Bachelorette Party in New Orleans, LA
For the fling before the ring, New Orleans, the ultimate party city in the U.S., has to make your list of top destinations if you plan on staying stateside. What is so special about a bachelorette party in New Orleans, LA? It is difficult to capture the magic that is NOLA if you haven’t visited.
After all, New Orleans doesn’t have the gorgeous beaches of some destinations and its nightlife isn’t as glam as you’ll find in some cities, but the city is so steeped in history and ready to party at the drop of a hat, that it doesn’t matter. The awesome is overwhelming. Whether you are sampling some of the city’s famous Hurricanes, partying with the natives, or eating the best food you will find in the world, you will find it hard not to get your belle on in the Big Easy.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Get There
- 2 Things to Do
- 3 Where To Eat
- 4 Where To Stay
- 5 When To Go
- 6 What Else
- 7 Why Go
- 8 Conclusion
How To Get There
When booking flights to New Orleans, make sure you choose Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (airport code: MSY) as the destination. The airport is about 25-30 minutes from the French Quarter and will cost you roughly $50.00 for an UberXL.
When booking flights always check out priceline.com as they seem to have the best prices and availability.
Things to Do
Daytime Activity Ideas
Nighttime ideas for New Orleans are easy; find the French Quarter, explore the French Quarter, repeat. However, daytime activities can be a little trickier because, depending on when you visit and where you are coming from, New Orleans can seem very hot and muggy in the daytime hours. It is and you aren’t going to find big hotel pool parties in NOLA to keep you cool. So, forget about feeling cool and focus on doing something cool, while sipping on cold drinks and being thankful you can act like a belle without having to dress like one!
New Orleans is one of our absolute favorite cities to visit in the entire world, so our suggestions for daytime bachelorette party ideas in New Orleans are going to go beyond the normal spa day-type suggestions. Sure, you can do those, but New Orleans is probably the most magically historical city you will find outside of Europe. Enjoy it.
One thing we love to do is to look at the Garden District. Whether you are just talking a casual stroll through the area or on a guided tour, while walking through the Garden District you will see some amazing historic architecture, fascinating attention to period detail, and get to sneak a peek at the homes of some of the rich and famous who live there.
Just like the Garden District, New Orleans Cemeteries are something you just don’t see in the rest of the United States. New Orleans is below sea level, which means that in-ground burials were not the way to go. The result? Cemeteries full of some really amazing tombs. Sound creepy? Yeah, it is. The cemeteries are beautiful and creepy at the same time. They also happen to be considered high-crime areas. You could tour them without a guide, but, honestly, it is a little risky for tourists, so find a tour. Besides that, the tour guides can tell you some really fascinating history to go with the ornate tombs. Definitely worth the time and money.
Our next favorite “daytime” activity is one we’re including in daytime activities, though they usually start at twilight: ghost tours. Okay, you may think that sounds hokey, but New Orleans is reputed to be an extremely haunted city. One of us has even felt the cold hand of a child ghost while on a ghost tour, and was completely sober at the time! Even if you don’t have a supernatural experience, the ghost tours usually include some of the most exciting tales about historic New Orleans.
Want to get out of the city and see nearby New Orleans? There are two ways you can do so. First, surrounding New Orleans are some preserved historic antebellum plantations. These tours can include extras like airboat tours of the swamps. If you want something a little less sedate, you can find high-speed airboats in those same swamps.
Want to get away from the history and just party for a while? Don’t worry; there is literally always a party in the Big Easy. Consider hitting one of New Orleans’s casinos for some gambling fun. Harrah’s is our favorite, not because it captures New Orleans better than the other casinos, but because it captures the feel of Vegas once you step in its doors. New Orleans also has two bachelorette party staples: navigable water and lots of booze. The Mighty Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico surround the city, so boats are a great daytime option. You can spend the day on a New Orleans Bachelorette Party Boat or a Jazz Dinner Cruise.
Finally, what bride doesn’t want to feel sexy? A popular idea for bachelorette parties is a group pole dancing class that covers pole-dancing basics and helps everyone feel a little of that Southern sexy swagger.
Nightlife Activity Ideas
New Orleans nightlife is quantitatively different from the nightlife in some of the nation’s other party cities, because partying in New Orleans often means a street party. You will find similar atmospheres in places like Austin’s Sixth Street, but nothing rivals Bourbon Street. This is especially true if you are in NOLA at one of the city’s epic street party festivals, like Mardi Gras. What is so great about Bourbon Street? Well, you can literally walk down the street in and out of the some of the city’s most popular bars and restaurants, without a single reservation, and have a great time. It’s almost like trick-or-treating as a kid, but with booze and beads instead of candy as your prizes. What’s not so great about Bourbon Street? The crowds and the easy-come, easy-go philosophy can make formal planning trickier.
The one place you must go when you are on Bourbon Street? Pat O Brien’s– the home of the famous Hurricane drink. If you haven’t had a Hurricane, picture a daiquiri, but make it twice as sweet and twice as potent. We aren’t kidding about the potency, which the deceptive sweetness hides, so proceed past one or two with caution. Of course, the most famous bar in the world’s most famous bar city didn’t get there because of one drink, Pat O’s is also a heck of a lot of fun. If you have never been to a dueling piano bar, it’s a great place to start, with a crowd that is always raring for a good time.
What’s sexier than Channing Tatum? If you answered “nothing,” then you have to hit Saints and Sinners, Tatum’s Big Easy bar, restaurant, and hotspot. Designed to mimic some of the bordellos and burlesque halls from New Orleans’s Storyville past, Saints and Sinners is the place to laissez les bons temps rouler. It even has a pole in the place; after a few drinks, you might want to put your pole-dancing classes to good use!
Bourbon Heat – Looking for something more like a dance club? Head over to Bourbon heat. It plays a variety of house, hip hop, and R & B and is always busy. It also has an awesome balcony for people-watching the Bourbon Street craziness.
Looking for something more like a great urban nightclub and away from the Quarter? Check out Metropolitan Nightclub, with its spinning dance floor, laser lights, and VIP service, it is an ultimate nightclub experience. It’s a great place to hit on your way back to the party, if your dinner plans have taken you out of the corner. Usually, we think a bachelorette party bus in New Orleans, LA is a waste of money, since you’ll be spending most of your party hours in the Quarter. However, if you want to hit the Metropolitan, book your party bus for that night. Make reservations at a great restaurant, plan an itinerary, and let the party bus company worry about parking, designating a driver, and navigating a city where a few wrong turns can land you in some shady spots.
One of our favorite nighttime haunts is just a bar. Legend has it that Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop was the base of operations for the pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte and it has remained a place for a good drink and a good time for hundreds of years. However, we don’t just love it for the history; the place is reported to be haunted, and it’s a great place for a drink or two before heading out on one of the city’s ghost tours.
Strip Clubs / Male Reviews
New Orleans is a city that is proud to celebrate its Storyville heritage and the role it played in the evolution of burlesque. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that New Orleans has a number of strip clubs that cater to women and feature some gorgeous male dancers. If you want to dip your toe into the male exotic dancer pool, but still play it relatively safe, then chain strip club Hunk-O-Mania’s Bourbon Street location is probably your best option. The men are crazy-hot and they put on a great, entertaining show that is perfect for groups. There you can plan ahead; ask them about New Orleans bachelorette party packages. However Bourbon Bad Boys has its fans, who love their party room and dedicated balcony overlooking Bourbon Street almost as much as the all-male revue. Plus, this is the Big Easy baby; don’t be surprised if you encounter some fine male dancers at Saints and Sinners, if you go at the right time.
Where To Eat
It’s probably pretty obvious that we love everything about New Orleans, but we don’t live there. You know why? Because the food in the Big Easy is so delicious that we would do nothing but eat if we lived there. That’s why we aren’t even going to try to tell you what restaurants are the best ones in the city; it’s like trying to pick your favorite child. Instead, what we’re going to tell you is that New Orleans is known for some amazing types of food: Creole cuisine, Cajun cuisine, Muffaletta sandwiches, beignets; wherever you end up eating, ask the waiter for recommendations and try something new. We have literally never been disappointed by a meal in New Orleans. Some of our personal favorites are:
Café du Monde is a classic because it’s awesome. It serves beignets and coffee, specifically New Orleans’s feature coffee drink café au lait, a coffee drink that uses chicory to mellow out the bitter edges of the coffee. It is open all day and all night, and you will find a crowd there waiting for beignets, which are similar to donuts or sopapillas, for those familiar with Mexican cuisine. They are just fried pillows of dough, which you cover in powdered sugar. In fact, powdered sugar is everywhere at Café du Monde, so you can sprinkle as much or as little as you want. This is a great spot to head after a night of partying, when you want a delicious snack, and is equally appealing for breakfast, where you can sip on coffee as you people-watch.
There are so many places to eat a nice, upscale dinner in New Orleans, and you can’t go wrong with classics like Brennan’s at 417 Royal Street. From the gold-leaf walls to the sumptuous purple velvet dining chairs, Brennan’s is a total dining experience. We love Creole food, so picking a must-eat food at Brennan’s is difficult; we strongly advocate having everyone in your party order something different and sharing the goodness. However, if you have to make hard choices, then the food you must try here includes: Brennan’s Oyster Soup and the Shrimp and Grits.
At the other end of the fine-dining spectrum is Angeline at 1032 Chartres Street. When asked to describe Angeline, we like to say that if your Southern Grandma went to France and spent a year at culinary school, this is the kind of food she would come back home and prepare. The fried pork chop sandwich and hand cut fries might be the best sandwich you will ever eat.
What’s a trip to New Orleans without a visit to Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant at 841 Iberville? There is a reason so many locals say it’s the city’s best seafood. You can get your seafood prepared many ways at Deanie’s, but we strongly recommend having them prepare you a boil of whatever is in season, especially during crawfish season.
Where To Stay
New Orleans is a tourist town and the French Quarter is a tourist area that caters to grown-ups. If you book a place in the Quarter, it is going to be hard to find a place that isn’t bachelorette-party friendly. However, take note, none of the places we recommend is actually on Bourbon Street. If you need to rest between parties, you want to stay a block or two away from the noise, because Bourbon Street stays open late at night and gets going pretty early in the morning!
Hotel Monteleone– Timeless, sophisticated style in the heart of the French Quarter; this hotel is not the most budget-friendly, but offers a great taste of historic New Orleans style.
W Hotel New Orleans – Looking for a mid-range 4 star hotel? Then this is the place.
Holiday Inn New Orleans – Want something a little more affordable? Holiday Inn has a French Quarter location that is far enough from the bustle of Bourbon Street for you to actually get some sleep, but close enough that you can still walk there in your most dangerous stilettos.
Want the feel of something more like a giant slumber party or sorority house, and less like a dormitory? Then think about a New Orleans bachelorette party house rental. There are tons of great places to stay in the city, and you can find them on Airbnb.com or Homeaway.com. This apartment that is only 8 blocks from Bourbon Street can sleep up to 10 people and is a great place to stay during Mardi Gras or one of the city’s other festivals. Want to stay someplace really luxe? Check out this 6-bedroom plantation estate that sleeps up to 30 people. Want to get the total French Quarter experience? Then try this 5 bedroom and 4 bathroom house (sleeps 8), which is the perfect size and location for smaller parties.
If you decide to book a rental house with Airbnb, make sure you sign up with our link which will get you $40 off your first booking.
When To Go
Mardi Gras is the best time to travel to New Orleans. It is the biggest street carnival in the world, with wild parades and all-around debauchery that are unmatched unless you head to Carnival in Brazil. However, anytime from February through April is a great time to plan your bachelorette party in New Orleans. Expect to pay more during peak travel season, and expect to encounter crowds, but in a party city the more really is the merrier.
On a Budget
Summer in New Orleans is great, especially if you are used to heat, but get traveler’s insurance; New Orleans does get more than its fair share of hurricanes. New Orleans is also great in December; so much of the city is decorated beautifully for Christmas that it is like a warm winter wonderland. The only time we suggest avoiding is August; Augusts in New Orleans tend to be rainy, and the heat turns all that rain into steam. Even the Big Easy gets a little droopy in all that muggy heat!
Items to Pack
Depends on what kind of weekend you plan on having. Are you going the traditional route and intend to embarrass the bride by making her wear bachelorette party-themed items? If so, hit Amazon for some of the items below. You also want to look into themed drink-holders; you can open carry your drinks on the streets in New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean you want them getting hot or sweaty!
If you are confused with how to plan out your weekend in the Crescent City, use some of our recommendations below to come up with the perfect itinerary for your lady friends.
- Happy hour on Bourbon Street, where they offer 3 for 1 drinks. Don’t get too drunk too quickly.
- Emeril’s New Orleans for dinner, have some drinks and amazing food (stuffed chicken wings are mouth watering)
- Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters, need we say anything more?
- Camellia Grill for brunch. The bacon and eggs served here are out of the world, so are the fries with gravy.
- Woodhouse Day Spa, and have an afternoon of pampering with your besties. Maybe go for a deep tissue massage or get a seaweed wrap, maybe even a manicure and pedicure.
- Acme Oyster House, if you love oysters you need to go here. Expect to find a line outside this restaurant during peak hours.
- Hurricanes on the patio at Pat O’Briens or head to the Piano Room for the dueling pianos.
- Haunted History Ghost Tour, make sure you have a buzz going before you do this, you don’t want to get too scared.
- Hand Grenades at Tropical Isle, but don’t get too close to the guy in costume, as he can be touchy feely.
- Outdoor Yoga in Mid-City under the Oak Trees on Bayou Street.
- A burger and Monsoon from Port of Call.
One of the best things about New Orleans is that the city is incredibly affordable. Unless you are there during Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest, everything from hotels to souvenirs is within the price range of even the most modest budget. If you do hit the city during peak times, prices will be significantly higher, but still far more affordable than may other destination bachelorette party locales.
Mardi Gras – There is actually a religious history behind Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday is the last day before the 40 days of Lent, and was when people went a little wild before giving up things for Lent. New Orleans, being New Orleans, turned that day of debauchery into a week-long celebration of all things in excess and we call that celebration Mardi Gras. Beads, floats, parades, music, booze; it’s one giant street party.
Essence Music Festival– The original party with a purpose, the Essence Fest is a celebration of the impact the African American community has had on the development of American music styles, from jazz to hip-hop.
Jazz Fest – Jazz Fest happens over two weekends at the end of spring and is, simply, a festival celebrating the best in modern Jazz music and the roots of the genre.
We aren’t going to lie; New Orleans’s reputation as a dangerous city is well-deserved, but it is also probably a bit overstated for the average tourist. Don’t act like a victim, and you probably won’t be a victim, but be aware that even with increased police presence in tourist areas, if you make yourself a target, you can expect to be targeted. Leave expensive jewelry and easily snatched items like designer purses at home, don’t go into any of the city’s sketchier locales without a guide (don’t even attempt a guide-free cemetery tour), and don’t travel alone.
You see the word “history” pop up over and over again in our description of New Orleans, and that’s not by accident. The city is known for its amazing history and your experience there will not be complete if you don’t take a little time to learn more about it.
So you read 95% of this article yet you still have questions before you round up the ladies for coffee talk and plan your trip to New Orleans? Ask any questions you have in our community forum and another member or staff will provide you with a detailed response. Already been to New Orleans for your bachelorette party and have reviews, tips, or suggestions for other ladies? Please leave them in our forum so others can read and help our community grow.
Our pro-New Orleans bias is probably pretty clear from this article. We love the city and, if you give yourself a chance to explore it and enjoy it, we think you will love it, too. However, we will say this; if your idea of a perfect bachelorette party is spending lots of downtime, just chilling with your girls while you sip frozen drinks and sit poolside, New Orleans is not the town for you. You simply will not get the benefit of the city unless you are out in the city.