Destination Babymoon in New Orleans
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While I have been to New Orleans half a dozen times, the most recent one was on my babymoon. Being pregnant with G couldn’t keep me away from the Crescent City, and I had as much fun as always. If you are interested in a New Orleans babymoon, you have come to the right place. We do have a lot of posts about New Orleans but nothing specific for babymooners. So here is your guide to a pregnant getaway in NOLA.
But wait, isn’t New Orleans for bachelorette parties and drunken revelry?
We do understand how all the confusion over whether New Orleans is a family friendly / kid friendly / pregnancy friendly arises – in the Mardi Gras months of the French Quarter. However, that is NOT New Orleans. That is just how a small block of New Orleans looks and feels during a month of the year. (Okay, let’s face it – Bourbon Street and Royal Street do look like that throughout the year but still, the city is no Vegas!) The rest of New Orleans, including the French Quarter, is a charming city. It has got lots of history, lots of character, and lots of delicious food – plus is zika safe – perfect for a babymoon.
St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square
When to visit NOLA for your babymoon
Pregnancy-wise, it is best to take your babymoon in the second trimester. I have followed this advice quite zealously during my pregnancies and crammed all babymoons during late first trimester to early third trimester. That’s right, I said all. You don’t have to take just one babymoon, I took a minimum of 4 babymoons during both my pregnancies.
NOLA weather and events-wise, it is a great destination for spring, fall, and winter. Just skip the Mardi Gras season every year when it gets crazy crowded and definitely hectic and you will be fine. New Orleans is one of our favorite winter travel destinations for babymoons, honeymoons or even simple family getaways. If you are visiting New Orleans in summer; remember to pack lots of flowy, loose maternity dresses, plan to stay indoors if you get tired, drink lots of fluid, and you’ll be prepared for the heat.
Romantic things to do in New Orleans
A babymoon in New Orleans is truly special. The city oozes romance and coziness with horse carriage rides, unique architecture, grand antebellum mansions, and lots of jazz. In fact, New Orleans is the home of jazz and you can’t leave without having some. Here are some of the most romantic things to do in New Orleans on your babymoon.
Beautiful architecture of the French Quarter
Walk around the French Quarter
We love walking around the French Quarter and exploring its unique architecture. The French Quarter is very relaxed and almost empty before midday. Walking is a great pregnancy exercise and I must have walked almost 5 miles in the French Quarter during my babymoon. However, we completely understand if you don’t want to stress your swollen feet and prefer to take it slow. New Orleans has the perfect solution just for you – a romantic horse-drawn carriage tour of the French Quarter! Take in the beautiful balconies and gas lamps and then shop in the boutique stores. Visit the St. Louis Cathedral and do your DIY maternity photo shoot in Jackson Square.
Explore the Garden District
The Garden District has beautiful mansions and moss-covered cemeteries. Perfect for some hand in hand strolling with your love. We spent a good deal of time admiring the gigantic mansions and their well-manicured lawns. The nearby Lafayette Cemetery No 1 is beautiful. The number of small graves for babies and children who succumbed to yellow fever centuries ago made me poignant and glad that we live in a world of vaccines. (That’s a reminder people: vaccinate your bundle of joys and keep them safe!) Inside the Rink Building is one of NOLA’s best-kept secret – Garden Book Store. This independent bookstore is one of the best I have seen and totally worth a stroll. Btw, if you plan to read to your child (and you totally should) then you can pick up wonderful Cajun children’s books including the Cajun Cinderella and even the Cajun alphabet.
Mansions of Garden District
Ride the famous streetcars
New Orleans is famous for its streetcars; they were the inspiration for ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar is an antique with the original seatings and open windows and makes for a great ride. You can ride this car all the way from the French Market / French Quarter to the Garden District and back.
Shop at the Riverwalk Outlets Malls or on Magazine Street
New Orleans is great for maternity and baby shopping. The Riverwalk Outlet Malls have the most popular brands. There are also some boutique stores in the area. The French Quarter also has lots of boutique apparel stores and art galleries. Magazine Street is a trendy area with lots of boutique stores, bakeries, and eateries. The street also has a great specialty baby boutique stores called the Kool Kids. If you venture in Metairie you will find Zuka Baby, another of NOLA’s famous baby boutiques.
Take a lunch or dinner cruise down the Mississippi in a steamboat
These moonlit steamboat river cruises are the ultimate in romance and pampering. The lunch/brunch cruises are no less romantic; views of the city pass by as you dine gourmet food and listen to live jazz music. Steamboat Natchez is a truly grand old boat with a wooden wheel and is a pleasure to go aboard for a cruise. The other alternative for a cruise is the Creole Queen which also offers many different cruises.
Jazz cruise aboard Steamboat Natchez is a great experience
Listen to romantic jazz blues on Frenchmen Street
A visit to Frenchmen Street is must for listening to the famous New Orleans blues. This area is trendy, lively and has all the jazz! (pun unintended) Some of the must-visit classic bars include The Spotted Cat, Blue Nile, The Maison, etc. For a whole list, check here. You can listen to great live music and eat great food in any of these venues.
Where to eat in NOLA?
New Orleans is a city for foodies and being pregnant doesn’t change anything. You might be nauseated by ten different things but NOLA will present you with a hundred better options till you eventually find something to satisfy your cravings. I was craving seafood throughout my second pregnancy and ate the most delicious shrimp po boys and chargrilled oysters in New Orleans. For your babymoon we suggest going beyond NOLA’s many eateries and shacks and instead of splurging on a decadent meal at some of the city’s best restaurants. This might be one of the last times you can have an uninterrupted meal in months, so enjoy it to the maximum.
Top of the list is Commander’s Palace in the Garden District. Bananas Fosters originated here and are still a must order dish. Many other dishes on the menu have also been consistently served since half a century. We recommend making reservations if you want to dine here.
Commander’s Palace is a New Orleans icon
A must for seafood lovers is Acme Oyster House. Their chargrilled oysters and po boys are yummy! Just remember to not order raw oysters, and you are all good. Another great place for oysters and seafood is Drago’s. To try the famous muffuletta sandwich, visit Central Grocery located near the French Market.
The super famous Cafe du Monde’s Cafe Au Lait and beignets are a must but here’s an awesome tip: Avoid the two-block-long lines and boisterous crowds by going here for breakfast or late night dessert. The cafe is open 24 hours so it is also perfect for midnight cravings when you will have the entire place almost to yourself.
Easy NOLA Day Trips
There are also plenty of easy attractions at a short distance away from New Orleans. You can reach them easily by car or book a tour that picks you up from your hotel in the French Quarter. The Plantation Alley is an hour away from New Orleans and has beautiful plantations which you can tour. Seeing these splendidly restored antebellum mansions is a treat. Another great outdoors attraction near New Orleans is the Louisiana swamp tour. The swamp tour consists of an airboat ride and you get to see crocodiles and alligators. We understand that an airboat ride might not be every pregnant woman’s cup of tea; in that case, you can hike the Barataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Park to see the gators on your own.
Spot a gator in the swamps
When we went for our babymoon, NOLA was hosting the French Market Creole Tomato Festival – think lots of Bloody Mary’s for the hubby and fried tomatoes for me! On previous visits, I have seen weddings, attended jazz fests, and been surprised by literary events. There is always something going on in NOLA and the energetic but laid-back vibe is sure to refresh you. Take your time off in New Orleans to forget the stressful and tiring times during your pregnancy and have a relaxed babymoon by spending quality time with your partner. A final pre-baby jaunt, if you will!
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Dotted Globe is a travel blog about amazing road trips. We are an Indian expat family living in the United States since 2010 and love the open roads.