Get out of the New Orleans Tourist Box

Our New Orleans Neighborhood.

Bayou Road is the oldest street in New Orleans.  It crosses Esplanade Avenue in front of our small hotel.  Esplanade Avenue is called New Olreans’ Creole millionaire’s row.  We live in a beautiful part of New Orleans.  La Belle Esplanade, the hotel, is named after our street.  New Orleans is beautiful.

We live in a real New Orleans neighborhood.  Life is beautiful.  Catch a wish.

Our address, 2216 Esplanade Avenue, is exaclty the midpoint between the Mississippi River and City Park.  It takes about a twenty-five minute picturesque stroll to get to either end of our street.  Longer your first time because you will be gawking around looking at everything.  There are plenty of pleasant details along the way.  Stop to smell the sweet olive trees, they smell like honeysuckle!

This is New Orleans.  There is plenty to see that you will never see anywhere else in America.  New Orleans is a world of its own.  Time moves at a different pace here. Enjoy it.

Esplanade Avenue is the dividing line between the Tremé nieghborood and the 7th Ward.  La Belle Esplanade is on the Tremé side but if I tell people that I live in Tremé they say, “No, Mr. King.  You live on Esplanade Avenue.”

Esplanade Avenue is lined with creole mansions.  Tremé and the 7th Ward are more filled with shotgun houses.  We are all in the backatown.  We are all New Orleanians, in this togther.

There was an HBO series after Hurricane Katrina.  It was called ‘Tremé.’  Maybe you have seen it.  Art imitates life.

There are numerous restaurants and coffee shops in our part of New Orleans.  That is information that is contained on a different page.

There are a number of small museums within a ten-minute walking distance from our front door.  

The Backstreet Cultural Museum.  This is a family-run museum diagonally across from Tuba Fats Square, between Fatma’s Cozy Corner and the Candlelight Lounge.  It is a museum dedicated to preserving the culture of Mardi Gras Indians, second line parades, baby dolls, and jazz funerals.  If none of what I said makes sense, go to the Backstreet Cultural Center.

The Tremé Petit Jazz Museum.  This tiny museum is a labor of love headquartered in an old musicians’ union hall on Governor Nicholls Street, in the heart of Tremé.    This is the part you would call, “The Tremé,” ground zero, a block or two from the Tomb of the Unknown Slave.  

You will get a more intimate view of the origins of New Orleans’ contribution to musical culture at the Tremé Petit Jazz Museum than you will from a National Parks Ranger at the Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint at the end of our street (which we also recommend).  

The New Orleans African American Museum.  Housed in the original Claude Tremé plantation house, after which the neighborhood is named, the African American Museum is open for special events to view its collection.  It is open seasonally depending on what is going on in the city, such as during Essence or other times of the year.

The Louisiana Civil Rights Trail.  Dooky Chase’s Restaurant is a stop on the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail.  It is six blocks behind La Belle Esplanade, a local landmark still run by the same family.  Presidents visit there when they are in the city.  Get a taste of history and enjoy the art collection on the walls while you enjoy classic Creole cuisine.

The Degas House.  Have you heard of the French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas?  His mother was from New Orleans.  His uncle lived a block away from La Belle Esplanade.  That is where he lived–in his uncle’s house.  He went back to Paris where I understand he made for himself but the Degas House is a museum and wedding venue on the next block from our small hotel.  

Le Musée de f.p.c.  Tremé and the 7th Ward were the back of town neighborhoods behind the French Quarter and the Faubourg Marigny where the free people of color lived in New Orleans before the Civil War, under the Code Noir.  These citizens were successful pillars of the community.  Learn more about their history and this history of this specific part of New Orleans  at this museum, two doors down from the Degas House.  I recommend making an appointment.  They will be happy to show the collection and share the story about someting you probably know nothing about.

Of course, a 25-minute walk away is the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Scupture Garden (which is free) and the Botanical Gardens, and Storyland, and the Carousel Gardens, which is an small amusement park with a carousel.

The Fairgrounds horse racing track is a ten-minute walk up Bayou Road.  The track has been a fixture in this part of New Orleans since 1838.  There is a lot of history and glory there.  There are also slot machines, if that interests you.  Racing season starts every year on Thanksgiving day and ends on March 31.  

On the last weekend in April and the first weekend and May, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival happens at the Fairgrounds.

Every day in this part of New Orleans is full of pleasant surprises around every corner.  Wander around and fall in love with this magical city we call home.  There is always something going on.

You never know what you will find when you turn a corner.  Good memories are made on our street every day.  I know.  I see it happen.


If you happen to be having out on the corner of S. Pierce and Canal Streets while you’re in New Orleans, here’s a handy video guide of what you’ll be seeing:

When New Orleans calls, you have to answer.  Build your own adventure.  New Orleans is your oyster and you are the pearl.  Get out and explore off the tourist radar.  You never know what you will find when you turn any given corner.

Make La Belle your New Orleans headquarters.  Make La Belle your home away from home.  We are here for you.