View the Vieux Carre

I am one of *those* New Orleans locals who doesn’t go to the French Quarter. When you manage to drag me across Canal, I always have an amazing time. The French Quarter has  a reputation for being a place for wildness, overly sugary drinks, and tourists. They offer so much more if you get off of Bourbon Street.


My tour guide for this day is the lovely Sarah, who owns Arrow Cafe on N. Rampart. Because it was a gorgeous day, in the middle of the week, she opted out of taking me to any bars being on this expedition. One of the allures of the Quarter is the ability to walk everywhere. So, we began our jaunt down St.Philip.


French Quarter Gem & Lapidary


Sarah told me. “you just look for their American flags flying, that’s how you know they are open.” Flags were flying as we rolled into, what I can only describe as, an intoxicating array of precious stones. The French Quarter Gem & Lapidary had every gemstone you could imagine. Amethyst, peridot, amber, and the most stunning agate, can all be be found in one little shop. I was very smitten by a large citrine ring. Hint, hint to my husband reading this.


When I asked Sarah why she chose the Lapidary as a place to visit, she said, “It’s one of the best kept secrets in the Quarter. And who doesn’t love a little juju protection with some rocks?”


Glitter Box

I left Glitter Box with a bag full of goodies. But, let’s get down the nitty gritty of why they are awesome. They are a shop that is run by, and for, women. Meaning they showcase all female made goods and art. 10% of all sales benefit a non-profit that seeks to benefit the education and empowerment of New Orleans women and beyond. (They switch non-profits monthly.) I stole that description from their website because I could not have put it more eloquently.


What can you buy in Glitter Box? This isn’t a shop filled with the other tourist crap you normally find in the French Quarter. You can purchase cards, candles, body scrubs, jewelry, etc. It’s an eccentric locale to pick up unique gifts for yourself. There is such a feel good vibe in there, especially with the lovely Alice on hand. She can, and will, tell you all the details about every item on display.


Cafe Envie

Envie was chosen by Sarah because “it’s the best people watching spot in the Quarter.” I can tell you, that was a pretty accurate statement. You can grab a coffee, tea, or even a cocktail and head to an outside table. From there, you can watch the pedicabs go by, tourists taking photos, & locals scurrying around. This is also a perfect “main vein” of the Quarter. You can basically get anywhere in the ‘hood from here quickly. While they serve alcohol, it was better than being in a typical watering hole – as we had many people stop by our table to say hello in a very short amount of time. There was a resounding sense of it being a space the locals frequent. Sarah wanted to make sure I noted that one must know where the clean bathrooms are in the French Quarter. As long as you purchase something, Envie allows you to use their surprisingly clean restrooms.


Wanna live in the Quarter? Click here! Here is more info about the French Quarter



New Orleans Historic Districts

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