New Orleans for LGBTQ Travelers

Home to Southern Decadence, the largest gay gathering in the South, New Orleans has long welcomed gays and lesbians. Founded by Frenchmen in frilly clothing, the “Queen of Southern Culture” gave rise to the nation’s first opera house and cinema, its oldest active art enclave and community theater—and one of the longest-operating gay bars in the United States.

Now nearing the half-century mark, Decadence draws thousands of revelers over Labor Day weekend to take part in the outlandish, four-day French Quarter affair. But there’s more to Crescent City gay life than just partying in the streets.

With its vibrant arts and entertainment scenes, renowned culinary and cultural institutions, trademark hedonism and laid-back attitude toward alternative lifestyles, New Orleans promises a good time whatever side of the street you parade on.

Jackson Square

Set in the heart of the French Quarter overlooking the Mississippi River, Jackson Square is one of New Orleans' most iconic landmarks.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

This historic cottage dates to the late 1700s. The legends surrounding Lafitte’s are vast; it’s easy to sit in the dark, watching the carriages pass, and imagine yourself back in a den of pirates and privateers.


Retro soda fountain ambiance meets a modern menu at this upscale diner. The adventuresome can try the eggs Benedict po’ boy, while Reuben sandwiches, burgers and ice cream sundaes fulfill more conventional cravings. B, L, D (daily).

Carousel Bar

Located in the Hotel Monteleone, this bar is an authentic revolving carousel (worth a peek even for teetotalers) and was a favorite of such literary lights as Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. Live music nightly.

Craig Tracy Gallery

The bulk of artist Craig Tracy’s work is devoted to the human form, which the award-winning bodypainter enhances with intricate imagery he then captures on film. Limited-edition photographs and giclée prints are offered.


Crescent City native and Broadway vet Bryan Batt has received much well-deserved applause for his show-stopping décor shop. Unusual home accents, such as New Orleans-themed toile, are featured.

The Standard

“Normal food for normal people” is draw at this casual neighborhood spot. Lunch brings above-standard salads and sandwiches, while dinner turns on the Southern charm with buttermilk fried chicken, pork chops and more homey goodness. L, D (Tu-F); Br (Sa-Su).

The Country Club

  Known for its swimming pool, this long-popular Bywater hangout also offers casual fine dining. Dive into big-flavored small plates (crabmeat beignets, truffle mac 'n' cheese), salads, sandwiches or full-on entrees, such as chateaurbriand for two. L, D (daily); Br (Sa-Su).

Clover Grill

The prospect of big juicy burgers, overstuffed omelets and a cheeky version of retro 1950s ambiance draws all walks of life to this Bourbon Street institution at all hours. Open 24 hours.