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Located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Canal Street is the widest main street in the United States. At 170 feet wide, Canal Street provides plenty of space for the lively celebrations for which it is known, especially during Carnival. There are three lanes of traffic on each side of the street, and a pair of streetcar and bus lanes in the center.For more than a century, Canal Street was the ultimate shopping destination in New Orleans. Many local historical department stores, such as Maison Blanche, Krauss and D.H. Holmes remained in operation until the 1980's. Canal Street was also the location of the world's first movie theater, as well as many other theaters for film and live performance alike. Many of the grand buildings on Canal Street are now used as restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops, but have been restored so that visitors can appreciate the history and grandeur of the beautiful buildings.Many people—tourists as well as locals—sought shelter in the hotels along Canal Street during Hurricane Katrina. Since the disaster, Canal Street has been returning to its former grandeur slowly, and is still a must-see for visitors to New Orleans.
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