Sure, the Mardi Gras mantra of “Laissez les bons temps rouler” (Let the good times roll) is alive and well every day in beautiful New Orleans, but those “good times” can be of the more romantic variety as well. With deep, historical significance, and some of the best music and most delectable food in the world, New Orleans is a top destination for couples seeking a romantic getaway. Visit when the crowds are sparse and the mood is more sensual for a different kind of experience in the sophisticated city of New Orleans.

Stroll Along the Mississippi

One of your first stops needs to be in City Park to admire some of the lush greenery that makes New Orleans so naturally gorgeous. It is so romantic that it is often used as a outdoor wedding venue. If hoping to impress your loved one, grab a bottle of wine or champagne and reserve a private gondola ride through the park’s lagoons. If you’re feeling hungry after the ride, head down to Galvez, a tapas bar that overlooks the Mississippi river. Spend some time on the West Bank to catch the sunrise, or sunset, hand-in-hand.

Dance and Imbibe All Evening

New Orleans’ nightlife is made for lovers. Start with a tasting menu treat at Commander’s Palace, one of the city’s most notable restaurants with a romantic ambiance. Request a table in their Garden Room to feel like you are dining in the most upscale treehouse imaginable, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and ancient oak trees. Grab a couple of seats at the Carousel Bar, located in the Hotel Monteleone. As the name suggests, the merry-go-round-themed bar rotates, giving visitors a 360º view of their surroundings. After a spin around the carousel, make your way over to Frenchmen Street to take a spin across the dance floor. Frenchman Street is the home of several live music clubs where you and your chéri can catch some of the world’s best musicians creating some sweet Big Easy sounds.

Admire Local Art and Food

Interacting and learning new things together can be one of the most romantic things a couple can do in a new locale. Find each other’s artistic preferences with a walk through Jackson Square. Although this is not a formal arts district, many local talents will set up shop here to display their paintings and sculptures. It can be an affordable way to collect some art to bring home from the trip, and you are sure to meet some interesting characters. Or have an artist create a new, personalized masterpiece on the spot, and have your portraits done, commemorating your romantic rendezvous.

Continue on the learning spree with a lesson at the New Orleans School of Cooking. This can be especially fun for couples who love the spices and flavors of New Orleans, including fiery jambalaya and fresh seafood. Take skills home with you and make some New Orleans-inspired dishes in the future as you learn the culinary skills it takes to put together something like gumbo, shrimp Creole, and more.

Take It All In

The views overlooking this city can be just grand and impressive if you know where to look. Head to the French Quarter together and explore some great rooftop decks to be rewarded with panoramic views of New Orleans. The Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar is great for a vista point of view and local beer, while the Westin Hotel’s 11th floor is a perfect spot for champagne in a romantic bird’s-eye lookout point.

Spoil your special someone with a romantic trip to New Orleans. With the great food, fantastic music, and gracious Southern attitude, love will have a big, easy time of finding you in New Orleans.