We’ve all heard of the infamous Bourbon Street. Filled with bars, booze, and booties, Bourbon Street is that never-ending party we all dreamed up during our college years. The drinks are always flowing and the people are always ready to party. But what many tourists do not know is that Bourbon Street has become overrun with cover bands and companies looking to make a quick buck. Wander just a hair past Bourbon street and speak with anyone native to New Orleans and they will quickly correct you: Bourbon Street is where the tourists go….. Frenchman Street is where the locals go.
Up until I decided to visit NOLA for the Essence Festival I’d never heard of Frenchman Street. What was it and why wasn’t it mentioned in any of the travel blogs I read? After spending my first night on Bourbon Street in a drunken haze, I was determined to find somewhere…… more authentic. After speaking to some locals and taking a wonderful walking tour, it was clear what I needed to do on my second night in the city. My friends and I began to make our way to Frenchman Street in the clammy NOLA humidity.
Now I will be the first to admit that I am a hip hop and RnB kind of girl, so upon my arrival to our destination, I was a bit taken back. While I didn’t hear any Yoncé or Drake playing I was still able to get lost in the brass harmonies around me. The atmosphere is much more laid back, it smells heavenly in comparison to its bigger sister, and you can actually find space on the dancefloor. This is a dangerously great combination. Additionally every night you can find a traditional brass band playing on the street. It is a true New Orleans treat. Take a stroll and listen to the symphony surrounding you.
This isn’t to deter you from walking down bourbon with a little too much whiskey in
your system, but for those that want to fully immerse yourself in the culture, Frenchman Street is the way to go. Check out my article the on Essence Music Festival hosted in New Orleans every year.