About Garden District
The Garden District is considered by most to be the finest residential area in New Orleans. It was originally several plantations that were subdivided into large lots and sold to wealthy Americans who didn?t want to live amongst the Creoles in the French Quarter. It became an opulent area of large mansions, one or two to a block, surrounded by elaborate gardens from which the District took its name. In later years, the large lots were subdivided until there is an eclectic mixture of huge traditional homes, surrounded by gingerbread Victorians, smaller, but still impressive houses.
The Lower Garden District begins west of Canal Street, along St. Charles on the north and Magazine Street on the south. As it widens into the Upper Garden District, the boulevard is tree-lined with the famous trolley cars running down the center divider. At the west end of the trolley is Audubon Park and Tulane University.
The Brennan family flagship restaurant, Commander?s Palace is in the Garden District. It is considered by many to be the finest restaurant in the USA, if not the world. Emeril LaGasse was the chef here at the age of 24.
Novelist Anne Rice lived in the Garden District until her recent retirement and move to the country. Several homes in District and the Lafayette Cemetery were the settings of a number of her novels.
A number of tours of the District are available, both vehicular and walking. They are definitely worth the investment of time.