Bourbon Street is, by far, the most famous and popular tourist attraction in New Orleans. Bourbon Street is like no other street in the world. On Bourbon one will find everything from five star hotels to strip joints. Bourbon Street is open twenty four hours a day. All day and all night there are people partying up and down the street.
Synonymous throughout the world with fun, good times and non-stop sensory pleasures, the tourist and commercial Bourbon Street of today started out in an entirely different direction. In 1722, the French Capital in the "New World" was moved from Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana.
French Engineer Adrien de Pauger laid out the master plan for the city and Bourbon Street became one of the La Nouvelle Orleans first streets. It was named to honor the great ruling dynasty of the time, The Bourbons.
The Bourbons were one of Europe's most enduring and powerful ruling families. In France, Spain, and Naples, they ruled through various eras from 1589-1860. France was under the rule of Louis XIV at the time, and New Orleans was a Bourbon Colony. Bourbon Street was so named to honor him. It remained a stately residential and local shopping street well into the 20th century.
The commercial expansion of Bourbon Street began to accelerate in the 1920's and 30's. After the war, it became known as primarily a commercial street that catered to the entertainment and purchasing preferences of out of town visitors. It gained international attention in the 50's when "strip clubs" offered carnal viewing pleasures to people from far and wide.
Since then it has grown into one of the biggest and most successful entertainment and retailing areas of the world. Millions of visitors pour through Bourbon Street annually. If you asked most people in the world to name one street that comes to mind when you mention New Orleans and the French Quarter, they'll say Bourbon Street.