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A Couple’s Guide to New Orleans in 2018

Your taste, see, and sleep guide to the most romantic city in the South.

lgbt couples trip pink french quarter house
Grab your partners and join us in New Orleans. (photo: Probably This)

New Orleans’ devotion to having a good time, combined with its wonderfully romantic architecture, makes it the perfect setting for a couples trip. The large number of festivals, bars, restaurants, unique history, and centuries-old colorful homes come together to create a city any group can enjoy. Check out our recommendations below and start planning your own couple’s trip with a few of your partnered-up friends!

TASTE

mr gregorys taste lgbt couples trip
Don’t miss out on seafood like you’d get at your southern grandma’s house. (photo: xx)

Mr. Gregory’s Shrimp Boil

Ask any New Orleans native where to find the most authentic local foods and they’ll tell you to come over to their grandmother’s house. So many iconic New Orleans dishes are made best in a home kitchen, with friends and family pitching in to make a great meal. Mr. Gregory’s has captured that cozy home setting and authentic cuisine at their upstairs shrimp boil every Thursday through Sunday night. You’ll get to try local boiled shrimp and all the sides in a communal setting. Located on North Rampart street in the French Quarter, it makes the perfect start to any night out in the city. Tickets should be purchased in advance and are available on their website.

Local Breweries with Taprooms

Get a taste of the local brew culture at one of the many incredible breweries and taprooms around the city. New Orleans is no stranger to local breweries, but it has seriously stepped it up with a few fantastic breweries that are producing a huge variety of beers all within the city. Check out Urban South or Nola Brewing Company if you’re planning to stay in the Lower Garden District, or head to mid-city for Second Line Brewery. All of them have great taprooms on site for you and your friends to go hang out and try a few brews. Block off an hour or two one afternoon to check out one (or all!) of them to get a true taste of local brewing.

Late Night Eats

Some of the best experiences in this city are had after hours. Whether you’re had a night of seeing live music or serenading the bar at karaoke, there’s really no better way to end the night then eating in one of the many spots serving up fantastic food until midnight, or even as late as 4 a.m.

For somewhat refined but soulful tapas by Chef Heathcliffe Hailey, check out the upstairs lounge area at Mimi’s in the Marigny. For something a bit more hearty with Southern cuisine, give Saint Lawrence in the French Quarter a try. If you’re looking for classic bar food done right, head to 13 Monaghan (definitely order the “tachos”!) on Frenchman Street, or Faubourg Bistro in the back of 700 Club. Dive into the loaded plates of fries at Fry and Pie in the back of Hi-Ho Lounge or enjoy some “Slavic soul food” at Kukhnya in the back of Siberia, both located in the St. Claude corridor.

EXPERIENCE

Langlois lgbt couples trip
Chef Amy Sims teaches Kyle Krieger, Max Emerson, Matt and Beau how to make Gumbo (photo: GayCities)

Outdoor Excursions

New Orleans is surrounded by untouched swamps and marshes that show off the natural side of south Louisiana. Like many parts of the city itself, they’ve retained their charm and unique appearance for centuries. A guided swamp tour with Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours is a great way to explore with a few friends. If you’d like to stroll, visit Barataria Preserve for a “wetlands walk” where you’ll get acquainted with flora and fauna native to the region. These walks are offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Nightlife

New Orleans is famous for it’s nightlife, and it’s no wonder why. So many corners of the city are filled with bars and clubs that go on and on into the early morning, each offering its patrons a little something different. One of our favorite places to go with a group of friends is Kajun’s Pub, which offers karaoke with one of the largest selection of songs in the city. If dancing is more your thing, check out one of New Orleans’ iconic gay clubs, Oz. For a stiff drink in one of New Orleans’ historic bars, head to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (built in the early 18th century) or Pat O’Brien’s, which was converted from a speakeasy to a full bar at the end of prohibition in 1933. Finally, if you’re just looking to enjoy an evening filled with jazz, head to Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro or Preservation Hall.

Cooking Class

We probably don’t need to tell you this city’s culinary scene shines. While you’ll definitely want to indulge in the many restaurants the city has to offer, perhaps you might want to try your hand at making local cuisine under the instruction of a trained chef. The New Orleans School of Cooking has two options depending on whether you want to watch a chef cook or cook yourself. Bonus – on Sunday, there’s even a Blood Mary bar.

For a more one on one experience, you can find Chef Amy Sims offering classes and demonstrations at events and restaurants throughout New Orleans. Depending on the size of your group, you may even be able to have her come to you for a private cooking lesson in house! To keep up with her event schedule or to schedule your own private booking, check out the Facebook page for Langlois Nola. Check out Episode 1!

SEE

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Matt and Beau out for a leisurely stroll before heading to brunch. (photo: Probably This)

Architecture Tours

Whether you decide to do a self-guided tour, or an organized tour, there’s no doubt you’re going to fall in love with New Orleans architecture. It’s one of the most romantic and charming aspects of the city, and will leave you feeling like you’re in a different time and place in the world. So, grab a drink, and take a stroll through the Lower Garden District or French Quarter.

Art or History Museums

New Orleans has quite a few museums offering both regional and national history, art, and culture. Check out the Historic New Orleans Collection or the McKenna Museum of African American Art to dive into local art and history, or the internationally acclaimed National WWII Museum. Please note the McKenna Museum of African American Art is appointment only – view their website to make a reservation.

Whitney Plantation

There are several plantations in the New Orleans area, with many well-known properties within an hour’s drive of the city. Our recommendation is to check out Whitney Plantation, which is the only plantation in the country to focus primarily on the experience of African Americans during the slavery and plantation era – offering a story and point of view that is a critical part of the city and nation’s history.

SLEEP

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A hidden gem in the Central Business District, Catahoula Hotel. (photo: Catahoula Hotel)

The Catahoula Hotel

With it’s moody vibe and winding hallways, The Catahoula Hotel is our top pick for modern romantic lodging in the city. It’s a small boutique hotel with multiple adorable bars, a small restaurant, and a rooftop for you and your partner or friends to relax and recharge before or after hitting the city. Located in the Central Business District just outside of the French Quarter, it’s a great spot for easy access to downtown or the lower garden district.

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