Ministère de l'Éducation nationale et de la Jeunesse

  • Académie d'Orléans-Tours

21 Rue Saint Etienne 45000 Orléans -

La région académique Centre-Val-de-Loire comprend uniquement l’académie d’Orléans-Tours.

Accès aux sites : Académies et Directions des services départementaux de l'Éducation nationale

  • DSDEN du Cher (18)
  • DSDEN d'Eure-et-Loir (28)
  • DSDEN de l'Indre (36)
  • DSDEN d'Indre-et-Loire (37)
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Directions des services départementaux de l'Éducation nationale de l'académie d'Orléans-Tours

Cher [18] DSDEN du Cher Cité Condé, bâtiment F rue du 95e de ligne BP 608 18016 Bourges Cedex tél : 02 36 08 20 00 fax : 02 36 08 20 01 Contacter la DSDEN du Cher

Eure-et-Loir [28] DSDEN d'Eure-et-Loir Cité administrative Place de la République CS 70527 28019 Chartres cedex tél : 02 36 15 11 00 fax : 02 37 36 74 93 Contacter la DSDEN d ' Eure-et-Loir

Indre [36] DSDEN de l'Indre 110, rue Grande BP 507 36018 Châteauroux cedex tél : 02 54 60 57 00 Contacter la DSDEN de l'Indre

Indre-et-Loire [37] DSDEN d'Indre-et-Loire 267, rue Giraudeau CS 74212 37042 Tours cedex 1 tél : 02 47 60 77 60 fax : 02 47 60 77 79

Loir-et-Cher [41] DSDEN du Loir-et-Cher 1 avenue de la Butte 41043 Blois Cedex tél : 02 34 03 90 20 fax : 02 54 55 28 45 Contacter la DSDEN du Loir-et-Cher

Loiret [45] DSDEN du Loiret 19, rue Eugène Vignat 45043 Orléans Cedex 1 tél : 02 38 24 29 00 fax : 02 38 24 29 24 Contacter la DSDEN du Loiret

La région académique Centre-Val-de-Loire

La région académique Centre-Val-de-Loire comprend uniquement l’académie d’Orléans-Tours. La région académique découle de l’application du cadre régional fixé par la loi du 16 janvier 2015, avec la création de 17 régions. L’académie d’Orléans-Tours conserve son organisation et ses missions.

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Photo of Jamnola - New Orleans, LA, US. The Bead Room

Review Highlights

jamnola-new-orleans-2 photo TwE-lY6Y8_4ku4W_mL5cBg

“ They did practice social distancing and you had to wear a mask except not during pictures. ” in 7 reviews

Kaitlyn M.

“ They're following COVID guidelines so everyone wears masks and is temperature checked upon entry. ” in 7 reviews

Shelby H.

“ It is a very Instagram-able place, but it shows an insider view to Mardi Gras and other New Orleans traditions. ” in 9 reviews

Location & Hours

Suggest an edit


2832 Royal St

New Orleans, LA 70117

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About the Business

Embracing the personality and feel of the city's many cultural gems, JAMNOLA is a 5,400 sq ft experiential pop-up that engages audiences of all ages in a topsy-turvy journey celebrating the Art, Music & Culture of New Orleans. …

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Overall rating

152 reviews

Photo of L T.

I took a tour with Gina and she was absolutely great. She is herself a local artist and it was cool to get to hear her personal anecdotes, especially about what Mardi Gras is like as a local resident, since I wasn't there for Mardi Gras. Warmly recommend taking the tour with her!

Photo of Missy B.

Booked this experience on a whim and so glad we did! You need a reservation time and you have to book it online (if you walk in, you'll need to book your reservations on your phone right there in front of them). But, it's super quick and easy and is definitely worth the price. The tour starts guided for the first 3 rooms (and our guide was seriously so friendly and informative) then they release you to wander at your own pace through the rest of the rooms. Every room is themed and has some truly remarkable art. Every inch of this place is photogenic and, because they limit the number of tickets sold in each time block, you won't have to worry about a bunch of strangers in the background of all your pics. If you're looking for something memorable, quick, and representative of the New Orleans art scene, don't skip Jamnola!

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See all photos from Missy B. for Jamnola

Photo of Vicki R.

The advertisement for Jamnola happened to come on my IG feed on my recent trip to NOLA. I was intrigued so I purchased a ticket for a Sunday afternoon. The museum is self guided and interactive. They allow an hour for each appointment. This is a great place for content creators. However, it can be frustrating for people who visit that want to generally look and read about the art by scanning the QR codes. People spent a lot of time taking personal pictures. I found myself having to go around them. My group also ran into the group before us so it became quite crowded. In any event, I saw some great art and learned a bit more about New Orleans culture. The museum was $36 (total) for an adult. For that price, I would have preferred a guided tour with an allotted time for pictures. The current location is close to Studio Be, which is a great art gallery. I would combine the two if planning a visit.

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See all photos from Vicki R. for Jamnola

Photo of Sam S.

Getting here was a bit of a walk from the French Quarter, but I was really excited to see the immersive rooms and pieces from local artists. The first few rooms were a bit difficult to get photos in since they let a large group in at a time. Luckily, we were the first group to arrive, so when we went ahead a bit we were able to have many of the rooms more to ourselves for photos and also learning from the guides who had lots of knowledge both about the art pieces themselves but also on the culture of New Orleans. I really liked some of the interactive pieces, but I did wish the place were a bit bigger.

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If you want to learn about culture and history of New Orleans you would love Jamnola! It was a unique experience filled with incredible art sculptures, paintings and fun themed rooms! We had a tour guide for the majority of the tour and she explained the meanings of the art and history of each room. The pictures you get to take are extraordinary and will make your vacation photos worth it for the Gram or Facebook. Jamnola was a fun and unique experience. Check out my photos to see!

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See all photos from Andrea F. for Jamnola

Photo of Alexandria C.

What a fun family friend activity! We all had a great time, there was so much to see and experience. It's not too pricey and also walking distance to the tourist area. Definitely would recommend!

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See all photos from Alexandria C. for Jamnola

Photo of Tramaine B.

This is a particularly guided/self guided tour around several rooms of New Orleans. Not really my cup of tea but the staff was nice. Lots of options to take different pictures with props. There was a little new orleans history in a dew of the rooms Don't really have much to say. Just know its a fast process. Nothing that will make you break a sweat

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See all photos from Tramaine B. for Jamnola

Photo of Helene S.

Joy. Art. Music. JAMNOLA. When my daughter first proposed going here, actually I wasn't sure at first. Didn't want to go to another selfie spot. Didn't she want to go to the WWII Museum or The Aquarium instead? But.... JAMNOLA is so much more than that. Love the celebration of the joy, the art and the music that makes New Orleans so unique. A storyteller takes you on a journey. Art painted on a tabletop. Baby Dolls and Umbrellas. Go cups as portrait art. (Take one home and scan the QR code for local discounts--so clever.) Love how the theme of reuse, reduce, recycle permeates the local artistry. Chandeliers made from liter Mountain Dew bottles. Mardi Gras beads creating colorful patterns on the floors, the walls and the ceiling. Catch a reflection for more interesting photos. Records melted into a garden filled with vinyl flowers. Feel free to look, listen and feel. Hand sanitizers conveniently located throughout the warehouse rooms. Learn more about Mardi Gras and the Mardi Gras Indians with a film locally produced. Explore the parade routes or the bayous with a family friendly alligator who likes selfies. Become part of a crawfish boil. Or play the piano or sit on a lawn chair next to an oversized mud bug at a Louisiana picnic. Look down at the paper. It's the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Get dressed up with a Doberge cake or Blue Plate hat. "Makin' groceries" at Schwegmann's. Grocery cart included. Jammin' with some Hot Sauce. Explore the Garden of Legends. Irma Thomas. Louis Armstrong. Fats Domino. Professor Longhair. Make music in the sound room. So family friendly. Go as a tourist. Go as a local. Have fun exploring the joy, the art and the music of New Orleans. Laissez les bon temps rouler. Note: Make a reservation. Groups limited to 10 per time slot. Perfect for both social distancing and for getting pictures with just your group. Local and student discounts available. Local? Go on Thursdays for just $15.

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See all photos from Helene S. for Jamnola

Photo of Aaron K.

We came as a family of 6 and had a ball. Very well thought out rooms, appreciated the staff walking with us and providing some history, but also not overcrowding us. Plenty photos were taken and overall fun was had. Definitely would recommend for anybody who stops in to New Orleans.

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Absolutely beautiful. Jamnola exceeded my expectations 100%. Every single room had so much history and detail from the walls to the floors. Even the welcome area was amazing. I definitely recommend whether you're solo, with friends, or with a significant other. You will have a great time.

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New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Tucked away in the heart of New Orleans lies the historic Garden District , a picturesque neighborhood renowned for its antebellum architecture and rich cultural heritage. This guided walking tour invites visitors to enjoy the district’s charm, offering an intimate glimpse into the lives of its past and present inhabitants. From exploring the grand, Hollywood-featured homes to uncovering the secrets of the above-ground burial practices at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, this small-group experience promises to captivate and enlighten. With a knowledgeable local expert leading the way, guests can expect an engaging and personalized journey through one of the city’s most iconic districts, leaving them with a deeper appreciation for the unique history and vibrant spirit that define New Orleans.

Just The Basics

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Just The Basics

• Guided exploration of the historic New Orleans Garden District, providing insights into antebellum life and architecture. • In-depth look at the significance of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and New Orleans’ unique cemetery culture. • Insider tips and recommendations on local hangouts, food, music, and entertainment. • Small-group setting with a maximum of 15 travelers for a personalized and immersive experience. • Over 2,290 highly positive reviews, earning the tour a Badge of Excellence.

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  • Adults-Only New Orleans Ghost, Crime, Voodoo, and Vampire Tour
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Tour Details

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Tour Details

The New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 provides visitors with a guided exploration of the historic neighborhood, offering insights into antebellum life and architecture through the lens of a local expert.

With over 2,290 reviews and a Badge of Excellence , the tour takes guests on a journey through the charming streets, showcasing the iconic homes and sharing insider tips on local hangouts.

Participants can expect to learn about the area’s history, explore the renowned Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and receive recommendations for the best food, music , and attractions in the city.

Gratuities are included, and the tour operates with a maximum of 15 travelers, ensuring an intimate and personalized experience.

Meeting Point and End Point

Meeting for the New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour begins at 1400 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130 , USA, with the tour ending back at this same location.

Detailed instructions are provided to guide participants in finding the designated meeting point, and the tour operator ensures accessibility information is available for those who may need it.

Attendees will receive clear directions on how to locate the meeting area, making it easy to join the tour.

Once the guided experience concludes, the group will return to the starting point, providing a convenient end to the excursion.

The tour’s organization and attention to detail ensure a seamless experience for all participants.

What to Expect

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - What to Expect

Participants can expect to explore the historic New Orleans Garden District on a small-group walking tour, led by a knowledgeable local guide.

The tour provides an in-depth look at the district’s antebellum architecture and insider information on homes featured in Hollywood films.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about the significance of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and New Orleans’ unique cemetery culture.

Along the way, the guide will share insider tips on the best local hangouts , as well as recommendations for the city’s renowned food, music, and entertainment scene.

With a maximum of 15 travelers per tour, participants can expect a personalized and immersive experience in the heart of New Orleans.

Additional Information

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Additional Information

Confirmation and cancellation policies outline the terms for securing a spot on the tour and procedures for making any changes or cancellations.

Dress code and accessibility details inform visitors of appropriate attire and any special needs accommodations.

Tour operation may be affected by weather conditions, but the company aims to run the tour as scheduled unless safety becomes a concern.

Groups are kept small, with a maximum of 15 travelers per tour, ensuring a more personalized experience.

Pricing and booking information can be found on the tour company’s website or by contacting their customer service team.

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Reviews

Travelers overwhelmingly praise the New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour, with over 2,290 highly positive reviews earning it a Badge of Excellence .

Participants consistently highlight the knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides , who bring the area’s rich history and architectural styles to life.

Many share their delight in exploring the iconic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and discovering insider tips on local hangouts, food, music, and fun.

Reviewers also appreciate the small-group setting, which allows for a more personalized experience.

Highlights of the Tour

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Highlights of the Tour

The tour’s highlights include an in-depth exploration of the New Orleans Garden District’s architectural styles , from the region’s iconic antebellum mansions to homes featured in Hollywood films.

Guests gain insider knowledge from the local guide, who shares captivating stories about the area’s rich history and culture .

Key points of interest include Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, which offers a unique glimpse into New Orleans’ distinctive above-ground burial practices .

Travelers learn about the influences that have shaped the district’s development over time, from early Spanish and French settlers to the area’s more recent preservation efforts.

Throughout the tour, participants discover hidden gems and receive insider tips on the best local hangouts, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Knowledgeable and Entertaining Tour Guides

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Knowledgeable and Entertaining Tour Guides

Along With the captivating history and architecture showcased on the tour, many participants highlight the knowledgeable and entertaining nature of the tour guides as a key factor in their positive experiences.

These expert guides bring the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 to life through their:

  • Extensive knowledge of the area’s rich history and architectural styles
  • Engaging storytelling that provides fascinating insights into antebellum life
  • Friendly, personable demeanor that puts guests at ease and encourages questions
  • Insider tips and recommendations that enhance the overall tour experience

Reviewers consistently praise the tour guides’ ability to craft an informative and enjoyable outing, making the New Orleans Garden District tour a must for visitors seeking an immersive and memorable exploration of this historic neighborhood.

Insider Info on Hollywood Homes

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 - Insider Info on Hollywood Homes

Many reviewers highlight how the tour guides provide insider information about historic homes in the Garden District that have been featured in popular Hollywood films.

These knowledgeable guides share fascinating details about the architectural features and stories behind the antebellum mansions that have served as backdrops for major motion pictures over the decades.

For instance, they might point out the grand Greek Revival-style home used in the filming of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or the ornate Victorian-era mansion that appeared in Interview with the Vampire .

Guests are delighted to learn these insider tidbits and appreciate the guides’ ability to bring the history and architecture of the Garden District to life through their expert commentary on the area’s cinematic connections.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can i visit the cemetery on my own before or after the tour.

Yes, visitors can explore Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 on their own before or after the guided tour. The cemetery is usually closed to the public, but the tour provides exclusive access.

Do I Need to Bring Any Special Equipment for the Tour?

For most walking tours, visitors don’t need special equipment. Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and a camera are usually all that’s required. The tour guide will provide any necessary information or materials during the experience.

Is Photography Allowed Inside the Cemetery?

Visitors are generally allowed to take photos inside the cemetery, though some restrictions may apply. It’s best to check with the tour guide or cemetery staff for specific photography policies before taking pictures on the tour.

Will There Be Any Breaks or Stops Along the Way?

The tour typically includes a few stops or breaks along the way, allowing participants to rest, take photos, and ask the guide questions. The length and frequency of these breaks may vary depending on the group’s needs and the tour itinerary.

Can I Customize the Tour to Focus on Specific Areas or Interests?

Yes, many tour companies allow guests to customize tours to focus on their specific areas of interest. This can provide a more personalized experience tailored to the traveler’s preferences.

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Final Words

The New Orleans Garden District walking tour provides an immersive experience through one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods. Guests can expect an in-depth exploration of the area’s rich history, antebellum architecture , and unique burial practices, all led by knowledgeable local experts.

With over 2,290 positive reviews, this small-group tour promises an engaging and personalized journey that offers insider tips on the best local hangouts, restaurants, and entertainment.

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Chamber Music at Sainte-Pétronille

Chamber music at Sainte-Pétronille present: Elinor Frey, Mélisande McNabney et Antoine Malette-Chénier Show at 7:30 p.m., ticket prices: 50 $

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With nearly 7,000 permanent residents, the Island of Orleans is made up of 6 municipalities, each with its own characteristics but a common charm. Discover the history and attractions of each municipality.

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Go to meet nature, flavors, people and yourself. For a day, a weekend or a week, with or without a plan. Let intuition guide you to find what to do, as a couple or as a family. Île d’Orléans, very close to Old Quebec, is the perfect destination for that. Here are some suggestions based on your interests.

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Immerse yourself in Ile d'Orléans by following the walking tours during which residents of the island will share with you, through audio testimonies, their relationship with the insularity and the river.

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Home » Travel Guides » France » 15 Best Things to Do in Orléans (France)

15 Best Things to Do in Orléans (France)

In 1429 Joan of Arc liberated Orléans from a siege by the English, and the city has never forgotten this event. There are statues in her honour, whole wings in museums about the liberation and an annual festival in May to celebrate it with full ceremony and splendour.

Many tourists rushing to the Loire Valley’s châteaux bypass Orléans, but there’s much to uncover in the old centre, which is bursting with timber houses and renaissance mansions where royalty lived and died. Each monument bears witness to the city’s bloody but enthralling history. If it wasn’t the English it was the Huguenots wreaking havoc!

Lets explore the best things to do in Orleans :

1. Parc Floral de la Source

Parc Floral de la Source

Welcoming more visitors than any other attraction in the  department, the Parc Floral de la Source is a semi-wild park next to the university, where Orléans meets the countryside.

Indeed, you can see how the terrain changes here: The flat river plain and the source of the Loiret host the park’s beautiful flower gardens (dahlias, irises, roses and alpine flowers), kitchen garden, butterfly house and aviaries.

And then you can trundle off up the hill to step onto the Sologne Plateau where there’s deep oak and birch forest, and more animal enclosures with Breton sheep and alpacas.

2. Orléans Cathedral

Orléans Cathedral

Taking in the solemn cathedral on Place Sainte-Croix it can be difficult to picture the destruction that this massive landmark suffered in the past.

The Huguenots did a good job of razing it to the ground during the French Wars of Religion in the 16th century.

The building, where Joan of Arc had come for mass during the siege of Orléans in 1429, was almost completely rebuilt from the 1700s to 1829. During this time marvellous stained glass windows were installed, conveying the life of one of France’s national heroines.

3. Musée des Beaux-Arts

Musée des Beaux-Arts

If you’re the kind of person who likes to go slow and meditate over art a whole morning or afternoon may not be enough to see all of this capacious art museum.

There are many thousands of works, only 700 of which are permanently hanging, including France’s second-largest collection of pastels behind the Louvre.

If you’d prefer more of a condensed visit then seek out the paintings by Vélazquez, Corregio, van Dyck, Breughel the Elder and Younger, Delacroix, Courbet, Picasso and Gauguin.

Also make time for the rare prints by Albrecht Dürer and a sculpture by Rodin.

4. Place du Martroi

Place du Martroi

Apart from the “Ligne A” tramline that still crosses the square, Place du Martroi has been completely pedestrianised in the last few years.

What hits your gaze right away is the imposing statue of Joan of Arc on horseback, created in 1855 by Dennis Foyatier, atop a large marble pedestal with reliefs from the siege in 1429. On the east side is a fun fountain with jets coming straight through the paving, and there’s also a old-fashioned carousel for kids here in summer.

And if you’ve been on the tourist trail al day you could take a break at one of the cafe tables to take in the Belle Époque and neoclassical architecture with a café au lait.

5. Hôtel Groslot

Hôtel Groslot

Orléans’ former city hall started out as a mansion built in the mid-1500s for the city’s bailiff Jacques Groslot.

Over the next few decades it hosted some of the period’s most important people, not least the young king François II, who died in what is now the wedding hall in 1560. Other personalities to have stayed at Hôtel Groslot are Mary Queen of Scots, François’ young wife, Catherine de Medici, his mother, and the later kings Henri III and Henri IV. Go in for a free tour to learn about this royal connection, and savour period furniture, Aubisson tapestries and extra insights about Joan of Arc’s time in Orléans.

6. Historic Centre

Rue de Bourgogne

Orléans’ old town is unexpectedly large, and ranges far outside the pedestrianised zone in the middle.

Not all of the buildings are historic, but that only makes you value the beautiful half-timbered houses and renaissance palaces even more.

To get to grips with the size of the old quarter you could enter Orléans as Joan of Arc did in 1429, along Rue de Bourgogne, a convivial street of restaurants and bars running east to west, starting several hundred metres from the centre.

There are rustic colombages, many with their timber frames painted, side-by-side with 19th-century mansions.

Soon the street becomes car-free and you can scuttle off down the adjoining streets to make discoveries, Then there is rue de la Bretonnerie, which begins north of the cathedral and is almost overflowing with mansions from the 1400s to the 1900s.

7. Musée Historique et Archéologique

Hôtel Cabu

In the 15th-century Hôtel Cabu, one of Orléans’ many beautiful old mansions, there’s a small but interesting array of artefacts from around Loiret.

The Gallo-Roman Treasure of Neuvy-en-Sullias is possibly the most intriguing thing here.

It’s a cache of 30 2,000-year-old bronze statuettes recovered from a sand quarry in the 19th century.

They represent animals like boars, deer and horses, as well as mythological figures such as Hercules and Mars.

You can also see vestiges of the region’s medieval buildings carefully transferred here, like the romanesque capitals from the abbey of Benoît-sur-Loire, or, even earlier, ornate stucco from the oratory at Germigny-des-Prés, dating to the 800s.

8. Île Charlemagne

Île Charlemagne

There’s nature, sport and relaxation just a few moments from the centre of Orléans at a 70-hectare park and lake complex on a large river island in the Loire.

For respite from the heat in summer you can laze on the two beaches, and you’re free to go for swim in the massive 28-hectare lake to cool off.

You could also hire a canoe or kayak and test your skills on the canoe trail with overhanging gates, or let the little ones scramble over the massive adventure playground.

On dry land there are ping pong tables, mountain biking circuits, pétanque courts, and even a pony centre.

9. Collégiale Saint-Aignan

Collégiale Saint-Aignan

Forever in a state of half-completion, the fragmented Church of Saint-Aignan tells you more about  Orléans’ fraught history than a finished monument.

Being close to the Loire and in a suburb of the city, it was pulled down twice during the 100 Years’ War to prevent the English forces turning it into a bastion.

But that wasn’t the last of its troubles, as a century later the nave was wrecked by the Huguenots during the French Wars of Religion.

So only the choir and transept now remain.

But against all, the crypt, dating to the 1000s, has survived, and you can head down to see the barrel vault ceiling and sculpted capitals.

10. Loire à Vélo

Loire à Vélo

The Loire in this region of France is one long cycle trail and every measure has been taken to ensure that your ride is as hassle-free as possible . Orléans is near the eastern limit of the Loire Valley, and if you were so inclined you could ride all 314 kilometres to Saint-Nazaire on the coast, and never lack for stations to service your bike and cycle-friendly places to stay overnight (Accueil Vélo). These establishments even devise special breakfasts for riders.

On this easy-going stretch of the river you’re never more than a few minutes from a château or vineyard, and the river also weaves past orchards, forest and even the odd saffron farm.

11. Fêtes Johanniques d’Orléans

Fêtes Johanniques d'Orléans

In spring 1429, Joan of Arc arrived in Orléans and defeated the English, who had threatened to take the city for more than six months.

These 10 days, from the April 29 to May 8, have been celebrated by Orléans ever since.

Every year the city re-enacts Joan’s arrival in the city in full medieval livery, parading her through the streets, which is something that happened in  the last days of the siege to boost morale.

There are also pop and rock concerts for young people, and the city’s historical attractions put on special exhibitions to retrace the heroine’s steps through Orléans.

12. Maison des Étangs

Maison des Étangs

The Sologne plateau, which begins just south of Orléans differs greatly from the wine-growing regions to the east and west.

This is a land of marshes and ponds that for much of its history was only semi-habitable.

As you’d expect the people from the Sologne had their own ways of life and traditional customs.

The Maison des Étangs is an ecomuseum in old timber houses in the commune of Saint Viâtre, which alone has 135 individual ponds.

Step into the workshop to see how flat-bottomed boats were made for the local fishing industry and how hemp was cultivated for nets and lines.

A traditional fisher’s home has been decorated with period furniture, and you can also find about the freshwater fish and bird species supported by this unique environment.

13. Château de Chambord

Château de Chambord

At the turn of the 16th century a new kind of stately home for the nobility and royalty started popping up on the banks of the Loire.

Borrowing from the Italian renaissance these châteaux differed from the castles that had come before because they were built for luxury and aesthetics ahead of any defensive purpose.

The largest, and arguably most essential, of the Loire Valley’s plenitude of world-renowned châteaux is Chambord, constructed by François I as a hunting lodge, which makes it sound more modest than it is.

Because Château de Chambord is colossal, and instantly recognised by its forest of chimneys and cupolas on the roof.

There’s a day’s-worth of historical trivia, gardens and architecture, like the central double-helix staircase, to keep you engrossed and amazed.

14. Château de Chamerolles

Château de Chamerolles

Slightly closer than Chambord is a palace that looks a bit more like a medieval fortress, as it was built right at the start of the renaissance.

Château de Chamerolles was in ruins until just a few decades ago, but has been fully restored and is the home of an unusual museum.

The Promenade des Parfums is on the first and second floors and gives you insights about regional perfume production from the 1500s to the 1900s.

There’s a historic distillery, interactive exhibits that let you sample fragrances and big cache of perfume bottles throughout the ages.

The renaissance gardens are sublime, and if you haven’t seen a formal French garden before you’re sure to be impressed by the diligent symmetry of the vegetable plots in particular.

15. Local Delicacies

Martin Pouret

There’s an AOC around Orléans producing very drinkable and straightforward white chardonnays and reds with pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes.

In the earliest days, when the wine being shipped down the Loire went bad it was no big deal, as it could be salvaged as vinegar.

By the middle ages vinegar-makers even shared a guild with the city’s apothecaries, and master “vinaigriers” branched out into cornichons (pickles) and mustard-making.

Stop by at Martin Pouret, which is one such master vinaigrier, and pick up a gift or souvenir.

Other local specialities include quince jam, pear spirits, Chavignol goats’ cheese and honey from the Sologne.

15 Best Things to Do in Orléans (France):

  • Parc Floral de la Source
  • Orléans Cathedral
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts
  • Place du Martroi
  • Hôtel Groslot
  • Historic Centre
  • Musée Historique et Archéologique
  • Île Charlemagne
  • Collégiale Saint-Aignan
  • Loire à Vélo
  • Fêtes Johanniques d'Orléans
  • Maison des Étangs
  • Château de Chambord
  • Château de Chamerolles
  • Local Delicacies

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Read Your Way Through New Orleans

New Orleans is a thriving hub for festivals, music and Creole cuisine. Here, the novelist Maurice Carlos Ruffin shares books that capture its many cultural influences.

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This illustration shows the outdoor dining terrace at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. People sit at tables under a green striped awning reading and eating beignets.

By Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Read Your Way Around the World is a series exploring the globe through books.

New Orleans is a tourist destination frequented as much for its local dishes (gumbo, jambalaya, among others) as for the spectacle that is Mardi Gras — where you may run into drunk college students on spring break, but could also bump into the Grammy Award-winning artist Jon Batiste. By some counts, it’s one of the most festive cities in America, with a party or two happening almost every week.

Behind all the festivities, though, is a rich and dark history. The city is an eclectic mix of Caribbean, French, Spanish and Native American cultures, and, depending on which neighborhood you encounter, you may feel a sense of disorientation. Historically, enslaved people from other states were sometimes sent to New Orleans as punishment, but the city also served as a home base for many Haitians seeking a new life after their country gained independence in 1804.

The literature of New Orleans is an important supplement to your experience of the city. These books are both a compass to guide you through its many different influences and a celebration of the free spirit that has made the city a haven for itinerant artists, writers and travelers in search of a new perspective.

What should I read before I pack my bags?

“Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood ,” by Fatima Shaik, provides a fascinating look at the city from the slavery era through the Jazz Age. Using primary documents that her father rescued from a trash hauler’s pickup truck, Shaik builds a nonfiction narrative that’s both illuminating and compulsively readable.

“New Orleans Griot: The Tom Dent Reader ,” a collection of Dent’s writings edited by Kalamu ya Salaam, covers the life of an important literary figure. These pieces provide an insider’s view of the city’s legendary Mardi Gras Indians , as well as Mississippi’s Free Southern Theater during the Black Arts movement. In many ways, modern New Orleans writers are descendants of Dent and his cohort.

Also consider a Pulitzer Prize-winning cult classic: John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces.” It is somewhat of a riff on Don Quixote and captures the cockeyed whimsy that helps natives live in a city that is below sea level and perpetually threatened with destruction by the forces of nature.

What books or authors should I bring along with me?

“Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas ,” by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker, is a collection of essays that touches on almost every neighborhood in the city. Published in 2013, several years after the catastrophic damage caused during Hurricane Katrina and the government’s response , these snapshots will help orient the reader as they travel from place to place. One essay, for example, traces the connection between the city’s vibrant marching band culture and how those young members go on to become professional musicians.

Definitely read Sarah M. Broom’s memoir, “ The Yellow House ,” the 2019 winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction. This book deftly weaves the history of one family with the development of a neighborhood called New Orleans East, depicting life outside of the tourist districts where many working-class locals live. It’s about the dreams we have and the way those dreams do and don’t come true.

If I have no time for day trips, what books could take me farther afield instead?

Do a double header of Ernest J. Gaines classics, “Bloodline” and “A Lesson Before Dying.” Both books focus on the rural Black community in Pointe Coupée Parish, La., where he was raised. His ability to compellingly render that community, which was otherwise ignored by history, is one of the many reasons he earned fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other accolades.

Before Hurricane Katrina, there was another natural disaster that redefined New Orleans: the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 . John M. Barry’s “Rising Tide” examines, in enthralling prose, the flood’s consequences for the people who lived in the rural parts of Louisiana that lacked levee protection. The book is a tale of government mismanagement and neglect that foreshadowed the arrival of Katrina many decades later.

What books can take me behind closed doors?

Jarvis DeBerry was an opinion columnist for The Times-Picayune and for 21 years. His excellent collection of essays, “I Feel to Believe: Collected Columns , ” covers virtually every topic that was important to the life of the city between 1998 and 2019. Fearless in DeBerry’s explorations of race, policing, education, politics and the quirkiness of New Orleans, this book is a must read.

“1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina,” by Chris Rose, is often called the definitive book about life in the city at the time of Katrina. With gallows humor and a keen eye, Rose gives the ultimate local’s perspective. For many residents who lost loved ones or property and felt abandoned by the government, this book offered catharsis.

Also, Mona Lisa Saloy has a wonderful book of poetry called “Black Creole Chronicles” that captures so much of the linguistic cadence and rhythm of locals who are heavily influenced by both African American and Francophile culture. She preserves the voices of 20th century New Orleans like no one else.

What writer is everyone in town talking about?

Karisma Price’s debut poetry collection, “ I’m Always So Serious ,” has set New Orleans buzzing with the deftness of her vision and her attention to the kind of details that show the city in a fresh way. Also, Jami Attenberg, who moved to the city about a decade ago, has become a central and supportive figure in the local literary community. She has not one but two books out this year: “ 1,000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round” and the forthcoming “A Reason to See You Again.” The first is a craft book centered around Attenberg’s popular writing program ; the latter, a novel, follows a troubled mother and her two daughters over four decades.

What literary landmarks and bookstores should I visit?

Baldwin & Co. a short walk from Jackson Square — the centerpiece of New Orleans for centuries — has become a community hub in its three years. Classic bookstores with local owners like Community Book Center and Octavia Books , which just finished an extensive renovation, are great places to learn about the city’s literary history. Also, some of New Orleans’s streetcar lines are still operational and worth a ride — especially for fans of the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” While the Desire line no longer exists, the other lines offer great views of the city at a leisurely pace.

What else should I consider?

New Orleans has beautiful parks and public venues. Go for a walk in Crescent Park, which has gorgeous views of the downtown skyline and places to sit and read. Audubon Riverview Park, known to locals as “The Fly,” and Audubon Park proper are great places to lay out a blanket with one’s book of choice.

A trip to New Orleans must also include beignets at Cafe Du Monde . For a classic New Orleans lunch, stop by Neyow’s , Parkway Bakery or Commander’s Palace and O’Delice or Sucré for dessert. Walk through the French Quarter, take a ride on the St. Charles streetcar line and visit the New Orleans Museum of Art . When you’re ready for dinner, consider Dooky Chase , Morrow’s or Herbsaint before nightcapping at the Maple Leaf Bar or Blue Nile while listening to live music. And remember: Tip the performers — it’s good etiquette.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s New Orleans Reading List

“Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood,” Fatima Shaik

“New Orleans Griot: The Tom Dent Reader,” Tom Dent, edited by Kalamu ya Salaam

“A Confederacy of Dunces,” John Kennedy Toole

“Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas ,” Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker

“The Yellow House,” Sarah M. Broom

“Bloodline” and “A Lesson Before Dying,” Ernest J. Gaines

“Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America,” John M. Barry

“ I Feel to Believe: Collected Columns,” Jarvis DeBerry

“1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina,” Chris Rose

“Black Creole Chronicles,” Mona Lisa Saloy

“I’m Always So Serious,” Karisma Price

“1,000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round” and “A Reason to See You Again,” Jami Attenberg

“A Streetcar Named Desire,” Tennessee Williams

Maurice Carlos Ruffin, who grew up in New Orleans, is the author of “ The American Daughters ” and “ The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You .”

An earlier version of this article misstated where the bookstore Baldwin & Co. is located. The bookstore is not in Jackson Square, but a short walk from Jackson Square.

An earlier version of this article provided an incorrect title for Chris Rose’s book about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The book is titled “1 Dead in Attic,” not “1 Dead in the Attic.”

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Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

New Orleans is a thriving hub for festivals, music and Creole cuisine. The novelist Maurice Carlos Ruffin shared books that capture the city’s many cultural influences .

Joseph O’Neill’s fiction incorporates his real-world interests in ways that can surprise even him. His latest novel, “Godwin,” is about an adrift hero searching for a soccer superstar .

Keila Shaheen’s self-published best seller book, “The Shadow Work Journal,” shows how radically book sales and marketing have been changed by TikTok .

John S. Jacobs was a fugitive, an abolitionist — and the brother of the canonical author Harriet Jacobs. Now, his own fierce autobiography has re-emerged .

Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .

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  • The Best Spots to Visit on a Tour of Île d'Orléans

Équipe édito

Soak up the beauty of the island countryside and fill your picnic basket with treats on a leisurely trip to Île d’Orléans. With its ancestral homes dating back to the 17 th  century, the island is a treasure trove of French heritage right here in North America. 

The island is a boundless source of inspiration for local artists of every stripe who find all kinds of ways to share their creations, while local makers work with an abundance of terroir goods. The village shops and roadside stands are at their liveliest from mid-June to mid-October, while the scenery offers something new with each passing season. 

To make the most of your visit, head out on Chemin Royal in a counterclockwise loop. It will take you through 6 charming villages, almost all of which are ranked as some of the prettiest in the province of Québec. Here are a few suggested stops, but the most important thing is to leave room for spontaneity. See something that sparks your curiosity? Go check it out! 

Vignoble Sainte-Pétronille

Start With Wine Tastings

Begin the tour of the island with tastings of two exceptional vineyards that allows you to enjoy a view of Montmorency Falls.

In summer, accompany your organic wine tasting with a wood-fired pizza at Vignoble Sainte-Pétronille or order a signature platter created by renowned chef Laurent Godbout at Saint-Pierre Le Vignoble .

Chocolaterie de l'Île d'Orléans

Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans

Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans has everything to recommend it, starting with the ice cream and chocolate. From there, you can take a stroll down Rue Horatio-Walker for a superb view of Québec City and admire the mansions on the tip of the island. 

Ferme Jean-Pierre Plante - Judith and Jean-Julien

Pick Your Own Strawberries on Île d'Orléans

Stop by the only organic strawberry farm on the island to pick your own from late June to mid-July. A number of farms have a pick-your-own option for strawberries and other berries (including raspberries, blueberries, and black currants), and sell their seasonal harvests at roadside stands. 

Get Our 50 Top Picks to Eat Local

Our guide to great places to eat and drink local is a must-have to experience the flavours of Québec’s products and specialties.

Parc maritime de Saint-Laurent - Chalouperie

Parc maritime de Saint-Laurent

In the 1830s, the parish of Saint-Laurent was home to some twenty rowboat builders and a few family shipyards. A visit to the maritime park is a trip back in time to the era of wooden boatbuilding, with an authentic 19th-century chalouperie where rowboats were built.

We loved renting a scooter and exploring Ile d'Orleans, trying out freshly baked croissants and indulging in blackcurrant wines! -Claudia Nieroda et Kaan Blofield, The Lost Two, Toronto

Interior - Tigidou shop

Confiturerie Tigidou

Made exclusively with berries grown on Île d’Orléans, the jams at Confiturerie Tigidou are a taste sensation. Plus, the 1920s-inspired interior is highly Instagrammable.

La maison de thé de l'île d'Orléans

Tea House of Île d'Orléans

The Tea House of Île d'Orléans welcomes visitors to relax in its distinctive setting. They cultivate most of their own herbal teas and offer light menus made with seasonal produce from their eco-friendly micro-farm.

Manoir Mauvide-Genest

Manoir Mauvide-Genest

Built in 1734 in the time of New France, this gorgeous country manor is one of the last seigneurial homes still standing in Québec. Take the guided tour to learn about Jean Mauvide and Marie-Anne Genest and their sumptuous home, which is full of artefacts from life in the 18 th century. 

Maisons du village Saint-Jean-de-l'île-d'Orléans


With its red-roofed church and rows of mid-19 th century neoclassical homes, this charming village is a must-visit. Take a walk along the beach and pop in to try Du Capitaine’s craft vinegars  and products.

Seigneurie de l'île d'Orléans

La Seigneurie de l'Île d'Orléans

The five gardens and sprawling lavender fields at Seigneurie de l’Île are one of the island’s best-kept secrets. The grounds are open to visitors from June to October, as is the shop, where you’ll find a vast selection of products made with lavender essential oil. 

Observatoire de Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans


Saint-François encompasses the eastern tip of the island. From the top of the observation tower at the municipal rest stop, you can see the archipelago islands, Cap Tourmente, and the St. Lawrence River Estuary. Fun fact: the estuary is where the St. Lawrence’s fresh and salt waters mix, so there are all kinds of fish living in it. 

A stop in Saint-François is not complete without having tasted the ice cream made with goat's milk from Fromagerie Ferme Audet as well as the potato-based products —including the delicious donuts— from Saveurs de l'Isle d'Orleans .

Les Fromages de l'isle d'Orléans - Cheese board

Les Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans

Travel back in time to the 17 th century and taste the very first cheese made in America at Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans . The shopkeepers are dressed in period clothing and serve up their fabulous fromages. There’s a faisselle-style unripened cheese, a roasting cheese called the Paillasson de l’Isle, and plenty of other local goodies.

Maison Drouin - Interpretation Centre

Maison Drouin

La Maison Drouin is one of the first homes built on Île d’Orléans in the 17 th  century and is the only authentic historic home that’s open to the public. It’s been converted into an interpretation centre where you can learn all about the history of Île d’Orléans and its rich heritage. 

Not far from there, Maison de nos Aïeux houses genealogical records on the 300 founding families from France that landed on Île d’Orléans before spreading out across America. Both attractions are located in the oldest parish on the island, which boasts a superb view of Côte-de-Beaupré and Mont Sainte-Anne. 

Le Mitan Craft Brewery

Microbrasserie de l'Île d'Orléans - Pub Le Mitan

The patio at the island’s only microbrewery is perfect for taking a break. Sample their fine craft beers named after some of the island’s historic figures. 

Le Relais des Pins, Restaurant - Cabane à sucre - Shop

Relais des Pins Sugar Shack

Île d’Orléans is a choice destination for a sugar shack experience . Most sugar shacks are only open for meals in the spring, although some accept group bookings all year round. You can pick up maple syrup treats year-round at Relais des Pins . They even serve maple taffy on snow in the summer!

Two little girls pick apples in an orchard on Ile d'Orléans.

Pick Your Own Apples

After the abundance of berries in the summer, the island’s apples are ripe for the picking in September and October. Many orchards turn into family fun zones, with entertainment, inflatables, and tractor rides. Cidrerie Verger Bilodeau has cider tastings and apple products galore, including Madame Bilodeau’s famous apple pies! 

Vignoble de l'Isle de Bacchus - Entrance

Vignoble Isle de Bacchus

Seeing the abundance of wild grapes growing on Île d’Orléans, Jacques Cartier dubbed it the “Isle of Bacchus” when he landed here in 1535. Centuries later, Isle de Bacchus embodies that same pioneering spirit, blazing a trail for vineyards in the province. The main building is a converted 18th century home with a fabulous wine cellar and bistro. Pull up a chair on the patio for a taste of the terroir. 

Cassis Monna & filles - Cheers!

Cassis Monna & Filles

Visit this famous black currant grower and take a tour of their mini museum. There are tons of black currant products to try, including their award-winning black currant liqueur and their ice cream, sold only in the summer. 

Espace Félix-Leclerc - Exterior

Espace Félix-Leclerc

This interpretation centre dedicated to the life and work of Félix Leclerc is also a show venue for singer-songwriters from Québec and France. Take a quiet moment to walk along the path scattered with poems by Leclerc, a man who loved his island. 

Guided Tours of Île d’Orléans

If you prefer to follow an experienced tour guide around the island, there are a number of options. 


  • With a private guide : Take a tour of Île d'Orléans as part of a personalized guided tour with Québec Discovery Tours .
  • On a bus : Take a Québec Bus Tour from Old Québec to follow the Île d’Orléans flavour trail.  
  • Aboard an inflatable boat : If you feel the call of adventure on the open river but aren’t that keen on paddling, choose a cruise aboard a Zodiac-type inflatable boat with  Croisières Orléans . It’s a great way to experience the St. Lawrence River and its coves, tides, and currents. It is also possible to explore the island with a departure from Québec City with Excursions Maritimes Québec . 

More Spots to Discover on Île d'Orléans

  • Accommodation
  • Activities and Attractions
  • Places to shop
  • Restaurants

Le Domaine Orléans enr. - Cider degustation

Le Domaine Orléans enr.

Des Clochers Cycling Route - footbridge overlooking the river

Des Clochers Cycling Route

Croisières Orléans - zodiac and Île-d'Orléans bridge

Croisières Orléans

Vignoble Domaine Sainte-Famille - Bunches of grapes

Vignoble Domaine Sainte-Famille

Ferme Guillaume Létourneau - fruits and vegetables

Ferme Guillaume Létourneau

Chocolaterie de l'Île d'Orléans (Sainte-Pétronille) - cone dipped in chocolate

Chocolaterie de l'Île d'Orléans (Sainte-Pétronille)

Vignoble du Mitan - Tasting room

Vignoble du Mitan

Saint-Pierre Le Vignoble - Shop

Saint-Pierre Le Vignoble

Du Capitaine Ferme & Vinaigrerie - range of vinegars

Vinaigrerie - Distillerie - Ferme Du Capitaine


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