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The Best Romantic Things to Do in New Orleans

Flowers in French Quarter of New Orleans

Cobblestone streets, ancient oak trees and charming gardens set the scene for romance in New Orleans. The city’s storied neighborhoods with their candlelit restaurant patios and twinkling street lights offer many hidden spots to share a private moment with that someone special. Couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, commemorating a wedding anniversary or going on a first date will find no shortage of romantic things to do in New Orleans. From dancing the night away in a steamy jazz club to snuggling up for an enchanting gondola tour, here are the most romantic spots and activities for making memories with your loved one in New Orleans.

Raise a Glass to Romance

Beer and wine tastings are ideal for celebrating a romantic occasion – or maybe calming your nerves on a first date. The city’s distilleries, microbreweries and cozy wine bars open their doors to alcohol enthusiasts and star-crossed lovers alike, and NOLA’s beer gardens and wine patios are some of the most romantic places in the city.

Impress your date with your wine knowledge or try something new together as you learn about beer making on a brewery tour. Looking for something a little stronger? New Orleans is proud of its cocktail prowess. In fact, some of the South’s most famous cocktails were invented right here in the city. Sample a Sazerac, a Hurricane, or an Absinthe Frappe to set the mood for your special night.

Picnic Under the Oaks

Is there anything more romantic than a kiss under 100-year-old oak trees? New Orleans’ City Park will certainly help you feel a spark. One of the oldest parks in the country, City Park’s 1,300 acres offer beautiful scenery and walking trails, botanical gardens, a charming wooden carousel, and other attractions like a lake and museums. Cozy up with a picnic under the world’s largest grove of mature live oak trees, pose for a photo under the dramatic moss canopies, or stop for a coffee and pastry at Cafe Du Monde. With so many romantic spots in New Orleans’ city park, your daytime picnic date will carry on well into the evening.

Float in a Venetian Gondola

You don’t have to travel to the Venice canals for a magical gondola ride. You can experience the magic of an Italian-inspired gondola tour right here in the gorgeous City Park lagoons. Share a spellbinding moment with that someone special in an authentic, hand-crafted Venetian gondola as your gondolier guides the boat gracefully through the water. Listen to romantic Italian music and snack on cheese and crackers while you share an unforgettable private experience. Don’t forget to pack wine or champagne to spice up your gondola ride. If you’re looking for the most romantic place to propose in New Orleans, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful gondola tour.

Watch the Sunset on Lake Pontchartrain

a sunset over a body of water

Nothing says romance like a gorgeous sunset. Enjoy the peaceful waterfront setting of Lake Pontchartrain, a great place for a memorable date. Connected to the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Pontchartrain is located on the outskirts of the city, so it’s a wonderful place to go when you want to escape the hustle and bustle and share a quiet moment together. Explore by day on a fishing, swimming or boating adventure or claim a bench and watch the sunset over the water. The nearby Lakeview neighborhood is a fun place to explore, with seafood restaurants, marinas and shops close to City Park. Enjoy views of sailboats and lake wildlife over a delicious seafood dinner.

Dine at New Orleans’ Most Romantic Restaurants

With such a diverse culinary history, it should come as no surprise that New Orleans is home to many romantic, white-tablecloth establishments, perfect for marking a special occasion with your loved one. Cozy bistros, upscale French and Creole restaurants and quaint courtyards set the scene for a magical night of great food and even better company. Break bread over a cheese fondue, spice things up with Creole classics, and save room for dessert – everything from baked Alaska to chocolate bread pudding is on the menu. Food aside, New Orleans restaurants do romance right. Think ornate chandeliers, exposed brick walls snaked with ivy, and candlelit corners that make you feel like you’re the only two people in the room.

For a culinary experience that tops a restaurant meal, reserve a private food tour and let a New Orleans local show you some of the best eateries in the city. Be sure to ask them for tips on the best romantic restaurants to enjoy during your visit.

New Orleans is one of the most romantic cities in the country. Whether you make a reservation at an upscale eatery or spend the day wandering the city’s neighborhoods hand in hand, you’ll quickly see what makes New Orleans so intoxicating. Add to your romantic itinerary by booking a room in a luxury hotel, arranging for a relaxing spa day, or listening to live music in Jackson Square. No matter what you have planned, New Orleans’ tropical vibes and stunning scenery are sure to make your romantic getaway all the more memorable.