Find your Sunset!
Two sides of town, two awe-inspiring sunset vistas that make for inexpensive date ideas. If you’re a local, you know how easy it is to get stuck on your side of town, especially if you don’t own a car. Shake things up! Pick the date spot that’s on the other side for a different version of the sunset. Traveling through? Don’t worry, both of these spots are winners!
First up we have Hot Tin, at the very tippy top of the Pontchartrain Hotel right off of the St. Charles streetcar. Not only is this spot cute as heck inside (be sure to peak around before heading up) but you also get to take a vintage elevator up to your dream cocktail. You’ll spend a few extra bones on the drinks here, but they’re worth it!
Secondly, Crescent City Park, this location is a little easier to customize for those non-drinkers. Pop-in to a nearby spot (Pizza D, Hanks, Satsuma, Bud Rips, etc) for a drink of your choice (coffee, tea, cocktail, beer or even a Big Easy Kombucha). Come prepared with a bottle of wine or even a little dessert to share, and don’t forget to bring a small blanket. Find the ‘Rusty Rainbow’, that giant, burnt orange arch that starts at the river end of Piety and make your way to the top. If you time it right, this could be one of your all time favorite views of the sun setting. With the New Orleans skyline in the distance, there’s no need to rush, so enjoy it, soak it in… then hop on down to the park to finish those libations and enjoy the golden hour with some sweet human in your life.
2. A Day Surrounded by Art
One of my favorite things about New Orleans is the abundance of art we have here. We have tons of museums, galleries, and art markets to explore. If you’re on a budget and have a Louisiana ID, The New Orleans Museum of Art and The Ogden Museum offer free days! If you aren’t local, there are still options for a small fee or less! The sculpture garden located near NOMA is always free. On a beautiful day, take a stroll down Royal Street and go into the galleries. Start closer to Esplanade, by the time you’ve made it the Rouses, you can stop for a snack or a cold drink while you listen to some brilliant music right out front. If you’d like to get out of the heat for a few, stop at Napoleon house for one of the best Pimm’s Cups in town. This will land you close to one of my favorite art stops, ‘A Gallery for Fine Photography,’ on Chartres in the French Quarter.
If you want a combo date idea, visit ‘Studio Be’ in the Bywater then hop on over to Crescent City Park for the sunset.
3. Picnics Are Classic
If you’re a love language person, like I am, this will hit a few points. Plan a customized picnic! If you’re not sure what your sweetie prefers, share some of your favorites picnic treats to open up some great conversation starters. You can make food at home to bring, or even stop for take-out if you’re short on time. Don’t forget to bring something to sit on, a napkin or two, utensils, and maybe a few books.
The Singing Tree at City Park, offers both whimsy and shade on hotter days. I recommend sitting right under the giant oak tree so that the magical chimes can provide the soundtrack to your date.
A ride on the ferry to Algiers is a nice way to shake things up. The levee offers both great views and picnic spots. Algiers is a dreamy little place to walk around. There they have a coffee shop, some bars, and food spots. I’m a big fan of River Fine Foods Store for a delicious and affordable poboy.
Hidden behind the Zoo, The Fly offers another river picnic spot. This is another great sunset location. Bonus!
4. Dinner Roulette
This is a simple way to mix up date night. Each of you write down places you’ve always wanted to try… maybe it’s a new spot, a name that keeps coming up, or one of those “I’ve been meaning to check it out…” kind of situations. Put all of these slips in a jar or hat, pick one at random, and stick to it! I find that even if I’m not thrilled with a new place, the new experience is worthwhile. It gives you something to talk about and forces you out of the routine.
If you want to do something after dinner, go to the ‘events’ tab on Facebook, and scroll. Make sure to set it to ‘New Orleans’. There’s almost always a burlesque or drag show, a theatre performance, a band you’ve never heard of, bingo, trivia, comedy, or even game nights happening around town. You can even filter ‘popular with friends’ if that helps as a starting point.
5. A Photoshoot with Babe!
You don’t need a special occasion to get your photos taken, and when the selfie game just isn’t cutting it, look into a local photographer. Nola Darlings offers mini-sessions if you want something that won’t break the bank or put you on the spot for too long. Don’t feel like a model? Don’t worry! That part is your photographers job. We want you to feel comfortable and confident before the whole thing is over. A photoshoot is an excuse to dress up however you’d like together… maybe you’re flip-flop people, maybe you want an excuse to dress to the nines, maybe you just want to show off a new outfit… (Trashy Diva on that walk down Royal Street anyone?!) Coordinate outfits and let’s shoot at one of those picnic or sunset spots.
Not only should your photographer leave you feeling good but they may even have little gems to share with you about their favorite things in New Orleans. Afterwards try date idea number 4! You’re already ready to go, hit the town!
Share with us some of your favorite New Orleans date ideas in the comments section below!