Long known for its bawdy, often raw, nightlife, Bourbon Street is chock full of music, jazz clubs, restaurants, shops and that great New Orleans architecture.
We took a short stroll down Bourbon Street while some friendly people we met held our place in the line waiting for the Preservation Hall performance. (Now that's friendliness for you!) For adults, this is an eye-opener, but it's not advisable for the little ones.
The Embers " Original" Bourbon House Restaurant is one famous resident of Bourbon Street significant for its architecture, great food and its many famous guests, including Tennessee Williams who dined there often.
During Mardi Gras you can bet this place will be packed and probably gets down right rowdy or even worse. The evening we were there, the street was very crowded and all the jazz clubs seemed to be hopping!
Bourbon street is a famous tourist trap :) Gift shops, clubs with live music(most of them have a cover band but there are some nice jazz exceptions), hundreds of bars where young people go to drink hurricanes and cheap beers till early in the morning, xxx clubs/strip joints etc So, Bourbon is ideal for party animals but a place to avoid if you have children unless you want to explain why the girls flashing their boobs because some people throw beads :)
Although we prefer something less crazy we stayed on a street off Bourbon so it was interesting to passing by many times every day although we only went into to two jazz clubs there only because some other corners of the city. But it was funny to see (and it wasn’t some kind of carnival like Mardi Gras) weird people like those in pic3 that parade with giant cross in their hands!
But of course, it’s really interesting to check the street early in the morning too, before the stores start to open, when they just clean the mess of the previous night (pic 5), one morning we woke up early just to walk around without any tourists around and it was so different than the evening madness.
Don’t forget that you can check some historical building easily this way (during the night you cant really enjoy any of the local architecture. At 623 you will see the house where Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote once lived, at 941 the Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop etc
You have to come to Bourbon St. at least once, and you'll probably want to come back again once you do. It is a collection of to-go drink shops, upscale restaurants, strip clubs, bars, tourist shops, and hotels but the best thing about it are the characters you'll find. Get some drinks to go and take a stroll up and down the street a few times.
You can not avoid Burbon Street if you go to New Orleans. All of the cliches are true. At night it is wild. People tend to forget their inhibitions. Its like a naughty Disney World for adults. Any page you read on VT for New Orleans will have this information about Burbon Street. So I decided most of my pages would be about all things not Burbon Street. There is just too much to do and see in New Orleans to just center you attention on one street. This is Burbon Street in the day time. It does not look like such a wild area by daylight. Although all of the bars are open and people are still drinking and partying here during the day its still no where near the excitement you will find in the evenings.
Yes, yes, I know, this has tourist trap written all over it. Well guess what, I didn't care. All three times I've visited I've made Pat O's a stop on my list. Each time it has been worth it.
This place is fun because there are many different types of atmospheres all rolled into on big establishment. My favorite area is the outdoor courtyard that features the Flaming Fountain. This fixture is awesome to look at in the dark of night. Get your picture taken next to it! I have had many a romantic night engrosed in deep conversation with my husband. Of course we were also deeply engrosed in the Hurricanes that we were drinking.
In case you aren't familiar, the Hurricane is the signature drink fo Pat O's. Here's a little tip for you: THEY WILL MESS YOU UP. Oh I'm sure you think you're different and you can hold your booze, but chances are if you are that confident in your drinking ability, you might be able to have 3 Hurricanes and then you'll be as wasted as the rest of us after having 1 or 2.
Other areas of the bar include a piano bar area and a regular bar room with the usual bar scene. The piano bar is also a must at least once, just to say you were in there. There is a very good chance that it will be crowded, but it's still fun, so just make your way in and find a table. If your timing is right you will be able to see an old old gentleman perform with the dueling pianos. This guy plays the silver patter with metal thimbles on his fingers. He plays quite a beat and has been there for years and years. It is considered a treat to see him.
Another tip: If you order your Hurricanes 'to go' you will get them in a syrofoam cup that you can throw away, and you will only pay for the drink (I think about $7). However, if you order a Hurricane in the regular glass they will charge you for the drink AND the glass. Don't worry, you can turn your glass in at the end of the night and get your money back. But you can also let them keep the money and keep the glass as a souvineir.
They're EVERYWHERE! After a hurricane drink or two, you conservative folk let yourself go. I KNOW you've always wondered what you'd look like in a 'fro or in a neon orange cowboy hat or a pimp suit with a zebra collar! GO FOR IT! As they say, when in Rome...
many visitors to new orleans come to party on world famous bourbon street. this historic street is lined with bars, restaurants, and strip clubs. bourbon street is a very interesting place to visit in the french quarter. personally at night i prefer the other sections of the french quarter. at night bourbon street is crowded and the bars are over priced. also you have to deal with drunks and pickpockets. however a visit to new orleans would not be complete without a night out on bourbon street.
For some, Bourbon Street is a destination. For others, it's to be avoided at all costs. The good news for both camps is that if you've come to New Orleans to party, you've found the place. If you've already had your quota of hangovers, there are plenty of other things to do.
Named not after a type of liquor (although that would be appropriate) but after the French royalty who occupied the throne when it came into being, Bourbon St. used to be an expensive address for the well-heeled. How times change. While rents are still astronomical, the quiet residential street of 3 centuries ago is now a raucous mix of mostly bars, souvenier shops and strip clubs with a few hotels and restaurants thrown in - lots of neon, loud (read: earsplitting) music and alcohol of every kind and then some. Even if "party 'til you drop" is no longer on your agenda, most folks are still a little bit curious about this infamous part of New Orleans so a walk-through is definately recommended. It's quieter and smells better early in the day when the previous night's refuse has been hosed away - good choice for just taking in the architecture or strolling through with small children. Later at night is best for experiencing the noise and color of Bourbon in full-throttle insanity (not a place for the young'uns).
Whether there for just for 5 minutes or for 5 days, I think most visitors would say that if you haven't been to Bourbon Street, you haven't been to New Orleans!
As long as you are not a "holy roller" you have to at the bare minimum walk up and down Bourbon St one time in your life. Do it after it gets dark, but before midnight any day of the week, Saturday preferred. If you do not like crowds then go on a weeknight in between festivals or a few days after Mardi Gras. You have to just see the freaks, drunks etc. Maybe join in and pick up a Hurricane from Pat Obriens to drink as you walk the street. Watch the bull riders at the Bourbon Cowboy (if you can stand the country music) they will change the music based on the response from the crowd though. Sit in the courtyard at Pat Obriens and have a Hurricane and watch the rats run the perimiter (they won't hurt you) Or just people watch. It is all sort of like strolling the Ramblas in Barcelona with more bars/drunks/strip clubs/ freaks. If you are really adventurous come on a holiday and dress up for it. For example, near St Pats day dress up in green hair and clothes, wear some green flashing beads etc and you will have the time of your life! ENJOY!
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