As Valentine’s Day approaches, we know you might be thinking hard about how to spend this romantic day — but why wait until then? Take a break from your standard take-out and a Netflix and check out one of these romantic date ideas to get you and your loved one — or prospective loved one — out and exploring New Orleans.
4 Romantic Date Ideas in New Orleans
First dates can always be a bit intimidating, so try breaking those inevitable awkward silences with a few laughs. In New Orleans’ thriving comedy scene, there are so many places to take in a show. Plan to catch at show at The New Movement (TNM), where shows happen every Wednesday-Sunday, and make a night of it on St. Claude Avenue. If it’s the second Saturday of the month, head down there early for some art gallery hopping. After, get some bowls of freshly made pasta at the cozy Arabella Casa Di Pasta (if you really want to break the ice, the city’s best karaoke bar, Kajun’s Pub, is in the building adjacent to the restaurant). Grab some wine at the delightful and dog-friendly Faubourg Wines — either cozy up in one of the coveted window nooks for a few glasses, or grab a bottle to bring with you to TNM, which is BYOB and across the street. An outing that’s laid-back and inexpensive makes for a fun, low-stakes first or second date; luckily, the Wednesday night show at the comedy theater is free, and most other shows are between $5-$10.
Maybe you’ve been on a few dates with this person and want to up the romance — channeling the French is the way to go. The French culture’s influence on New Orleans is strong, especially when it comes to its cuisine. Make it a daylong date: Start the day off with a stroll through the French Quarter, and go ahead and pretend that you’re actually in France. Stop in for a chocolate croissant at Le Croissant d’Or and people-watch from the window seats or head to their courtyard. For dinner, head to La Crepe Nanou in Uptown where the vibe will transport you to a romantic and dimly lit French cafe. If you would prefer to go to Mid-City, Cafe Degas on Esplanade Avenue — a charming French bistro named for the impressionist who lived for a short time down the street — is a natural choice for a French-themed outing. For more ideas for French activities, check out the Alliance Francaise of New Orleans.
If you’re a more adventurous pair, put on your walking shoes and discover the great outdoors in your own backyard. Rustle up a picnic from St. James Cheese Company and the wine shop next door, The Wine Seller, and make your way to the river. The Fly at Audubon Park is a beautiful spot to throw Frisbees, take in a sunset, or watch tightrope walkers and acrobats practice. If you’re a water lover, every March to November the New Orleans Yacht Club, located on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain, hosts Wednesday night races, giving you a chance to join a crew or take in a beautiful display from the shore. If you want to get away without really leaving the city, visit Couturie Forest, a 60-acre haven for nature lovers complete with two trails, located in the heart of City Park.
Let the Good Times Roll
Have an urban adventure on two wheels with a bike rental from one of these places and make your way around Bayou St. John in Mid-City. Start at Parkway Bakery to fuel up on po-boys and root beers and begin your journey by following along the bayou. Stop at Magnolia Bridge for a quick photo while you take in the view (this is another romantic spot for a picnic). Swing a right when you get to Esplanade and pull off to relax at Fortier Park. If you’ve worked up an appetite, hit up 1000 Figs for fresh and filling Mediterranean food. Check out more bicycle-friendly ideas here.