When people in New Orleans refer to Uptown, that can cover a lot of territory. It is an area roughly bounded by Louisiana Avenue, Claiborne Avenue, Lowerline and the river. The environs nearest Tulane and Loyola Universities is also known as the University Section of the city. The Uptown area began as a series of wedge-shaped plantations fanning out off the river between the Garden District downriver and Carrollton upriver. Two such plantations were that of Etienne Boré and his son-in-law, Pierre Foucher, which extended from Joseph Street to the lower boundary line (Lowerline Street) of Carrollton. Here these two men successfully granulated sugar in 1795. It was also here that the 1884 Cotton Centennial Exposition was held, and the land later became Audubon Park with its world-renowned zoo.

St. Charles Avenue and its famous streetcar line is the main thoroughfare of Uptown. Magnificent oaks and stately homes grace this historic boulevard that bends with the river. Uptown has been the residential heart of the city since the late nineteenth century. Magazine Street is an important commercial artery of Uptown with antique shops, restaurants and galleries.

Another important area of Uptown is Jefferson City, which was incorporated in 1850 and then a part of Jefferson Parish. Its boundaries are Joseph Street to Toledano, and from Freret Street to the river. New Orleans annexed Jefferson City in 1870. It is composed of several plantations including what was once Faubourg Bouligny, named for Louis Bouligny's plantation. It runs between General Taylor and Upperline Streets. The streets were all named for Napoleon's victories with Napoleon Avenue being the main boulevard. Newcomb College and numerous fraternity and sorority houses are located on Broadway, which runs parallel with Lowerline just two blocks away. Lowerline was the lower (boundary) line of the City of Carrollton and Upperline was the upper line of the Bouligny's plantation.