How to Spend the Perfect 5 Days in New Orleans

How to Spend a Romantic Weekend in New Orleans

New Orleans is an excellent destination for lovers, friends, singles, new experiences, and my version of an Urban Paris. Every time I visit New Orleans, I learn and eat something new and feel like I am exactly where I need to be in life without breaking the bank.

In addition to having something for everyone, New Orleans is a great city to visit year-round. The most recent was in August to celebrate my birthday. If you’re planning a trip to the Big Easy, read more on how to spend a 5 days in New Orleans and laissez les bons temps rouler!

Drinks from a night out on Bourbon Street on our 5 days in New Orleans
Drinks from a night out on Bourbon Street on our weekend in New Orleans

Traveling to New Orleans from New York City

What made our trip to New Orleans work well was the planning. My boyfriend covered all the food and excursions while I covered the flight and hotel using my Delta and Expedia points. For 5 days in New Orleans, I used 20,000 Delta SkyMiles for two round-trip flights. 

At the time, ticket prices were $178/person or $356 total. If you’re traveling from NYC to New Orleans, the flight is under 3 hours. We used Delta, but most discount airlines go direct if you’re traveling to New Orleans on a budget.

Getting Around New Orleans

Once we landed in New Orleans, I downloaded the Lyft app and received a $25 credit promotion for using my Delta American Express Card. The cab ride was $26 to the French Quarter minus the $25 credit. In addition, or rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, New Orleans is a walkable city.

You can also ride on the bus or famous New Orleans streetcars. There are four streetcar lines: the St. Charles Line, the Canal Street Line, the Riverfront Line, and the Rampart Line. Click here to see a map of the streetcar and bus services in the city.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

To save some money, I used Delta Marketplace to book the Loews New Orleans (28,000 miles), then used Expedia points to book a separate reservation at the same hotel. The Loews New Orleans is listed as one of the best in New Orleans so it was the perfect place for an extended weekend trip. It is located steps away from the French Quarter & Arts District and some rooms offer great views of the Mississippi River or New Orleans Skyline.

Prior to our getaway, I requested a complimentary bottle of champagne on arrival to start the celebration. Happily, I received more than ordered. There was a Chef’s Choice amenity filled with sweets, sparkling wine, 2 complimentary meal cards, and a warm-felt welcome note on their Loews postcard. If you want to stay in a luxury hotel with great staff and spa service for guests, you won’t be disappointed in Loews New Orleans.

couple's romantic Weekend in New Orleans - Complimentary items from the Loews Hotel New Orleans
Complimentary items from the Loews Hotel New Orleans

Fun Things to Do in New Orleans

We had 5 days in New Orleans to explore so it was more than enough time for excursions. As mentioned, my boyfriend took charge of planning all the activities for our New Orleans trip. As someone who usually plans everything for group trips, I give him credit for his first-time planning.

If you’re planning a couple’s trip to New Orleans, I recommend a walking tour around the French Quarter to visit historical sites, going to The Presbytère’s Museum to learn about Hurricane Katrina & Mardi Gras, Jackson Square, seeing the art galleries on Royal Street, going to the French Market, visiting Louis Armstrong Park, Tremé which is the oldest black neighborhood in the US, the floats at Mardi Gras World, taking a Jazz Boat River Cruise, Horse and Carriage ride at night and mixing in some fun with a Ghost or  Swamp Tour.

A last-minute excursion for our trip to New Orleans was the Trap NOLA tour. Here are some other things to do in New Orleans for friends or couples that can be added to a weekend in New Orleans itinerary:

Where to Eat in New Orleans

In addition to experiencing the culture and fun in New Orleans as a couple, the food is excellent too! It doesn’t matter if your weekend in New Orleans is short or long; a taste of Creole cuisine is a must! During our 5 days in New Orleans, we ate at some of the best restaurants in the city. Here are some recommended places to eat in New Orleans.

  • The Ruby Slipper Cafe
  • The Gumbo Shop
  • Neyow’s Creole Cafe
  • Court of Two Sisters
  • Landry’s Seafood House
  • Dragos
  • Murrow’s
  • Beignets from Cafe du Monde or Cafe Beignet
  • Meauxbar
  • Po’boys at Parkway Poor Boys
  • Oysters at Acme Oyster
  • Oceana Grill
Beignets from Cafe du Monde
Beignets from Cafe du Monde
Brunch at Murrow's New Orleans
Catfish platter at Murrow’s New Orleans
How to spend 5 days in New Orleans - Eat Dinner at Neyow's Creole Cafe
Dinner at Neyow’s Creole Cafe
how to spend 5 days in New Orleans - eat Dinner at the Gumbo Shop
Dinner at the Gumbo Shop

Since it was my birthday in New Orleans, it is a tradition to pin a dollar to your clothes in exchange for free food, drinks, or treats. This was highly successful and I received free beignets, cake, and drinks at some places.

New Orleans Nightlife

In addition to eating great food, you can’t visit New Orleans without experiencing the nightlife. We are early sleepers, but still enjoyed a night on Bourbon Street, one night on Frenchmen Street for live music, and one night at a strip club. Our nights always ended at Harrah’s Casino where we would either win big or lose big.

With both of us working together, our long weekend in New Orleans for my birthday was a success. This was one of our best trips to date and we went home with great memories, more money, and points saved to plan our trip to Kenya.

Read More Travel Guides in the United States

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48 Hours in Portland, Maine: Things to Do and See

Have you experienced a long weekend in New Orleans?

2 thoughts on “How to Spend the Perfect 5 Days in New Orleans

  1. tamaraprosper says:

    It’s always very interesting for me to see a visitor’s perspective of New Orleans. I came here for college in the mid 90’s, married a man who was born and raised here, and we’re raising our family here. It’s a beautiful place to live, faults and all. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and I hope you come back again. I’m also glad you didn’t get sucked into any tourist traps. The restaurants you visited are pretty popular with locals too. Some places serve anything and tourists have no clue that better, more authentic, often less expensive options are in walking distance.

  2. Keturah Queen says:

    Great read. Love the details and tips for fun locations to explore. I plan on going to New Orleans soon with my husband and I will refer to article as my guide. Thanks Krista!

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