With its over 300 years of history, the French Quarter is considered one of the most romantic destinations in the world (we agree). What’s more, spring is one of the best times to visit as the temps are only beginning to soar, the flora is its glorious tropical bloom, and the festival season is reaching its peak. Which says a lot, for a city that has something to celebrate all year round.
So here are our recommendations on how to make the best of your romantic getaway if you’re visiting in the spring.
Place d’Armes Hotel is the perfect launching pad
Surrounded by lush tropical courtyards, Place d’Armes is ideally located right in the heart of the French Quarter, where you can stroll hand in hand admiring the wrought-iron balconies or to a candlelit dinner while inhaling the unforgettable tropical scents of blooming magnolias and jasmine. Plus, the hotel embodies old-world charm inside and out — and what’s is more romantic than that?
Place d’Armes occupies two restored historic townhouses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, located on a quiet block of St. Ann Street, mere steps away from the excitement of Bourbon Street and the historic Jackson Square (which used to be called Place d’Armes, hence the hotel’s name). Guest rooms facing both the street and the courtyard have wrought-iron balconies and feature exposed brick. The hotel’s courtyard is downright enchanting, showcasing a variety of tropical plants native to Louisiana, fountains, and a sparkling saltwater swimming pool. You can take your complimentary continental breakfast to the courtyard, and, if the weather is already warm enough, take a dip under the shade of the magnolia trees.
Place d’Armes’ one-bed rooms are ideal for couples, and there are five room types to choose from altogether. You can hole up in the peace and quiet of the windowless interior room or the courtyard room with a view of the hotel’s gorgeous courtyard, or get a glimpse of the French Quarter life round the clock by booking a balcony room that faces St. Ann Street for people-watching round the clock!
You are within walking distance to all French Quarter attractions
We mean it when we say that you are centrally located when you stay at the Place d’Armes Hotel: Bourbon Street, Harrah’s Casino, Pat O’Brien’s, the Superdome, Riverfront on the Mississippi, and the National WWII Museum are all nearby, and all of the French Quarter attractions are within walking distance.
The nearby neighborhoods of the Arts/Warehouse District, the Tremé, the Marigny, the Bywater, and the Garden District are also easy to get to by car, streetcar, or even walking, and they are teeming with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options.
Top romantic things to do in the French Quarter
When you’re exploring the Quarter, just walking around is enough to satisfy the romantic and the history buff in you. But you can take it up a notch with a Mississippi River cruise on the paddlewheeler Creole Queen, which takes you back to the glamorous days of high-rolling riverboat gamblers. If dancing under the stars to live jazz is not incredibly romantic, we don’t know what is.
Or how about a carriage ride, to take in the sights while cozying up to your beloved? Royal Carriages offers several group tour options led by savvy guides. You can book a private ride, just for the two of you. And why not have your fortune told on Jackson Square, visit a museum or tour a historic house?
The spring festival season is packed
Romance always seems to be in the air in New Orleans, but spring is especially lovely, because of the not-yet-hot temps, the tropical lushness in bloom, and a packed festival season. Come spring, you’ll have the French Quarter Fest outside your door, for one. Billed as the largest free music festival in the South, the fest takes over the Quarter in April with over 20 stages, dozens of food vendors, and hundreds of musicians, playing traditional jazz, Zydeco, and every Louisiana music genre in between. Special events also abound, including dance lessons, parades, art shows, and talks with some of the biggest legends of New Orleans music.
Another huge annual event also happens in the spring, over two consecutive weekends of April and May. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been around for over 50 years and hardly needs an introduction, but consider that you’re only a short bus, car, or bike ride away from it. Plus, during the fest, many acts, including national headliners, could be found in the Quarter having gigs or just partying.
Then we have St. Patrick’s Day parades, St. Joseph’s Day altars and the Mardi Gras Indians’ Super Sunday in March, plus Wednesday at the Square, the free 10-concert series held every Wednesday, weather permitting, in Lafayette Square in the Arts District nearby. All this is followed by the Top Taco NOLA, held at the Woldenberg Park by the river; Hogs for the Cause at the UNO Lakefront Arena; and the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, held at the Armstrong Park.
Besides French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest, April kicks into high gear with Freret Street Festival and three Easter parades. May keeps the good times keep rolling with the Bayou Boogaloo, held along the banks of the Bayou St. John; the Greek Fest in Lakeview; and two free festivals in the French Quarter, the Oyster Festival and the French Market Creole Tomato Festival.
French Quarter’s most romantic restaurants
The Quarter is teeming with romantic restaurants, from the old-word Creole elegance of Arnaud’s, Broussard’s and Antoine’s to Susan Spicer’s flagship restaurant Bayona, with lovely patio seating. The many stunners make up a list that’s too long, but we feel like the candlelit Sylvain, the intimate Meauxbar, the sophisticated Muriel’s Jackson Square (with an unbeatable location of being right on a corner of Jackson Square), and the one and only Galatoire’s all deserve a special mention. Cafe Amelie, with its beyond-gorgeous courtyard, is another standout, and the bar is very high in the French Quarter when it comes to beautiful courtyards.
From iconic foods to unique and charming cafes and breakfast/brunch nooks to lunch to classic desserts like bananas Foster and bread pudding, the Quarter has it in spades, all within walking distance from the hotel.
There is 24/7 action, round the clock
The French Quarter never closes! You can stay up all night enjoying the cocktails and delicious food, listen to live music, or simply roam the 300-year-old streets — even on a budget of less than $20. Some of the most romantic bars, like the historic Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and the beautifully appointed Bombay Club, with the largest selection of martinis in the city, are within walking distance from Place d’Armes. So, drink where the locals drink, eat beignets at the 24/7 Cafe du Monde, or dance till dawn at Santos. You have all of the round-the-clock action at your fingertips!
Planning a trip to New Orleans this spring? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place