New Orleans for couples: the most romantic things to do

With so many things to do, New Orleans is full of ways to celebrate your love. Here are our top 12 date ideas for your visit to The Big Easy.

New Orleans is a city full of magic and mystery, but what is often overlooked is how romantic it can be. While opinions on the perfect date differ, there are plenty of couples' activities to be found in The Big Easy.

If you and your date are culture buffs, an urban city tour ticket will let you experience local history. Prefer a historical focus? Then the National WWII Museum will give you a catwalk view of locally-built landing craft.

If you'd rather experience history up close, there are multiple landmarks and monuments to be found if you simply take a wander. From helicopter rides to jazz cruises, witch tours to culinary experiences, there's sure to be something that makes your heart beat faster.

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1. Impress with a city helicopter tour

Want to make sure that love is in the air? Then take a daytime helicopter ride and see The Big Easy from a whole new perspective. The Mississippi River, Jackson Square, and Bourbon Street will all be spread beneath you in a 15-mile radius, or you can take the 30-mile option and see the swamps, too.

Best time to go:

The sun will be directly overhead on early afternoon tours, offering the best views. For first-date perfection, book your trip in summer or spring—the weather is better.

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2. Relax with an evening jazz cruise on the Mississippi

The Natchez is the only surviving authentic steamboat in New Orleans, so grab this unique opportunity to explore the city from the water. As you'd expect, jazz cruise comes with live musicians, making it a truly romantic excursion. Want to make an unforgettable night of it? Take your cocktails up to the top deck for an absolutely magical view.

Best time to go:

Temperatures are always mild in spring and fall, and humidity will be fairly low. If you're visiting in summer, you might need to stay inside for air-con comfort.

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3. Feel the adrenaline as you glide through the air

New Orleans is home to the world's first fully aquatic zipline tour, so this activity has to be on your bucket list. Starting from a 60-foot high platform, you'll be traveling along more than half a mile of cables, linked by suspension bridges and a unique cypress tree staircase. Giving a bird's-eye view of the swamps and all that lives there, this is an unforgettable experience for the risk-taking nature lover in your life.

Best time to go:

Be aware of how hot it gets in the summer, particularly in the middle of the day. Spring and fall will be cooler, but always pack water and sunscreen, just in case.

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4. Feed your love with a Cajun and Creole cooking class

You can’t visit New Orleans without learning how to make cajun and creole dishes. As part of the class, chefs prepare the meals while regaling you with trivia, history, and tall tales about the region. The experience also includes a local brew, and after your feast, you get to take away recipe cards to recreate the meal a deux.

Best time to go:

Classes are available seven days a week, but the menu can be different each time. Check the program when planning your visit to make sure you get your dream dish.

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5. Indulge your inner detective on a true crime pub crawl

Want to combine drinking with dastardly tales? Then learn about the dark history of The Big Easy on a True Crime Pub Crawl. Starting in the French Quarter, you'll make your way from bar to bar, visiting the sites of some of the most unnerving crimes committed in the city. Hear about the Ax Man's reign of terror and local links to JFK's assassination, then have a drink in an iconic brothel to round off the evening with some Storeyville flavor.

Best time to go:

Rainy season can make moving between venues a bit wet, so either avoid late summer and early fall or remember to pack an umbrella.

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6. Work together to break out of an escape room

Escape rooms are great for a bit of first-date bonding. In a one-hour adventure, you have just 60-minutes to prove your problem-solving skills and release you and your date from a locked room. What better way to show off your smarts?

Best time to go:

You may be sharing the experience with strangers, including older children. Book a slot during the school day if you want to make it just for adults.

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7. Take a delicious culinary adventure

If you and your beau are foodies, plan a date to sample Louisiana cuisine. For a taste of all the local specialties, book a food history tour to get the culinary low down on po' boys, gumbo, and more. Happily, the 1.5-mile walking route will help you burn off any calories consumed, leaving space to share pralines for dessert.

Best time to go

Weekends can be busy in the city. Choose a weekday for your date if you want to ensure your romantic activities aren't interrupted by crowds.

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8. Enjoy panoramic views at Vue Orleans

Vue Orleans is the only place in New Orleans that offers 360-degree panoramic views. With interactive exhibits and both indoor and outdoor observation decks, you'll have plenty to talk about later.

Best time to go:

Vue Orleans may be closed in poor weather conditions. Use a weather forecasting app to help you schedule the visit for an optimal time.

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9. Explore the city on a bike tour

If you fancy something more low-key, take a city bike tour. A sedate 3-hour trip through the different neighborhoods of New Orleans, this ride will take you past the touristy areas to the green spaces of Esplanade Ridge, City Park, and Bayou St. John. Learn about Creole culture, the expansion of the city into the bayou, and work up an appetite for a post-ride meal.

Best time to go:

Tours run twice a day, morning and afternoon. Go early if you want to avoid the heat.

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10. Go for a walk on the dark side

If you want an excuse to snuggle up a little closer, a darkness tour should do the trick. Hosted by a professional storyteller, the 2-hour myth and legend-filled experience will literally walk you through the murderous history of the French Quarter.

Best time to go:

If you want to feel like you've got safety in numbers, go at a weekend when the crowds will add to the atmosphere.

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11. Immerse yourself in haunted history

New Orleans has a fascinating history of ghouls, ghosts, and paranormal activities. As a nighttime activity led by a witch, this unique history tour is the perfect excuse to hold hands for comfort.

Best time to go:

A chilly night might add to the experience, but if you want to avoid getting cold and possibly wet, go in summer.

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12. Toast your love with delicious cocktails

If your ideal date involves alcohol, find your new favorite drink on a cocktail walking tour. Visit four of the most famous venues in the city, including the Court of Two Sisters' Carriageway Bar, and finish the night with one for the road and some soul-stirring jazz.

Best time to go:

The weather is less important than the entertainment, so go on a weekend to ensure a full complement of musical events.

FAQ

What are the most romantic activities to do in New Orleans?

There are so many romantic things to do in New Orleans that you really will be spoiled for choice. First date? Impress with a helicopter ride across the city. Looking for anniversary ideas? Make a full day of it by working up an appetite with a bike ride, follow it up with a tasting tour across the French Quarter, and then finish the evening with a jazz cruise down the Mississippi.

What are some offbeat romantic things to do in New Orleans?

For an unusual date idea that is sure to be memorable, pick a walking tour that covers the dark side of the city's history. From true crime tales to historic paranormal activity, local insiders will narrate the myths and legends that give The Big Easy the reputation of the most haunted place in America.

What are the most romantic spots to watch the sunset in New Orleans?

If you're on a tight budget—or even if you're not—watching the sunset is simply unbeatable in terms of romance. If the top deck of the steamboat Natchez isn't your thing, go for the open spaces of Audubon Park, Jackson Square, or Magnolia Bridge. With these beautiful backdrops, you can be sure of the perfect selfie to commemorate the occasion.

What are some romantic day trips from New Orleans?

The great thing about New Orleans is that you don't have to go far to get off the beaten track. For true romantic majesty, take a plantation and swamp tour from one of the many antebellum houses in the area. As you make your way down the bayou, keep an eye out for the wildlife—including alligators.

What are the best places to take romantic photos in New Orleans?

A couple's shoot is a must if you want your date to be a memory to savor. Some of the most popular spots are City Park's charming Langles Bridge, the French Quarter's exquisitely Instagrammable Royal Street, or the tree-lined glory of Faubourg Marigny.