I'm convinced that one of the best way to explore New Orleans is by bike, but there is no arguing that it is especially true in Uptown, New Orleans. On the few weekends per year when nothing else is going on, biking around is my favorite way to spend the day. Over the past few years, I've made a solid list of essential stops to make a great ride. Here's the destinations and routes that are always worth the trip:
LAUREL STREET // CONSTANCE STREET - THE BEST UPTOWN BIKE ROUTE
While it is very tempting to kick back and relax with an easy ride down historic Magazine street, it is usually anything by relaxing. The tiny street has a heavy stream of cars (especially on the weekends) and very little room for freedom on the road. Scoot on down a block or two towards the river, into the neighborhood streets. The one-way streets Laurel and Constance are of my favorites (depending on your route direction). With limited stop signs, one-way slow traffic and classically New Orleans homes to oogle over, it makes a great ride.
I have said it before and I will say it again - Hansen's is the best snoball in New Orleans. That's it. Case is closed. Don't @ me. Nothing gives picturesque New Orleans neighborhood bike ride vibes like a trip out for a snoball and with it's location right in the middle of uptown, it's always on the way. As an added bonus, biking with a snoball in my cupholder is my favorite way to travel.
There is no better way to start a weekend than with a great bagel. Stiens has never disappointed in this department. After biking a mile or so down to them, I always feel very deserving of the generously giant dollop of delicious roasted garlic cream cheese. If the bagel doesn't sound quite right, treat yo self to one of their incredible classic sandwiches. Once, I saw a chef recommend Stien's as the best sandwiches in New Orleans during an interview at his own sandwich place - if that isn't a glowing recommendation, I don't know what is.
THE TCHOUP YARD
This place is like a giant back yard turned neighborhood bar - a great recipe for an ideal biking destination. Park the bike in their giant (read: luxurious) bike rack and stop in for a drink. It can get a little crowded at night, but afternoons are a sweet spot at this place (especially when paired with a little corn hole and a frozen margarita). Ample bike parking is a nice added plus.
OTHER NOTABLE UPTOWN BAR STOP MENTIONS: PORT ORLEANS BREWING COMPANY, NOLA BREWING & URBAN SOUTH BREWERY
THE FLY // AUDUBON PARK
Quaintly positioned at the end of Magazine Street, these two offer a little something for everyone. Want to chill and watch the river go by? The river side of Audubon park behind the zoo, aka "the fly", is for you. Want to bask in the history of one of the oldest parks in the country in a beautiful loop surrounded by hundred year old oak trees, some fancy ducks and an antique fountain? See you at the main Audubon park. Also, it's even got the perfect spot if just you want to hang with some giraffes and a 300 year old live oak known as the Tree of Life.
This is the definition of an Uptown institution and a worthwhile stop for any day out on your bike. It's a tiny little place, open since 1924 and just being there will make you happy to be part of it all. You can't be open for that long and not make a great poboy, that just isn't how New Orleans works. Plus, you get to drop the french bread guilt since you're ~eXerCisINg~.
THE FRENCH QUARTER
Look, I get it, this is not an uptown destination. However, one of the best parts about biking uptown is that it is so close to downtown! The French Quarter is a cool little 30 minute ride and half of the way the city treats you to dedicated bike lanes! Also, it adds to the adventure of it all. I'm not headed there every day, but if I'm going all the way to the quarter, I might as well make an event out of it. Also notable is getting to skip uber surge pricing for festivals and events (read: basically every weekend). Here's our usual route: take Constance Street towards downtown. Take a left on Jackson Ave. Take a right on Camp. Head straight under the interstate into downtown, keep going straight across poydras and canal - and bam, you're there.
Looking for more? See all the bike routes in New Orleans here.
Did I miss your favorite stop? Share in the comments!
Safe travels, y'all!
Seriously, wear a helmet and make good choices. (: