Let the good times roll right down Canal Street, a major thoroughfare in the heart of New Orleans, once intended to divide neighborhoods occupied by Anglophones and Francophones. Today, Canal Street is one of the boundaries for the Vieux Carré— that’s the French Quarter— and the American Sector, or what we now call the Central Business District.
Visiting Canal Street
Tune in to the clatter of streetcars, the scrapes of spoons on an empty gumbo bowl, and the bellows of bellhops hailing a cab, and you’ll know you’re in the decidedly urban center of New Orleans. If Bourbon Street is the naughty little brother with a bit of a reputation, Canal Street is the more polished, upscale older sister. Some of the nicest hotels on Canal Street overlook the mighty waters of the Mississippi River, but you can save a few francs if you opt for the cheap hotels on Canal Street further away from the water.
Off Canal Street is the Upper French Quarter, where towering landmarks like St. Louis Cathedral serve as the backdrop. With plenty of français spoken in the area, and the fleur-de-lis motifs throughout, it’s easy to feel like you're in Paris rather than Louisiana. Embrace the wrought iron balconies of the 19th-century colonial buildings with a stroll along Chartres Street, or let the savory scents of crawfish lure you into a French Creole restaurant where suits are de rigueur.
While you can wander to virtually all destinations in the French Quarter right from most Canal Street hotels, having a rental car is a definite plus. A Canal Street car rental lets you roll down the windows, feel the breeze in your hair, and escape the crush of tourists to the awe-inspiring bridge over Lake Pontchartrain…or to wherever your whimsy may take you.
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