Enrique Alferez Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park (©Shawn Fink)

City Park's Enrique Alferez Sculpture Garden features a number of the acclaimed artist's nudes. (©Shawn Fink)

New Orleans for Romantics

By Douglas Brantley on 12/11/15, updated 02/01/17
Favorite

They say three times is the charm, that by their third trip New Orleans visitors are so smitten, they return home, pack up and move here. Others fall head over heels at first sight. Really … what’s not to love about a city so steeped in romance?

With its mule-drawn carriages, moss-draped oaks, lacy ironwork balconies and flickering gas lamps, New Orleans rivals Virginia as a destination for lovers. And not just newlyweds, though the city consistently ranks among the nation’s top wedding destinations; it also seduces foodies, music fans, history buffs, architecture enthusiasts and culture vultures.

Here, we’ve highlighted 10 romantic retreats in and around town to help set the mood. 

Jackson Square

(©Shawn Fink)

Attractions

Jackson Square

With couples canoodling on cast-iron benches and Andrew Jackson tipping his hat toward the former dwelling of Baroness Pontalba (his rumored lover who commissioned the twin buildings flanking the square), this spot has been wooing romantics since 1851. Carriage tours line up in front, providing the perfect opportunity to snuggle together.

City Park

(©David Lancaster)

Attractions

City Park

If the world’s largest collection of live oak trees doesn’t make you swoon, the new Enrique Alvèrez Sculpture Garden will. You’ll spot additional works by the WPA-era artist throughout the 1,300-acre park, along with the circa-1907 Peristyle, a popular wedding venue. The Big Lake brings Venetian fantasies to life via NOLA Gondola rides.

New Orleans Museum of Art

(©NOMA)

Attractions

New Orleans Museum of Art

City Park is also home to the New Orleans Museum of Art, which houses works by Degas, Monet and O’Keefe, among numerous others. Its outdoor Besthoff Sculpture Garden features more than 60 pieces peppered amid lush landscaping. Highlights include statuary by Renoir and Botero, in addition to Robert Indiana’s iconic “LOVE” sculpture.

(©Court of Two Sisters)

Restaurants

Court of Two Sisters

“I don’t want you to sell food,” restaurateur Joe Fein reportedly told staff when he purchased this legendary eatery in 1963. “I want you to sell romance and history!” That tradition continues with a jazz brunch served daily in the famed courtyard, where it’s been said more proposals have been made than anywhere else in the nation.

Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights

(©Shawn Fink)

Shopping

Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights

Forget candlelight. It’s flickering gaslight that sets French Quarter visitors’ hearts aflutter. Stop in at Bevolo’s Royal Street showroom to see the shop’s signature lamps being made by hand, along with a timeline tracing the history of gas lighting. Take one of the copper beauties with you to keep the love fire burning back home.

Trashy Diva
Shopping

Trashy Diva

That crowd on the corner of Royal and Pirate’s Alley? They’re just ogling this shop’s traffic-stopping window displays. Designer Candice Gwinn’s retro-styled rompers, dresses and loungewear flirts with the senses with updated takes on old-fashioned charm. But it’s the barely-there lingerie that really turns heads and gets hearts pumping.

Salon by Sucré

(©Salon by Sucré)

Restaurants

Salon by Sucré

This sweets boutique charms with its sleek design and pastel-hued décor. But what will really win you over is pastry chef Tariq Hanna’s innovative confections, handcrafted chocolates and magnificent macarons. Its French Quarter location offers an upstairs restaurant, wine bar and lounge for afternoon tea—and tea-themed cocktails.

The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton

(©Ritz-Carlton New Orleans)

Wellness

The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton

Indulge in each other in elegance on the ground floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Book your own private suite for a tandem couple's massage that incorporates two Crescent City classics: coffee and pralines. Even sweeter is the Champagne for two that is included in the ritzy, relaxing "Le Charme Romantique" package.

The Davenport Lounge

(©Ritz-Carlton Hotel)

Nightlife

The Davenport Lounge

The Ritz-Carlton is also home to celebrity trumpeter Jeremy Davenport, who People magazine named among the nation's "Top 50 Bachelors." The jazz crooner's elegant nightspot, with its dim lighting and comfy couches that call for cuddling, helps set the mood, along with classic cocktails and sexy small plates made for sharing.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

(©Kerri McCaffety/Houmas House Plantation)

Attractions

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

A plantation country day trip takes visitors out of the city and into an entirely different era. Houmas House Plantation is one of the most opulent and the setting for countless weddings. Roam the grounds with the roving peacocks, have a drink in the Turtle Bar and dinner in the circa-1840 main house, then tuck in for the night on site.

Map of New Orleans for Romantics