It’s important to feel safe when you travel. That’s why we’ve put together a special itinerary with an added emphasis on safety for these unique times. Most businesses, including restaurants, bars, and retail stores, are currently open, but at a limited capacity. Wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory statewide when out in public, and social distancing is strongly encouraged. The mask mandate exists not only to keep you safe, but to make sure our local hospitality workers are safe, as well. We want everyone to have a fantastic time while also staying healthy. Remember, we’re all in this together!
Explore the Parks and Green Spaces
There are plenty of low-risk outdoor activities to enjoy all around New Orleans. The city has many beautiful parks, parkways, and green spaces. The two most popular ones are Audubon Park, which includes a wide, 1.8-mile walking path, lagoon, picnic areas, and golf course, and City Park, a 1300-acre urban oasis with multiple paths, playgrounds, and free outdoor sculpture garden. (Be sure to take a selfie at the iconic “Love” statue by gay pop artist Robert Indiana!) Nearby Couturie Forest and Scout Island both offer shaded trails and bayou lookouts. Also worth checking out is The Fly, a quiet stretch along the Mississippi River and a great place to throw a frisbee, and the Lakefront, which offers several miles of paved paths, picnic shelters, fishing spots, and grassy areas along Lake Pontchartrain.
Grab a Go-Cup From a Gay Bar
In normal times, New Orleans is known for its 24-hour bars and vibrant gay scene. Times are a little different at the moment, however. Bars remain open, but with limited hours and capacity. But never fear! We still have our famous “go-cups.” Head down to the French Quarter and order a drink to go at one of the many gay bars, then spend the day strolling through the neighborhood taking in the sights and sounds, window shopping, admiring the historic architecture, and stopping by Jackson Square or Woldenberg Park. When you get hungry, place a takeout order at a neighborhood restaurant--we recommend Eat or Betty’s Bistro, both are gay-owned--and have a picnic in nearby Armstrong Park. Afterwards, be sure to check out the statues of famous jazz musicians, the rose gardens, and the duck ponds.
A Socially Distanced Day at the Museum
Museums are nice for a lot of different reasons, one of them being that there’s usually plenty of space to maintain the recommended six-foot distance from others. Museums in New Orleans are currently open, though attendance is limited for safety purposes, so purchasing tickets in advance is recommended. History buffs will love the National WWII Museum. The New Orleans Museum of Art offers a stunning collection of art from all around the world. And the Ogden Museum of Southern Art boasts multiple floors of work by local and regional artists, including several LGBTQ artists.
Hit the Bike Trails
Biking is a healthy way to see all the different gay-friendly neighborhoods in the city. The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile bike and pedestrian trail that links Mid-City to Faubourg Treme and passes through native vegetation and urban gardens. The Wisner Bike Path extends nearly five miles across Bayou St. John and has plenty of shady spots to stop and relax. And Crescent Park in the Bywater offers a 1.4-mile trail that spans the Mississippi River offering stunning views of the city skyline and plenty of space to lay out. Check out this list of bike rental shops and bicycle tours. And here’s a bike itinerary for more serious cyclists. Don’t forget to wear a helmet (and a mask)!
For the latest coronavirus information, click here.