The French Quarter and Bourbon Street offer a unique experience among southern cities due to having been both a French and Spanish possession. This legacy is apparent in its architecture, cuisine and customs. Some of these more exotic cultural features are what define the French Quarter and Bourbon Street in the minds of many.
Bourbon Street is located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carre. It is the original New Orleans settlement, and the city’s oldest neighborhood. The area lies above the banks of the Mississippi River and below the shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
Visiting Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street stretches 13 blocks across the French Quarter, from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue. It’s most popular portion is an 8 block section known as Upper Bourbon Street, home to popular tourist attractions including bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and strip clubs.
While it is typically quiet during the day, this area comes alive at night as patrons take advantage of bars and restaurants. City officials close the street each evening to vehicle traffic, allowing plenty of room for pedestrians to enjoy the area and take advantage of Bourbon Street’s liberal open container laws, which allow drinking in the street.
Beyond the many choices for dining and drinking, Bourbon Street also offers venues for music, brass bands that play in the street most nights, and dancers and carousers who provide fodder for some seriously fun people watching.
An evening spent on Bourbon Street – listening to it’s cacophony of sounds and walking under it’s graceful galleries and street lights is an experience unique to the New Orleans French Quarter and one not to be missed.
Bourbon Street is conveniently located with walking distance of downtown New Orleans’ many fine hotels. It is also accessible by car, and via New Orleans’ bus and historic streetcar lines.