Just outside our welcoming inn is a convenient and popular mode of transportation: the St. Charles Streetcar Line. But this isn’t just any old streetcar line. It is a historic, record-setting wonder with gorgeous scenery, shopping, eating, and discovery! Let us tell you a little bit about our very own mode of transportation located just outside our front door.
The St. Charles Streetcar line was originally part of the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad. Back when New Orleans was much smaller, and Carrollton was it’s own town, this train began carrying passengers and goods between the two urban areas in 1835. However, trains have their drawbacks in the form of noise and pollution. As St. Charles Avenue began to grow with both population and business, and the two towns began to merge into part of today’s New Orleans, these drawbacks became major concerns… so much so that the railroad was converted into cars pulled by horses and mules.
But again, animals have their own set of drawbacks. Temperaments, speed, and (yes) pollution were still concerns. A team of 2-4 horses can only pull a streetcar so fast, and residents were very interested in a faster, more reliable mode of transportation. A number of different propulsion methods were tried out until an electric system was finally put into place in the late 1800s.
With innovation, convenience, and speed comes even more development. The streetcar provided reliable transportation for residents, so more people moved to areas surrounding St. Charles Avenue. And the ability to travel St. Charles Avenue quickly meant that residents could easily take the streetcar to a destination that may have been inconvenient before. Where there are people, there are businesses ready to meet their needs… and the development of the area surrounding this historic streetcar line followed the logical progression to today’s unique makeup of residences, restaurants, and businesses.
Spanning from Canal Street downtown to South Carrollton Avenue where it makes a right and continues up South Carrollton to Claiborne Avenue, the St. Charles Streetcar provides charming and relaxing transportation from the French Quarter, through charming neighborhoods… all the way to the Carrollton Historic District. Save for a short hiccup during Hurricane Katrina, this 13.2-mile line through “the Crescent” is the oldest continuously-running streetcar line in the world!
While riding, prepare to see:
- Plenty of Live Oaks
- Antebellum Homes and Mansions
- Loyola University
- Tulane University
- Robert E. Lee’s sculpture in Lee Circle
- The Audubon Zoological Gardens
Shopping opportunities abound at locations like:
- George Bass
- Express Center
- Oak Street Shops
- Rite Aid
- Fresh Market
… and other local boutiques and stores.
Eating opportunities are around every corner:
- Lebanon’s Cafe
- The Camellia Grill
- The Delchaise
- Emeril’s Delmonico
- Irish House
- Slice Pizza
- Voodoo Bar-B-Que
- New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company
- Rue De La Course
- Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar
… and dozens of cafes, taverns, and eateries in areas surrounding the streetcar line.
You can even stop in at the New Orleans Visitor’s Bureau at 2020 St. Charles Avenue to get even more ideas of things to do and see along St. Charles Avenue, and in other parts of the city!
Your stay at the Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast isn’t complete without a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar. Whether you’re heading for a particular destination, or just admiring our little corner of the city, the streetcar is a convenient, practical, and economical way to travel through the Crescent. Just $1.25 buys you a single-ride pass, or you can hop on and off as much as you’d like for an entire day for just $3.00 per day!
Please Note: A small part of the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line is under repair. While the inconvenience is a few blocks long, the closed portion is serviced by a shuttle – no transfer fees apply for this inconvenience. This renovation is scheduled to be complete by the start of May, 2014 when the streetcar will again be the sole mode of public transport through this corridor!