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5 Reasons to Avoid Bourbon Street in New Orleans

The French Quarter of New Orleans is a happening place. Many tourists flock to the area to see and experience all that Bourbon Street offers. However, not everyone leaves Bourbon Street satisfied. While you might picture yourself having a fantastic time partying with your besties, it’s not always easy to do.

To help save you the trouble, we’re sharing five reasons to avoid Bourbon Street. If you have New Orleans on your travel bucket list, you’ll want to keep reading. Let’s get started!

Where Is Bourbon Street?

Bourbon Street runs through the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. These 13 blocks are full of excitement and entertainment. It’s within walking distance of the Mississippi River and many of the attractions in downtown New Orleans. 

Why Is Bourbon Street So Famous?

Bourbon Street has a reputation as the party scene for tourists in New Orleans. During the Mardis Gras season, you’ll find neon lights, bumping music, and beads. The balconies that overlook the streets are the perfect spot to people-watch and enjoy the party.

There are seemingly endless opportunities for partying and enjoying the environment. Despite the biggest party of the year occurring during Mardis Gras, the party never stops on Bourbon Street. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s sure to be entertainment.

5 Reasons to Avoid Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street may be an exciting and memorable place to visit, but it can be overwhelming. Here are our five reasons to avoid Bourbon Street. Let’s take a look!

1. It’s Party Central

Bourbon Street is one of a few places in the country where you can legally drink in public. Most bars and restaurants require you to consume your alcohol before leaving their establishment, but not on Bourbon Street. You can lawfully consume alcohol while walking from bar to bar, which turns the street into party central.

With the drinks flowing and music blaring, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a college party. The later it gets, the more alcohol consumed, and the wilder the party can get. It’s no surprise that the New Orleans Police Department has a facility a block away from the heart of Bourbon Street. 

2. The Smell

All of New Orleans, specifically Bourbon Street, can be a mixture of smells. Don’t be surprised if you smell horse manure, cigarettes, urine, dead fish, marijuana, or even vomit. It can be a bit overwhelming in some places.

Due to the massive flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, some parts of the street still reek of mold. If you have a sensitive nose or a weak stomach, enjoying yourself on Bourbon Street can be rather tricky. 

3. Better Food in Other Parts of Town

New Orleans is a city rich in culture and is easy to enjoy with your tastebuds. While some places along Bourbon Street offer gumbo, po-boys, and other popular New Orleans foods, you will get the best experience in other parts of town.

Jaeger’s Seafood Restaurant, La Provence, and Walker’s BBQ are just a few places you’ll want to check out that aren’t on Bourbon Street.

4. Tourist Traps

There’s no shortage of shops lining both sides of Bourbon Street. There are plenty of souvenir shops selling almost everything you could imagine with Bourbon Street stamps. Once you’ve visited one of these shops, you’ve seen them all. They sell primarily the same overpriced items. 

Pro Tip: This is the most expensive campground in New Orleans.

5. It’s Not Family Friendly

No matter the day or time you visit, Bourbon Street isn’t catering to families. Alcohol flows constantly, and people are looking to cut loose while on vacation.

If you want to experience Bourbon Street with your family, it may be worth doing so from the safety of your vehicle. You can drive down the road during the day as it’s a one-way road. Police typically close the road off with barricades around 7 PM for pedestrian traffic only.

Is Bourbon Street Safe At Night?

The New Orleans Police Department does a tremendous job patrolling Bourbon Street, especially during the busiest times. While on Bourbon Street, you’re likely not going to be at much risk. However, you should always be aware of your surroundings and keep your wallet and other valuables close to you.

Don’t allow yourself to be an easy target. Avoid alleys and shady side streets that don’t have visibility. You don’t want to be in an unsafe situation with no way of escaping. The later the night gets, the seedier the behavior. People can behave very unpredictably, especially when consuming alcohol.

Is It Worth Visiting Bourbon Street?

Some people enjoy the atmosphere that Bourbon Street has to offer. The drinks and music can be an excellent way to relax while on vacation and enjoy yourself. However, it can be dangerous and a bit overwhelming. It’s certainly not for everybody! You’ll have a good time if you like loud music and expensive drinks. However, if you’re looking for an authentic New Orleans experience, you’ll have to travel off Bourbon Street.

Do you plan to visit Bourbon Street?

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