Gay Travel New Orleans: The LGBTQ-Friendly Gem of the South

Discover the best of Gay Travel New Orleans: top spots, events, and hidden gems in The Big Easy.

Travel United States of America Brian Webb

This article was published on September 11th, 2023

New Orleans isn’t just a city; it’s an evocative experience. Combining history and mystery, it effortlessly showcases traditions while challenging their very definitions. Known widely as The Big Easy and Crescent City, this Southern jewel is an outstanding symbol of festivity and culture.

Globally recognized for iconic events like Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence, the charm of gay travel New Orleans extends beyond these festivities.

The city invites visitors to create personalized and unforgettable experiences. With a rich history influenced by French and Spanish colonial times, its unique architecture stands out amongst that of other American cities. The French Quarter paints a vivid picture with landmarks such as Jackson Square and St Louis Cathedral, framed by balconies ornate with wrought iron detailing.

For the LGBTQ traveler, New Orleans creates an irresistible offer for travel: tantalizing food, rich history, vibrant arts, buzzing nightlife, and luscious accommodations. As a pioneering city for LGBTQ inclusivity, it’s no surprise that it was home to Gere La Marr, a drag icon from the 1940s, and the fabulous Bianca Del Rio of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Now that you’re convinced this is the place for your next gay-cation getaway, we’re going to tell you how to make the most out of your visit. 

An Exquisite Experience with The HomoCulture’s Gay Travel New Orleans Itinerary

You’ve decided you want to head to New Orleans. We can’t blame you. But understanding what to do in a new place can be overwhelming and for gay travelers, a mystery.

That’s why we at The HomoCulture have curated the Gay Travel in New Orleans itinerary. Crafted with precision and passion, this guide promises you a seamless exploration of the city’s top attractions and events.

This isn’t just another itinerary, but a personal recommendation from us.

As members of the LGBTQ community, we’ve handpicked these spots because they resonated deeply with our experiences and joys. Save valuable time and embrace a journey we guarantee will be filled with awe, wonder, and memories that echo our own love for the city. 

Here’s what you should see and do to let New Orleans work its magic.

St. Louis Cemetery #1 Tour: A Must-Visit on Your Gay Getaway

A tour through the hauntingly beautiful St. Louis Cemetery should be high on the list for those seeking an authentic taste of the city’s rich history and unique burial traditions.

Situated in the heart of New Orleans, these cemeteries stand as silent witnesses to centuries of stories and legends.

With three Catholic cemeteries under the Saint Louis banner, the significance of these sites cannot be overstated.

Having been constructed primarily in the 18th and 19th centuries, most of the graves are above-ground vaults, offering a distinct departure from the typical burial practices we know of today. Both Cemeteries No. 1 and No. 2 are proudly featured on the National Register of Historic Places, cementing their historical importance.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 boasts the title of the oldest and most renowned cemetery in New Orleans. Incepted in 1789 after the devastating city fire of 1788, it replaced the St. Peter Cemetery as the primary burial ground for deaths in the city. 

Taking a 45-minute guided walking tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 promises an enlightening journey. Traverse through the city’s most celebrated above-ground tombs, including the final resting place believed to be of the famed Voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau. During the tour, guests will gain insights into 300-year-old burial practices and marvel at the diverse architectural prowess of the 19th century, evident in family tombs, wall vaults, and society tombs.

In essence, for those curating their gay travel New Orleans itinerary, the St. Louis Cemetery #1 Tour is not just a visit—it’s an experience, resonating deeply with the city’s heartbeat.

Exploring New Orleans Aboard the St. Charles Streetcar

New Orleans offers more than the vibrant beats of the French Quarter. You can become further enamored with its charm by hopping onto the iconic St. Charles Streetcar. As an essential stop on your gay travel New Orleans itinerary, this historic transit takes passengers through the city’s scenic routes, showcasing both the green and red lines’ large, historic homes.

For just $1.25, embark on a captivating journey across downtown NOLA and its outskirts. Discover the elegance of St. Charles Street, the vibrancy of Canal Street, and venture into parts of New Orleans often overlooked by those confined to the Quarter.

If time or budget is tight, yet a genuine New Orleans experience is what you seek, look no further. 

Ghost and Spirits Tour: A Hauntingly Memorable Stop

Traveling into the heart of New Orleans’ history isn’t complete without a chilling walk through its haunted past. The Ghost and Spirits Tour is more than a stroll—it’s a bone-chilling adventure, stitching together lore and fact, and perfect for those seeking to enrich their gay travel New Orleans experience.

Imagine walking under the dim streetlights of the French Quarter, with shadows flickering against centuries-old brick facades. As the cobblestones echo beneath your feet, you’re led by a knowledgeable guide, well-versed in the mysteries that have shaped this iconic city. As the twilight descends and the ambiance becomes thick with anticipation, you pause before grand mansions and tucked-away corners, each holding tales of spirits lingering and events long past.

Every landmark on this tour is more than just a historic structure—it’s a storyteller. Whether it’s tales of love and betrayal, legendary duels, or unsolved mysteries, these stories don’t just recount events; they immerse you in them. Each stop on the tour transforms from mere points of interest to gateways of the past, with narratives that have colored the cultural and historical fabric of New Orleans.

Spanning two to three immersive hours, this guided tour isn’t just about relaying ghost stories. It’s an intimate encounter with the very essence of New Orleans, a city steeped in legend and truth. As the tales unfold, the boundaries between the past and the present blur, ensuring a memorable addition to any gay travelers’ itinerary.

Come, walk with the spirits, and let New Orleans reveal its haunting charm.

Drag Brunch River Cruise – Queens of the sea!

Imagine the splendid Mississippi River as your backdrop, setting the stage for an unparalleled drag brunch experience. Among the myriad of drag brunches in the city, the Drag Brunch River Cruise aboard the Creole Queen stands out as an unmissable event.

Step aboard where the welcoming embrace of Southern hospitality meets fabulous flair. Enjoy a sumptuous brunch buffet that’s a treat for the senses. Toast to memories and future adventures with bottomless mimosas, the city’s skyline reflecting in your glass.

But the true stars of this cruise are New Orleans’ own dazzling drag queens, showcasing the city’s diverse LGBTQ+ culture with flair and passion. As they captivate with performances, the rhythms of the live jazz band, The Muddy River Time Machines, add a unique New Orleans beat to the ambiance.

And when it’s time for those memorable moments, stroll the promenade deck, capturing perfect group photos with the Mississippi’s grandeur in the background.

Swamp Tours: A Thrilling glimpse into Louisiana’s Wild and Mystical Heart

Beyond the streets of the French Quarter lies the untamed wild heart of Louisiana. Known for its vast, mesmerizing swamplands, the state invites travelers on an extraordinary expedition. Within minutes, visitors transition from urban landscapes to the thrilling hum of an airboat, cutting through secluded bayous. Here majestic alligators glide, and a diverse ecosystem of hawks, owls, snakes, and crawfish thrive.

Journeying through the swamps isn’t just about wildlife spotting; it’s an immersive cultural and historical experience. Tales of pirates, robbers, and moonshiners who once sought refuge in these swamps echo through the trees, blending legends with truths, and offering glimpses into a bygone era. These lands, once a hideaway for those fleeing the law, are now a treasure trove for anyone keen on diving deep into Louisiana’s rich tapestry.

Savoring Mornings at Café Du Monde

Begin your day with a taste of New Orleans’ timeless tradition at Café Du Monde. Established as a rendezvous for coffee aficionados, its name boasts an international flair: “Coffee of the World.” As sunlight dapples the café, treat yourself to its signature dark roast coffee blended with chicory.

What truly completes the experience are the beignets: square French-style donuts generously dusted with powdered sugar. They’re not just delightful pastries; they’re energy boosters, ensuring you’re primed for the exhilarating nights ahead. This iconic spot is a necessity for any gay traveler!

Electric Nights at New Orleans’ Gay Bars

New Orleans shines brightest at night, particularly in the radiant heart of its LGBTQ+ nightlife scene. Every memorable gaycation demands vibrant venues where one can live their truths, encounter charming companions, and dance the night away with a drink in hand. The French Quarter, echoing with music and laughter, proudly hosts an array of gay bars that have become legendary in their own right.

Bourbon Street, a lively artery of the French Quarter, is dotted with venues that resonate with history and charisma. From the pulsating beats of Bourbon Pub and Parade and Oz to the cozy confines of Good Friends and Corner Pocket, there’s a vibe for every visitor.

Venture further to discover Phoenix, Café Lafitte in Exile, and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, which boasts of serving patrons since the 1700s. Add to the list Napoleon’s Itch, The Golden Lantern, The Silver Fox, and countless others, and it becomes clear: these aren’t just bars.

They’re epicenters of community, connection, and celebration. So, while in New Orleans, raise a glass to the city’s indomitable spirit and the shared camaraderie of the night.

A Touch of Elegance at Hotel Monteleone

Positioned gracefully in the pulsating heart of the French Quarter is the iconic Hotel Monteleone.

A symbol of opulence, the hotel stands as a testament to New Orleans’ rich history and the luxurious tastes it caters to. With its origins tracing back to 1886, Hotel Monteleone weaves a story of timeless grandeur, offering a seamless fusion of classic charm and contemporary flair.

Recent months have seen the hotel unfold a fresh chapter with the unveiling of the newly renovated Iberville tower. A result of an ambitious multi-year, multi-million-dollar undertaking, this renovation enriches the establishment with 45 more lavish suites, taking the total tally of rooms to an impressive 523.

For those seeking the epitome of luxury during their gay travel New Orleans adventure, Hotel Monteleone promises an experience that’s unparalleled in grace and refinement.

Read more and book your stay at the Hotel Monteleone.

Travel to NOLA during Southern Decadence – You won’t regret it!

Dive into a vivid celebration of culture, unity, and exuberant festivity at Southern Decadence 2024. Here, every attendee gets to author their own vibrant chapter of revelry. Tailor your experience, whether you choose to soak in the ambiance slowly or immerse yourself deep into the festival’s exhilarating core. This event’s allure is all about feeling the soul of the Cajun Capital and tailoring it to your rhythm.

Countless gay travelers passionately vouch for Southern Decadence, with many incorporating it into their yearly rituals. Considering the praises, your gay travel New Orleans adventure may soon find a recurrent spot on your calendar. A word to the wise: The French Quarter is the place to be, positioning you at the festivity’s epicenter. Given its immense popularity, early reservations are crucial. So, set your course, strategize, and brace yourself for an unforgettable experience.

Read more about Southern Decadence, one of the largest annual LGBTQ+ events in southern states of America.

New Orleans: The LGBTQ+ Oasis All Year Long

New Orleans is a fantastic destination for any gay traveler, especially when celebrating Southern Decadence. Beyond that, every day in this city unfurls like a welcoming banner of inclusivity and joy.

Drenched in warmth, New Orleans calls out to the LGBTQ+ community every season, every month, every day. At its core lies a magnificent ensemble of gay bars, restaurants, and energetic dance clubs. And as you saunter through its streets, the tantalizing flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisines call, as do a multitude of other attractions and adventures.

Contemplating an unforgettable gaycation?

Let Visit New Orleans guide your journey in crafting the most mesmerizing experiences in this ever-vivacious city.

The fun never ends in New Orleans, Louisiana!

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