Photo by Alvaro Leiva / agefotostock
Royal Street is to antiques and fine art what Bourbon Street is to booze. This elegant urban thoroughfare is not only home to some of the best examples of the city's early-19th-century Creole town houses, but is also loaded with high-end antiques retailers. These feature mostly ornate 18th- and 19th-century European sculptures and paintings, early furniture, chandeliers, and dinnerware used by the upper crust. Most of the inventory has a decidedly Continental air to it. Among the better-known shops are Waldhorn and Adler (343 Royal St.); Ida Manheim Antiques (409 Royal St.), run by the same family since 1919; and haute-upscale M.S. Rau (630 Royal St.), with its warren of hidden back rooms open only to serious customers.
By Wayne Curtis, AFAR Local Expert
There’s much to explore in the French Quarter, and Royal Street is host to a number of galleries, antique stores, and restaurants that embody New Orleans culture and style. It's worth wandering to admire the picturesque architecture with iron lace balconies and lush courtyards. If Windsor Court’s elegant style inspires you, there are plenty of antique stores with English and French treasures to explore like Waldhorn and Adler or Moss Antiques. Classic restaurant staples like Brennan’s, Antoine’s, and Court of Two Sisters also reside on Royal Street.
By Grace Montgomery, AFAR Contributor
Gallery hopping in the New Orleans French Quarter
Since the founding of the city, the French Quarter has been the hub. It’s a community that doesn’t belong to one culture or continent. Outside of the party vibe, people are drawn to the French Quarter for its Old World charm, French and Spanish architecture and the art. On the southern end of the neighborhood, the French Market, a two-hundred-plus-year-old market, includes stalls packed full of tourist gifts, local art and fresh produce. Vintage and flea market fans can visit David’s Found Objects, Greg’s Antiques, and Le Garage, all on Decatur Street steps from the French Market. The residents of the neighborhood are often outside on their balconies and stoops, ranging from high society types to dancers, artists, those that are more of the boho-socialite types. Window shop all the way up Royal Street. Meet the famous Blue Dog by George Rodrigue along the way and end at the Michalopoulos Gallery to view the latest exhibit and dreamy approach to the city's architecture of the prolific artist James Michalopoulos. Many gallery artists began their career as French Quarter street painters, be sure to make a stop through Jackson Square to see the works on display.
By Andi Eaton
Bourbon Street may be better known than Royal Street, but its neighbor one block over has just as long a history: Both were part of the original 1720 plan of the city. The street is lined with the typical French Quarter 18th- and 19th- century buildings with wrought iron balconies. Today, many house galleries and antique stores. On the street itself, however, the air is often filled with music. “There are many famous clubs and other venues where you can hear music performed in New Orleans,” says Ben about one of his favorite streets in the city, “but some of the best musicians in the world can be found in Jackson Square and up and down Royal Street. For just the price of tipping the band, you can have one of the most beautiful, musical experiences ever.” —Ben Jaffe
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