If you live in, or are planning a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2015, you should be visiting Bourbon Street for its character, history, nightlife, and shopping. It truly is a place of nonstop partying and events.
Bourbon Street History
Bourbon street is a major street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The French Quarter is the oldest part of the city, having been founded in 1718. The streets in New Orleans were named after Catholic saints and the French royal houses. Bourbon street was named after the House of Bourbon, a royal family in France.
Originally built by the French, after the Seven Years’ War, the Spanish gained control of the city. When a fire destroyed most of the Quarter, the Spanish rebuilt it using their own style, thus adding a distinctive Spanish flair to about 80 percent of the buildings. The French Quarter quickly grew to be the center of the Creole culture.
Nowadays, Bourbon Street is a popular tourist spot for shoppers, revelers, and bar hoppers. Bourbon street hosts a number of festivals, many open to families. Still, Bourbon street has many clubs as well as popular bars for people looking for entertainment.
The French Quarter is no stranger to alcohol, with taverns almost as old as the city, itself. You can find bars and taverns of all varieties from rowdy to upscale on Bourbon Street. Popular bars and taverns include Pat O'Brien's, The Old Absinthe House, Johnny White's, The Bourbon Cowboy, The Famous Door, The Beach, Spirits on Bourbon, Tropical Isle, Razzoo, Funky Pirate, and The Cat's Meow.
Many folks argue that the best place to go for Creole cooking is the French Quarter. And even more with tell you that the best place to go for food is Bourbon Street. You can find anything from casual to formal, and everything in-between. Some restaurants are even open 24 hours. Popular restaurants on Bourbon street include Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, Cafe Beignet at Music Legends Park, Desire Oyster Bar and Bistro, Embers Steak House, Galatoire's "33" Bar and Steak, Galatoire's Restaurant, Johnny White's Pub & Grill, La Bayou, Pier 424 Seafood Market Restaurant, and Remoulade.
Popular Festivals and Events
The most well-known festival is the Mardi Gras Festival, which happens on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter the day before Ash Wednesday, called Fat Tuesday. This year’s Mardi Gras falls on February 17. But in addition to Mardi Gras, there are plenty of other festivals throughout the year. Here are some to consider:
- St. Patrick's Day
- Tennessee Williams' Festival
- French Quarter Festival
- Jazz & Heritage Festival
- Bastille Day
- Whitney White Linen Night
- Voodoo Music Experience
- Christmas New Orleans' Style
- New Year's Eve
So, when you’re planning your visit, whether it’s for the upcoming Mardi Gras festivities, or for another occasion, here’s a little bit about Bourbon Street that help you plan your schedule.
Don’t forget to order your Perlis Mardi Gras clothing, and hit the streets of New Orleans in style!