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Even after Mardi Gras, good times roll in New Orleans
By Tom Adkinson

new orleans canal street streetcars
Canal Street streetcars; image by Tom Adkinson

NEW ORLEANS – The pandemonium of Mardi Gras is over for another year, but good times continue to roll in New Orleans, which is proven every day on the city’s famous streetcars and at the famous Carousel Bar inside the historic Hotel Monteleone. All four of the city’s streetcar lines run along or intersect Canal Street. The most famous is the St. Charles line, which is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world. It dates to 1835. A $1.25 ride today covers a sweeping 6-mile crescent in about 40 minutes. A day pass for unlimited rides on all lines is $3.

new orleans carousel bar
New Orleans Carousel Bar; image by Tom Adkinson

Inside the Hotel Monteleone, the setting is almost as historic, but the pace is a bit slower at the Carousel Bar, which really does go around and around. It takes 15 minutes to make a full revolution. The hotel, family-owned for five generations, opened in 1886. Its gaily decorated bar marked its 70th birthday in 2019. The hotel is famous for its long list of literary guests, and novelists including Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner have worked the Carousel Bar into their stories. Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams also have imbibed right where you can order a Sazerac, a Pimm’s Cup or even a cold Budweiser.

Trip-planning resources:, and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published March 13, 2020

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