Plan a Romantic French Quarter Getaway
The French Quarter is one of the most romantic destinations in the world, and you can find romance here every day of the year. Here are our top recommendations for a romantic itinerary in the French Quarter.
A river cruise
Enjoying the scenic Mississippi River waterfront can be pretty romantic, made even so if you book a night cruise on the glamorous Creole Queen. Not only this paddlewheeler is decked in the glitzy style of the bygone era high-rolling riverboat gamblers but the trip also features dinner and dancing to live jazz.
A carriage ride
Time-travel in comfort and see the French Quarter from a mule-drawn carriage, as one would have done a couple of centuries ago. You can book online or grab a first-come-first-serve French Quarter Mule Tour offered Royal Carriages on Decatur right outside the Jackson Square gate. Private tours and wedding packages also available.
The timeless landmark that is Jackson Square is not only the focal point of the Quarter but also a host to the open-air artist market and performance space, with local art displayed along the fence. You can have your sketch done, dance to a brass band, or have your fortune told.
You can access the mile-long riverfront easily from the Jackson Square area. There you will find the Woldenberg Park and a walkway called the Moonwalk, named after the former New Orleans mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu. The park is a popular spot to watch the people and the boats go by. There’s plenty of grass and benches, public art dots the space liberally, and you can enjoy street performances along the Moonwalk.
While you are at the Riverfront, you can’t miss the French Market across the street. The best way to experience it is to walk through its open-air mall, starting with the food stands and ending at Esplanade. As the oldest continually operating public market in the country since 1791, the French Market has a structure of a traditional European market. It covers roughly five blocks, from Cafe du Monde on Decatur St. across from Jackson Square to the daily flea market at the end of Esplanade Avenue.
Dinner at a romantic restaurant
Few cities in the world have as many romantic restaurants as New Orleans, and you can have your pick of many stunners located in the French Quarter. Impress your date with the world-class meal in a historic setting at the trifecta of upscale Creole dining — Broussard’s, Arnaud’s or Antoine’s.
The back patio of the lovely Bayona, which is located inside a two-century-old Creole cottage on a quiet block of Dauphine Street, is as enchanting a setting as it gets. So is the candlelit Sylvain on Chartres Street, where the cocktails are top notch and there’s a charming patio. Or you can share some small plates over chartreuse at the Meauxbar across the street from Armstrong Park.
If you want something traditional yet sophisticated, we recommend Muriel’s Jackson Square for some excellent Creole cuisine and an unbeatable location (as the name suggests, it’s right on a corner of Jackson Square). Finally, the one and only Galatoire’s needs no explanation.
We can’t think of a more romantic sweet treat when in New Orleans than sharing Brennan’s “World Famous Bananas Foster.” This decadent dessert is traditionally flambéed tableside, and you can enjoy it with some bubbly in the restaurant’s lush courtyard.
The beautifully appointed Hotel St. Marie serves as a perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway. It’s located right in the heart of the French Quarter, and some of the best bars, clubs and restaurants are just an easy walk away. Even with little planning you can enjoy the best the area has to offer, and just roaming the 300-year-old streets while listening to street performances and admiring the architecture is pure pleasure. If you are visiting during the warm months, Hotel St. Marie has a saltwater pool in a lush tropical courtyard.