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A Weekend of Romance in New Orleans

,Seema Dhawan

Experience a weekend of romance in New Orleans, Louisiana where enchanting streets, jazz-filled evenings, and delectable cuisine await. Let the magic of the city take you over as you and your partner explore its corners and create memories to last a lifetime.

Day 1

Start your evening off with a walk at sunset along Woldenberg Park through the Moonwalk and watch the sun dance across the Mighty Mississippi.

Head to Napoleon House for pre-dinner cocktails. You will feel like you have stepped back in time when you take a seat in the dimly lit, rustically romantic barroom. Order up the bar’s signature Pimm’s Cup, and take in the scenes from the street outside.

Once the sun has gone down, dive into some good ole New Orleans cuisine.  Bayona is a top pick for romantic fine dining in the French Quarter, helmed by beloved and critically acclaimed New Orleans Chef Susan Spicer. Savour the artistically crafted cocktails in the lush courtyard before taking a seat in the main dining room.

After dinner, swing by Jackson and sweep your loved one off their feet with a late-night carriage ride around the Quarter. Tales of the city and picturesque views envelop you on this journey through one of America’s most historic areas.

Finally, it is always fun to end an evening with a little something sweet, so before heading back to your hotel, swing by Cafe du Monde for a cup of café au lait and an order of world-famous beignets.

DAY 2

Start your morning off right with a delicious brunch at Broussard’s. This enchanting restaurant is nestled in a beautiful courtyard along a quieter stretch of Conti Street, an ideal romantic setting.

After brunch, it will be time to hit the streets for a stroll around the French Quarter. Wander in and out of the galleries that line Royal Street, enjoying the lush “hanging gardens” that fill the wrought iron balconies of the homes as you explore side streets along the way.

Head up to catch the Canal Street Streetcar (City Park/Museum line), which will bring you to the front of the City Park and settle down under a canopy of oak trees to enjoy your picnic. For waterfront dining, check out the beautifully ornate Peristyle that overlooks Bayou Metairie. Once you have finished your meal, wander over to the dock at Big Lake and relax with a gondola ride. If you are not quite ready for dinner, swing by Grande Krewe Fine Wine & Spirits to have a glass of wine.

After dinner, head to Frenchmen Street in the Marigny neighbourhood. This part of town is unlike any other in New Orleans, hosting artists, philosophers, musicians and anyone looking to live the chill, bohemian lifestyle. The jazz clubs along this strip are some of the best in the city. Snug Harbor is a popular venue to catch live, local New Orleans musicians.

Close the night out with a trip to the Palm Court Jazz Cafe or Pat O’s Patio Bar and listen to jazz while sipping on classic New Orleans cocktails. The laid-back atmospheres make these great places to unwind and take in all the beauty of a traditional French Quarter courtyard while listening to the wonderful sounds of jazz.

For something unique and unforgettable, check out the revolving Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. Hop aboard and sample one of the many delicious signature cocktails served up in the famously lux setting of this legendary New Orleans hotel for a night that you will never forget!

Day 3

You cannot come to New Orleans without experiencing a Jazz Brunch! Arnaud’s in the French Quarter serves up fantastically delectable New Orleans brunch fare in a historic setting to the tune of live Dixieland Jazz.

Or if you are ready to jump-start your Uptown adventures, go ahead and hop on the St. Charles Streetcar, ride it up to Washington Avenue, then walk down Washington to Commander’s Palace. This iconic Garden District restaurant serves up a three-course Jazz Brunch that is absolutely to die for.

After the meal, explore the Garden District, then catch the Uptown streetcar for scenic views along St. Charles Avenue reaching Audubon Park. Explore the oak-lined paths leading to Audubon Zoo, a top-ranked attraction.

The Audubon Zoo is a world of its own – see exotic animals, reptiles, elephants, and more. Walk through The Louisiana Swamp exhibit, which is a re-creation of a 1930s swamp settlement equipped with a trapper’s cottage, Spanish moss, white alligators, and cypress knees. Pose for pictures by the elephant fountain or check out a show at the sea lion pavilion.

If you are ready for a bite to eat head towards Picnic Provisions & Whiskey for an intimate picnic for two at Audubon Park under the Tree of Life. Let the Picnic team bring picnic linens, baskets with plates, bottles of wine, delicious Crawfish Boil Hot Fried Chicken, a blanket, and fresh-cut flowers for you and your love to dine under the centuries-old Oak trees.

If you would prefer to stop for a cocktail head to The Columns Hotel. This iconic New Orleans hotel, and the bar that spills from its lobby onto its expansive front porch, is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. The dark, Victorian lounge-y atmosphere of its interior lends itself to an almost scandalous sense of romance. You may also take a seat outside where you can sip your cocktail while overlooking the beauty of St. Charles.

When it comes time for dinner, call a cab and head over to either La Petite Grocery or Lilette. Fine French fare is always on the menu at La Petite Grocery. If tasty food with a continental touch is for you, be sure to drop in for dinner.

Lilette, on the other hand, is an upscale bistro that specializes in Italian-French fare. The space itself is sophisticated and sultry, with deep red walls, and creamy white banquettes.

As your weekend winds down, you may want to return to the Quarter for one last late-night stroll or grab a nightcap at one of our picks for the city’s most romantic bars. No matter how you choose to wrap up your romantic tryst in the city, one thing is certain; the memories you made over the weekend will last a lifetime.

La Petite Grocery, Credit- Justen Williams, 343 Media, NewOrleans.com

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