Visit pretty Algiers Point, New Orleans ... a charming neighborhood located just across the Mississippi from the French Quarter! It's the perfect place to take a break from the bustle of the city.
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Are you familiar with this area? It's located across the Mississippi from the French Quarter, and it's the second oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. I'd heard of the neighborhood on my first visit to the city many years ago, but somehow I'd never quite found the time to visit.
I finally made it to Algiers on my last trip to New Orleans. My friends and I had spent more time eating and drinking our way through the city than anything else. And by the time we parted ways, I was left with a hangover and not a lot of ambition.
My husband and I decided that a walk around this quiet, charming neighborhood was the perfect way to relax on our last day in the city (and hopefully shake those hangovers, too). It was, and I ended up kicking myself for not checking it out sooner. I'm excited to share my photos and travel tips so you can plan your own visit!
Algiers Point, New Orleans Visitors Guide
Algiers is one of these places that many books and guides recommend, yet most visitors to NOLA never make the trip.
Which is a shame, because it's the perfect escape from the craziness of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. It's easy to get to and is filled with quiet charm, making it the ideal place to spend a low key afternoon.
Keep reading for all my travel tips. If you're in a rush, then skip to the end of the post where I've rounded up everything you need to plan your visit.
A (Very Brief) History
For the longest time, I was under the impression that Algiers, Louisiana was a separate city from New Orleans. But it's actually part of the city, and the second oldest neighborhood at that.
It was established in 1719 when Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville (a colonist and the father of New Orleans) was granted a large track of land on the west bank of the Mississippi, directly across from New Orleans. The land was developed as a plantation and was used to hold slaves before they were transported across the river and sold.
Although the land was used as a plantation for many years, the development of Algiers as a town did not occur until the 1800s. It played a part in the War of 1812, as well as the civil war, and in 1860, it was annexed to New Orleans as the 15th Ward. A fire destroyed most of the neighborhood in 1895, so the majority of the homes you'll find there today were built in the years following the fire.
Today, Algiers Point is home to over 2,000 people. You can read more about the neighborhood's history here.
Where is Algiers Point?
It's located directly across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter in New Orleans.
The neighborhood stretches for 12 miles along the Mississippi River. Algiers Point is actually a small part of the greater neighborhood, and it's the oldest part, as well.
If you're ever walked along the riverfront in the French Quarter, Algiers is what you're seeing across the river.
Taking the Algiers Ferry
The easiest way to get to Algiers Point from the French Quarter or Central Business District is by ferry.
You can catch the ferry at the foot of Canal Street, right next to the Aquarium of the Americas. It costs $2 (each way) to ride, and it's a quick and stress free.
Tip: If you’re planning to take public transportation in NOLA, I highly recommend downloading the GoMobile app … it makes buying tickets so simple (no cash needed). You can purchase individual ferry passes on the app, or if you're planning to ride the bus and streetcar as well, you can purchase an Integrated Jazzy Pass. Make sure to get the Integrated version, otherwise it doesn't cover the ferry. It’s just $7.00 and is valid for 24 hours (multi-day passes and cheaper non-ferry passes are also available).
The views from the ferry are worth the trip alone, so make sure to bring your camera! It was cold on the day we visited, so we stuck inside (I'm wimpy).
It also possible to drive to Algiers Point, but I'd avoid it unless you have mobility issues. Parking is restricted on many streets, and it's very easy to explore this compact area on foot.
Things to Do in Algiers Point
Are you wondering what to do in Algiers?
To be honest, this really is a sleepy little area of the city. So I think it helps to keep your expectations realistic before you plan a trip.
It's mostly a residential area. There aren't a lot of sights to see or even that many businesses to visit in Algiers Point.
The area is very beautiful and charming though. So if you love architecture, or you just want to escape the craziness of the French Quarter, then I think it's definitely worth checking out!
Walk the Levee Path
Walking the levee is one of the best things to do in this quiet neighborhood.
If you're not familiar with levees, they're basically a raised embankment that protects homes and businesses when the Mississippi River floods. This one held up after Hurricane Katrina, and the neighborhood escaped the massive flooding that destroyed other parts of the city.
The levee here has a path along the top. As you walk or bike the levee, you'll be treated to picturesque views of the neighborhood, as well as the French Quarter.
If you enter the levee path on Patterson Drive, between Bauman and Amann Streets, you'll be treated to colorful murals! Check them out above.
The murals are a short walk from the ferry terminal, so don't miss them.
As you continue walking along the levee, you'll see plenty of activity in the river, too.
We spotted the Steamboat Natchez (check it out below), as well as a number of ships and tugboats. There was even a cruise ship docked in the river on the day we visited.
Admire the Beautiful Homes
Although I loved walking along the levee, my favorite thing to do in Algiers Point was wandering the streets and checking out the gorgeous houses.
If you enjoy New Orleans architecture (and how could you not?), you are in for a treat. The streets here are filled will beautiful, charming homes!
A devastating fire destroyed hundreds of houses in 1895, so many of the homes you'll see today were built in the early 1900's.
As you walk around, you'll see may different styles of architecture, including Creole, Greek Revival, Victorian, and Edwardian styles.
Without a plan in mind, we wandered up and down the streets. Along the way, we spotted everything from narrow shotgun houses to cute cottages to impressive two-story homes with double porches.
I loved checking out all the gorgeous details and found quite a few homes that I could imagine myself moving into.
Do you ever return from vacation and immediately check out real estate listings? I was definitely guilty of doing that after returning home from Algiers Point!
Over the course of our short walk, we made friends with a cat, as well as some of his human friends.
Everyone we spoke to was very friendly, and it was fun experiencing all the neighborhood activity.
Stop By a Neighborhood Restaurant or Bar
Of course, you probably want to grab something to eat or drink during your trip.
As you exit the ferry terminal, you'll spot a few options straight ahead. Within a block, you'll find a pizza place, a cafe, a pub, and a coffee shop.
Pretty much everything you could need right?
We stopped into Tout De Suite Cafe, which is located a few blocks further away from the ferry terminal. It was the perfect place to warm up with a hot drink and a sweet snack.
On a warmer day, I could definitely see myself relaxing at an outside table with a cool drink and watching the day pass by! Couldn't you?
Unfortunately, when we finished our snack our time in Algiers and in New Orleans was complete. We headed back across the Mississippi on the ferry and flew home that same night.
A relaxing day spent in Algiers was the perfect way to end our trip!
Plan Your Visit
I hope you enjoyed this guide to Algiers, New Orleans! Here are some tips to help plan your visit:
Location: The neighborhood is located directly across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter in New Orleans. Although Algiers Point is small, it's actually part of the larger Algiers community. Visit the Historical Society to learn more about the area's history.
Getting There: The easiest way to get there from the French Quarter is via the Ferry, which has been operating since 1827. It's located at the end of Canal Street, next to the Aquarium of the Americas. The ferry costs $2 each way and is for pedestrians and bikers only (no cars). Bring cash for tickets, or purchase a pass on the GoMobile app. It also possible to drive; consult your GPS for the best directions.
Things to Do: There aren't a ton of things to do in this quiet, family-friendly neighborhood. A walk around Algiers is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon though, especially if you need a break from the French Quarter. It's also fun to check out if you've been to NOLA before and want to do something different. Here are some other ways to spend your time there:
- Walk or bike along the paved Levee Path. As you progress upriver from the ferry terminal, you'll find the Jazz Walk of Fame. And downriver from the terminal, you'll see a number of historical plaques. Make sure to check out the murals on the levee walls along Patterson Drive, as well.
- Sit on a bench on the levee path or walk down to the shores of the Mississippi to see what's happening on the river. You might spot the Steamboat Natchez, a tugboat or river barge, or even a cruise ship departing from the port of New Orleans.
- Warm up at the annual Bonfire in December.
- Wander around the streets and check out the charming houses and buildings. Keep an eye out for the Mount Olivet Episcopal Church, the area's oldest building, and the Old Courthouse, which was built after the Great Fire of 1896. Make sure to visit the Historical Society website for info on self-guided walking tours.
- Enjoy a meal or cocktail at one of Algiers' restaurants or bars.
- Watch the sun set over the Mississippi River.
- Listen to music at the Wednesdays on the Point concert series.
- Take in the beautiful views of the French Quarter from across the river.
Where to Eat and Drink: While I didn't spend too much time in the neighborhood, I did enjoy a treat and a chai latte at Tout De Suite Cafe. They're open for breakfast and lunch. You'll also find a number of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the Ferry Terminal, including the Dry Dock Cafe, Tavolino Pizza & Lounge, Crown & Anchor English Pub, and Congregation Coffee.
Other Things to Do in New Orleans
Now that you know all about Algiers, it's time to plan the rest of your trip!
My New Orleans Travel Guide will get you started ... it covers everything you need to know about this amazing city. After reading that, check out some of my favorite things to do in NOLA:
- Visit a museum. There are so many amazing museums worth visiting in this historic city. I especially love the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park, the WWII Museum in the Warehouse District, and the quirky Pharmacy Museum in the French Quarter.
- Tour a city of the dead. New Orleans is known for its beautiful cemeteries, AKA cities of the dead. Take a self-guided walking tour of my favorite, Lafayette No. 1 in the Garden District.
- Admire the unique architecture. Speaking of the Garden District, you can't visit NOLA without viewing its jawdropping homes. A walking tour of the Garden District is the best way take them all in.
- Experience Mardi Gras. A trip to NOLA during Mardi Gras is on many bucket lists. But if you're traveling to NOLA at another time of year, you can still enjoy the fun at Mardi Gras World.
- Deal with the crazy weather. New Orleans is notorious for its bad weather ... it's often hot and rainy, maybe both! Here's how you can beat the heat in summer and here are the best ways to spend a rainy day.
- Grab a bite to eat. If you're traveling with a vegetarian, this can be a tricky city. Check out my favorite New Orleans vegetarian-friendly restaurants that will please your whole group (veg or not!)
- Save a buck. NOLA can get expensive, but not every activity has to be super pricey. Here are my favorite free things to do in New Orleans.