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Bourbon Street

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to venture off Bourbon Street to explore the quieter and more charming nearby streets like Royal and Chartres; they're filled with art galleries, boutiques, and fewer crowds. Also, if you're looking for the best time to appreciate the local music scene without the chaos, drop by on a weekday when the street's famous jazz clubs host some of the most talented musicians in the city."

What is Bourbon Street?

Bourbon Street, one of the most iconic streets in New Orleans, is the vibrant heart of the French Quarter, exuding a lively spirit that's hard to miss. Known for its boisterous nightlife, colorful buildings, and balconies adorned with ironwork, this historic street stretches for 13 blocks and has become synonymous with the city's culture of festivity and revelry.

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Bourbon Street beckons with its blend of history, music, cuisine, and an anything-goes attitude that palpably permeates the air. At night, neon signs flicker to life, jazz music spills out of clubs and bars, and throngs of revelers take to the street, cocktail in hand, as they explore the myriad of entertainment options.

History of Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street's story begins in the 18th century, named after the French House of Bourbon, serving as a testament to the city's deep-rooted connections to French colonial history. Initially a residential area, it transformed over centuries into a commercial hub, attracting businesses and, eventually, the nightlife it is known for today. The street has weathered numerous changes throughout history, including disasters and legal skirmishes over the sort of entertainment that could be hosted there.

Many of the historical buildings lining Bourbon Street also tell tales of the past, some dating back to the Spanish colonial times reflecting the fire ordinances issued after two massive fires in 1788 and 1794. These edicts mandated the use of stucco to cover the more flammable cypress wood on the facades, which now gives the French Quarter its distinctive look.

Why is Bourbon Street Important?

Bourbon Street holds a special place in the local fabric of New Orleans. It's not just a hub for tourists; it's a cultural crucible where the city's unique blend of French, African, Spanish, and Creole influences are proudly displayed and celebrated. It has played a significant role in the popularization of jazz music, and it remains at the forefront of upholding New Orleans' reputation as a premier destination for live music and spirited entertainment.

Moreover, Bourbon Street is a vital contributor to the local economy. It encapsulates the idiosyncratic nature of New Orleans' approach to festivities, especially during events like Mardi Gras, drawing crowds from around the world and serving as a powerful reminder of the city's pulse and vigor.

Things to Do & See at Bourbon Street

First and foremost, a stroll down Bourbon Street is like taking a step into another world – where each establishment vies for your attention with live music, tempting you with New Orleans' classic Sazerac or a frozen daiquiri sipped from a souvenir cup. As you wander, you'll find historic venues like Preservation Hall, where you can immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of traditional New Orleans jazz without the distractions of the typical Bourbon Street bar scene.

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Food enthusiasts are in for a treat, with Creole and Cajun restaurants serving up local dishes like jambalaya and gumbo. You can duck into narrow passageways leading to secluded courtyards for a more intimate dining experience, or grab an iconic po’ boy sandwich from a street vendor. Don't forget the sweet finish of beignets from a nearby café.

For those interested in the ghostly past of the Big Easy, haunted tours recounting tales of voodoo, vampires, and spirits are a thrilling way to spend an evening, providing insights into the darker corners of the city's history. And if you time your visit just right, you can become part of the legendary Mardi Gras celebrations, where the exuberance of Bourbon Street reaches its peak, blanketed in beads and revelry as far as the eye can see.

Frequently asked questions

What is Bourbon Street in New Orleans known for?

Bourbon Street is famous for its vibrant nightlife, historic architecture, and as the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans. It's known for its bars, jazz clubs, and the annual Mardi Gras celebration.

Is Bourbon Street family-friendly during the day?

Yes, Bourbon Street can be family-friendly during the day with its historic sites, street performances, and local cuisine. However, it tends to become more adult-oriented in the evening.

What are some must-visit places on Bourbon Street?

Must-visit places on Bourbon Street include famous bars like Pat O'Brien's and Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, as well as live music venues such as Preservation Hall for jazz performances.

How does Bourbon Street change during Mardi Gras?

During Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street becomes the epicenter of celebrations with larger crowds, parades, elaborate costumes, and an overall festive and party-like atmosphere.

Are there any historical tours available on Bourbon Street?

Yes, there are historical and ghost tours available that explore the rich history of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, highlighting the area's past and haunted locations.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps