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GoNOLA’s Guide to a Great Girls Getaway in New Orleans

bourbon street
A stop on Bourbon Street is always a fun detour on a girls' night out in NOLA. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

If you’re looking for the perfect destination to have a getaway weekend with your girlfriends, whether it’s for a bachelorette party, a birthday, or just to spend some time together, New Orleans should be at the top of your list!  There are plenty of fun activities that your group of friends can enjoy together in a carefree, celebratory atmosphere.  Here are some ideas for places to visit during your trip, outlined in order of your day’s itinerary.

Bananas Foster French Toast from Surrey’s Café & Juice Bar (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Start with Brunch

Every good day I ever have starts with brunch, for multiple reasons – my top two being that I’ve likely slept in and the first thing I’m doing involves a good meal.  Some favorite brunch options of mine are Surrey’s in the Lower Garden District for fresh juice, Satsuma in the Riverbend for their yerba mate lattes and house-made gluten-free bread, and Café Amelie, where you can sit outside in the beautiful French Quarter. A fancier option would be to have afternoon tea at Windsor Court, which is served at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday – Sunday.

Do Some Shopping

If you’re here for a bachelorette party, splurge on some quality lingerie for the bride from Trashy Diva.  There are also great outfits to be found at the many boutiques sprinkled along Magazine Street, including Hemline and Jean Therapy.  A new favorite of mine is Hattie Sparks in the Riverbend for super-cute day dresses and fun home decor.  In the French Quarter, I recommend stopping by UAL to see if they have any good designer finds and browsing the antique stores and galleries on and near Royal Street.  (Also check out our shopping guides to the French Quarter, the Riverbend, Magazine Street, the Riverwalk, and Oak Street.)

Get Pampered

After you’re sufficiently worn out from shopping, it’s time for relaxing at the spa.  Remember to make an appointment ahead of time so your group can be seen together.  Good places to consider are Spa Isbell in the Lower Garden District, Belladonna Uptown, the beautiful Woodhouse Day Spa in Mid-City, or the downtown Ritz-Carlton Spa, where you can lounge together after your spa services.

Bar Tonique in the French Quarter offers a fantastic happy hour. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Hit Up Happy Hour for Drinks and Small Plates

Before getting ready to go out, stop by one of these smaller spots to have a fancy drink or an appetizer.  I like Three Muses on Frenchmen for their live music and feta fries, Bacchanal Wine for outdoor seating, and Cure for their extensive specialty cocktail menu and puffed pork skins.  Other good options are O.A.K. Wine Bar, Bar Tonique, Baru, and Bouligny Tavern.

Treat Yourselves to a Nice Dinner

There is no shortage of great restaurants to try in New Orleans, so hopefully you’ve worked up an appetite getting ready! Milkfish has been generating a large amount of buzz as their Filipino food is wonderfully delicious, not to mention a fun, different option for dinner, and Doris Metropolitan has also been getting great reviews as a newer steakhouse on the scene.  Other good options are Mariza, Cane & Table, and Boucherie.  Again, you will want to make a reservation ahead of time to ensure your party can be seated on time; call the restaurant to see if they accept them.

Enjoy the New Orleans Nightlife

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without checking out the nightlife you’ve heard so much about, right?  Monkey Hill and St. Joe’s are great spots Uptown to sit and chat with a group of friends.  If you want something in walking distance to other bars, there is a growing going-out scene on Freret Street near Publiq House.  Finally, if you are looking for something a bit more rowdy, you can start off near Lucy’s in the CBD and make your way to the French Quarter, visiting Bourbon Street and ending your night at Pat O’s or the Goldmine.

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