New Orleans is a city made for lovers. Whether you’re newly entranced with your sweetie or have been spooning for decades, the city’s allure is sure to turn the heat up a notch or two. It’s one damn sexy place, anyway you look at it.
Imagine strolling through the picturesque Garden District, with its lacy iron fences, Victorian architecture and canopies of Live oak trees. Hand in hand, you whisper plans for the evening ahead. Where will you go to make sure this night is one that both of you will remember forever?
If your honey is the outdoor type, a sunset at The Fly in Audubon Park capped off with a few delicious scoops from Creole Creamery might be just the ticket. If you’ve done all the typical date stuff through the years, try riding the St. Charles streetcar through an afternoon rain shower.
New Orleans casts a spell with its historical beauty and vibrant culture. The French Quarter is the place to go for walking hand in hand, soaking up the sights, the stars and the moment. At Jackson Square, mule-drawn carriages await, ready to take couples on a magical journey around town. This is a great experience on a cloudless night with a cool breeze carrying jazz through the air.
Then there’s dancing, smooth and cool, cheek to cheek, or hot and sweaty, with abandon, a prelude (hopefully) of good things to come.
The Steamboat Natchez is a throwback to the days when steamboats cruised up and down the mighty Mississippi for commerce and pleasure. The Natchez floats its lunch/dinner guests down the Mississippi daily as they enjoy a menu of Creole favorites and soak in some live jazz. The climate-controlled dining area ensures the boat’s casually dressed guests stay dry and warm regardless of weather occurrences. Food is pretty straightforward comfort specialties, hearty and all you can eat. There’s room for dancing to the spirited music of the Dukes of Dixieland and several bars that deliver one of the best bloody Mary’s in town.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The historic Steamboat Natchez offers one of the most romantic ways to take in the grand Mississippi.
Beth’s expert tip: You won’t find a better photo-op of the New Orleans skyline than aboard the Natchez.
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The largest green space in New Orleans, City Park boasts 1,300 acres featuring original artwork, excellent sports facilities and attractions like the New Orleans Botanical Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art, all surrounded by picturesque lagoons and sprawling lawns. There’s no age limit to riding the antique carousel in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park or rent a paddleboat or kayak and tool around the lake. City Park is a great place to bike, stroll or picnic under the Spanish moss-draped oak trees. The various lagoons and greens offer romantic duos plenty of places to get lost and do some necking.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: City Park, with its leafy canopy of live oaks and natural beauty is the perfect place to spend a quiet, relaxing day.
Beth’s expert tip: Rent a paddle boat or SUP and head out on the lagoon.
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Photo courtesy of Beth D’Addono
Here are a few things N7, the hidden gem of a French restaurant in the upper 9th ward doesn’t have: a phone, live music, creole cuisine and New Orleans-inspired decor. Now here’s what you will get if you track down this unassuming bistro tucked behind a wooden fence just off of St. Claude Avenue: a gorgeous, candlelit courtyard complete with an old Citroen off to one side; cool retro meets French pop music; a menu that includes expected favorites like steak au poivre and mussels. There’s a good rose by the glass, a nice wine list overall and a small bar at which to drink some. N7 is the roadway that goes between Paris and the Italian border, but you probably already know that.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This romantic French restaurant is just the ticket to get your baby in the mood.
Beth’s expert tip: There’s only a small lettered N7 on the gate, when you turn left off of St. Claude it’s in the first block to the right.
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Photo courtesy of Beth D’Addono
The New Orleans Streetcar is the preeminent mode of transportation in the Crescent City. Traveling through the middle of major streets such as St. Charles, Canal and Carrollton, the streetcar is an affordable method of transportation that allows you to soak in the sights as you move closer to your end destination. $1.25 gets you aboard, and if lucky, you’ll have a streetcar operator that will act as a pseudo tour guide, pointing out important landmarks. The streetcar itself is of historical significance to the city. It is the oldest continually operating street railway system in the entire world, moving city-goers around since the 19th century.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Riding an original 19th century St. Charles streetcar is a seminal New Orleans experience.
Beth’s expert tip: A seat by the window is like getting a show for your ticket price.
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Drinking strong cocktails or a bottle of wine in the outdoor courtyard at Bacchanal is simply one of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon with your baby. But really anytime is fine to visit this Bywater classic on Poland Street just a stone’s throw from the river. Pick up a bottle of wine at the shop out front and head outside where you can order an inspired cheese plate or just about anything from the kitchen’s inventive menu (love the whole grilled fish with tomatillo salsa). If it’s rainy the upstairs bar is lovely, but when the weather is fine, the open-air courtyard is the perfect spot for live music and whispered sweet nothings.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Bacchanal is a sweet and romantic wine bar and restaurant located in Bywater with live music under the stars.
Beth’s expert tip: Pick up a bottle of wine at the shop out front if a glass or two won’t do.
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On a rainy afternoon in New Orleans, there’s no better place to be than the balcony of the historic Prytania Theatre, cooking up some honest to goodness Hollywood romance with your real-life love interest. Opened in 1915, this charming theater is the oldest in the city and the only single-screen left in Louisiana. Couples can share gelato or a freshly made cappuccino during daytime favorites like Citizen Kane or Some Like It Hot or cuddle up for midnight screenings of cult classics like Rocky Horror Picture Show. Besides special film series and festivals, the Prytania also screens popular hits and art and foreign films.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Pryantia is a historic single screen theater with a balcony, mechanical curtains and a “Phantom of the Opera” style organ up front.
Beth’s expert tip: The Prytania isn’t a mega-theater so to guarantee a seat buy tickets in advance online.
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Photo courtesy of New Orleans CVB
The velvety tones of sax, the swing of trombone and soul-thumping beat of drums create a uniquely mesmerizing atmosphere at The Spotted Cat, where some of New Orleans’ greatest jazz and blues musicians take the stage and own it from open to close. Everything about this usually hopping lounge lends itself to a spirited, carefree experience, including the potent drinks, welcoming staff and an easy-going crowd looking for nothing but fun as they swing and jitterbug the night away. Afternoon shows from 3 or 4 pm are sure to get you in the mood for cheek to cheek action now, or later on, back at the hotel.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Spotted Cat is a favorite stop along the Frenchmen Street music scene.
Beth’s expert tip: Even if you can’t stay up late, Spotted Cat offers afternoon shows to get you in the mood.
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Photo courtesy of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
Often called the heart of New Orleans, Jackson Square is full of energy and activity. Facing the Mississippi River and directly across from the St. Louis Cathedral, the Square stands in the shadows of the Andrew Jackson statue, erected for his heroism during the Battle of New Orleans. Here you will find street artists painting during the day and jazz musicians by night, along with fortune-tellers and other kinds of street theater. The gardens are great for a leisurely stroll. This is one of the sites for the French Quarter Festival in April, where local restaurants set up stands and dish out delicious cuisine.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Jackson Square offers much for the romantic couple during the day, but taking a mule-drawn carriage ride at night is a smooch-worthy option.
Beth’s expert tip: Walking around the square is a great way to connect with local artists.
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Wrought iron fences, exquisite gardens and pillared mansions line the streets of the Garden District. The area, bordered by St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street, as well as Jackson Avenue and Louisiana Avenue, is where the city’s original American sector settled. Highlights include the St. Charles Streetcar line, which offers convenient transit to the French Quarter, and Lafayette Cemetery. The Garden District has its share of celebs, past and present, including Anne Rice, Trent Reznor and John Goodman. The best way to soak up the scenery is on foot, all the better if you’re holding your sweetie’s hand along the way.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Garden District is one of the must-see neighborhoods in New Orleans.
Beth’s expert tip: Add in some shopping along Magazine Street when you do your strolling.
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Photo courtesy of Dita Margarita
The Fly is a favorite spot for New Orleans locals, a strip of frontage along the Mississippi River behind Audubon Zoo. On weekends, people flock in droves for grilling, crawfish boils, sunning and sports. Set up camp steps from the Mississippi and watch the big boats maneuver through the currents. Numerous fields exist for kids and adults to enjoy their favorite ball games. If you don’t come with enough to field a squad of your own, others will be glad to include you in their pickup games. Dusk is a great time to show up, as the sun sets right over the river, a truly spectacular sight.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Fly offers a picture-postcard sunset opportunity best enjoyed with a shared bottle of wine.
Beth’s expert tip: This is one of just a handful of places in town where you can really take in views of the hard working Mississippi.
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