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Best Local Things to Do

The Heart of NOLA: A Romantic Itinerary

Let our romantic itinerary be your guide for love-y, lusty, charming things to see, do, eat, and drink around New Orleans.

Frenchmen arts market
Browse any one of the many art markets in New Orleans. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

New Orleans is seductive. Having a romance with the city — her music, food, culture, and people — is as easy as breathing in the jasmine-scented air. Likewise, when it comes to finding ways to be romantic, New Orleans has an embarrassment of riches. Our romantic itinerary is bursting with things to see, do, eat, and drink — check it out below.

New Orleans Romantic Itinerary

Things to See & Do

There is always a lot happening around town. Music shows, festivals, markets, and more are all opportunities to romance a special someone and soak in the romantic lure of New Orleans. Simply meandering the streets of New Orleans can be special, but seeing the Mississippi River at sunset (sunrise, too), or swaying on a streetcar passing grand homes and moss-hung trees, is stunning and, sigh, romantic.

Walk and picnic the parks — Crescent, Audubon, and City Park are all great places to explore, relax, and unwind.

Throughout the year, the wildflower fields are frequently in bloom in City Park. This hidden spot is near Tad Gormley Stadium at the end of Roosevelt Drive in City Park along Marconi Drive. It's a new favorite spot for engagement, baby, and wedding portraits. Just don't trample all over the wildflowers, and stick to the paths between each plot, it's better for the flowers and less muddy for your feet!
This romantic spot is near Tad Gormley Stadium at the end of Roosevelt Drive in City Park along Marconi Drive. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Take a day or night tour — Tours themed around history, mystery, or even cocktails are just the beginning. Tailor your tour experience to your significant other’s personal interests for a memorable, romantic date.

Snuggle at Snug Harbor — Or Three Muses, or any of the Marigny music clubs while listening to jazz from local musicians.

Wander local markets There’s so much to gawk at and enjoy, from food to wearable (or wall) art at Frenchmen Art Market, the French Market, Crescent City Farmers’ Market, and more.

Visitors stroll through French Market. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)
Visitors stroll through French Market. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Take a streetcar ride — The green streetcars along St. Charles Avenue are your ticket to a leisurely tour of the city as you roll along underneath ancient oaks and past stately mansions. Prices are a steal — just $1.25 for a single-ride fare or $3 for an unlimited, all-day ticket.

A streetcar rolls along St. Charles Avenue. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Shop — New Orleans artisans cover a lot of ground, including smart and sassy tees at Dirty Coast or Fleurty Girl; wall art from galleries on Royal or Magazine Streets; locally-inspired fragrances at Hove on Chartres Street; a memorable piece of jewelry from Jose Balli, GoGo, or Mignon Faget; sunnies from Krewe du Optic, and many, many more.

Eat & Drink

Drinking and dining go together like you and your honey. Here are a few ideas for romantic dining in New Orleans.

Coffee and beignets — Every local has his or her favorite, but it’s almost impossible to go wrong with a plate of crispy, fried beignets showered in powdered sugar and paired with steaming cups of milky café au lait (made with dark New Orleans coffee and chicory). Try Morning Call, Café Beignet, or Café du Monde.

Beignets and cafe au lait from Morning Call. (Photo: Paul Broussard)
Beignets and café au lait from Morning Call. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Seafood – Not immediately obvious, but anytime eating by hand is possible, it’s a must-do. Nothing is sexier (or more delicious) than feeding a loved one peeled, well-spiced crawfish, sweet shrimp, fat lumps of crab meat, or slurping briny, aphrodisiacal Gulf oysters.

Spirits – Cocktailing can be tame or wild — in New Orleans, it’s both. Whether you fancy a bottle of wine (and a nibble) at Bacchanal, a spin on the carousel at the Carousel Bar & Lounge, or a French Quarter to-go cup, there’s a cocktail for every taste.

new orleans restaurant
Eggplant, mussels and a bottle of rose on the Bacchanal patio. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Sweets – There’s another word for romance: dessert. Need a few ideas? How about sticky-sweet treats from Southern Candymakers; Bourbon-caramel ice cream and a glass of bubbly at Kenton’s; white chocolate bread pudding crème brûlée at Restaurant R’evolution; and over-the-top sundaes at Angelo Brocato’s or Creole Creamery.

The sweetly vintage exterior of Angelo Brocato's. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
The sweetly vintage exterior of Angelo Brocato Italian Ice Cream and Pastry. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Cooking Classes – Cooking is the perfect date-night activity, and there are plenty of great cooking schools and classes to help you tap into that inner chef. Check out Langlois, New Orleans School of Cooking, or the myriad other single-experience Creole/Cajun cooking classes in the French Quarter.

Any New Orleans Meal, Anywhere – So many options! Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or late-night — any shared meal is a moment to sit back, relax, and swoon: the unique regional cuisine is steeped in history and crafted with excruciating care, even if it’s a big bowl of gumbo.

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