New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood is the city’s answer to Brooklyn – a little gritty, a little artsy and a whole lot of personality. Of course on a visit to the city there are the usual suspects – the beautiful Garden District or the famed French Quarter. But what happens when you’ve spent a few days here and want some place new to explore? Head to the Bywater.
The Bywater runs along the Mississippi River and is at a slightly higher elevation than other parts of town. Here, and in the neighboring Faubourg Marigny area, you can see colorful Creole cottages, public art splashed across buildings and in open fields, and discover delicious little cafes serving everything from vegan, vegetarian and homemade fare for those looking for it. Two of my personal favorites are Satsuma Cafe and Bacchanal Wine (with a fantastic courtyard to sip a little vino).
The Bywater is deeply rooted in the arts and creativity as it once was a neighborhood that held a stigma of being dangerous. But the Bywater has gone through a gentrification process throughout the recent years, which has left it filled with young artist, or shall we say “hipster” types, who weren’t afraid to make it home. The result is something very special.
I would suggest spending an afternoon here. You can walk from the French Quarter along the river into the Bywater, stop off at Crescent Park and continue up and down the quaint streets. End on Frenchman Street (the Bourbon Street for locals) and listen to the live music which spills out into the street almost nightly. I promise it will surely become one of your favorite areas of New Orleans.