Story by: Mary Losavio / New Orleans Date Night Guide
The most romantic day of the year is almost here. Yep, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day. Haven’t made plans yet? No worries. We’ve put together some Valentine’s Day itineraries that we hope will inspire you to take this opportunity to let that someone special know just how special they are to you.
Valentine’s Day on a Budget
There’s something for every couple to enjoy in our unique city regardless of how big — or small! — your wallet size. Here’s a budget-friendly agenda for you to try this Valentine’s Day.
Take a walk in one of the city’s riverfront parks. The Rusty Rainbow at Crescent Park is a great launching point with gorgeous water views to set the tone. There’s always Woldenberg Park as well.
Treat your date to some beignets at Café Beignet for a romantic courtyard brunch in the French Quarter.
Afterward you can browse the art galleries on Royal Street. Take a self-guided tour of The New Orleans Jazz Museum (free), St. Louis Cathedral (free), The Pharmacy Museum ($5 per person) or Ogden Museum of Southern Art, free on Thursdays for New Orleans residents from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Share a bench on the historic St. Charles streetcar ($3 for a daily pass). The gorgeous Garden District mansions provide all the romance & charm one could hope for.
Hop off to grab some wine, cheese & sandwiches from St. James Cheese Company and Wine Seller on Prytania Street; then head over to Audubon Park where you can have a picnic under the mossy branches of the Tree of Life. Or better yet, enjoy your picnic from The Fly as you watch the sunset on the Mississippi River.
Finish out the evening with a classic movie at Prytania Theatre ($11.75/ticket). “Grease” will be showing at 8 p.m. this Valentine’s Day inside this cozy single-cinema theater.
An Upscale Valentine’s Day
For those looking for to up their Valentine’s Day experience, try these ideas:
Surprise your partner with an aerial sightseeing flight over the city. New Orleans Aerial Tours offers a VIP package which includes champagne & chocolates. These 45-minute scenic flights can be scheduled to take off at 10 a.m. and cost $130 per person (or $260 per couple.)
Enjoy brunch in a comfortable yet elegant space at Copper Vine Winepub. The food and cocktails are great and the outdoor patio is a must on a pretty day.
Take a gondola ride through the Sculpture Gardens in City Park with NOLA Gondola. It is truly one of the most romantic experiences in the city – you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Venice, Italy (OK, maybe not quite but you get the point). Also, there’s the option to bring your own wine (cheese & crackers available upon request).
Engage all your senses at dinner when you visit Justine on Chartres Street. The food by James Beard awarded Chef Justin Devillier along with the eccentric decor and burlesque entertainment makes for a fun Valentine’s dinner.
Later head over to Frenchmen Street to browse from local artisans at the Palace Market which opens at 7 p.m. and stays open until midnight. You may even find a small gift to commemorate your day together.
If you’re in the Uptown area, you can enjoy an intimate dining experience at Avo Restaurant on Magazine Street. The cocktails and homemade pasta are delicious and their cozy atmosphere and candle-lit courtyard is the perfect setting for a romantic evening.
If you can still walk after eating all that delicious pasta, head over to Saba for some cocktails at the bar or to St. Joe’s Bar for a couple of their famous blueberry mojitos to finish your night out.
This article was made in collaboration with New Orleans Date Night Guide, a new site launching Feb. 14. Click here to visit them on Instagram @neworleansdatenightguide for more local date ideas.