One block over from the raucousness of Bourbon Street is the French Quarter’s more refined and elegant epicenter of local artistic culture. Royal Street is an eye-pleasing mix of classy antique shops and boutiques, fine jewelry stores, colorful art galleries and world-class hotels and restaurants.
It is no wonder tourists and locals alike flock to Royal Street when they want a real New Orleans experience. Some of the most picturesque and most frequently photographed buildings and iron lace balconies – many of which date back to the 18th and 19th centuries – are along the 13-block stretch of Royal between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue. World-class restaurants with scenic courtyards – containing bubbling sculptured fountains and colorful gardens – offer a pleasant, shady respite from the elements. Art galleries contain sculptures, paintings and mixed media from artists who are on a par with any residing in New York, San Francisco or other fine art meccas, including George Rodrigue and his internationally renowned “Blue Dog.”
For antiques, it would be hard to find a better place to shop for them anywhere in this country. Many of the contents of New Orleans’ most elegant estates of the 19th and 20th centuries are for sale there. Exquisite crystal chandeliers, ornate hand-carved furniture, fine silver and jewelry and other table settings and so much more are there for the collector or those looking to decorate their own homes or businesses. And the restaurants – Brennan’s, Mr. B’s, Court of the Two Sisters, Pere Antoine’s and more – are internationally renowned for their creative Old World and New Orleans-flavored cuisine. And, at certain hours of the day, street musicians and performers are on hand to entertain you, while fine artists exhibit samples of their work in public view.
For more information on what’s what and what’s where on Royal Street, block by block, see the listings below.