There’s no question about it: New Orleans is a gay-friendly city. Between the Quarter’s constant parade of flags and the Marigny’s own gay bookstore, it’s pretty obvious that Pride has a home here. There are so many things to do and ways to enjoy New Orleans so we teamed up with Expedia.com to bring you a few places to go and things to do during and maybe even after Pride:
Bianca Del Rio is a home-grown queen who’s simply too amazing to miss. She’ll be performing her comedy act during Pride at the Joy Theatre. And there’s no way you can miss out. Not only will you get a glimpse at the gorgeous theatre district, but Del Rio’s antics and wit are simply unmatched. But, what else would you expect from a queen raised in New Orleans?
2. Music on Frenchmen Street
Frenchmen is really a great place to just hang out at night any time you visit New Orleans. It’s the music center of the city boasting an impressive selection of bars and clubs that’ll play all the music you’ll ever need. The Spotted Cat, Three Muses, nighttime art markets, Dat Dog and more. It’s the perfect place to party NOLA-style.
3. Faubourg Marigny Books
Okay, so admittedly the first place a Pride attendee will want to go is probably not a bookstore. But, hey, Faubourg Marigny Books is amazing. Between its history as the first Southern gay bookstore and being located in a prime section of Frenchmen Street, the bookstore is a sight to see. It boasts an impressive collection of books and some more salacious material. You’ll just have to see for yourself.
4. Barhop the Quarter
The one-two punch of Oz & Bourbon Pub & Parade (both located at St. Ann & Bourbon Streets.) is not a stretch for any LGBT-friendly local. NOLA may not have that many dance clubs, but these two will definitely be a hotspot for those looking for a drink and some dance floors during Pride. Then there’s Café Lafitte, down the street. It was frequented by Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams (a bonus if you’re as much of a literary nerd as I am clearly appearing to be). And the Quarter also boasts 700 Club on Burgundy, Corner Pocket on St. Louis, Rawhide (the premier leather bar) and Napoleon's Itch (known for their craft cocktails).
5. Pride Parade
If you didn’t make it down to the city for Mardi Gras, catch much of the same energy on display at the New Orleans Pride Parade, the largest in Louisiana. It’s free, you can catch balcony viewing from some pretty spectacular bars and you get a glimpse at our tradition of throwing a parade for pretty much anything. Better yet, go to prideneworleans.com and sign up to volunteer, and make that Pride experience all the more magical.
6. Spend an Afternoon on Magazine Street
Magazine Street will be packed. It tends to be when a big event rolls around and the city fills with out-of-towners. But, it fills up for good reason. It’s miles of eateries, bars, shopping destinations and galleries. Anything you could possibly find in the city will be on Magazine Street at some point. Want pizza? Try Domenica or Reginellis. Want to buy clothing? There’s everything from American Apparel to our own vintage clothing store, Funky Monkey.
7. Crescent Park in the Bywater
This is a bit of a personal addition, but I wholeheartedly recommend Crescent Park. In fact, spend an afternoon there. The view of the city is spectacular, the greenery is gorgeous and if you walk a ways down to Piety Street, you can chomp on Pizza Delicious and get a cold one. The perfect place to unwind with a partner.
So the wonderful thing about the streetcar line is that you can pretty much get to every museum you could possibly want to get to. Starting at the Quarter, check out the Cabildo, The Museum of the Dead, The Historic New Orleans Collection and all the other museums scattered about. The Riverfront Streetcar will take you to the Audubon Aquarium. And the Canal Street. Streetcar heading outbound will take you to City Park and the impressive New Orleans Museum of Art there. Hit up the St. Charles Streetcar to get to the Warehouse District and stop at the National World War II Museum and Ogden Museum.
There’s plenty of sights to see and people to meet in New Orleans. Pride is just one of the best times to not only explore the city, but to also explore it with like-minded people. And I suggest branching out even further and digging deep into the city’s cultural history. Every neighborhood in NOLA has something to offer.