It's that time of year - Valentine's Day is coming up! Here are five ways you and your special someone can celebrate without having to spend.
Wander Around the Bywater
Venture beyond the borders of the French Quarter to the Bywater, a bohemian neighborhood that boasts tons of outdoor cafes, dive bars, trendy restaurants, and quirky boutiques. This funky neighborhood is known for its colorful street murals and shotgun homes. Make an effort to stop by Studio Be to experience the outdoor exhibition created by local artist Brandan "Bmike" Odums. The massive murals are painted on warehouses and speak to themes of Black History and the Black Experience, the Civil Rights Movement, and Hurricane Katrina. End up at Crescent City Park just in time to watch the sunset over the Mississippi.
Stroll in the French Quarter
Nothing is more romantic than strolling the streets of the French Quarter with your significant other on Valentine's Day. Window shop on Chartres Street or hunt for antiques on Royal. Discover quiet courtyards illuminated by gas-lit lamps and walk under colorful buildings with cast-iron balconies. Stop by the historic Jackson Square to watch the street performers and search for one-of-a-kind street art. Make your way to the French Market, an open-air market with hundreds of food stands, locally-made art, live music, a Flea Market, and a Farmer's Market. After an afternoon of browsing, plan to end up at the Riverwalk, parallel to the French Market, to watch the sunset over the Mississippi.
Audubon Park and The Fly
Located in Uptown New Orleans, Audubon Park is an urban oasis that is free and open to the public. The massive 350-acre park is home to hundreds of ancient live Oak trees, a 1.8-mile jogging path, a lagoon, and plenty of picnic tables and playgrounds. Perhaps the most charming part of Audubon Park is The Riverview, dubbed "The Fly", which extends Audubon Park to the Mississippi River. The Fly is a popular place to picnic as well as watch the sunset; locals love to layout on the grassy area overlooking the water. Afterward, window shop at the charming boutiques on Magazine Street, which is only a 10-minute walk from The Fly.
Take the St. Charles Streetcar
Hop on the St. Charles streetcar with your sweetheart for a small fee of just $1.25 per ride. The St. Charles line runs the length of the city, from Carrolton and South Claiborne streets uptown to Canal and Carondelet streets downtown. Riding the streetcar is perhaps the most extraordinary and efficient way to explore New Orleans. The St. Charles streetcar is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world and has been active since 1835. Get off at St. Charles and Third Street and stroll through the Garden District, one of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods in the city. Wander over to picturesque Prytania Street to marvel at the mansions and huge oak trees that line the streets. The Garden District, in particular, is rich with history and chock-full of Southern Charm.
Listen to Live Music on Frenchmen Street
Flock to Frenchmen Street to listen to live music and explore Palace Market, an open-air market that features locally-made artwork. Located in the Marigny, Frenchmen Street spans three blocks and is home to some of the city's best live music venues like Cafe Negril, the Spotted Cat, and the Maison. Frenchmen Street is often referred to as "a local's Bourbon Street" and offers some of the best nightlife in New Orleans. Palace Market is an outdoor art market that specializes in handmade New Orleans art. The eclectic market features a plethora of local illustrators, painters, jewelers, sculptors, and more. Palace Market opens at 7:00 p.m. daily and is open seven days a week.