The best things to do in New Orleans entice couples looking to enjoy the city’s vibrant culture with its garden courtyards and colonial mansions. If you’ve missed out on the extravagant Mardi Gras, you still get to play dress up at several museums dedicated to the celebration.

If you and your partner share a love for all things macabre, New Orleans is where you can visit, and even spend the night at, some of the world’s most haunted buildings. From cruising down the Mississippi River to dancing to live jazz all night long, check out our guide to New Orleans’ most romantic places to spend quality time with your loved one.

What are the best things to do for couples in New Orleans?

  • 1

    French Quarter

    A district awash with culture

    French Quarter
    • Couples
    • Families
    • History

    Many people think of the French Quarter as the heart of New Orleans, thanks to its 18th-century buildings, townhouses, and art galleries. The area is packed with history, culture, and gastronomy.

    The historic Jackson Square is a nice place for a stroll and is often lined with street artists and free exhibitions, jazz musicians, and fortune tellers. Head to the romantic Garden District to enjoy views of beautiful gardens and grand mansions. If you’re a horror fan, you can visit spooky historical landmarks such as New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and LaLaurie Mansion.

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    Location: 700 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

    Map
  • 2

    Bayou Saint John

    Relaxing canoe rides toward Lake Pontchartrain

    Bayou Saint John
    • Couples
    • Families

    Bayou Saint John offers lots of fun water sports like canoeing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. There are many shops that offer equipment rentals for those who want to explore the waterway. You'll get to paddle out towards Lake Pontchartrain and enjoy views of French Quarter and City Park.

    If you prefer to enjoy the water from a distance, the western bank of Bayou St. John features a 4.7-mile-long Wisner Bike Path where you can enjoy the tree-lined pathways with many joggers.

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    Location: New Orleans, LA 70122, USA

    Map

    photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • 3

    Southern Food & Beverage Museum

    Museum with exciting food workshops and tasting sessions

    Southern Food & Beverage Museum
    • Couples
    • Food
    • History

    The Southern Food & Beverage Museum showcases the culinary history of South Louisiana with interesting galleries, demonstrations, and tasting sessions. This is your chance to immerse yourself in the magnificent food culture of New Orleans. 

    On Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, the museum offers cooking classes for those looking to try their hand at making dishes such as bananas foster, jambalaya, and gumbo. If you and your partner share a love for cocktails, check out the Museum of the American Cocktail located in the same building. The price of admission admits you to both museums.

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    Location: 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA

    Open: Thursday–Monday from 11 am to 5 pm (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)

    Phone: +1 504-569-0405

    Map

    photo by Kent Wan (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • 4

    City Park

    Nature surrounding the New Orleans Museum of Art

    City Park
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    City Park, located by Victory Avenue, is arguably the largest green space in New Orleans. On sunny days, you may see locals enjoying a stroll or sharing a picnic at the botanic garden. If you and your partner are feeling nostalgic, check out Storyland. This whimsical garden setting has 20 sculptures of popular fairy tale characters.

    In addition to the art of nature, City Park also houses the New Orleans Museum of Art, which displays over 40,000 French and American paintings, photographs, and art installations.

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    Location: 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 504-482-4888

    Map
  • 5

    Café du Monde

    Coffee and beignets at the original Café du Monde

    Café du Monde
    • Couples
    • Food

    Café du Monde dates back to 1862, making it one of the oldest coffee shops in New Orleans. It’s open 24 hours a day, so whether you want to start your day with coffee and beignets or you’re looking for somewhere to relax in the evening, the Café du Monde is ready for you.

    Grab a seat outside to enjoy views of Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Cabildo. Food-wise, we highly recommend the beignets, which are square donuts sprinkled with powdered sugar. Café du Monde stays pretty packed all day long, so consider visiting early in the morning or after 9pm to avoid a long wait.

    Location: 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

    Phone: +1 504-587-0833

    Map
  • 6

    Preservation Hall

    Jazz concerts in the heart of New Orleans

    • Couples
    • Nightlife

    Established in 1961, Preservation Hall is a monument to New Orleans Jazz. Deep in the French Quarter, this is where you’ll find the soul of the city with live music almost every night of the year.

    From the street, this venue looks like just another building, with none of the grandeur of bigger concert halls, but don’t walk on by. It’s recognizable by the iconic trumpet-case sign hanging above the door. Step on in and uncover the secret world of New Orleans Jazz. Grab a drink and experience live music like you never have before.

    Location: 726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +1 504-522-2841

    Map
  • 7

    Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World

    Studio and museum showcasing the world-famous carnival

    Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Group
    • Photo

    Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World is a working studio and museum displaying thousands of extravagant costumes, floats, and props for Mardi Gras celebrations. Founded in 1947, it occupies a 37,000 sq m warehouse in the Port of New Orleans, about 1 mile north of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

    Its many wacky creations include a dragon-shaped float and giant sculptures of Disney characters. You can even rummage through the trunks of clothes and dress up in your favorite Mardi Gras costume during your visit.

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    Location: 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +1 504-361-7821

    Map
  • 8

    Steamboat dinner cruise

    Authentic steamboat ride on the Mississippi River

    Steamboat dinner cruise
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Steamboat Natchez is the only steamboat in New Orleans that offers cruises down the Mississippi River. Couples can enjoy the dinner cruise for a romantic evening getaway. You get to enjoy a buffet of Creole dishes and live jazz throughout the 2-hour-long journey. However, these dinner cruises are popular, so book in advance.

    There are also cruises throughout the day and professional photographs are available. Don’t worry about dressing up too much, but you should try to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure time.

    Location: 400 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 504-569-1401

    Map

    photo by baldeaglebluff (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • 9

    Haunted tours of New Orleans

    Haunted houses and cemeteries galore on this evening tour

    Haunted tours of New Orleans
    • Couples
    • Group
    • Unusual

    There are many ways of exploring New Orleans, but fans of the macabre get to learn about urban legends, ghost sightings, and gory events by joining a haunted tour of the city. Magic and the supernatural are baked into the city’s culture and ghost stories can be found everywhere.

    As part of your tour, local guides take you to historical landmarks such as St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, which houses the tomb of voodoo queen Marie Laveau, the infamous Lalaurie Mansion, and Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar. Who knows? You may even encounter a ghost on your way...

  • 10

    Bourbon Street

    Live jazz and vibrant celebrations around every corner

    Bourbon Street
    • Couples
    • Food
    • Group
    • Nightlife

    Bourbon Street, located in French Quarter, is arguably New Orleans’ liveliest nightlife hub. You’re bound to hear live jazz or rock and roll in the evening as some of the city’s best jazz clubs, bars, and burlesque theaters are located along this street.

    This vibrant, colorful street dates back to 1718, when the city was founded, but it hasn’t lost any energy over the centuries. At Mardi Gras, you’ll find it bursting with color and celebration, but it’s a great place to visit all year round. A popular spot is Fritzel’s European Jazz Club, which has been hosting nightly traditional jazz performances since 1831.

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    Location: Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

    Map

    photo by Fuzzy Images (CC BY 2.0) modified

Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler