Algiers Point is a quaint, leafy suburb of New Orleans. We used it as a base to explore the Cajun wonderland.
As budget conscious, but seasoned travelers, we have been supportive of the rise of Air BNB. It gives you the opportunity to step outside the tourist traps and experience at least a basic immersion into local cultures. Early indecision in our booking plans meant we missed our dream spot – a bohemian apartment on the outskirt of the French Quarter. Luckily second best proved to be a quality option.
A quiet getaway that makes the Big Easy easier
Our accommodation, located in Algiers Point, is a beautifully renovated room in a family home nestled beneath century old oaks. Polished wood floors, high ceilings and incredibly comfy down bedding guarantees a restful sleep and the ambience is cozy and warm – which is extremely helpful given the freezing 2C minimums New Orleans is currently experiencing due to the Polar Vortex.
Algiers Point sits low on the banks of the Mississippi, protected by a broad levee, which isn’t as high as you would hope. Behind it is a small suburban enclave that feels like an older Australian suburb. It could be the old red brick churches, the wide streets, the weatherboard houses from the early twentieth century or the banana palms. Corner convenience stores feel more like something from home than New York’s bodegas and delis. At the same time, the architecture is different and quintessentially Deep South.
The wide streets and quaint cottages show the strain of time and possibly the effects of 2001’s Hurricane Katrina. The pavement rises, falls and twists. The roads have heavy potholes. Ignoring these issues, the area is middle class and most residents are house proud – and team proud, flying the flag of the local gridiron team from prominent parts of their homes.
A large dirt and concrete levee protects the area
The heart of New Orleans is only a short ferry ride away
Algiers Point is connected to the CBD by twin bridges, which tower above the river and by a ferry servicing the city to suburb for a $2 fare (payable only by using two one dollar bills). The Algiers Point terminal sits atop the levee, beside a Jazz Walk of Fame, protected by a bronze statue of the city’s jazz hero, Louis Armstrong. In a quiet side street, a blue English police phone box (or to a Dr.Who fan, the Tardis) blocks the entrance to a pub, serving like an obvious entrance to a secret speakeasy…or something like that!
The Point maintains the Franco-Hispanic look and feel of central New Orleans, albeit on the other side of the river. The street signs are in French and are named after French towns. The pace is lazy and the local café, Toot Suite offers a blend of traditional breakfast fare, with a Cajun edge – minus the blatant tourist-pleasers.
If we had stayed in a Marriott (we saw three in the Downtown area alone), we would have enjoyed the beige comfort of standard queen beds, mini bars and pay Wi-Fi. By choosing accommodation in the ‘burbs, we gained a better understanding of the lives of New Orleans residents. It’s worth the extra ferry ride.
Algiers Point is a small, homely pocket just across the Mississippi from the French Quarter.
It sits at the deepest point of the Mississippi, at a tight turn in the river.
We found the rather unique property through AirBNB. A local ferry gets you to the action of New Orleans in minutes.