New Orleans is a city renowned for Mardi Gras and its rich history, unique culture, and vibrant spirit. It is a city home to diverse people, traditions, and lifestyles. One thing that makes New Orleans so special is its famous streets. These streets are not only well-known for their charm and character, but they are also an integral part of the city’s story.
Here are some of the most famous streets in New Orleans:
Bourbon Street is generally the first thing that comes to mind when people think of New Orleans. It is a street associated with pleasure, music, and nightlife. The boulevard, which runs through the city’s French Quarter, is home to a plethora of pubs, clubs, and restaurants. It is a popular hangout for both residents and tourists looking to have a good time.
Bourbon Street is the place to go for a good time at any time of day or night, regardless of what that means to you. Entertainment abounds, from voodoo charms to exotic dancers, and drinks are served constantly while jazz music floats on the wind.
If you aren’t currently staying in one of the many hotels in the French Quarter, you may quickly find your way to Bourbon Street. Use a ride-sharing service, a taxi, or the New Orleans trolley system. Every vehicle in town knows where Bourbon Street is.
Live jazz is constantly available. You may follow your ears to locate some of New Orleans’ most excellent musicians or visit the city’s most popular music venue, Fritzel’s European Jazz Club. Try New Orleans Musical Legends Park for live music, food, and beverages in an outdoor cafe-style setting for a calmer outdoor environment.
Another aspect of New Orleans culture that attracts interested visitors is voodoo. The Marie Laveau House of Voodoo, located on Bourbon Street, is oriented toward tourists. It is a delightful site with its spell candles, gris-gris bags, and other “magical” products.
To learn more about New Orleans culture, several tour operators provide specialized Bourbon Street trips. They take pride in anything from food to vampires.
Bourbon Street and its surrounding 13 blocks have been a part of New Orleans ever since a French engineer designed the city in the early 1700s. For many visitors, just strolling down the street is enough of a distraction, but one of the most popular pastimes while in New Orleans is taking advantage of the city’s exceptional food and beverage scene.
Galatoire’s Restaurant, established in 1905 and offering French Creole food, is one of the best restaurants on Bourbon Street. This reasonably expensive restaurant is a must-visit for supper.
One of the most prominent beverage destinations is Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. It’s housed in a 1700s tower and is said to have a pirate link. Another famous drinking establishment is The Carousel Bar, which has a carousel. Whatever you do, try some of The Big Easy’s distinctive cocktails, such as the Hurricane (juice and rum) and the Hand Grenade (a mystery neon concoction that will knock you off your feet).
Jackson Square is a busy and historic park in New Orleans’ French Quarter. This district designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, has many of the city’s oldest structures. It is named for Andrew Jackson, a Battle of New Orleans hero whose equestrian monument stands at the park’s center.
The paved area is surrounded by flowers, plants, and trees that provide shelter from the summer sun. Along its streets, you may also find concession booths, art displays, and a variety of lively events throughout the year. Jackson Square is famous for its annual outdoor art show featuring the works of two hundred local painters. It is New Orleans’ most visited attraction.
Aside from the artwork, Jackson Square boasts an extensive array of businesses to visit, offering both budget-friendly and expensive cuisine. Clothing and shoe businesses predominate here. Speciality stores also provide voodoo-related things, video games, and children’s toys.
Jackson Square hosts several of New Orleans’ most important events. The French Quarter Festival offers free music performances and unique events in April. In the winter, Jackson Square is filled with candle lights and carollers in the evenings.
Along the Mississippi River, Jackson Square is located on Decatur Street. The St. Louis Cathedral serves as a backdrop. Using the New Orleans Streetcar, you can get to Jackson Square by taking the Riverfront line. This streetcar route also connects to Cafe DuMonde, a renowned restaurant known for its café au lait and beignets.
St. Charles Avenue
While less widely known than Bourbon Street, St. Charles Avenue is one of New Orleans’ most renowned thoroughfares. St. Charles Avenue has acquired the label “the Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues” for stretching across a vast section of the city, from the banks of the Mississippi River in the Uptown and Carrollton neighborhoods to the commercial area. The oak-lined avenue is home to many historic residences, architecture going back to New Orleans’ origins, and a rich, romantic ambience far from the Crescent City’s more party-centric regions.
Given the street’s massive size and closeness to New Orleans’ most popular tourist neighborhoods, getting to St. Charles Avenue is simple. The regions near the Vieux Carre, Audubon Park, and Loyal and Tulane (two of the city’s institutions) are among the most picturesque sites along the route. Seeing the full length of the street is as simple as stepping aboard the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar, which allows you to climb on and off at your leisure.
Suppose you ask any local or regular visitor to New Orleans to describe St. Charles Avenue. In that case, they will probably talk about how green it is and how old the oak trees are. But just a few steps off St. Charles Avenue, you can find more nature to explore, mostly in Audubon Park.
The park has running and biking paths, an extensive golf course, and the Audubon Park Lagoon. It is in a neighborhood with the same name. A peaceful place to watch the Mississippi River is Audubon Riverview Park, which is right next to it. The park is also home to the Tree of Life, a huge oak tree that may be as old as 500 years. The tree used to be part of a sugarcane farm, but now it’s a fun place for daring travelers to climb.
Congo Square, located in the southern corner of Armstrong Park, was a gathering place for enslaved and free people of color during the nineteenth century for meetings, open marketplaces, and the African dance and drumming festivities that played a significant part in the formation of jazz. Local voodoo practitioners still regard Congo Square as their spiritual home and meet there for ceremonies.
On Sunday afternoons, city authorities permitted enslaved people to congregate outside of the city north of Rampart Street, originally known as Place de Negres or Place Congo; nevertheless, the city extended beyond this meeting site, and it became known as Congo Square.
Congo Square became a gathering place for enslaved people to exchange music, dance, and other customs. Catholic Creole enslavers were often less harsh in forcing enslaved people to become Christians and abandon their African culture than their Protestant slave-owning rivals.
Many enslaved people would strip down, dance, and sing to escape the heat. Whites who witnessed them were especially impressed with the “Calinda” dance. Though white enslavers found the dancing scandalous at times, they judged that enslaved people who took a break were often more productive. Therefore they often turned a blind eye.
Congo Square remains, despite white municipal administrators’ attempts to limit its activities following the Civil War. It’s a significant location for Black culture and music. Many music historians believe that the square was critical to the birth of jazz music.
Many residences were removed as part of a revitalization plan for the Tremé neighborhood. Louis Armstrong Park was established around Congo Square. Today, the community is well-known for its jazz music, soul cuisine, and African and Creole cultural history. In this mystical location, many voodoo practitioners assemble to perform rituals.
Magazine Street is a six-mile shopping, dining, and entertainment mecca. There’s a combination of vintage stores, grab-and-go eateries, bakeries, novelty shops, bars, and fine dining, mostly in Uptown New Orleans but also in the Lower Garden District and downtown.
Magazine Street has been around since the late 1700s and early 1800s when it was filled with shops called “rue de magasins.” Magazine Street evolved to strike a balance between residential and business establishments, giving us the street we know today. Magazine Street, which was once divided into four independent marketplaces, grew dynamically and without the assistance of a master planner.
Magazine Street may be explored on foot. There are several fantastic cafés, restaurants, and pubs for when you need to refuel throughout your shopping trip. Several sites, including Spanish Plaza, Harrah’s Casino New Orleans, and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, are also within a 10-minute walk of the street.
The broad mix of independent and foreign stores on Magazine Street makes shopping the major draw. Many companies are housed in 19th-century structures, creating the impression that you are in another period. Compared to Bourbon Street and Jackson Square, Magazine Street has a more local feel, which is ideal if you want to experience a regular day in downtown New Orleans.
Alice & Amelia is an excellent destination for locally sourced souvenirs, quality crafts, and handcrafted jewelry. Funky Monkey specializes in vintage clothing, costumes, and accessories. Derby Pottery & Tile is known for its handcrafted Victorian-style tiles, vases, and mugs. It is also responsible for the city’s street tile lettering.
Aside from shopping, Magazine Street boasts a number of historical and family-friendly things to visit. The National WWII Museum provides a hands-on experience with several exhibits, a submarine experience, and a 4D theater. Art enthusiasts may visit several prominent studios and galleries in the Warehouse District. A short walk from The National WWII Museum is the Contemporary Arts Center and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
Audubon Park, located near the southern end of Magazine Street, features historic live oak trees, bike routes, playgrounds, and protected picnic spaces. Children may visit the Audubon Zoo and learn about exotic species. At the same time, adults can tee off at the Audubon Park Golf Course.
Magazine Street’s food scene is broad, catering to various tastes and prices. Cuisines from throughout the world are available, including Mediterranean, Israeli, Indian, and Italian. Of course, authentic Louisianan eateries abound.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, stop into Haydel’s Bake Shop. This award-winning bakery specializes in the legendary Mardi Gras king cake. Still, the menu also includes sweet and savory croissants.
In a lovely 1800s hamlet, La Petite Grocery provides exceptional drinks and modern Louisiana dishes (try the crab beignets!). Meanwhile, Lilette is a terrific destination in New Orleans for traditional French cuisine and beverages.
Royal Street is one of New Orleans’ most well-known thoroughfares. It forms the pulsing core of the famed French Quarter, running parallel to party-crazy Bourbon Street and the ancient walkways of Chartres Street. It also stretches north and east into the neighborhoods of Marigny and trendy Bywater. There are more honky-tonks and weird shops than you can shake a po’boy sub sandwich at, so you will be energized here.
The highlights of Royal Street are in the street’s overall beauty. Every turn reveals a wrought-iron balcony, a carved Victorian veranda, or an elegant 1800s home adorned with subtropical ferns and flower baskets. All that changes as you travel north on Royal Street to the Marigny section. There are also classic Creole shotgun dwellings and graffiti-strewn walls to be seen there.
Royal Street has its fair share of attractions. The junction of Royal and St. Peter may sometimes feel like New Orleans’ counterpart to Hyde Park Corner, with buskers and street entertainers performing their skills. In green courtyards, secret café-bars are serving Southern comfort food. Visit the world-famous Court of the Two Sisters and fine-dining Brennan’s, which overlooks the majestic Louisiana Supreme Court.
Shopping is something that Royal Street does better than any other portion of the French Quarter. Bourbon Street and Decatur handle the parties, but this lengthy stretch of galleries, concept stores, and curiosity shops is all about distinctive New Orleans retail therapy.
Fans of customized art will be satisfied. Around the whole Canal Street crossroads, you’ll discover the whimsical Kezic Gallery and the excellent art of the Lozano & Barbuti Gallery. Furthermore, there are more antique shops than you can visit in a single day. Add to it a smattering of creepy Voodoo trinket shops and New Age magic shops, and it’s easy to understand why this is a window shopper’s paradise.
Royal Street is one of New Orleans’ primary thoroughfares. If you intend to stay anywhere near the famed French Quarter, you can stroll there. The quickest way to find it is to go to the Mississippi River’s western bank and proceed two blocks in. That’s Royal, Viola.
Royal Street is frequently considered a gentler alternative to Bourbon Street, but that doesn’t mean it’s peaceful. It still buzzes with life and excitement into the small morning hours, especially on weekends and around Mardi Gras. If you’re bringing children, you should stay somewhere else.
Frenchmen Street is an excellent area to catch the live music scene in New Orleans. It is in the Seventh Ward, from Esplanade Avenue to St. Claude Avenue. The street contains the city’s most significant number of live music venues, so you’re sure to discover a venue playing your favorite genre during your visit to New Orleans.
There’s anything you want to hear, from traditional New Orleans jazz to rock. Street concerts, as are clubs that showcase live music in the evenings, are relatively common. There are also various hotels, Creole homes, restaurants, local shops, and cafés on the street.
Frenchmen Street is most known for its live music culture. It is home to historic music establishments, restaurants, and clubs that line a three-block stretch of Faubourg Marigny. The Blue Nile is believed to be one of Frenchmen Street’s forefathers of music culture; anticipate superb bands singing funk, blues, and soul, as well as DJs spinning dance tracks till late.
Three Muses is an elite jazz bar and restaurant near the Blue Nile, serves small cosmopolitan meals and handcrafted drinks. The Maison is a three-story music venue popular among jazz, brass, and funk aficionados. Weekend shows begin at 4 p.m., while weekday shows begin at 5 p.m.
The Apple Barrel hosts regular jazz and blues events in an intimate setting with incredible acoustics. Check out Dragon’s Den if you enjoy a more extensive choice of music. The two-story club contains two bars and two stages. Its schedule includes reggae, jazz, funk, rock, EDM, hip-hop, and burlesque performances.
Washington Square Park provides much-needed relief from the hustle and bustle of Frenchmen Street. The 2.54-acre park, established in the 1800s, is a popular gathering spot in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. There are benches under old oak trees, street performers around the park, and special events and performances throughout the year.
As one of the historic neighborhood’s most picturesque and calm streets, Esplanade Avenue is one of New Orleans’ hidden secrets. It is an experience you will not want to miss, from its humble origins as a portage path connecting Bayou St. John and Lake Pontchartrain’s connection to the Mississippi River to its majestic magnificence as “Millionaire’s Row” of the Creole District.
Esplanade Avenue has a unique role in New Orleans history. The street is lined with 19th-century mansions and various other vividly colored residences, including small “shotgun”-style cottages.
Outside of the French Quarter, Esplanade Avenue was one of the locations where “slave pens” were erected. The life of Solomon Northup, author of “Twelve Years a Slave,” who was confined in such a pen before being sold into slavery in 1841, is commemorated by a historical monument plaque near the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Chartres Street.
If you enjoy jazz, visit the New Orleans Jazz Museum within the Old US Mint on Esplanade Avenue. The structure was constructed in 1839 and served as a cash exchange for both the United States and the Confederacy while it was in use.
On Esplanade Avenue, you should also stop by the Edgar Degas House. In 1873, the French painter stayed with his American relatives for a few months. It is said that he made some of his best-known works here. The house is now a small museum and a bed-and-breakfast.
Oak Street spans from the western bends of the Mississippi River to the eastern grounds of Tulane University in New Orleans. It is just over a mile long. It is one of the main roads in Uptown New Orleans, and is always busy. It has everything from traditional American diners to rough tattoo parlors and beautiful shotgun houses from the 1800s.
Oak Street hits a peak as you head to its northwest end, past the crossing with Carrollton Avenue. The crooked cypress trees on the sidewalk and the bijou shotgun houses are no longer there. In their place, you’ll find a mix of BBQ places that smell like wood and Southern cookhouses that serve New Orleans po’boy sub sandwiches.
Perfect for shopping is the part of the strip where it meets Leake Avenue. There are so many shops there that it’s hard to know where to start. There are neon-hazed sign shops, old clothing stores, record emporiums, and shabby second-hand book collectors. Most are locally owned and run by their people.
Some people say that the best time to go to Oak Street is when the sun starts to go down. You won’t run out of food, that’s for sure. In the Cajun restaurants, you can get deep-fried grits and shrimp, and places like Jacques-Imo serve filling Creole food. If you’re feeling daring, try the alligator sausage.
Oak Street also has a lot to do at night. Most famously, it’s home to the now-famous Maple Leaf Bar, which has been around since 1974 and is a New Orleans jazz scene veteran. You could also come for the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, which is held every year in the fall and has live music and lots of food.
Even though Oak Street is busy at night, the vibe is better for students and backpackers than for families. Most of the time, the area is safe, but don’t walk alone at night through the side streets of Uptown. The majority of the bars situated on Oak Street tend to become lively during the late hours of the night.