!! Defn recommend when in NOLA!!!Guadalupe B.Guadalupe B. ★★★★★ Andre F was wonderful & gave such great factsMatthew P.Matthew P. ★★★★★ We took a Free Tours by the Foot with High Priest Robi after we got a recommendation from our concierge, who said (and I quote): "The only tour worth taking is if you go with High Priest Robi." High praise! And Robi did NOT disappoint! He was the first tour/person we met on our NoLA trip, and he was incredible! Excellent sense of humor, a little brash but always with a lot of love, and an astounding amount of knowledge about vodou and NoLA on the whole. Plus, after the tour, he gave us a TON of recommendations for our stay, that were the legit inside scoop! If you want a real NoLA experience, you gotta go with High Priest Robi!Asheema V.Asheema V. ★★★★★ Lily G.Lily G. ★★★★★ Sandy is great! We did the French quarter tour and she knows her stuff. I loved the dry humor and little facts about New Orleans.Diya J.Diya J. ★★★★★ Sandy gave a great tour today!! She knew lots of different unique facts about the French Quarter and was really funny and engaging.sharon W.sharon W. ★★★★★ We did the ghost tour in New Orleans lead by Roni. He knew lots about the history of NOLA and really seemed to enjoy sharing it. Was one of the highlights of our trip.Sara B.Sara B. ★★★★★ Tours by both Andrew F. and Kayla S. were amazing!! They made our trip to New Orleans. The tours were really interesting, they were adapt at answering all our questions, and they gave a ton of local tips- like the best places to eat. Highly recommend!Liane J.Liane J. ★★★★★ Sandy gave a great tour of the French Quarter. Really great history. Sassy but Respectful!!😁Darcy M.Darcy M. ★★★★★ We did the New Orleans Ghost Tour. Lisa was an amazing storyteller. Fascinating and educational but also creepy and fun!Erica N.Erica N. ★★★★★ We did 2 tours with Evian (ghost and voodoo). Amazing tour guide!!! Evian is well versed in New Orleans/French Quarter history and had a way with words that kept the information fresh and entertaining. You can tell Evian cares about the history and people of this area. Would definitely recommend booking a tour with Evian 10/10.Lila D.Lila D. ★★★★★ We had the most incredible ghost tour with Lisa! She was hilarious and super on top of everything. We learned so much from her. Highly highly recommend!L GL G ★★★★★ French Quarter tour was awesome! Thank you Sandy!Mitchell D.Mitchell D. ★★★★★ Did the Cocktail tour with Sean and he was an excellent guide. Great recommendations and information. He had good rapport with the staff at the bars so you felt welcomed. Highly recommend this tour with Sean!A AA A ★★★★★ Had a very entertaining tour with Priest Robi! Learned a lot and would recommend the voodoo tour to anyone who is interested to learn more about religion.Fiona C.Fiona C. ★★★★★ Had a brilliant tour of the French Quarter with Sandy. Knowledgable, funny and a great length! Absolutely recommend to anyone going on a trip to NOLA.Amy Z.Amy Z. ★★★★★ We had our Voodoo tour with Robi and he was amazing! He debunks so many misconceptions about his religion perpetuated by Hollywood stereotypes. He was so much fun and so entertaining, too! I heartily recommend his tour! 💕Jessica D.Jessica D. ★★★★☆ Sandy was great, the tour was informative. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for a real history tour of Voodoo and the religions of NolaEllie V.Ellie V. ★★★★★ Sandy was amazing on the Voodoo Tour! Her knowledge of the actual history was fascinating. Especially, when she compared the voodoo culture to other known religions. My friend from Brazil was impressed by the relevant examples to the widespread influences in modern society. Her mastery of historical references and in-depth personal conversations with topic experts added to the educational value of the tour. And she was funny as hell.Mariana G.Mariana G. ★★★★★ I took the tour in the french quarter with the tour guide Sandy and it was amazing. The tour was very ninteresting, the duration was perfect, and the guide was really knowledgeable and nice. I highly recommend it!Betty F.Betty F. ★★★★★ The Voodoo tour with Robbie was the best tour I have ever taken in New Orleans. He is one of the best tour guides in the city. Highly recommend.Justin G.Justin G. ★★★★★ C CC C ★★★★★ Honestly cannot recommend this enough! Booked the French Quarter walking tour with Sandy last minute and I am so happy I did. Sandy was incredibly knowledgeable and made all of the history FUN to learn. Will definitely be booking more tours on my trip!Emilia J.Emilia J. ★★★★★ Great tours packed with information! I did the Treme tour with Evian and the Voodoo tour with Sandy. Both had a wealth of knowledge about New Orleans to share.Vikram K.Vikram K. ★★★★★ Kayla was amazing! Very knowledgeable, passionate about her heritage and her city, funny, and down to earth.Karli J.Karli J. ★★★★★ Just did the Voodoo tour with Sandy! She was absolutely great and super informative, plus very funny. She was great at breaking down the intricacies of such a complex religion!Mona P.Mona P. ★★★★★ French Quarter walking tour was great! Sandy was knowledgeable, friendly and informative with a NOLA sense of humor. I highly recommend Free Tours by FootLindsey Michelle G.Lindsey Michelle G. ★★★★★ The Voodoo Tour with High Priest Robi was INCREDIBLE! We had an amazing time - he was so welcoming, and the tour was informative, engaging, and deeply moving. We were truly blown away by the experience - a highlight of the trip!Todd K.Todd K. ★★★★★ The walking tour of the French Quarter was superb. Our guide Sandy was phenomenal. She was full of knowledge and really funny. I highly recommend her and this tour.Bernardo P.Bernardo P. ★★★★★ Cindy had great knowledge of the city. Strong and loud voice too. Was a good tour. Very interestingSydney F.Sydney F. ★★★★★ I went on the Ghost and Voodoo walking tours and both times had Evian as a tour guide. Evian is an amazing guide and made the tours very engaging and fun. Definitely a highlight of my trip and a must do when in New Orleans!!Jackie M.Jackie M. ★★★★★ We had the pleasure and privilege to get a voodoo tour with High Priest Robi last month! The tour was very informative and easy for everyone to engage and feel welcome. He’s very funny, but above all Robi is extremely kind and was willing to share words of wisdom and encouragement to those who approached him. His tour was needed for me and was a big highlight of my first trip to New Orleans. Everyone that books any of the tours with this company should really give them props as they’re very professional AND they should tip their guides well! The youtube channel has great content too 🙂 .SueSue ★★★★★ Had a great tour with Sandy Y on 3/3/24. Enjoyed her knowledge of New Orlean’s history and her humor. Just one thought, perhaps add a few tidbits of history on the early inhabitants of NOLA such as creole versus Cajun. pirates and the introduction of voodoo to the area. Thanks for a great tour!Jen S.Jen S. ★★★★★ Our group of 5 went on two different tours with Roni during our visit to New Orleans...a food tour & a ghost tour. Both were great! His communication was awesome; I love that an he sent an email with his picture (so we could find him easily when we arrived), phone number, and a great description of what we could expect. Be prepared to bring cash on the food tour as some places only accept cash (this was thankfully explained in the email as well). I asked a couple of questions prior to the tour & he responded promptly. I definitely recommend Roni and Free Tours by Foot if you are interested in one of their available tours!Hokyoak H.Hokyoak H. ★★★★★ Took my tour with Sandy. I felt she did an amazing job of breaking down the myths and the bad reputation that voodoo has been given. It was great to learn a little of the culture of West Africans and how they fought to combine and/or keep that culture through overwhelming odds. The tour was 100 percent as described. Thank you so much for the opportunity and the fantastic history lesson.Ainsley F.Ainsley F. ★★★★★ Meri was funny & told us many haunted stories on this very fun ghost tour. I did take this ghost tour with another guide a few years ago, but felt like I still learned a lot of new information & the wit definitely helped. Would recommend!Aren P.Aren P. ★★★★★ We did the voodoo tour with Sandy and let me tell you, this change my whole perspective for a lot of things. Sandy was very factual, and every stop we had she made sure to answer any questions guests had. I had a great experience on this tour and would tour with them in the future!shereen B.shereen B. ★★★★★ Daniel is a wealth of knowledge as a local. He clearly has done his homework regarding the history of the area. He is well spoken, well organized and welcomes questions. I highly recommend him!Alfredo F.Alfredo F. ★★★★★ Took the Food Tour. Our guide was Kayla. She was excellent and extremely knowledgeable of the areas history and food. At the end of tour she emailed us a list of recommended restaurants and we tried a few of them with all we trekked being excellent. Highly recommend.Nathan C.Nathan C. ★★★★★ Just finished the Voodoo walking tour with Sandy as the host. She was extremely knowledgeable, and I learned a lot about the reality of Voodoo. It was fascinating, and I would highly recommend to anyone interested in the real history.Carissa E.Carissa E. ★★★★★ Sandy was a great tour guide and made the history of voodoo super interesting. I learned a lot.Joan T.Joan T. ★★★★★ Kayla gave the French Quarter Food Tour today, they were very knowledgeable and it was interesting learning about the differences between Cajun and Creole as well as trying some fantastic ice cream. Thank you for a great tour KaylaHenry F.Henry F. ★★★★★ Absolutely loved this tour. Our guide, Sandy, was extremely knowledgeable and made the tour a blast. She separated fact from fiction and blended it all together with a high level of humor. Would definitely recommend!LaSeta P.LaSeta P. ★★★★★ I had an Amazing tour led by Evian! So informative with a Great sense of humor. He touched on the Madame LaLaurie with much respect for the enslaved victims. I had so much fun and I can't wait til my next tour. Thank you Free Tours by Foot. Evian, you're the best guide ever.Pollyane B.Pollyane B. ★★★★★ I did the Vodoo tour with High Priest Robi and it was one of the best tour I've ever been in my life. Full of historic information, Priest Robi is more than qualified to be your guide when the topic is the real Vodoo and not the stereotypical image that hollywood has constructed around the religion.Olivia L.Olivia L. ★★★★★ I really enjoyed the voodoo tour! Our guide was Sandy and she was super knowledgeable and cool. I really appreciated that she wanted us to learn the real history of voodoo and not the touristy tropes. This is a great way to learn more about the quarter than just the bars and gift shops and I totally recommend making time for this tour on your trip.samantha D.samantha D. ★★★★★ Took a food tour with Roni and it was excellent!Maru R.Maru R. ★★★★★ Sandy was an amazing tour guide!! We really enjoy our french quarter tour.DjuanDjuan ★★★★★ Priestess Robi was by far the best tour I went on in New Orleans! So knowledgeable, so charismatic! Highly recommend to anyone looking for a Voodoo tour that destigmatizes the myth surrounding the religion.Simarjeet K.Simarjeet K. ★★★★★ Sandy was an amazing tour guide. We learned so much and when our tour was interrupted suddenly she handled it very well! Very knowledgeable and she answered all of our questions swiftly. We had a great time!Gulay CGulay C ★★★★★ I took the Treme and Voodoo tours. I enjoyed both of them very much.Cher H.Cher H. ★★★★★ Had the food tour with Kayla and it was very interesting and informative. We learned a lot about Cajun and Creole cooking..Kayla is quite engaging and clearly knows a lot about the history of the food culture in New Orleans. She even gave us a helpful list of food destinations at the end of the tour. Highly recommend this tour!We also took the French Quarter tour with Sandy and that was super fun as well. She's very funny and really knows how to tell a story and keep everyone engaged. We learned lots of cool history about New Orleans and it was definitely worthwhile!k C.k C. ★★★★★ Voodoo Tour with Priest Robi was incredible! What a wonderful vibrant soul with so much character, facts backed by science, and peaceful vibes. Thank you so much for the enlightening, entertaining, informative, and soul healing journey you took us through today!Lanea E.Lanea E. ★★★★★ We did the walking food tour with Kayla and she was amazing. It was wonderful to hear from a local Cajun who grew up in Louisiana. She even provided a listing of restaurant recommendations!MargarettaMargaretta ★★★★★ Excellent tour! We did the French Quarter tour with Sandy who was super knowledgeable and really funny - super dry humor about the quirks and charms of New Orleans. Highly recommend, especially for your first day in the city to get oriented and have some recommendations from a local.Manuel S.Manuel S. ★★★★★ High Priest Robi gave the Voodoo tour. The amount of information this man gave us while being entertaining, pure and enaging is unmatched. I hope to be able to return soon with more of my team so they can experience the tour. It was educational and we left with a energy we couldnt explain. We were speechless and I highly recommend that if you take a tour in NOLA you trust these guys!Eteoklis N.Eteoklis N. ★★★★★ Lisa C.Lisa C. ★★★★★ Visiting from the UK, we found free tours by foot whilst researching New Orleans online. After watching videos on YouTube we decided to give them a go, and we're so pleased we did. We booked onto a voodoo tour with high priest Robi, not only is he a practising voodoo priest he is a historian who is very passionate about passing on his culture, history and family ties with the religion. The tour was so informative and fun, dispelling any hollywood myths we have been led to believe. This is right up there as one of my favourite experiences of our holiday. Thank you to free tours by foot, and thank you to high priest Robi, we left the tour carrying all your love and warmth with us.Silke W.Silke W. ★★★★★ We participated in the 2 hour free walking tour of the French Quarter. Our tour guide Sandy did an outstanding job highlighting relevant facts about the city. Not only was the tour educational and informative, but also very entertaining and engaging thanks to Sandy’s wonderful sense of humor. Thank you, Sandy, we highly recommend this tour!Mary C.Mary C. ★★★★★ We had a great tour with Sandy! We loved learning about New Orleans’ history and architecture, and we got to hear lots of fun tidbits and stories. Highly recommend!Matt F.Matt F. ★★★★★ Had a great tour with Sandy! She shared a lot of beautiful details about the city that I can’t help but notice everywhere now.Ryan M.Ryan M. ★★★★★ Sandy was an incredible tour host. She was knowledgeable and professional, and filled every minute of that tour. Would take this againMichelle B.Michelle B. ★★★★★ Sandy was our tour guide for the voodoo tour and we thoroughly enjoyed her knowledge and comedy! Although we didn't have the typical tour guide (Priest Roby) we didn't feel like we were missing out in the slightest. We learned so much and it gave us an insight and appreciation for the history and culture of the city.NeMarca K.NeMarca K. ★★★★★ I'm so thankful we got to experience the Voodoo Tour with High Priest Robi. He was hilarious and extremely knowledgeable. I've been studying and practicing Hoodoo for about 5 years now and learned so much more during this tour.Thank you High Priest Robi for sharing y(our) history with us and opening minds, one tour at a time. You definitely left a lasting impression in our lives.Clara S.Clara S. ★★★★★ Robi is amazing! The tour was wonderful. Learned so much about Voodoo or Hoodoo and what it truly is about. Loved loved it! Thank you Robi!GwenGwen ★★★★★ Today I had the pleasure of joining Roni on his New Orleans food tour. Roni provided an informative and entertaining commentary on the history of New Orleans and its impact on the food and culture in the city. We had an opportunity to sample all the must have foods in the French quarter. Thanks to Roni for his advice and recommendations in sharing the portions and purchase of the food. This allowed us to experience a wider variety of food. Ample opportunity was provided for washroom breaks and rest from walking. I highly recommend this tour.E RE R ★★★★★ Sandy was an amazing tour guide, engaging, funny and knew all the facts. Highly recommend.Kimberly J.Kimberly J. ★★★★★ Sandy was amazing! Excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable! Loved her jokes! High recommend the French Quarter Tour with her!Phil B.Phil B. ★★★★★ High Priest Robi did an AWESOME job on the Voodoo Tour! So informative, so positive, so much energy!!! Thanks so much!Dorine E.Dorine E. ★★★★★ We did the Voodoo tour with ROBI. What a knowledgeable and charismatic man. The tour was educational and informative as well as entertaining. You can really tell he is passionate about his culture and the history of the real Voodoo. Would definitely tour with him againSonja M.Sonja M. ★★★★★ We did the Nola Voodoo Tour with Robi and it was amazing. Full of knowledge and great delivery. Highly recommendable.Vincenzo T.Vincenzo T. ★★★★★ Our tour was for the Treme district. Our guide Evian was friendly knowledgeable and energetic. He even gave great tips for lunch and a traditional treat. Lil Dizzys. And Calas Cafe.Victoria S.Victoria S. ★★★★★ We did 3 free tours by foot tours on our recent NOLA trip. We thoroughly enjoyed all 3. Andrew, who was our guide for the ghost tour, was funny and informative. Robi gave a great tour about Voodoo, which is completely different than what most would think of the religion. We found him very entertaining and glad he shared his religion with us to better understand it. Sandy was our guide for the French Quarter tour. We really enjoyed learning all the history of the Quarter with her. She was also quick witted too. All our guides were funny and kept our attention, making the tours go by quickly. I'm glad we were able to do those 3 during our short stay. We had found FTBF through YouTube originally and had been watching the videos of NOLA tours for the past year and really enjoyed them, which is why we decided to book tours through the company.Greg L.Greg L. ★★★★★ Fantastic tacos some of the best food Mexican food I have ever eatenCandice D.Candice D. ★★★★★ We did the voodoo tour which was all about the history of voodoo. It was very interesting and debunks a lot of Hollywood tropes.peter B.peter B. ★★★★★ Just did the Voodoo tour with High Priest Robi what a fantastic time well recommend fully opened our eyesGina J.Gina J. ★★★★★ Meri was a wonderful host with the Ghost Tour. We really enjoyed our hour and a half. Meri kept us engaged with good stories even with some dark history. Meri was very knowledgeable and respectful to other tours in the area. The ghost tour is worth checking out to learn a little about Ghosts in New Orleans.Cecilia D.Cecilia D. ★★★★★ My girlfriend and I did the 10am Voodoo Tour with Priest Robi, and I cannot say enough amazing things about the experience. This was my 6th time in NOLA and I've done over a dozen tours, but this one is my favorite. Robi is an absolute gem of a human being; seriously if I win the lottery I'm giving a cut of it to this guy because he's just so great-knowledgeable, funny, entertaining, honest, relatable, kind. His knowledge on topics- Voodoo and its spinoffs, History of New Orleans, current residents in New Orleans, psychology, sociology, and just the human experience- is incredible. The tour is less than two hours but honestly we could have spent our entire trip with him. Also, it was so cool to see how many people walking past us knew Robi as a friend, family member, or did the tour before and just wanted to come say hi to him.In case you're wondering, the tour mainly involves meeting up with a group and your tour guide, Robi, telling you about his qualifications to speak on Voodoo, a little history and info on Voodoo itself, its importance in New Orleans, and how it impacts everyday life for everyday people. Otherwise the tour is really about whatever the group wants to talk about that day. And Robi gives food recommendations/sightseeing recommendations afterwards to anyone interested!Again, I recommend this tour to everyone. It's not a dull history lesson, it doesn't involve too much walking, it's very entertaining, emotional even, and educational but in a way that feels like you're listening to a friend tell you a good story that just happens to involve some history behind it too.A MUST experience in NOLA!Kelly C.Kelly C. ★★★★★ Doing this walking tour with Sandy was AMAZING!! She has lots of great information and throws in some jokes/sarcasm at the perfect moments. We throughly enjoyed our tour and highly recommend one with Sandy.Jennifer T.Jennifer T. ★★★★★ We loved our tour with Sandy! She was so knowledgeable, and her stories were fascinating. We went on the tour on our last day, but had we known that we were going to enjoy it so much, we would have booked more!Paul M.Paul M. ★★★★★ We had an unforgettable experience touring Mardi Gras history in New Orleans with our guide, Andrew F. Andrew's passion for the city and deep knowledge of its history made the tour truly exceptional. His personal experience as a parade participant and volunteer added a unique perspective to the tour.The two hours flew by as we explored the vibrant festivities and learned about the rich traditions of Mardi Gras. Andrew's engaging storytelling and friendly demeanor made the tour a highlight of our trip. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Thanks, Andrew, for being an amazing guide!Lauren W.Lauren W. ★★★★★ Had a great Treme tour with Evian packed full of more history than we’ve had on most tours. He did an amazing job taking us through the narratives of one of the country’s oldest Black neighborhoods. We enjoyed how he interwove past and present with many sobering and entertaining facts as we walked through the neighborhood. Very glad we did it! The only thing that could have maybe improved was more sites to stop at within the neighborhood but we know it’s a large one.Stacey E.Stacey E. ★★★★★ Robi did an excellent job explaining the practice and religion of Vodou. He is an excellent historian and guideLori B.Lori B. ★★★★★ Tim and I did the Mardi Gras Tour by Foot today with Andrew F-it was great. His energy was infectious, and you could see his wheels turning with all the information he wanted to share with the group. He was good at working with more seasoned visitors and those new to New Orleans and Mardi Gras.We talked about the history of Mardi Gras, always something to learn. He helped the attendees navigate the traveling to the parades based on where their lodgings were, you don't want to be stuck in "the box" unless you are staying there, which Tim and I are.He was also great to communicate with via email or text. He has sent our group information in an email of the places and things to potentially see that were mentioned during the tour.Thanks Andrew for a wonderful tour that was new to us. It did not disappoint. We lover our Free Tours by Foot.Lori and Tim, IndianaSyn P.Syn P. ★★★★★ My partner and I went on the Voodoo Tour with Robi while we were in New Orleans.My partner and I really enjoyed the tour! Robi was insightful and intelligent, not just on the subject of Voodoo but on New Orleans history. He was also really funny and had us laughing a lot.The added touch of sending a wrap-up email with other points of interest and food/drink stops was so welcomed. We went to several of them.Signing up was easy. Finding our guide was easy. All the info we needed was provided to us. I would 100% use this service again.The only drawback to me was the website is a bit clunky. It won't stop me from using FreeTours again but it could use a makeover.Thank you again so much Robi!John A.John A. ★★★★★ Did the French Quarter walking tour. Sandy was knowledgeable and friendly. And I really enjoyed Sandy's dry sense of humor.tiziana B.tiziana B. ★★★★★ We did the french quarter free tour with Sandy and it was great! She is funny and tells the history in a really understanding way. Also, she suggested to us good places to eat and to hear good music. I recommend this experience 100%Tim S.Tim S. ★★★★★ Great tour of the Quarter with Sandy, she covered a lot of the history and fun trivia, and really gave us a good perspective on the city. Very informative and entertaining.Natalie R.Natalie R. ★★★★★ The Voodoo tour with Sandy was amazing!Hay Creek Haven H.Hay Creek Haven H. ★★★★★ We went on the Mardi Gras tour. Very informative. Well worth the time and the tip. Helped immensely to our knowledge of New Orleans and our entire trip.Jasmina C.Jasmina C. ★★★★★ Had a great time during the Mardi Grad Tour with Andrew F whom i can only reccomend. He have us so many usefull informations based on personal interest which really add value on top of the great Tour. Thank you Andrew !!!Seth B.Seth B. ★★★★★ Had a great tour today with Sandy. Very fun and informative! I couldn’t recommend her enough.Sam W.Sam W. ★★★★★ Took a tour with Sandy this morning! The best tour I’ve ever done! Loved hearing about diverse voices of the city and all the history. Both funny and factual. Thank you!!!Molly R.Molly R. ★★★★★ Sandy gave an amazing tour! Learned and laughed - would 100% recommend!Natalie K.Natalie K. ★★★★★ Did the voodoo tour with Sandy and loved it. Exactly what we were looking for: informative and interesting!Ginger R.Ginger R. ★★★★★ Kayla provided an exceptional experience during our tour. Her extensive knowledge of the history and cultural influences on New Orleans cuisine added depth to the journey. Her recommendations were plentiful and insightful. The intimate group size enhanced the experience. The only improvement would have been the addition of another savory tasting option.Nathan T.Nathan T. ★★★★★ This was an amazing tour! I often like tours, but it's rare that I love them. Andrew F made this tour great with his humor, extensive knowledge, great electronic visuals from his iPad, and well paced, conversational speaking delivery. He was very friendly and made us feel so welcome in the city even though we were wrangling our toddler half the time.Jen R.Jen R. ★★★★★ French Quarter tour with Sandy was AWESOME! Highly recommend, she gives you real, credible information from a historic lens with a sense of humor, she really knew how to tell a story and her consequential food recs were 🔥🔥🔥Additionally, took the Voodoo tour with Robi and he really brought the energy! As a high priest he was super knowledgeable about real voodoo culture and took care to dispel the Hollywood myths, which is a real credit to the community, the history he told was rich in detail and interesting, another one I would highly recommendClark S.Clark S. ★★★★★ I attended Priest Robi's Voodoo Tour and it was one of my favorite things I did in New Orleans! To be fair, we didn't really "see" very many things, as the tour stayed in a very small area of the Louis Armstrong park, but I didn't care at all. Robi's energy was incredible - he was extremely friendly, passionate, engaging, entertaining. He really created a unique shared experience amongst the participants, which in my opinion is the best thing you can say about a tour. The information about voodoo, both present-day and historical, was also fascinating and surprising. I would highly recommend!Self_Made A.Self_Made A. ★★★★★ I took the ghost tour with Andrew, and it was amazing! I absolutely loved all of the history, light-hearted jokes, authenticity, and effort put into the tour. It was so informative, no exaggerations & no rush to get thru it. I felt like all questions were answered and every detail was covered. New Orleans has such great history. Andrew not only gave a great tour but provided great education as well. This was my first tour with this company and would definitely do it again.Andrew had great energy and such a kind soul.Andrea T.Andrea T. ★★★★★ Daniel was awesome and very knowledgeable about the history of Nee Orleans. We truly enjoyed ourselves!js_loader

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************Click here to see our full selection of New Orleans walking tours*************

It's a must-see in New Orleans, and we know, we lead hundreds of guests each week on walking tours of the neighborhood.

And, in the video below, Andrew, a tour guide with us - Free Tours by Foot takes you on a virtual Garden District walking tour.

Depending on the time of year, we offer daily or 2x daily guided walking tours of the Garden District.


Sights We Cover on the Garden District Tour:

  1. Colonel Short's Villa
  2. Briggs-Staub House
  3. Commander's Palace Restaurant
  4. Toby's Corner
  5. Manning House
  6. Brevard-Mahat-Rice House
  7. Rosegate
  8. Payne-Strachan House
  9. Lafayette Cemetery*
  10. and much more...

*The cemetery is closed to groups for maintenance until further notice. We will still talk about the cemetery at the gate!

New Orleans is well known for uneven streets, most famously in the Garden District.

It is often a source of great humor and peril. Please wear flat shoes and let us know if anyone in your party uses walking assistance.


TOUR INFORMATION

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 10 or more persons should visit our group inquiry page.

Where: Meets on the southwest corner of Prytania St. and Washington Ave. (next to the white wall). Please use our Google map for directions to the start of the tour

Garden District Meeting Point

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Approximately 1 mile in length.

When: Check out our tour calendar or take our audio tour at your convenience.

Cost: name-your-own-price tourGroups of 6-9 must prepay $10/person. Groups of 10 or more must organize a private tour and can read about our options for groups

Depending on the time of year, we offer daily or 2x daily guided walking tours of the Garden District.

We have been leading walking tours for 15 years and we are well-regarded experts. Read the reviews for yourself.


GARDEN DISTRICT OF NEW ORLEANS AUDIO TOUR

We also offer a self-guided walking tour and audio tour for you to use anytime you wish.

The audio tour is GPS-enabled, so you can also follow it on your phone. Downloads cost just $2.99.

Here is an audio sample.

We also offer audio tours of other New Orleans Neighborhoods.

Here is how it works:

  1. Purchase an audio tour.
  2. Get a confirmation email with .mp3, .pdf, and embeddable Google Map
  3. Enjoy the tour(s).

Available Tours

  • Garden District
  • French Quarter
  • Lafayette Cemetery #1
  • Hurricane Katrina Rebirth
  • Music, Arts, and More Tour
  • St. Charles Streetcar


But first, a bit of background information.

Excluded from early 19th-century Creole society, newly arrived Yankees got to work creating their city.

They bought property blocks that were carved up from the Livaudais Plantation.

The result is one of New Orleans's most desired neighborhoods and one of the nation's most beautifully preserved city districts and it's home to the rich, the famous, the strange, and the dead!

Manning House Garden District

Join Free Tours by Foot on our Garden District Tour as we stroll the leafy, magnolia-shaded streets of the Garden District and a city of the dead, Lafayette Cemetery #1.

This walking tour is not just historic mansions, live oak trees, and manicured gardens.

It also includes stories of legends, tragedy, epidemics, lost causes, movie stars, celebrity chefs, and haunted spirits. 

It's free to visit and walk around the Garden District, and it's a very safe neighborhood.


HOW TO GET TO THE GARDEN DISTRICT

Depending on where you are coming from and going to exactly, the Garden District is approximately 2-3 miles from Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

How you will get to the Garden District depends on where you are staying and what you want to do of course.  

Since this page is mainly a self-guided tour of the neighborhood, here is a link to the starting point of that tour. 

How to Get to the Garden District

Some buses service the area and you could take a taxi or an Uber, but we recommend taking a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar.  

The ride along St. Charles Avenue is full of beautiful

If you’re mainly interested in the shopping and dining on Magazine Street, the #11 city bus runs the entire length of that street, from the edge of the French Quarter to the Audubon Zoo.  


By Streetcar

Many reading this will be coming from the French Quarter, and then you will take the St. Charles Streetcar from Canal Street.

The fare is $1.25, though day passes are also available.  

Be sure to read our guide on taking the streetcars in New Orleans. Below is a short video to give you a taste of what you will see.

Be sure to download our, GPS-enabled audio tour of the St. Charles Streetcar that you could take with you. Here's a sample.

Click here to get the audio tour.


While on your journey to the outskirts of town, you’ll pass through the first of New Orleans’ "American neighborhoods".

Known today as the Central Business District, it was the first neighborhood for the American prospectors arriving in town shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. 

Many structures in this area date as far back as the 1820s.


SELF-GUIDED TOUR

Once again, here is a link to the starting point of that tour.

This walk should take 60-90 minutes, possibly more if you enter Lafayette Cemetery #1.

Our tour begins just down the road from the Washington Ave. stop at St. Charles Ave.

Self-guided Garden District Tour Map

You can also view this tour on a smartphone on Google Maps and can use it offline as well.   


New Orleans The-Rink-Garden-District

Stop 1. The Rink/Still Perkin

The mustard-brown building at 2727 Prytania St., was once called the Crescent City Skating Rink, which we call the Rink today.

It was built in 1884, the year New Orleans hosted the World Cotton Centennial Exposition – that year’s name for the World’s Fair.

The whole city prepared to entertain huge crowds of visitors on this site so an ice skating rink was built!

Today it contains a coffee shop, the Still Perkin’ Café, where you can get a quick pastry or sandwich or a café au lait or chicory coffee to carry with you.

Upstairs is the Garden District Bookstore, which has hosted many book signings for the neighborhood’s famous novelist, Anne Rice.

You can see photos in the shop window of a theatrical mock funeral staged during one of her book promotions, and inside you’ll find a barrister bookcase filled with signed copies of her works.

Diagonally across the intersection from the Rink, you’ll see the white-painted brick wall of Lafayette Cemetery #1. Halfway along it on Washington Avenue, you’ll find the cemetery gate.


Stop 2. Lafayette Cemetery #1

Lafayette Cemetery #1 was established in 1833 and was named for Lafayette, the autonomous city where it was located and which would eventually be incorporated into New Orleans.

It is a municipal cemetery, owned and operated by the city rather than by the Catholic Church, and is the third oldest cemetery still standing in New Orleans today.

27 or more nationalities are represented in its interments. The cemetery still has burials occurring.

There are about 1,000 tombs and an estimated 7,000 people buried in Lafayette #1. It is a city block in size.

For a more thorough exploration, read our self-guided tour and guide to Lafayette Cemetery #1.

We also have a GPS-led audio tour of the cemetery. 

NOTE: The Lafayette Cemetery #1 is currently closed to the public while repairs and improvements are being made.

The city has estimated that it will reopen to the public in late 2024.

Exit the cemetery where you came in, on Washington Avenue, and walk left to Prytania Street. Turn right on Prytania and proceed one block, where you’ll see a fence with a cornstalk design on the right.


3. Colonel Short’s Villa 

This house, at 1448 Fourth Street, was built by architect Henry Howard for Kentucky-born Colonel Robert Short in 1859.

Local lore says that Short’s wife complained of missing the cornfields in her native Iowa and that he bought the cornstalk fence as a gift for her.

An alternative explanation, suggested by the current owners, is that the wife saw that it was the most expensive fence available in the building catalog and requested it on that basis.

If you look closely, the corn plants are wrapped in bean vines – a common strategy for efficient cultivation of land, used by the region’s native population.

During the American Civil War, New Orleans was taken and occupied early as a strategic move to cut off Confederate supply lines.

Colonel Short’s Villa was commandeered in September 1862, and Governor Nathaniel Banks lived inside with Major General Benjamin Butler.

As a result of the early occupation, New Orleans, unlike many southern cities, evaded destruction from Sherman’s March.

Continue in the same direction along Prytania Street until the next intersection, where you’ll find the Briggs-Staub house on the left side.


4. Briggs­-Staub House 

The Briggs home, at 2605 Prytania. Street, built in 1854, is the only true example of Gothic Revival architecture in the Garden District.

Because this style reminded the Protestant Americans of the Catholicism of their Creole antagonists, it was not popular.

Original owner Charles Briggs did not hold African slaves but did acquire Irish indentured servants. The large servant quarters can be seen to the left of the home.

Continue along Prytania to the next house on the same side of the street.


5. Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel - 2523 Prytania St.

The beautiful Madonna and canopy in the yard denote a small Catholic chapel, which used to stand here until Anne Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire, purchased the property.

It became the setting for Violin, another of her novels.

The home was designed by architect Henry Howard in 1857. Most of his works, including this house, were in the Italianate style.

Italianate homes in the Garden District, on average, have ceilings that are seventeen feet high.

You’ll also notice the exquisite metalwork along the galleries.

At the tops of the metal columns, you’ll notice what we call “Romeo spikes” – installed, according to local lore, to keep young men from climbing into young women’s rooms.

The more likely intent of most owners was robbery prevention.

You’ll also notice gas lights on the porch that burn all day and night.

Lights like these found on many historic New Orleans buildings, uphold a tradition that dates to the 1833 arrival of J.H. Caldwell, a theater manager and gasworks industrialist, who added gaslighting to much of the city.

Since the Garden District was founded just as his enterprise began, the neighborhood would have never been without light.

Continue along Prytania to this block’s last building on the right.


New Orleans The-Womens-Opera-Guild-House s

6. The Women's Opera Guild House - 2504 Prytania St.

The standout homes in the Garden District often include more than one style.

Designed by William Freret in 1859, this building combines a Greek Revival structure and Italianate metalwork with a Queen Anne extension.

Now owned by the Women’s Opera Guild, the home can be toured on Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Recent filming in the house includes the motion pictures Elsa and Peter with Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer and the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.

Continue down Prytania for another block; cross First Street and find the first house on the right.


7. Toby's Corner - 2340 Prytania St.

The Garden District’s oldest still-standing residence was built in 1838. You can note the basic Doric columns, which speak to the home’s age.

Although built for an American owner, the house displays Creole building techniques that are practical for the region.

The house has a raised basement for flooding as well as ventilation.

The ceiling height is 15 feet. Floor-length windows surrounding the structure could be opened to take advantage of cross-breezes coming from the nearby Mississippi.

From the front gate, you can see a sugar kettle being used as a fountain in the front yard, paying homage to southeast Louisiana’s biggest crop.

If you’re here during the Carnival season, you’ll likely see three flags with the insignia of Rex, King of Mardi Gras, one of New Orleans’ many parading organizations.

Next, look across Prytania Street.


Bradish-Johnson-House-and-Louise-S.-McGehee-School-2343-Prytania-St ss

8. Bradish Johnson House and Louise S. McGehee School - 2343 Prytania St.

Architect James Freret designed this mansion in the Second Empire style for sugar baron Bradish Johnson in 1872.

It is quintessential Reconstruction-era architecture.

You can also find this style further uptown along St. Charles Avenue in neighborhoods like Audubon Place, which was developed during that era.

Today, the property is the private Louise S. McGehee School for girls. They celebrated their centennial in 2012.

From here, turn back along Prytania to the intersection with First Street, then turn left. Continue along First Street until you find a tan house on the right.


9. Buckner Mansion - 1410 Jackson Avenue

The massive house at Coliseum and Jackson, built in 1856, is the Buckner Mansion, the largest home in the neighborhood.

As you approach on Coliseum Street, you’ll see the back of the house, including a long, three-story extension: this was the home’s slave quarters.

As you come around to the front of the house on Jackson Avenue, you’ll get the full sense of its size – over 20,000 square feet.

Henry Buckner, its namesake, was a cotton magnate who commissioned the house, and his family continued to live there until 1923 when it became a business school.

You can still see a mosaic stating its educational mission by the front gate.

Now it’s again a single-family home, but it got to play the part of a school in American Horror Story: Coven.


10. Archie Manning House - 1420 First St.

This is the home of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning, as well as the childhood home of his sons Peyton, Eli, and Cooper Manning.

The family are full-time residents and are a common sight in the neighborhood.

A lot of footage from the documentary of the family called The Book of Manning (2013) was shot at the home.


11. Morris ­Israel House - 1331 First St.

By the 1860s, the Italianate style was the most popular style of architecture in the Garden District.

Like many New Orleans homes, this one is narrow along the street but extends far back on the lot.

Large square lots that failed to sell were often split lengthwise, sometimes more than once, to form multiple lots, leaving owners with no choice but to build long, rectangular homes.

Past visitors to Disneyland in Anaheim, California might recognize this house, as it was the basis for the design of the Haunted Mansion – and the house appropriately has rumored ghosts of its own.

Continue along First Street until you cross Chestnut, then find the first house on the left.


12. Brevard ­Mahat­/Anne Rice House - 1239 First St.

Originally designed in 1857 as a Greek Revival home, this house has noticeable modern additions, like an Italianate bay and a skylight.

Notice the Rosegate fence, believed to be one of the first chain link fence designs in the world.

Viewers today, especially those familiar with the works of former owner Anne Rice, often see skulls rather than rosebuds.

Rice, best known for her novels about vampires in New Orleans, renovated and used the home as her primary residence for many years, besides setting her Witching Hour trilogy inside.

She sold the home in 2003 after the death of her husband, Stan Rice.

Continue along First Street, stopping at the first house on the right after the intersection with Camp Street.


13. Payne­ Strachan House - 1134 First St.

The first and only President of the short-lived Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, died here in December 1889.

He had been traveling to New Orleans to give a lecture, became ill, and spent his last hours here in the home of Judge Charles Fenner, where he was brought to receive care.

A small monument in front of the house bears the date of Davis’ death: December 6, 1889.

Notice the sky-blue color of the ceiling on the front porch.

The color is believed to keep winged insects from nesting there and to ward off evil spirits.

Many Garden District homes adhere to this tradition, along with other homes throughout the Gulf South region.

The color is called “haint blue.”

From here, turn back along First Street and proceed until you reach the intersection with Coliseum Street. Turn left and continue until this block’s last house on the right.


14. Joseph Merrick Jones House - 2425 Coliseum St.

This home currently belongs to the actor John Goodman, known locally for his role in the post-Katrina HBO drama Treme by David Simon, creator of The Wire.

He's known more broadly for his film career and long-running role as Dan Conner on the hit TV show, Roseanne.

He moved to New Orleans over thirty years ago after making the film The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin.

Thanks to his depiction of a staunch defender of New Orleans culture in Treme and his real-life advocacy, New Orleanians take him as an honorary native son.

Before Goodman owned the home, it belonged to Trent Reznor, the singer of Nine Inch Nails.

Some would speculate he was not a good fit as he had quite a few unconventional guests and a recording studio installed inside.

Continue along Coliseum Street and pause at the next block’s last house on the left.


15. Musson­ Bell House - 1331 Third St.

This home was built in 1853 for Michel Musson, one of the few Creoles living in the Garden District before the Civil War.

He was the uncle of French artist Edgar Degas.

Degas briefly lived with Musson in another home on Esplanade Avenue during a visit to New Orleans.

You can tour that home, now called the Degas House.

The backyard of this building, visible along Coliseum Street, contains several detached buildings typical of 19th-century homes.

This includes slave quarters and a kitchen, a stable and carriage house, and a cistern for water storage.

Mark Twain, on visiting the neighborhood and seeing all the cisterns, once commented that it looked as if everybody in the neighborhood had a private brewery.


16. Robinson House - 1415 Third St.

Building on this property began in 1859 and did not end until 1865. It was for tobacco merchant Walter Robinson by architect Henry Howard

The property is one of the largest in the Garden District at 12,000 square feet.

The roof is flat and once gathered rainwater for the home’s indoor plumbing and drinking water.

In 2016, the house was listed for sale for $6.45 million, but the owners had to settle for only $4.5 million when they finally got a buyer!

Continue along Coliseum until you reach the next block’s last building on the right.


17. Koch-Mays House - 2627 Coliseum St.

This Swiss Germanic Chalet, built in 1867, is one of only three homes of this style in all of New Orleans.

It is not a practical style of architecture in a part of the country that gets as warm as New Orleans does.

It was designed by architect William Freret for James Eustis, a one-time U.S. Senator.

Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock bought the home in late 2009, and as of 2021 she still owns the property (along with, allegedly, another 16 around the country!)

People flock to the home hoping for a sighting, but she’s rarely here.

She does allow other celebrities to stay though, so you never know who might come out of the front gate.


18. Benjamin Button House – 2707 Coliseum St.

This house (Nolan House) was one of the main shooting locations for the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, featuring Brad Pitt – and also the one the film had to fight hardest to secure.

The director chose the house as the ideal setting for the retirement home where the title character has lived for many years.

However, the owner, who at the time was evacuated to Houston thanks to Hurricane Katrina, refused the request, as she had many requests from film companies in the past.

It took the director personally convincing her that the film would portray New Orleans in a positive, hopeful light – much needed after Hurricane Katrina – to change her mind.

The design of the house shows the broad array of visual styles the Americans living in this neighborhood drew from.

These include Ionic columns on the ground floor, Queen Anne reliefs on the second floor, and Gothic arches in Greek Revival dormers on a roof of part shingle, part Spanish tile.

Continue along Coliseum to the corner of Washington Ave.


19. Commander's Palace Restaurant - 1403 Washington Ave.

The bright turquoise-and-white building on the corner was erected in 1883 for Emil Commander to be run as a restaurant.

It is now considered one of the best restaurants in the United States and has been owned by the Brennan family, some of New Orleans’ foremost restauranteurs, since 1974.

Locals attend the weekday martini lunches – twenty-five cents for a martini with an entrée! – but a weekend jazz brunch is also a nice option.

Reservations are required and there is a strict dress code.

And that concludes our self-guided walking tour of the Garden District in New Orleans.

If you are reading this in preparation for an in-person visit, then consider joining other like-minded travelers on a guided tour with us, Free Tours by Foot!


TIPS FROM LOCALS AND TRAVELERS

Below we share some thoughts and tips from members of our popular New Orleans Travel Tips Facebook group about touring the Garden District, if they felt it was worth the time, and what is the best way to see it.

Our Facebook group has over 40,000 members and consists of locals, regular visitors, and newbies to the city. 

After you've read this post, check our Facebook group for more tips from locals and tourists about visiting the Big Easy!

With so many amazing places to see in New Orleans, it’s hard to narrow down where to go and what to do. So…is the Garden District a “must-see”?

Here’s what group members said about the district and what makes it so special.

Besides the history and houses, the plant life is beautiful, the restaurants are amazing and the shopping is excellent.

We saw lots of comments from members, like this one, who say the Garden District is so nice it’s worth visiting more than once.

We were hard-pressed to find any negative comments about it, the most ‘negative’ being that what makes it special may not be to everyone’s liking.

The only comment we read that found said it wasn't worth visiting was this one, from someone who has the opportunity to see grand old mansions at home.

So if you are short on time in NOLA, and live in a part of the country where there are similar neighborhoods, then perhaps you might prefer to skip the Garden District. 

(Call us biased, but we don't think it should be missed, no matter what you can see back home!)

Once you decide to explore the Garden District, the question is how you want to do so.

Many members felt that taking a guided tour was the best way to get to know the area.

Guides tell you about the history, the special architectural features, and what movies and celebrities are connected to the district.

 And we are very pleased to see that these members took our tour and had a great time!

Some people felt that taking a self-guided tour was a good option, like the one contained in this post.

One of the most popular ways to see the Garden District, other than on foot, is to ride the St. Charles Streetcar.

A common question is which neighborhood should one take a tour of -- the French Quarter or the Garden District.

Plenty of our group members agree with us! Both!

But what if you are short of time? We say to do what this group member suggests!

About The Author

Sarah Hester

Sarah first moved to New Orleans in 2001 to work for the American Red Cross of Southeast Louisiana. While working in the communities of New Orleans she fell in love with the unique culture of the Big Easy; it's food, music, architecture, wildlife, and most of all history. Read More... Sarah began her career with FTBF, first as a guide, then as an owner/operator. She believes every day is a good day if she gets to impart her love of her beloved New Orleans with Free Tours By Foot guests. She especially likes to convert new Who Dat Saints Fans!
Updated: April 10th, 2024
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