New Orleans is a city where old-world charm meets modern innovation and undoubtedly has so much to offer to locals and tourists alike.
World-class dining, entertainment, and sights await the average tourist and provide an excellent backdrop to a romantic getaway.
In fact, New Orleans is a popular place to elope, with many venues, hotels, and companies offering elopement packages starting from a few hundred dollars.
In today’s article, I list down some of the fun things to do in New Orleans for couples, including the most romantic restaurants and accommodations.
12 Fun Things To Do In New Orleans For Couples
Visiting a city for the first time is an unforgettable experience, and sharing that with your loved one makes it even more special.
1. Cruise the Mississippi River on a riverboat.
A century ago, steamboats were at the heart of economic development along the Mississippi River, transporting passengers and freight all along the river.
Steamboat Natchez promises to take you back to that time onboard the last authentic steamboat and give you a fun culinary and musical experience.
You can also visit the engine room to see how a 100-year-old steam engine works.
Address: 600 Decatur St., Suite 308, New Orleans LA | 504-586-8777
Hours: Harbor Jazz Cruise: Mon-Sat 11:30am and 2:30pm; Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise: Sun 11:30am and 2:30pm; Dinner Jazz Cruise: Mon-Sun 7pm
Cost: Harbor Jazz Cruise: $50 per head for adults; Sunday Jazz Sightseeing Cruise: $38 per head for adults; Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise: $55 per head for adults; Evening Jazz Sightseeing Cruise: $50; Dinner Jazz Cruise: $87 per head for adults
Website: Steamboat Natchez
2. Take a helicopter tour over the city.
Street-level New Orleans is way different from aerial New Orleans, and Heli Co. gives you the chance to experience this unique perspective.
Choose between a 15-mile tour, a 30-mile tour, and a 60-mile tour, each offering different views of the city. Add a romance package so you can get champagne and chocolate for a flight to remember. A photo package add-on gives you a souvenir photo to remember your experience by.
Address: 6401 Stars and Stripes Blvd., New Orleans, LA | 504-291-8999
Cost: 15-mile tour: $95 per head; 30-mile tour: $185 per head; 60-mile tour: $348 per head; City Lights Night Tour, 60-mile: $249 per head; Weekday Date Night, 15-mile: $125 per head
Website: Heli Co. New Orleans
3. Tour the French Quarter in a carriage.
Take a historic tour around the French Quarter in a mule-drawn carriage for authenticity and ambiance.
Royal Carriages has been giving these tours since the 1940s and has since switched from horse-drawn carriages to mule-drawn carriages. Mules work harder, eat less, and more importantly, tolerate heat better.
The tour company offers different types of tours to experience the French Quarter in different ways.
The St. Louis No.1 Cemetery & French Quarter tour is a one-hour tour featuring the history, culture, and architecture of the French Quarter, plus a visit to the nearby cemetery, subject to availability (that is, Catholic holidays and funerals).
New Orleans is one of the most haunted places in the country. The New Orleans History & Haunts Carriage Tour is a night tour that plays this up, featuring the most haunted places in the French Quarter. Expect to hear about hauntings, pirates, and voodoo. Plus, find out if the hotel you’re staying at is haunted (if you dare).
Want a more customized experience? Book a Ride Royal Private Tour and enjoy undivided attention from your dedicated tour guide.
Address: 700 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA | 504-943-8820
Cost: St. Louis No.1 Cemetery & French Quarter: $40 per head; New Orleans History & Haunts Tour: $40 per head; 30-minute Ride Royal Private Tour: $115 per ride; 1-hour Ride Royal Private Tour: $230
Website: Royal Carriages
Jackson Square is a National Historic Landmark nestled in the center of the French Quarter named after the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson at the center of the square.
It doesn’t look very romantic at first, but look a bit deeper and you’ll find fun things to do as a couple..
Address: 701 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA | 504-658-3200
Hours: Daylight Savings Time: Mon-Sun 8am-7pm; Winter: Mon-Sun 8am-6pm
4. Get some coffee and beignets at the Café du Monde.
Café du Monde is the oldest and most iconic beignet shop in the city. Grab a couple of cups of café au lait, a couple of orders of beignets, and do some good old people-watching.
5. Have your portraits drawn by an artist in the square.
Jackson Square is home to an open-air artist colony, where artists display their work outside the iron fence.
You can commission one of them to draw your individual portraits as well as a couples portrait for a unique souvenir of your New Orleans trip.
6. Shop at the French Market.
The French Market has been around for a few hundred years and is home to a variety of unique goods, such as local produce, crafts, art, street food, handmade products, and a flea market.
Afterward, enjoy the view and take some photos at nearby Crescent Park.
New Orleans City Park
New Orleans’ largest outdoor attraction since 1854, City Park is a 1,500-acre green space featuring beautiful trails, scenery, and activities.
If you and your date are the outdoor types, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in New Orleans City Park.
Address: 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA | 504-482-4888
Hours: Mon-Sun, 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset
Website: New Orleans City Park
7. Take a stroll through the New Orleans Botanical Garden
The New Orleans Botanical Garden covers ten acres of gardens and art, containing more than 2,000 varieties of plants from all over the world and surrounded by the largest stand of mature live oaks in the country.
Hold hands and explore the different Instagram-worthy gardens, such as the Yakumo Nihon Teien Japanese Garden, Lord & Taylor Rose Garden, Historic New Orleans Train Garden, and the Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden.
Address: 5 Victory Ave, New Orleans, LA | 504-483-9488
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
Cost: $8 per head for adults
Website: New Orleans Botanical Garden
8. Enjoy rides at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
Amusement parks are a great place to spend time together as a couple and unlock each other’s inner child.
If you manage to be in New Orleans at just the right season, don’t miss this amusement park, especially the Carousel, which is only one of 100 such carousels and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 7 Victory Ave, New Orleans, LA | 504-483-9402
Hours: Feb 29th to May 24th (exact dates may vary per year): Sat-Sun 11am-6pm; Memorial Day 11am-5pm
Cost: $5 per head for adults, plus $4 per ride per head or $18 per head for unlimited rides
Website: Carousel Gardens Amusement Park
9. Ride the Bella Mae.
The Bella Mae is an authentic, handcrafted Venetian gondola that you can ride for 50 minutes to take a scenic tour of City Park’s rustic lagoons.
The gondola is named after Robert Dula, the gondolier and founder of NOLA Gondola.
Tours include ice in an ice bucket and champagne or wine glasses. Bring your own beverage for sipping, though.
Address: Big Lake Trail, New Orleans, LA | 504-450-4400
Hours: Wed-Sun 1pm-7pm; advanced ticket purchase needed
Cost: $100 for 2 adults
Website: NOLA Gondola
Learning a new skill or creating something together is a fun date idea that relies on your teamwork to bring you closer.
10. Take a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking.
Guided by a local professional chef, you and your date will prepare and share a spectacular meal using fresh ingredients.
The cooking classes are taught by well-known local chefs who are experts in Cajun and Creole cuisine. Visitors will be treated to a wide range of local classics such as jambalaya, gumbo, red beans & rice, pralines, and bananas Foster.
They hold open hands-on classes, which are small intimate classes with a maximum of 10 people utilizing 5 cooktops. The cost of classes include complimentary drinks, recipe cards, and a New Orleans School of Cooking apron.
Private hands-on classes are also available but may cost more.
Address: 524 Saint Louis St., New Orleans, LA | 504-620-9456
Hours: Mon-Sun Lunch (10am); Mon-Fri Dinner (6pm); Sat Dinner (5pm); Sun Dinner (4pm)
Cost: $145 per head for group hands-on classes
Website: New Orleans School of Cooking
11. Learn how to make New Orleans cocktails at the Drink Lab.
The Drink Lab offers different mixology classes to adults willing to learn. With the Classic New Orleans Cocktails class, you’ll learn the history, tradition, and culture of classic New Orleans cocktails, then get behind the bar to make them yourselves.
They also hold classes on wine tasting and bourbon whiskey tasting, as well as the basics of mixology.
Address: 343 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA | 504-522-8664
Hours: Thu 3pm; Fri-Sat 3pm; Fri-Sat 7pm
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $65 per head for Classic New Orleans Cocktails class
Website: New Orleans Drink Lab
12. Paint a picture in the Artist Journey Allen Gallery & Painting Studio
If food and drinks don’t tickle your fancy, maybe art will.
Artist Journey Allen Gallery-Studio holds weekly public paint parties where you and your date get supplied with painting supplies so you can copy a painting of the artist’s choice.
Bring your own snacks and drinks, and they’ll set up the tablespace to accommodate your food and drink. You can also buy hand-painted wine glasses by Artist Journey Allen to enjoy your drinks.
Address: 1474 North Broad St., New Orleans, LA | 504-400-7224
Hours: Thu-Sat 7pm-9pm
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: Available upon request
Website: Artist Journey Allen
Best Restaurants For A Date
Eating out is one of the fun things to do in New Orleans for a couple.
Whether you like French, Creole, Southern, or fusion cuisines, there is something for you in this city.
Here are a few of the best restaurants to consider, where the food, ambiance, and overall experience are conducive to romance.
Housed in the iconic pink building in the heart of the French Quarter, Brennan’s prides itself on serving traditional New Orleans cuisine alongside modern interpretations of Creole and French dishes.
Breakfast at Brennan’s has been a local tradition since the 1950s. Get the Eggs Hussarde, which are perfectly poached eggs on housemade English muffins and Canadian bacon, with hollandaise and marchand de vin sauce.
Wash it down with a brandy milk punch (brandy, heavy cream, vanilla, and nutmeg poured on ice) to truly experience this tradition.
This is also one of the best places to get Bananas Foster, a famous New Orleans dessert made of bananas sautéed in butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and then bathed in rum and flambéed.
Address: 417 Royal St., New Orleans, LA | 504-525-9711
Open For: Mon-Fri Breakfast and Lunch (9am-2pm); Sat-Sun Breakfast and Lunch (8am-2pm); Mon-Sun Dinner (6pm-10pm)
Attire: Dressy (Jacket May Be Required)
Reservation Required: Encouraged
2. Café Degas
Named after the 19th-century painter Edgar Degas, Café Degas is a cozy French bistro that features reasonably priced French-inspired cuisine with a touch of Creole.
On warm days and evenings, the front windows are opened up to the street.
Don’t forget to order the La Gratinée d’Oignons, which is French onion soup with crispy croutons and bubbly Swiss cheese.
Address: 3127 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, LA | 504-945-5635
Open For: Wed-Fri Lunch (11am-3pm); Wed-Sat Dinner (5:30pm-10pm); Sat-Sun Brunch (10:30am-3pm); Sun Dinner (5:30pm-9:30pm)
Reservation Required: Encouraged
Website: Café Degas
3. La Crêpe Nanou
A cozy little French crêperies in uptown New Orleans known for their dessert and entrée crepes, as well as their tasty main courses.
Order the Moules Marinière, which is PEI mussels steamed in white wine and garlic and finished with cream; share the large one (served with pommes frites) over a couple of glasses of rosé champagne.
Address: 1410 Robert St., New Orleans, LA | 504-899-2670
Open For: Sun-Thurs Dinner (5pm-10pm); Fri-Sat Dinner (5pm-11pm); Sunday Brunch (11am-3pm)
Attire: Business Casual
Reservation Required: Encouraged
Website: La Crêpe Nanou
Chic French and Italian-inspired restaurant Lilette has been consistently ranked as one of the top restaurants in New Orleans and has been a special occasion destination for years.
One of their famous entrées is the Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast served with cauliflower polonaise, sautéed spinach, and toasted shallot sauce.
Address: 3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA | 504-895-1636
Open For: Tues-Sat Lunch (11:30am-2pm); Mon-Thurs Dinner (5:30pm-9:30pm); Fri-Sat Dinner (5:30pm-10:30pm)
Attire: Dressy (Jacket May Be Required)
Reservation Required: Yes
Sylvain is set in a carriage house built in the 1700s, and they’ve kept the interior with an authentic classic feel.
They offer classic Southern bistro fare with a modern, refined twist.
Start your meal off by splurging on Champagne & Fries, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Address: 625 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA | 504-265-8123
Open For: Fri Lunch (10:30am-2:30pm); Mon-Thurs Dinner (5:30pm-11pm); Fri-Sat Dinner (5:30pm-12am); Sat-Sun Brunch (10:30am-2:30pm); Sun Dinner (5:30pm-10pm)
Attire: Business Casual
Reservation Required: No
Romantic Places To Stay
Nothing sets the tone for romance more like a stay at one of New Orleans’ gorgeous bed and breakfasts or hotels.
These are a few of the most romantic places to stay in New Orleans.
1. Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast
Built in 1893, the 7,600-square-foot inn is a historic house, and you can tell that from its high ceilings to its period furnishings.
But the Grand Victorian has all kinds of modern amenities in its rooms: private baths and showers, central temperature controls, custom-made mattresses, and wireless internet.
Book one of the suites and you ramp up the romance, with a jacuzzi bathtub and a private balcony.
It’s located in the garden district, but the St. Charles Avenue streetcar provides access to the more action-packed neighborhoods.
Bonus: This inn was voted one of the best places to elope in 2015.
Address: 2727 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA | 504-895-1104
Type: Bed & Breakfast/Inn
Website: Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast
2. Canal Street Inn
Canal Street was the original dividing line between the American and European sectors of New Orleans, and the Canal Street Inn shows this contrast in its unique architecture.
Now, it remains one of New Orleans’ most elegant bed and breakfasts, with the surrounding gardens providing a more picturesque atmosphere.
Amenities include private baths and showers, luxury bed linens, and central temperature controls.
It’s best for couples who want a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
The inn is located in Mid-City, but it’s near the Canal Street streetcar line, which provides access to other neighborhoods of interest.
Address: 3620 Canal St., New Orleans, LA | 504-483-3033
Type: Bed & Breakfast/Inn
Website: Canal Street Inn
3. Hotel Le Marais
Hotel le Marais is an award-winning, three-star luxury hotel with the intimacy of a boutique hotel.
Room amenities include luxurious mattresses and bed linens, private baths and showers with granite floors, and central temperature controls.
Other amenities in the hotel include a gym, a heated saltwater pool, and a well-stocked restaurant.
Located on Bourbon Street, right in the heart of the historic French Quarter, it’s steps away from the wonderful sights and sounds of this lively district.
It’s the best hotel to stay for young, trendy couples who want to be at the center of activity.
Address: 717 Conti St., New Orleans, LA | 504-525-2300
Website: Hotel Le Marais
4. The Eliza Jane Hotel
The Eliza Jane, named after the Daily Picayune’s first female publisher, is a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel built within nine historic warehouses that used to house liquor, gunpowder, and a warehouse for the Daily Picayune newspaper.
The buildings stand distinct from the outside but are combined inside to create guest accommodations plus a huge interior courtyard.
The hotel features 196 rooms and 12 signature suites, all with state-of-the-art amenities set in vintage décor and furnishings. There’s also a 24/7 fitness center, a French restaurant, and a lobby bar.
It’s located in the Central Business District, two blocks away from the French Quarter.
Address: 315 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA | 504-882-1234
Website: The Eliza Jane
5. Royal Sonesta New Orleans
If you have the funds for it, why not go all-out?
The Royal Sonesta New Orleans is a resort-style, AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel that offers a sophisticated take on resort-style accommodations.
Rooms have excellent mattresses, stylish furniture, and all the modern amenities you’d expect in a modern hotel.
You have a choice between staying in a room overlooking the French Quarter or a courtyard-facing view if you want a quieter stay.
The saltwater pool is state of the art, with a huge, sunny pool deck, covered bar, complimentary pool towels, and plenty of lounge chairs. There’s also a huge, 24/7 fitness center.
It’s home to dining and entertainment venues Restaurant R’evolution, The Jazz Playhouse, Desire Oyster Bar, Le Booze and PJ’s Coffee Café.
It’s best for couples who can live large in the Crescent City.
Address: 300 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA | 504-586-0300
Type: Resort Hotel
Website: Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Plan Your New Orleans Visit Today!
New Orleans has been underrated as a romantic city, but hopefully, you’re now convinced that New Orleans is a romantic city, filled with fun things to do for couples.
Which of these things will you do first? Did I miss anything out? Do you think I missed out on an entry to our lists of romantic restaurants and hotels? Feel free to sound out in the comments!