Top Six Historic Gems Hidden in the New Orleans French Quarter


Visitors often overlook some of the most historic locations in New Orleans in favor of the neon signs and fun drinks along Bourbon Street. While letting loose on Bourbon Street is always a good time, the French Quarter is full of historic buildings and picturesque museums to explore. Discovering historic New Orleans will give visitors some amusing stories to tell on a night out.

Napoleon House

Napoleon House is not only known for its decadent southern cuisine, but it is also famous for its lengthy history. According to legend, Napoleon Bonaparte used 500 Chartres Street as a hideaway during his exile, giving the current-day restaurant its namesake. It has been a prime gathering location since the building sprung up in 1797. The large courtyard has always provided additional space for friends and fares. Visitors can now enjoy a quaint European-style restaurant and indulge in the iconic Pimm’s Cup cocktail with a side of nostalgia.

The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Browse medical instruments and antique memorabilia from the country’s first licensed pharmacist at 514 Chartres Street. Just a short amble from Napoleon House, New Orleans Pharmacy Museum hosts relics and potions from the 19th century. Visitors will be in awe while exploring the curiosities and wonders of medical history.

The Cabildo

One of the most historic buildings in Louisiana lives within the French Quarter. The Cabildo, a lavish Spanish colonial building in Jackson Square, has seen many diplomatic events. In 1803, Robert Livingston and James Monroe completed the Louisiana Purchase. In 1892, the Louisiana State Supreme Court ruled on the Plessy versus Ferguson case. The building’s location at 701 Chartres Street, next door to St. Louis Cathedral, makes it easily accessible on any French Quarter expedition.

The Old Ursuline Convent

Take a self-guided tour through the halls of the Old Ursuline Convent, a historic building with many lives. As the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley, the structure has been an orphanage, a hospital, and a nunnery. 1100 Chartres Street now has statues, paintings, and a lovely courtyard where visitors can pay homage to the founders of the convent, the Ursuline Sisters.

Preservation Hall

One of the most historic jazz venues in the world resides in the French Quarter. Preservation Hall offers a robust experience of the city’s musical history within a snug 100-capacity room. Allan and Sandra Jaffe established Preservation Hall in 1961 and continue to support New Orleans jazz musicians of the past, present, and future. At 726 Saint Peter Street, music lovers can catch one of the city’s favorite groups, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

Those who wish to enjoy a drink while learning about New Orleans’ history will find Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop the ideal spot. Situated on 941 Bourbon Street, the bar has seen many infamous faces. The pirate Jean Lafitte operated his business in the building in the early 19th century. More recently, writer Tennessee Williams frequented the bar in his leisure time. Unwind in the cottage-like tavern and be a part of the glory of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

Have a Staycation at Maison Dupuy

One of the best ways to experience New Orleans is by staying at a hotel in the middle of it all. Maison Dupuy resides right in the heart of the French Quarter. Make a reservation at Maison Dupuy today.