Length 5 km (3.1 miles), terrain: flat, you're below sea level, after all!
If you've stayed in the French Quarter in New Orleans, you know how loud and raucous it is in the evenings around Bourbon Street. But, luckily, if you just get a block or two away -- or run in the mornings -- you'll get a whole new impression of the French Quarter. Suddenly, it's quieter, scenic and it offers a few untouched corners to discover.
|Life is colorful in the French Quarter|
This route will take you from the town's main plaza, Jackson Square, south along the riverfront, then cut through the downtown to cross the French Quarter and return to Jackson Square.
So, if you're ready to head out and discover a bit more of these fascinating neighborhoods, get yourself to the statue of Andrew Jackson on his rearing horse in the middle of Jackson Square.
Stand there at the statue of Andy Jackson doffing his hat, the first one worldwide that supported a horse standing on only 2 legs (I wonder what they do with it during hurricanes?). The pointy towers of St. Louis cathedral rise up behind the square to the northwest.
Turn your back on Andy and run through the square to the Mississipppi River, just a bit south of the square. Run up the steps taking you over the dike, where the old cannons stand guard, then back down to the riverfront promenade, past the train tracks.
|The promenade along the Mississippi: we'll run to those last high-rises on the left!|
Turn right onto the promenade and head southwards past the Nachez riverboat dock. The ship is real steamboat, and it often puts on a good show of letting off steam, with a calliope player on the roof giving short displays of his strange art.
|The Nachez setting off|
You're now in a big, paved square with a fountain, Spanish Plaza. Keep running south here.
Run west on Poydras. But this spot is pretty busy, so take the first real left turn onto Convention Center Road to run one more block southwards.
|Lafayette Street: pretty quiet here|
NOTE: Try heading out south on the St. Charles tram line through the Garden District and Audobon Park to see a beautifully green side of town.
Along this part of St. Charles, it looks a bit like Manhattan, with the traffic to match.
|St. Charles Street|
|Royal Street musicians at the courthouse|
|Another Royal Street scene|
When you reach the tree-lined cross-street called Esplanade Avenue, you've reached the north end of the French Quarter. Turn right and run southeast for a block to Chartres Street. Turn right on Chartres to run down still another scenic French Quarter street straight back to the cathedral and Jackson Square.
|St. Louis cathedral|