Beginning of main content

Jackson Square

This communal park in the French Quarter has a deep-rooted connection to local artists and musicians.

Jackson Square is a historic city park surrounded by original 18th-century buildings. It's still a popular gathering place for local artists and musicians. This city block-sized square was designed by Frenchman Louis Pilié and modeled on Paris’ popular outdoor common areas. Originally called Place d'Armes, it was converted into an open-air mall in 1971 with local vendors selling food, art and crafts. 

Walk around Jackson Square today and you won’t find much evidence of its colorful past. Long gone are the gallows that once dispatched defiant slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now you can visit shops and museums in the 19th-century Pontalba Apartments, which line two sides of the square. On the northwest of the square enjoy the peaceful interior of St. Louis Cathedral. It’s the oldest continuously working cathedral in the United States. Take in some Louisiana history at the Cabildo and Presbytère, which are part of the Louisiana State Museum and located on either side of the cathedral.

The Jackson Square of today is famous for its collection of resident artists, whose works adorn the pavements and wrought iron fences. Have your portrait painted or buy a caricature from one of the 200 artists allocated a spot in the square each year.

Relax and watch passers-by at nearby Café du Monde, which dates from the 1860s. This historic café is just across the road on Decatur Street and is famous for its café au lait and its sweet pastries, known as beignets.

Throughout the year, Jackson Square is host to a variety of festivals and exhibitions. Enjoy jazz bands and pick up some local food and gifts in the marketplace during the French Quarter Festival held every April. In the few days before Christmas be entertained by carolers who fill the square. This event began in 1946 and attracts thousands of visitors every year, reinforcing Jackson Square’s history for social gathering.

Jackson Square is a bustling part of the French Quarter, and parking can be hard to come by. The square is along several city bus lines.

Popular Activities at Jackson Square

You won't believe how much there is to do at Jackson Square. Here are some ideas to get you going:

Peruse our New Orleans things to do page to learn about many more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Jackson Square


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 895,000 properties worldwide and 550 airlines worldwide.

Search over a million flights, hotels, packages, and more

No Expedia cancellation fee to change or cancel almost any hotel reservation.

Map

Lodging Near Jackson Square

See all 1,463 Properties near Jackson Square
Maison Dupuy Hotel $109
Maison Dupuy Hotel

Maison Dupuy Hotel

1001 Toulouse St, New Orleans
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 3,978 reviews
    3.5 out of 5.0

    This French Quarter hotel is located on a quiet residential street just 2 blocks from Bourbon Street and within walking distance to Jackson Square, the French Market, and many famous New Orleans attractions.

    Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter $95
    Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter

    Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter

    124 Royal St, New Orleans
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 3,539 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This hotel is in New Orleans in the French Quarter, a block from Bourbon Street and half-block to the business district. The hotel is in close proximity to the National World War II museum, Convention Center, and cruise ship terminals.

      Le Pavillon Hotel $129
      Le Pavillon Hotel

      Le Pavillon Hotel

      833 Poydras St, New Orleans
         
        4.4
        of 5, from 7,340 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        This historic Beaux Arts hotel in the heart of downtown New Orleans is .6 mi away from both the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and 1.1 miles from the French Quarter.

        Bourbon Orleans Hotel $139
        Bourbon Orleans Hotel

        Bourbon Orleans Hotel

        717 Orleans St., New Orleans
           
          4.5
          of 5, from 4,303 reviews
          3.5 out of 5.0

          Near the center of the vibrant French Quarter in New Orleans, this hotel is 1 block from Jackson Square, 4 blocks from historic Café Du Monde, and 4 blocks from the Mississippi River.

          Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans $159
          Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

          Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

          214 Royal Street, New Orleans
             
            4.5
            of 5, from 2,413 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            This historic hotel opened in 1886 and is 1 block from Bourbon Street, 4 blocks from Jackson Square and Harrah's Casino, and within walking distance of the famous restaurants and jazz clubs in the French Quarter.

            Royal Sonesta New Orleans $169
            Royal Sonesta New Orleans

            Royal Sonesta New Orleans

            300 Bourbon St, New Orleans
               
              4.4
              of 5, from 4,162 reviews
              4.5 out of 5.0

              This French Quarter hotel is directly on lively Bourbon Street, just 6 blocks from Jackson Square and 2 blocks from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line.

              Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans $90
              Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans

              Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans

              739 Canal Street, New Orleans
                 
                3.9
                of 5, from 5,354 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                This elegant 14-story, New Orleans hotel is on the corner of lively Bourbon St and shopping-oriented Canal St adjacent to the French Quarter; Jackson Square is 4 blocks from this hotel.

                Marriott - New Orleans $103
                Marriott - New Orleans

                Marriott - New Orleans

                555 Canal St, New Orleans
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 2,241 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Dominating its corner of the French Quarter, this twin-tower hotel looms over Bourbon St, 2 blocks from Aquarium of the Americas, and 4 blocks from the boutiques and restaurants of Riverwalk Marketplace.