new orleans

Literary City Spotlight: New Orleans Edition

Looking for lush foliage, old architecture, and bustling bars where beautiful, uncontainable music wafts into the street? You’ll find all of that and more in New Orleans, Louisiana’s most populous city, founded in 1718. Due to its old-world charm and captivating mix of Spanish and French influence, New Orleans has long been cited as one of the country’s most unique cities. Simply put, when you’re in New Orleans, you know you’re in New Orleans—there’s no way you could be anywhere else. This clear sense of place and culture is just one of the reasons the city has played a strong role in the literary world. Tennessee Williams, Anne Rice, and Kate Chopin have all called New Orleans home, and it’s also the setting of many classics. If a trip to New Orleans is in your future, don’t miss these literary sites.



Hotel Monteleone

214 Royal St. 


When you grab a drink at the Hotel Monteleone’s historic Carousel Bar, or take a dip in its pool, you’re emulating writers like William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, and more—all of whom spent a lot of time at this luxury haunt. Founded in 1886 and nestled among the vibrancy of the city’s French Quarter, the hotel is known for its Beaux-Arts style architecture and opulence. 



Faulkner House of Books

624 Pirates Alley


Step inside the former home of William Faulkner and buy books there, too! In 1988, the writer’s historic home was repurposed into a beloved and offbeat bookstore, one with a focus on rare editions. Regularly featured on lists of both the best and most unusual bookstores you can visit in the country, this shop takes the serene indie bookstore experience and dials it up to 100. Get lost among the shelves, and find a literary souvenir—or 10— that you can’t find anywhere else.



Community Book Center

2523 Bayou Rd.


The second you see the colorful and famed mural on the outside of the Community Book Center, you witness a powerful representation of what the store’s all about: Black joy and Black storytelling. While the center stocks well-known and emerging Black voices across a wide array of genres, its staff also emphasizes that its “more than a bookstore.” When you pop into the Community Book Center, you’re likely to see thought-provoking readings, discussions, and other events. 



Crescent City Books

240 Chartres St.


Crescent City Books has been one of the most popular and enchanting bookstores in New Orleans since its founding in 1992. While the charming store carries a wide collection, it specializes in local writers and local history. In addition to grabbing books that will transport you to New Orleans anytime you feel nostalgic, you can also dig through bins stocked with archival maps and prints that will bring the city to life in your home. 



Tennessee Williams’ French Quarter homes

(722 Toulouse St., 632 ½ St. Peter St., 727 Toulouse St., 1014 Dumaine St.)


Tennessee Williams, one of the most notable playwrights and writer of A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, lived much of his life in New Orleans and wrote from many New Orleans homes. These homes mark the different stages of both his writing and his life and since they’re all in the French Quarter, it’s the perfect opportunity for a walking tour. As a fun game for yourself or your fellow travelers, think about which home you’d most like to stay in for a writing getaway. 


Want to explore more literary destinations? Check out our previous literary city spotlight features.