There is nothing special about Bourbon St. Its been made famous by the Mardi Gras parade held in February. If you want to catch a few drinks stumble through once or twice but New Orleans has so much more to offer than bars and strip clubs.
Fun Alternatives: Take a turn off of Bourbon anywhere in the quarters and find something a little less crowded.
Bourbon Street is a must see - no doubt. It only becomes a tourist trap if you spend you ENTIRE trip there and don't get to experience any of the wonderful things within (and outside of) the Quarter.
Unique Suggestions: Like I was saying, you MUST experience Bourbon Street... especially if it is your first trip to New Orleans. However, please follow these general rules of thumb given to my by my gracious hosts on my first trip to New Orleans.
#1 DO NOT EAT ON BOURBON STREET.
(look, I know you'll be drunk and looking for a quick bite, but just stay strong and make your way over to a late night joint like Coops!) New Orleans is known for its fine food and Bourbon Street is basically full of quick pick food for wasted tourists. You need only go a few steps off the beaten path to get some authentic grub. You'lll thank me for it.
#2 IF IT IS YOUR FIRST TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS YOU MUST NOT VISIT BOURBON STREET IN THE DAYLIGHT OR YOU WILL BE TURNED INTO A PILLAR OF SALT!
Is this true? I wouldn't know because I didn't test the fates. If you are a first timer, please do yourself a favor and visit bourbon street for the first time at night - it is quite impressive. Yes, you may cross Bourbon Street in the daylight, just keep your eyes fixed straight ahead and save the fun for after the sun goes down.
Fun Alternatives: There are no alternatives to Bourbon Street, just don't spend your ENTIRE trip there.
Along Bourbon Street you will find many places selling frozen drinks in all kinds of flavors. I recall the price was around $5 for a small one. But it really wasn't that good, the flavor was artificial and too sweet.
Unique Suggestions: If you need relief, try one! But guaranteed you won't go back.
Fun Alternatives: Save your money for something with real alcohol in it!!
The French Quarter and Bourbon Street.... tourists, tourists, tourists... I think those are mainly the people here that are drinking and partying, but I could be wrong. Anyway, there are bead shops and souveneir shops every few feet. Pick one, the prices will probably all be similar... expensive! Drinks are upcharged here, so don't be surprised if you're paying $6.50 for a rum and coke.
Bourbon Street!!! Everyone must experience it and decide for themselves whether they like it. I enjoy wild times and partying till the sun rises, but Bourbon Street just isn't my scene. It's like a giant frat party, with tons of t-shirt & souvenir shops. Some of the clubs have 3 for 1 drinks at happy hour. It's always happening, but a bit too touristy for my taste
Almost ANY restaurant actually on Bourbon St. For Example, Patout's has pretty good fried alligator and spinach & artichoke dip, but the wait staff tend to bug you for tips... other restaurants on Bourbon are WAYYYYY overpriced
Bourboun Street is definitely a must see/do/experience, but go a few streets south and it it a little calmer, and still stuff to see/do/experience without the combination puke/urine/beer smell =)