Since the Mississippi River plays such a vital role in the region, we wanted to go check it out. Not far from the French Quarter, we headed over to the Riverwalk Marketplace. One of the entrances is basically at the far east end of Canal Street.
This is what you’ll see as you enter the area. Just to the left of the photo below you can just make out the ferry building. Here’s where you catch the free ferry over to Algiers.
Just after crossing the streetcar tracks and walking under the Riverwalk sign you’ll come to the Spanish Plaza. The plaza was a gift from Spain and features a round sunken fountain area with painted tiles depicting the coat of arms of various Spanish cities. I wouldn’t consider it a “must see” but is a nice quiet place to enjoy a snack by the river.
Continuing south along the waterfront path, you get great views of the Mississippi, the town of Algiers across the river and boats cruising the river.
Some seagulls just chillin’ on the wooden posts as a barge passes by.
Here’s the backside of the Riverfront Marketplace shopping area. The path has a few benches and some plaques to read along the way. If it gets too hot, you can pop into the mall to cool down and do some shopping.
A barge about to go under the Greater New Orleans Bridge. There was a pretty steady stream of water-going vessels on the river.
We exited the Riverwalk area at Julia Street. There’s a pedestrian bridge that takes you over the streetcar tracks.
The Riverwalk area along the river felt a little beat down. There were hardly any people around and there wasn’t too much to see.
If you’re limited on time and you’re not huge into shopping, I think it would be enough to just check it out briefly on the north side. That way you can take a peek at the Spanish Plaza and have a look at the river and then be on your way.
If you have a little more time, you could take a stroll on the rest of the pathway that takes you right along the river. It’s not a long walk, so you could do it pretty quickly. But the better waterfront area is Woldenberg Riverfront Park to the north of Canal Street along the river.
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