By day Bourbon Street is filled with tourists of all shapes and sizes roaming around the French Quarter discovering the many shops and restaurants and taking in the architecture. At night, it transforms into a pedestrian-only street with no rules where all of the most colourful characters of New Orleans can be found, along with every tourist with a New Orleans bucket-list. If you're looking for a rowdy night out on the town then this is where you'll want to start. The bars have reps outside to entice you to choose them, the mardi gras beads are plentiful regardless of the time of year. All down the street the balconies are as crowded with joyful party people as the street below. In New Orleans it is legal to drink on the streets and all of the bars offer "to-go" cups so you can take your beverage with you when you're ready to move on to the next location.
Dress Code: There are no rules about what is appropriate on Bourbon St!
Before I went to New Orleans, I had this picture in mind of Bourbon Street being all about bachelor parties and Girls Gone Wild, so I wasn't exactly planning on spending much time there. However, I soon realized there was much more to Bourbon Street than that, and the biggest draw for me was the live music. Bands start playing failry early in the evening, so even if you have plans for the next morning you can still get a pretty good taste of what Bourbon Street has to offer. As you walk up and down the street, you get to pick between rock, blues, jazz, country, pop and bluegrass bands - there truly is something for everyone! And of course, you can add to this already vast selection a fair amount of nightclubs, stripclubs, karaoke bars (Cat's Meow was pretty cool!) and even a dueling piano bar (Howl at the Moon). Most bars don't mind if you walk in already holding a drink - my guess is they figure if you enjoy the music, you'll stay long enough to order another drink anyways. My two favourite spots on Bourbon Street were "The Famous Door" and "Bourbon Street Blues Company". Both had great rock & blues bands playing, and I loved the lively but casual atmosphere: we made plenty of friends on the dance floor!
Bourbon st night life was never boring, beads, beers, foods, live music sexy girls all kinds of street performers are all there for you to enjoy. ENJOY LIFE while you can and be sure to include Bourbon st in your many travel plans.
Dress Code: as long as you're not naked you're good to go.
Bourbon Street is the heart of French Quarter nightlife, but in my opinion it is way over rated. The area is full of tourists, mostly college kids getting so drunk they are incoherent and would spend the night in jail most other places. The end of Bourbon near Canal Street is filled with seedy strip clubs and sex shows. The restaurants here are just average, often specializing in serving touristy food like pizza to drunks. I think you can have more fun in the other areas of the French Quarter without the Bourbon Street sleaze. I like Decatur Street myself...it has a variety of options from local dives like Coop's to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and a Microbrewery.
There are tons of places to go for nightlife in New Orleans but as a tourist we wanted to go to Boubon street. This place is crazy, it doesnt have to be Mardi Gras for it to be happening. If you walk down Bourbon Street the first thing you will notice is the many bars and gentlemans clubs that there are. If one bar isnt for you, maybe the next one is. Some of the bars will have live music, like the Funky Pirate. This is where I had my first Hurricane. I have no idea whats in that drink but it was pretty good.
In the morning hours its hard to find a place to eat around here and it seems like verything gets started alittle later around here but I am sure thats because the party goes on pretty late at night. This was a fun spot to be at, the main objective here is to drink.
I was in New Orleans in October. The legendary New Orleans behavior seems to go on even when Mardi Gras is not happening. Granted the streets weren't packed solid but the was still flashing and plenty of drinks to be had!
Bourbon Street has become an adult playground with touristy and trashy clubs, shops, and strip bars. By the way, bottomless doesn't mean bottomless. We went to several of the clubs (avoiding the rock cover bands) and carried drinks up and down the street. Here's the breakdown of people on Bourbon Street:
16 - 25 = Get falling down drunk, go crazy, throw up.
26 - 35 = Drink too much, find some cool clubs, appreciate the music, move on to other places
36 - 55 = Drink a lot, laugh at the 22 year olds (girls flashing / guys throwing up), go somewhere else for a great dinner and music
55 and over = Walk one block in shock and horror, go back and hide in room. OR ... Try to be a hip 22 year old again; get wasted and throw up.
Don't worry, they wash down the street every morning at 4:30.
Make sure you visit Bourbon Street ... it's a must. But promise me that you will make time to visit the other great places that New Orleans has to offer.
Dress Code: None
Everyone has heard of this fabled street. Lined with all kinds of clubs, it draws visitors from around the world. The music can be Dixieland jazz, blues, zydeco, rock, country, folk, and almost anything in between.
Have a good time. Just remember that even the Big Easy has a few laws, and they ARE enforced. The cops may not catch every lawbreaker, but they make an example of those they do. Please bear in mind that indecent exposure, lewd behavior, drinking from the original container on the street, and other disorderly conduct can get you in trouble just as they would anywhere.
Also, do NOT venture north of Bourbon St (opposite direction from the river). It's very dark up there, for a reason. That's a rather dangerous place to go. And there's no good reason to wander up that way. In other words, this street marks the northern boundary of where it's safe to go--and that applies even in daytime.
Dress Code: Come as you are. Most clubs are pretty casual.
I had a fantastic time in Burbon street both during the night (beware of flying beads and the associated tops), and during the day. Its really nice to walk along the water, or take in the sights and smells.
Dress Code: Casual
Bourbon Street is lined with bars, hotels, and souvenir stores. During the morning it is full of tourists, while at night it is full of partygoers. Even when it is not Mardi Gras at night, the people cram the narrow sidewalks and have some drinks, dancing to the rhythm of the music coming from the bars. You are allowed to drink on the streets. Try one of the "hand grenades" or the "hurricanes" on for size. The guy to the left in the picture is enjoying a hand grenade.
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