Esplanade Ridge/Historic 7th Ward/Fairgrounds
City Park/Faubourg St. John/Fairgrounds
Although most locals think of Mid-City as the neighborhood which straddles Canal Street from City Park Avenue all the way downtown to Claiborne Avenue, it is really an assortment of neighborhoods, which some say includes City Park, Faubourg St. John, Esplanade Ridge, and even parts of Tremé and Gentilly. This definition makes Mid-City the largest neighborhood in all of New Orleans.
Taken together, these Mid-City neighborhoods offer the most diverse selections of restaurants and shops in the city. Mid-City B&Bs offer a taste of the real New Orleans, where people go about their lives, enjoying it to the fullest. If you’d like to sample what it’s really like to live in New Orleans, rather than just to visit, consider one of the many Mid-City B&Bs.
Esplanade Ridge is one of the most beautiful and historic areas of New Orleans, well-known for the boutique inns and B&Bs located in the area. From North Rampart Street to North Broad, one side of Esplanade avenue resides in the Tremé while the other is firmly part of the Historic 7th Ward. From North Broad all the way up to City Park, Esplanade Avenue divides the neighborhood of Faubourg St. John from the Fairgrounds/Gentilly area where the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is held each spring.
Near the point of where these four neighborhoods intersect, you’ll find Bayou Road, the oldest passageway in the city which served the native American Indians as a portage from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain long before the French settlers ever stepped foot in the new world. Bayou Road is now a thriving shopping and dining area for African-American owned small businesses, as well as the local headquarters for Uber. In fact, the original Whole Foods Market was once located just blocks away, as was the very first Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that Esplanade Ridge has come to be thought of as its own unique neighborhood, serving as a place where many cultures have come together to create and re-create a world of their own, generation after generation.
The historic Esplanade was developed by wealthy Creole merchants and cotton brokers starting in the 1820s to showcase their wealth. Their families lived in large mansions apart from the rest of the city’s denizens. A central promenade was built along the street right-away so that families could stroll up and down the avenue together, especially on Sunday mornings before and after church. At that time it was called the Creole Millionaire’s Row and it was the forerunner to St. Charles Avenue and the Garden District which was built decades later by Americans who had finally made good after coming to the city following the Louisiana Purchase. At its essence, Esplanade Avenue is the Creole St. Charles Avenue.
Today’s Esplanade Ridge B&Bs are are housed in lovingly restored Creole homes that line either the Avenue or beautiful surrounding streets. Tour buses, bicycle tours, and self-guided walking tours wind through Esplanade Ridge every day. Count yourself among the lucky by staying in an Esplanade Ridge B&B.
The area around Esplanade Avenue is home to many small, local museums, nationally famous restaurants, and some of the most interesting shops in New Orleans. Esplanade Ridge B&Bs offer a slice of New Orleans life that you won’t find in the French Quarter, though the Quarter is only a short and pleasant walk away. Streetcars run from City Park, at the top of Esplanade Avenue, through Mid-City and back downtown along Canal Street. The Riverfront Streetcar runs from the foot of Esplanade Avenue upriver through the French Quarter towards Canal Street and the Convention Center.
You can’t go wrong when you stay in a owner-occupied B&B in the Mid-City, Esplanade Ridge, or City Park neighborhoods. You’ll be close to all of the action yet enjoying a beautiful, relaxing and natural setting, all while being tended to by a knowledgeable and friendly innkeeper who can direct you to all of the best that New Orleans has to offer!