A Room With a View

North & South of Lake Pontchartrain

Photo courtesy of Scott Wilson

I thoroughly enjoy New Orleans and visited countless times. On every trip, I discover a new neighborhood or interesting street for the first time. New Orleans is always linked to the Mississippi River, but just north of the city is huge Lake Pontchartrain. On our north trip, we stayed near the lake’s north shore, in Hammond. Here are two distinctive places to stay North and South of Lake Pontchartrain.

The Orange House- Magazine St., New Orleans

An area in New Orleans that I return to often is the part of Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District. It has a vintage neighborhood feel and is only a short walk from the St. Charles St. streetcar that goes downtown and to the French Quarter (going east) and through the beautiful garden district and to Audubon Park (going west). I do not enjoy large crowds so from Magazine Street, I can enjoy the Quarter, and then slip away to a splendid, quiet neighborhood full of unique shopping and great restaurants. It is the perfect blend of residential and commercial vintage style.

This unique holiday rental property on Magazine Street is a fine place to stay. The double shot-gun house stands within easy walking distance to great restaurants For our one free night, we ate at Mayas Restaurant, and enjoyed Mahi-Mahi, curry and paella.

The house is well-furnished, with a cozy bed and sofa, television with a lot of channels, and nice renovated bathrooms with a fully equipped kitchen. The home is surrounded on one side with tall bamboo which gives you a feeling of privacy and has a pleasant backyard to relax and unwind from the day’s travels and activities. The 12 foot ceilings really give you the sense of spaciousness. I particularly appreciated the bright colors of the rooms and the classic yet contemporary décor with Asian accents.

City tour busses pass the address regularly. We watched them and the local neighborhood life pass sitting out on the front porch. Magazine Street is so much more pleasant and relaxing than the more touristy crowded areas of the French Quarter. From this location you really feel the atmosphere of a New Orleans neighborhood.

Only street parking is available, but we had no trouble finding spots near the house during our stay.

Morrison Alley Loft- East Thomas Street, Hammond LA

Hammond lies about an hour drive north of New Orleans—a bit longer if you drive the causeway across Lake Pontchartrain (which everyone should do at least once, but you may not want to it do again).

Hammond’s historic neighborhood, around East Thomas Street, is small and pleasantly walkable, full of great shopping and restaurant choices. We stayed in an apartment above a salon. One bedroom and bath, a good size living room/kitchen area, cable television and internet. This property really gives you a good sense of historic Hammond plus it is near the center of the town’s activity and entertainment.

Street parking only, but we had no problem finding a spot right outside our front door. That “front door” is in the alley behind the salon. Not the greatest first impression, but once you enter, the apartment itself is quite fine with vintage brick and is very well appointed. It is also totally quiet and private.

Both these rentals will give you a good taste of urban Louisiana and you will be in prime areas for shopping and restaurants.


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