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French Quarter

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street in New Orleans
Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street at Night
Bourbon Street at Night
Galatoire's Restaurant on Bourbon Street
Galatoire's Restaurant
Pat O' Briens on Bourbon Street
Pat O' Briens
Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon Street
Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

Although this historic French Quarter street has a bawdy reputation due to the burlesque clubs and all-night partying, come experience a whole other side of Bourbon Street steeped in history, folk lore and beauty that dates back to 1718 when New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. Also known as “Rue Bourbon,” this historic street sits at the heart of the French Quarter extending 13 blocks from Canal St. to Esplanade Avenue.

One of the most luxurious hotels on Bourbon Street, The Royal Sonesta Hotel, opened in 1969 but the hotel’s site dates back to 1721 when Adrien de Pauger first laid out the city of New Orleans. The land once contained stables, houses and even a brewery. The architectural style of the hotel is one that is unique to New Orleans. The exterior was designed to look like a typical 1830s row of houses.

A favorite stomping ground for both visitors and locals is Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop located on the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Phillip Street in a creole cottage. This bar and restaurant’s walls are full of legends, mystery and days of old New Orleans. The building itself was built sometime before 1772 and is said to be where the Lafitte brothers opened their blacksmith shop as a façade so they could carry out their privateer efforts.

The Old Absinthe House building was originally erected in 1806 as a family-owned importing firm. As years went on, the ground floor became a saloon where in 1874 mixologist, Cayetano Ferrer, created the famous Absinthe House Frappe. Even though Absinthe is now an illegal substance, you can still experience this celebrated drink substituted with Herbsaint. The decorative marble fountains that were used to drip cool water over sugar cubes into glasses of Absinthe can still be found in this historic bar.

Galatoire’s Restaurant is one of New Orleans’ oldest and most popular restaurants. Founded by Jean Galatoire in 1905, Galatoire’s continues to run by his fourth generation descendants. Specializing in French Creole cuisine, this French Quarter hot spot is the place to be for lunch on Fridays.

The intersection of Bourbon Street and St. Anne Street begins the section of Bourbon that caters to New Orleans’ flourishing gay community. Lafitte-In-Exile is the oldest gay bar in the country and Tennessee Williams was a frequent visitor during his time in New Orleans.

In one of the oldest cities in America, New Orleans invites you to visit Bourbon Street with all its history, tales and iconic buildings!

For more information on businesses located on Bourbon Street, click one of the links below or go to our French Quarter Guide for other businesses around the French Quarter.

Hotels Bed and Breakfasts


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