The old neighborhoods along the riverfront, like the French Quarter and Uptown are most popular with visitors. The Lakeview and Lakeshore area are comparatively little visited by out of towners. It is known by locals for the parks along the lakeshore and restaurants.
Public transit is poor in this part of town; unlike the French Quarter, this is a part of New Orleans best visited by car. It is a short drive from Mid-City.
This area was hit hard by the flooding from levee failures during Hurricane Katrina in 2005-- some parts were under more than 10 feet of standing water for weeks. Six years later, many businesses and attractions are back, and there are ever more signs of the pleasant prosperous part of town this was before Katrina. The park along Lake Pontchartrain again offers pleasant views. Harrison Avenue is again bustling with restaurants and shops. Still, the recovery is an ongoing process. The area is still of interest to those wishing to see the scope of the destruction; down residential side streets there are long stretches with a mix with buildings repaired and reoccupied, buildings with reconstruction work ongoing, buildings gutted and vacant, damaged buildings still sitting in limbo while owners try to get long ago promised insurance or "Road Home" money, and vacant lots where unsalvageable buildings were demolished. Streets warped and buckled under the weight of the flood water; many side streets are still in need of repair so drive cautiously. This section of the city is not generally subject to the high-crime rate found in many other areas, though one must still be cautious, as with any unfamiliar area.
This is a large section of the city and is more sparsely populated than the areas south, so you really will want a car to get around. I-10/I-610 and US-90 are by far the fastest routes, but Robert E Lee, St Bernard, and Elysian Fields are also reasonably fast for getting around the lakeside portions of the district.
You can get where you are going by bus on the lakeside half of the city, but expect it to take a while. For the areas upriver of City Park, buses 45 and 60 are useful. Both pick up right by the Cemeteries stop at the end of the Canal St Streetcar (which in turn is the way to get back into the CBD and on to the French Quarter) and then go towards the lake along Canal Blvd, stopping at the main commercial area on Harrison. When they hit Robert E Lee, 45 heads west towards the West End Harbor, while 60 goes east to both campuses of the University of New Orleans in the Gentilly section.
The Mississippi River was one reason why New Orleans was built where it was; Lake Pontchartrain was the other. For much of the city's history this part of town was best known for fishing camps and music halls built up on wooden piers in the mud-flats and shallow waters around the ever shifting edge of the lake. In the 1930s a dredging project filled in and extended the land on the shore, ending with a sea-wall, giving the lake and land a firm boundary for the first time.
For this reason, most of this part of town was built after World War II, making it one of the newer neighborhoods of New Orleans.
Harrison Avenue, Lakeview, in April 2012. Newly opened branch library at left.
Note that despite the potentially misleading name, you can't view the lake in Lakeview. The "Lakeview" area is a bit inland, on the other end of City Park from Mid-City. View the lake from West End or the Lakeshore Park.
Lakeview is mostly residential, but has a strip of businesses along Harrison Avenue with a number of notable restaurants. The largest concentration is on the stretch of Harrison from City Park to Canal Boulevard, with some more scattered further west.
Lake Pontchartrain is a wide rather shallow brackish water lake. Lake Pontchartrain is roughly oval in shape, about 40 miles wide from east to west, and measures about 25 miles from north to south. The far shore is beyond the horizon, giving it the appearance of an inland sea.
The Lake was long a favorite recreation area for New Orleanians. In the 1960s problems with pollution closed the New Orleans shore to swimming. A popular and successful "Save Our Lake" campaign began in the 1980s to eliminate pollution sources running into the lake. By 2000 water quality far surpassed that needed for safe swimming. After the setback of Katrina in things are improving again.
Much of the shore is a series of parks, known collectively as Lakeshore Park. The Lakeshore Park is a pleasant place to picnic during good weather.
Old Spanish Fort ruins
Old Spanish Fort the remains of this colonial era fortification are just across the Bayou and Robert E. Lee Blvd. from the Helenic Cultural Center. Not much to see; little remains other than a few walls and ruined piles of brick foundations. May not be worth a special trip unless you're a serious fortification buff, but if you're nearby anyway, worth a quick look. If you go here, note that the Hellenic Cultural Center is just south-east across the Bayou in the Gentilly section.
West End is a park with a marina at the end of West End Boulevard. (The seafood restaurants and bars which used to surround it were all destroyed by Katrina. As of early 2012 one is in the early process of rebuilding.) Getting there is a slight trick if you aren't familiar with it. Take West End Boulevard almost to the end: when you see the sea-wall with "WEST END" in big letters on it, don't go straight, instead turn left. After the road parallels the seawall for a while it will bend right and you'll find yourself at West End. If you accidentally go straight, you wind up driving along Lakefront Park, which also has a nice view of the lake.
"Nola Beans", one of several cafes and restaurants along Harrison Avenue
This part of the city was long noted for good restaurants and as of early 2012 the restaurant scene is back strong.The greatest concentration is along Harrison Avenue between City Park and the Jefferson Parish line, with a few more scattered elsewhere.
Chateau Coffee Cafe, 139 Robert E. Lee, Lakeview, 286-1777. Salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
Chicken Sue's 203 W. Harrison. Lunch, including freshly fried chicken, Cuban sandwiches. There are tables for eating in, though much of the business is "to go". For those who remember Lakeview pre-Katrina, owner "Chicken Sue" and some of the staff and menu were formerly at the now defunct Meme's Market Deli. Tel. 371-5546
Creole Creamery 6260 Vicksburg Street (half a block off Harrison Avenue)  ice cream. A favorite in Uptown New Orleans, they recently opened this second location in Lakeview. 2p-9p daily.
Dixie Chicken & Ribs, Aragonne Boulevard just off Harrison Avenue. In addition to their popular chicken and ribs, po-boys and local style specials. Dine in or pick up. Tel. 488-1377.
El Gato Negro 300 Harrison.  Mid-range Mexican restaurant, popular in the French Quarter, now has a branch in Lakeview. Lunch & Dinner, Tues-Sun. Tel. 488-0107
Harrison Cove 801 Harrison Ave  Attached to Lakeview Grocery, the neighborhood's largest grocery, Harrison Cove offers seafood, sushi, sandwiches, and lots more; eat there or to go. Tel. 293-1201
Koz's', 515 Harrison . Lunch, good po-boy sandwiches.
Rose Manor Inn, 7214 Ponchartrain Blvd, ☎ +1 504 282-8200 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A pretty, large, old home with central air, antique furnishings, and located in a nice neighborhood by a few great restaurants.$95-165. edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!