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Your Romantic New Orleans Honeymoon

“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everything else is Cleveland.”

Tennessee Williams

You may have heard this famous quote before, but if you’ve never visited New Orleans, then you’ve yet to experience the distinct sentiment that Williams is expressing.

While Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and being able to drink alcohol in the streets are some of the most well-known aspects of New Orleans, there is so much more to this unique city.

It’s full of music, art, architecture, charm, incredible food, cocktail culture, history, and fun, making it one of the most interesting places to honeymoon in the U.S. In fact, it will feel a little like you’ve left the country. 

Looking to spend your honeymoon eating incredibly delicious food, exploring a treasure trove of history and culture, and listening to all sorts of music? Then read all about our guide to New Orleans honeymoons.

Romantic Things to Do in New Orleans

You could spend a month here and not do and see everything. Here are some top romantic suggestions for honeymooners. For a more comprehensive list, check out our article 20 Best Things to Do in New Orleans (Besides the French Quarter).

Tour the Garden District

Book a guided tour of the Garden District, a residential area just a few minutes from downtown. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you marvel at the ornate architecture of historic homes in a variety of styles, set back behind wrought iron fences with lovely lush gardens. While you’re in the area, be sure to go shopping on Magazine Street.

Enjoy the New Orleans Jazz Museum

What better place to learn about jazz than in its birthplace? Located in the historic Old U.S. Mint building on Esplanade Avenue (at the edge of the French Quarter), the New Orleans Jazz Museum will guide you through the story of jazz with all sorts of interactive exhibits, live performances, and more.

Explore City Park

The 1400-acre City Park is a lovely oasis in Mid-City, offering peaceful grounds with lagoons, walking and bike paths, and giant old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. It’s just 3 miles from the French Quarter but feels a million miles away.

Here you can stroll along shady paths past lagoons, go boating, have fun at an old-fashioned amusement park, or wander through the New Orleans Museum of Art. Golfers can also hit the course.

Ride the Streetcar

For an almost free thing to do in New Orleans that is also one of the most fun things to do in New Orleans, ride the streetcar from downtown up St. Charles Avenue. You’ll pass the grand old mansions of the Garden District, ancient oak trees dripping colorful Mardi Gras beads from prior parades, beautiful Audubon Park, and the lovely campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities.

You can also take the streetcar all around the downtown, riverfront, and Mid-City areas.

Wander the Warehouse District

One of the best free things to do in New Orleans is to wander around the Warehouse District, which is the arts center of the city. (It’s located on the opposite side of downtown from the French Quarter, where the Convention Center is.) You’ll find tons of galleries and shops to check out, as well as fun cafés and bars when you need refreshment.

Tour the Surrounding Bayou Country

The natural swamp and marshland you can find just a short trip from New Orleans should definitely be a part of your visit. Parks such as Jean Lafitte National Park and the Bayou Sauvage Wildlife Refuge are great places to tour the Louisiana bayous. 

Feast on the famous local cuisine

New Orleans is known the world over as a foodie capital. From Cajun and Creole to Italian and French, from neighborhood dives to gourmet fine dining restaurants, there is an astonishing array of delicious and delightful places to go. Eating is an activity in New Orleans; locals are known to discuss dinner plans while savoring their lunch.

For a classic New Orleans fine dining experience, go to Antoine’s, Commander’s Palace, Broussard’s, Arnaud’s, Brennan’s, Dooky Chase, Café Sbisa, and Mr. B’s Bistro. Reservations are a must at these restaurants, and there are dress codes so be sure to ask what’s required. It’s customary in New Orleans for meals at the finer restaurants to take several hours so that you can truly savor the experience; don’t go to any of these if you’re in a hurry. Enjoying a meal at one of these restaurants is one of the most romantic things to do in New Orleans for couples.

There are also some relatively newer fine dining restaurants that offer inventive menus in elegant surroundings, such as Restaurant August, Gabrielle, La Petite Grocery, Herbsaint, Gianna, Cochon, Coquette, Compere Lapin, Saba, Patois, Chemin a Mer, and Miss River.

For a fun evening, head Uptown on St. Charles Avenue to The Chloe, a bar, restaurant, and boutique hotel in an old mansion. Not only are the cocktails and food incredible, but the ambiance is perfectly New Orleans: sophisticated and romantic, with a quirky twist. The restaurant menu even features a night’s stay in one of the rooms for guests who can’t bear to leave.

If you love dessert, you’ll want to try some of the local specialties like bread pudding, Bananas Foster, and crème brulee. If you’re in town during the summer, be sure to get a snoball at a stand like Hanson’s Sno-Bliz Uptown, whose owner invented the first shaved ice machine. Any time of year, head to Angelo Brocato’s on Carrollton for amazing Italian desserts like cannolli, spumoni, and incredible lemon and strawberry ice, as well as a variety of pastries and coffee.

Go See Live Music

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, and it’s also known for funk, brass brands, and blues—not to mention a smattering of the Cajun dance music, zydeco. One of the most fun things to do in New Orleans is go dance to a local band. There are hundreds of venues where you can see great live music; for a full listing of who’s playing where, check out the calendar on local radio station WWOZ’s website. Some of the best places to see bands are Tipitina’s, the Maple Leaf, Rock’n’Bowl, the Spotted Cat, the Howlin’ Wolf, the Toulouse Theatre, and the House of Blues. For jazz, you can’t beat the acts at Snug Harbor and the Preservation Jazz Hall.

Romantic Things to Do in the French Quarter

While many honeymooners who aren’t interested in a party may be tempted to avoid the French Quarter, there are plenty of romantic things for honeymooners to do in this beautiful part of the city

Take a Riverboat Cruise

Get out on the “mighty Mississippi” and see New Orleans from a different viewpoint on one of two historic riverboats. You take a historic tour on the Creole Queen to the site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 or do a jazz brunch or dinner cruise on the Steamboat Natchez. The dinner cruise is one of the top romantic things to do in New Orleans for couples, as you watch the glittering city skyline glide by.

Have an Elegant Meal

You can’t go wrong with a sophisticated dinner on your honeymoon, and the French Quarter, home to many of the city’s oldest restaurants, is one of the best places to dine in style. The courtyard tables at Broussard’s provide an old world glamour feel while the spicy food at Bayona is excellent. If you’re really looking for exclusivity, seclusion and romance, you can’t do better than booking a private room at Antoine’s.

For a more social experience that is hard to rival for fun and incredible food, head to Galatoire’s on a Friday afternoon. And of course, the historic Brennan’s restaurant is famous for its breakfast and brunch.

Savor a Drink in a Sophisticated Setting

New Orleans knows a thing or two about cocktails. If you enjoy a finely crafted drink, be sure to stop at one or more of the city’s iconic lounges. This is definitely one of the most romantic things to do in New Orleans for couples. The Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone features a round bar that rotates (very slowly, no worries!) around the center so your view always changes. This glamorous lounge also offers excellent live music.

The Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel has been named the best hotel bar in the U.S. multiple times. Tiny and elegant with Depression-era murals and a gorgeous wooden bar, this is the original home of the Ramos Gin Fizz and is named after the Sazerac cocktail, which was also created in New Orleans.

Stroll Jackson Square

This famous oak-lined square is the heart of the French Quarter, and a relaxing, romantic spot to wander through and around. Check out the street performers, local artists, and interesting shops that line the surrounding alleyways. Duck into the Presbytere and Cabildo for fascinating historical exhibits, and go in the gorgeous St. Louis Cathedral if it’s open.

You may also decide to pop inside Cafe du Monde, a French Quarter landmark open 24 hours, for late night beignets and cafe au lait (strong coffee mixed with hot milk). 

Take a Horse-drawn Carriage Ride

The famous carriages that can be found lining up in front of Jackson Square are actually pulled by mules, who handle the city’s head and humidity better. But they offer a private tour of the district’s breathtaking architecture. Each carriage driver is a licensed tour guide and it’s the perfect place to snuggle up with your new spouse. 

Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in New Orleans

New Orleans is full of amazing accommodations and wonderful honeymoon suites. Here are some of our favorites for Airbnb followed by some local hotels.

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 Le Pavillon Hotel

The reimagined Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans is glamorous and grand. The property boasts 226 newly reinvented guest rooms and eclectic suites, a newly designed lobby bar, and signature restaurant, Bijoux. The historic hotel also draws honeymooning couples in with their intimate rooftop pool, and their seven one-of-a-kind suites inspired by the rich history of the vibrant city. If you’re looking for history, style, class and a beautiful place to relax on your honeymoon, you can’t do better than Le Pavillon. 

Loews New Orleans Hotel

The Loews New Orleans Hotel holds a AAA Four Diamond Rating and puts honeymooners in the center of downtown, and within walking distance to major areas including the French Quarter and Mississippi River. The building offers 12 suites with breathtaking views of the magnificent Mississippi River, the historic French Quarter or the New Orleans skyline.

The rooms are finished in modern colors while the iconic New Orleans photos accent the city’s rich history. The staff can help set up candles and rose petals both around the spa tub and in the bedroom, as well as champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries to create a truly romantic setting for newlyweds upon arrival.

The best bonus? If you don’t want to leave your pet at home during your honeymoon, Loews gladly welcomes your furry friends and offers gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, e specialized bedding, leashes, and collars along with helpful amenities such as dog-walking route maps, pet placemats, water bowls, and treats. 

The Bourbon Orleans

This beautiful property is situated behind Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, and offers an ideal setting for an unforgettable honeymoon. New Orleans’ oldest and grandest ballroom dating back to 1817 can be found in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel and offers an authentic French Quarter atmosphere for your post-wedding trip.

Each guestroom features private balconies with amazing views of Cathedral Gardens and the French Quarter’s street life, which is perfect for people watching. The Bourbon O Bar, is noted as the “first fresh cocktail bar on Bourbon Street,”and Cheryl Charming, former New Orleans Magazine “Mixologist of the Year” runs it. This hotel is quite famous for the weddings they put on and they also offer an LGBTQ package.   

Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center

For an affordable honeymoon hotel in New Orleans consider this spot, conveniently located in the Warehouse District. You’ll be walking distance to the art galleries, shops, and restaurants throughout the area, including the world-famous Emeril’s as well as newer hip places like Cochon, Peche, and Herbsaint.

The Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center features a rooftop pool as well as a lovely courtyard tucked away for peace and privacy. For a quiet room, choose one that overlooks the courtyard. There’s also a full-service restaurant and bar, and the breakfast is excellent.

a beautiful new orleans street

When to Visit New Orleans

  • The best time of the year to visit New Orleans is from February-May. The weather is casually cool and the city’s oldest celebration, Mardi Gras, happens during this time period, as do multiple other festivals such as French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest.  However, visiting during these events can be hectic, as crowds fill hotels and restaurants. If you want a better honeymoon experience, avoid those dates.
  • If you don’t want to Mardi Gras: If you’re not interested in experiencing Mardi Gras, the best time to visit is December and January. The city is calm and making hotel reservations won’t be nearly as difficult as it is in during the springtime. If you visit between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, you can see gorgeous holiday decorations and experience City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks, a magical light display in the city’s largest park.

Interesting Facts about New Orleans

  • The city’s official motto is “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”) Not surprising, right?
  • Hurricane season spans from June to November and while most hurricanes are not as devastating as as Hurricane Katrina, the potential for bad weather is still something to keep in mind when making travel plans. 
  • New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz and of famous trumpet player Louis Armstrong. You can hear amazing live music any day of the week and at almost any time of day.
  • Until the mid-20th century, New Orleans had more miles of canals than Venice, Italy.
  • The city is also home to the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway clocks in at 23 miles in length. 

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