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How to Have a Gay Ol' Time in New Orleans

How to Have a Gay Ol' Time in New Orleans

How to Have a Gay Ol' Time in New Orleans

NOLA nights: Your guide to gay-friendly fun in New Orleans. 


New Orleanians are famous for having fun, and with the town’s rich LGBTQ community, they are especially adept at entertaining gay visitors. Whether you're heading to Southern Decadence or planning a trip to the Big Easy for Halloween, NOLA has a lot to offer year-round.


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Ready for a memorable, gay-friendly experience in the Crescent City? Here are nine things you should know before you pack your bags for the bayou! 


Appetizing Arnaud's

Located on Bienville Street, Arnaud’s Restaurant specializes in all the classics of Cajun cuisine. From Crawfish O’Connor to Filet Mignon to flaming Bananas Foster, the restaurant offers some of the best food in the city at reasonable prices. You can also opt for the Menu Résolution, choosing a preset menu of appetizers, entrees, and deserts for a total cost of only $45.

In addition to serving delicious dishes, the property also hosts the French 75 Bar (yes, their French 75 is amazing) and a fascinating/creepy Mardi Gras Museum

Buying Beignets

Beignets, or holeless donuts, are a staple of New Orleans cuisine and widely available throughout the city. Café du Monde and Morning Call Coffee Stand have both been serving this delicacy since the 19th century, offering visitors a window into the city’s rich culinary culture.

Commanding Cuisine

A family-owned establishment, the Commander’s Palace specializes in Cajun classics and Southern seafood.

The restaurant offers a full bar and a variety of delicious dishes, but be warned: Some menu items take days to make, so be sure to have a reservation!

Estelle Engagement

Fusing the elegance of Italian cuisine with the rich flavors of the American South, Josephine Estelle provides an unforgettable dining experience within the Ace Hotel.

Stop by for a plate of pasta, a bite of duck breast, or a happy hour illuminated by Italian wines.

The Country Club

The best-kept secret in New Orleans, The Country Club offers fine dining, drinks, and a saltwater pool. The club has a long history as one of the city’s most gay-friendly places, providing premium service to anyone and everyone.


Luxurious Lodging

With Italian marble baths, a Four Star/Four Diamond restaurant, and a variety of events catered to LGBTQ guests, the Windsor Hotel is the perfect place to rest your head. The hotel’s English construction style, in close proximity to French Quarter buildings, embodies the city’s rich multicultural history.


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Book a room in late August and you can attend the LGBTQ Group Press Trip, beginning with a welcome reception and ending with an opening party for Southern Decadence, the city’s largest gay event.


Bayou Boats

Whether you seek exercise, relaxation, or a view of Louisiana’s natural landscape, a kayak tour on the Bayou St. John is sure to satisfy. The city offers a variety of affordable tour options at every level of difficulty, allowing both beginning boaters and advanced athletes to take in the landscape. 

The Twirl Tour

Focused on both the history of NOLA’s gay community and the city's best drinks, The Twirl tour offers an in-depth introduction to local LGBTQ life. Led by the renowned historian Glenn Louis DeVillier, this tour catalogues the outrages and injustices that New Orleans' gay residents have suffered, epitomized in the Upstairs Lounge fire, one of the worst mass killings in LGBTQ history. But the tour is hardly all negative: It also celebrates the triumphs of gay Cajuns and gives an overview of the best New Orleans gay bars and restaurants.

Delicious Drinks

New Orleanians take pride in their drinks and nightlife, offering visitors the best wines, beers, and cocktails in the South.

The most memorable New Orleans gay bars and clubs include:

The Bourbon Pub & Parade, located in the French Quarter and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Cafe Lafitte in Exile, America’s oldest gay bar
Rawhide 2010, a leather and Levi’s bar
The Oz, a two-story gay dance club, specializing in Southern Decadence and Mardi Gras festivities

Photo: New Orleans based life and style blogging couple, Matt and Beau. Follow their blog, Probably This, on Instagram and Like their Facebook Page

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