Hop aboard the New Orleans St Charles Streetcar, it is a fun and inexpensive way to get out of the French Quarter and see New Orleans. The St Charles Street car starts its run just outside the French Quarter on Canal Street; leaving its short run along Canal Street it turns and travels down St Charles Avenue and passes through Lee Circle, where you will want to get off to visit the World War II Museum and the Civil War Museum. As it passes through Lee Circle the street car leaves Downtown New Orleans and enters Uptown New Orleans. Down the track some it passes through the Garden District past historical mansions, Tulane and Loyola Universities, Audubon Park (which includes the Audubon Zoo), next the St Charles street car passes through Riverbend as it turns onto Carrollton Ave and eventually winding up at Palmer Park. The St Charles Street car 13-mile, 90-minute roundtrip journey could very well be the best New Orleans tour you take while in the Crescent City. Along the route, especially in Riverbend, you will pass dozens of restaurants which include a broad selection of New Orleans cuisine. So be sure to allocate enough time to stop for a meal along the route. The street cars only accept cash, tokens, or passes. For information on purchasing tokens or passes go to the New Orleans RTA website. To avoid paying each time you board I recommend you purchase a one day Jazzy Pass.
Places of interest along the St Charles Streetcar Route
Lee Circle * St Charles Streetcar
Your St Charles streetcar trip will take you through New Orleans’ Lee Circle both heading towards Uptown and returning to the Downtown area. Lee Circle is a traffic circle with a monument to Confederate General, Robert E. Lee, in the center. It sits on the intersection of St. Charles Avenue, Howard Avenue, and Andrew Higgins St. It is said by locals that Lee's statue faces due north, because you never turn your back on a Yankee. Lee Circle is the boundary between Uptown and Downtown New Orleans. At Lee circle, riders are just a few blocks from the World War II Museum, the Confederate Museum, and the Arts District. This will be the stop to get off if you plan to visit the museums.
Tell-tales signs of Mardi Gras past along the St Charles Streetcar route
Once your streetcar takes you past Lee Circle and the Oak trees begin to line the St Charles streetcar route keep your eye out for the many tell-tale signs of Mardi Gras past. Which will show themselves as Mardi Gras beads hanging along the power lines and from the branches of the mighty oaks.
Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion * 3029 St Charles Avenue
Built in 1869 for Capt. Watson Van Benthuysen, II, CSA. Born in New York in the early 1830’s, Watson moved to New Orleans in the 1840’s. When the Civil War started, Watson became an officer in the Confederate Army. After the war, he became a prominent New Orleans businessman and the President of a St Charles streetcar company. Van Benthuysen died in his home in 1901. In 1952, John Elms Sr., owner of the largest coin operated amusement company in the South, purchased the home. Shortly after Mr. Elms’ death in 1968, the family started using the house for private functions and is today operated by the 3rd generation of the Elms family. Designed by architect Lewis E. Reynolds and built on St. Charles Avenue, The Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion is an elegant menagerie of European styles. It reigns with splendor, Southern charm and tradition in the heart of the Garden District. The Garden District is known for its beautiful mansions, historic landmarks and the St Charles streetcar route.
Brown Mansion * 4717 St Charles Avenue
As you chug along the St Charles streetcar route watch for the Brown Mansion at 4717 St Charles Avenue, it is definitely the grandest home on St Charles Avenue. The home was built in 1904 by W.P. Brown, al local cotton mogul. It was built with the finest of materials. Exquisite blue sandstone exterior, tile roof, ornate plaster details throughout, terraced patio with fabulous heated pool, hot tub, and a built-in 3 car garage. The house, which is the largest on St Charles Avenue has an estimated value of $6.2 million; has 14,000 sq. ft. consisting of 9 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. It is a classic example of Romanesque Revival.
Loyola University * 6363 St Charles Avenue
Loyola University New Orleans is a private, co-educational and Jesuit University located along the St Charles Streetcar route. The Jesuits were among the earliest settlers of New Orleans and Louisiana. Loyola University New Orleans was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1904 as Loyola College on a section of the Foucher Plantation bought by the Jesuits in 1886. Originally established as Loyola College, the institution was chartered as a university in 1912. It bears the name of the Jesuit patron, Saint Ignatius of Loyola. With a current enrollment of approximately 5000 students, Loyola is among the larger Jesuit universities in the southern United States.
Riverbend Area * St Charles Streetcar
The St Charles Streetcar will take you right through the Riverbend area. This area, where St Charles Avenue meets Carrollton Avenue is a residential neighborhood with a wide variety of places to eat, drink, and offers some shops. If you get off the streetcar in Riverbend you will find ice cream, pizza, Cajun and Creole, Chinese, Daiquiris, seafood, steaks, and of course Camellia Grill, one of those things on the "must do" list for visitors to New Orleans. Many times during the day and evening you can listen to live music served up by one of the local bars. I recommend making the Riverbend area one of your stops on the St Charles Streetcar route.
Palmer Park * End of the St Charles Streetcar Route
Palmer Park is the end of the line for the St Charles street car. But don’t worry just stay on board for the return trip. Once the streetcar reaches this point the wooden back of the benches are reversed, the conductor moves from the now rear of the streetcar to the front and the St Charles Streetcar begins its return trip to the city. It follows the same route back so this gives you get a chance to see the sights and attractions on the other side of the tracks. Read below to find out about the Palmer Park Art Market.
Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro * 2001 St Charles Avenue
Cheesecake Bistro will be on the right hand side when you are on the St Charles Streetcar heading away from downtown. Cheesecake Bistro is located at 2001 St Charles Avenue.
Louisiana Pizza Kitchen * RiverbendFor nearly 2 decades, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen Uptown has been known for serving delicious wood-fired gourmet pizzas. However, they also serve many tasty pasta dishes, savory salads, and delicious wraps. Their quality food, reasonable prices and friendly service make them a popular restaurant in the Riverbend area with the locals, college students and tourist. For a great lunch or dinner in New Orleans, I recommend that you hop aboard the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar and ride to the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. They are located at 615 S. Carrollton Avenue.
Mexican * Thia * Middle Eastern * Spanish
Hop off the St Charles Streetcar at the corner of S. Carrollton and Jeannette St and you have four dining experiences to choose from. On one corner you have Panchitas Mexican Restaurant and Basil Leaf a Thia & Sushi Bar and on the other corner you have Lebanon’s a Middle Eastern Restaurant and Café Granada a Spanish Tapa Bar and Restaurant. All four are located just blocks from the Riverbend area and have great reviews.
Events along the St Charles Streetcar Route
Visit the Palmer Park Art Market * LAST Saturday of the month
If you are visiting the Crescent City on the LAST Saturday of the month then hop aboard a St Charles Street car and head to the Palmer Park Art Market. You will find it at Palmer Park which is the last stop on the St Charles Street car route. The Arts Market is presented by the Arts Council of New Orleans, is held the LAST Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Arts Market features handmade, affordable art and crafts from local and regional artists and artisans. Styles of art include Painting, Photography, Ceramics, Glass, Jewelry, Wood, and Printmaking, plus handmade clothing, soap, candles, and other delights. Between 50 and 100 artists display and sell their wares each month. The Arts Market also features live entertainment, food and beverage booths, and a children's activities area. Be sure to check the Arts Market website for exact time and dates.