Exploring New Orleans aboard a streetcar is a one-of-a-kind experience.
If you want to get around New Orleans like the locals, a trolley tour of the city is a nice option. Take note though that in New Orleans, the preferred term is "streetcar" as opposed to "trolley." There are three lines that are great for sight-seeing. Each start in downtown but take passengers to different parts of the city.
The St. Charles line is the oldest operating streetcar in the world and it maintains much of its original furnishings, such as mahogany seats and brass fittings. Its route travels a little more than 13 miles and takes you through the Central Business District to uptown, passing shopping centers, Victorian mansions and the Audubon Zoological Gardens.
The Canal Street Line is used by locals and tourists, going from Canal Street through the Central Business District to the Mid-City area. It ends at City Park Avenue and the historic cemeteries. A second line connecting Canal Street to City Park at Beauregard Circle offers a stunning view of the 1,500-acre grounds of the park, with grand oak trees, a botanical garden and storybook village. Just make sure to board streetcars that say "City Park/Museum" in the front window to take this second route.
The last is the Riverfront Line that makes stops at the city's most popular attractions, such as French Market and Aquarium of the Americas. Riverwalk Marketplace, the shops at Canal Place, and Harrah’s Casino can be seen along this route too.
An interesting historical fact is from 1920 to 1948 there used to be a streetcar that ran the Desire Line. Sound familiar? This is none other than the line that inspired the name of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Name Desire. Although the streetcar stopped running decades ago, today it resides unused at the Carrollton Station.