New Orleans

An eccentric little city known for its pleasure-loving, party-centric character, those traits are never more “out” than during its many LGBT festivals. Its residents celebrate alongside a strong queer community, especially for Halloween, when proceeds from the city’s biggest bashes go toward philanthropies, and the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival, which highlights the best and brightest LGBT voices from around the world. Like Mardi Gras (anywhere outside of the touristic French Quarter), the Gay Easter Parade is family-friendly as well, but if you’re looking for that “typical” raucous experience of beads, booze, and “whoo!’s”, come on down for Southern Decadence. Since 1972, this event has been an amazing celebration of gay life, music, and culture in New Orleans, attracting over 160,000 attendees each year and uniting them all in the name of pride and charity.

Easily the most liberal city in the Deep South, the Big Easy’s naturally flamboyant personality and colorful history make it no wonder an event like this continues to grow in strength. For all other times of the year, for queer and straight visitors alike, there’s always Bourbon Street. Start from Canal Street to traverse the main drag, and keep heading toward Esplanade Avenue to discover yourself charmingly shaded by rainbow flags fluttering from nearly every wrought-iron balcony. It’s here that you’ll find Oz, a massive gay dance club; Bourbon Pub & Parade, open 24/7 and a favorite among locals; trendy Napoleon’s Itch; and the historic Café Lafitte in Exile, the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the U.S.

Don’t let this wide range of options keep you in the Quarter, though! Hop on a streetcar for a tour of the Antebellum South in its full glory on St. Charles Avenue; pay your respects to voodoo queens and long-dead pirates in beautiful cemeteries filled with stunning mausoleums; listen to big brass in the Garden District or contemporary jazz in the Marigny; shop six miles of boutiques on Magazine Street; catch an alligator on a swamp tour; and, above all, eat and drink anything and everything in a destination that’s on the top ten lists for both in publications across the country and the world. In the City that Care Forgot, it’s easy to have an experience you’ll always remember.

Good to Know

  • Lively and actively expanding gay scene centered around the French Quarter and the Marigny
  • Generally inclusive
  • New Orleans Pride is family-friendly and listed among the fastest-growing events for gay travel
  • Gay marriage legal since June 2015

Featured Resorts:

Windsor Court Hotel

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Amongst the 322 deluxe accommodations, you will find 266 full one-bedroom suites, all individually appointed with completely separated living areas from the bedroom. In addition, all guest rooms and suites come with expansive bay windows or balconies that overlook the city skyline or the winding Mississippi River. And not to be missed are the newly added Club Level Accommodations. These private key- accessed rooms and suites have been enhanced to include all new furnishings, ...

Royal Sonesta Hotel

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The Royal Sonesta newly renovated New Orleans is located in the heart of the French Quarter, steps away from restaurants, antique shops, entertainment centers, and historic landmarks. With its elegant marbled lobby, tranquil fountains and sparkling chandeliers, the Royal Sonesta displays a timeless elegance of its European style and Southern charm. Each of the 483 beautifully appointed, smoke-free newly renovated guest rooms and suites include a view of the French Quarter or ...

Holiday Inn Chateau LeMoyne

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Situated in the beating heart of the French Quarter, Chateau LeMoyne provides boutique accommodations amid the whirlwind of New Orleans. Located just one block from the famous Bourbon Street, tucked on away on Dauphine Street, this historical hotel will provide the enchanting experience you are searching for. Fully renovated in 2015, Chateau LeMoyne boasts alluring guest rooms, scenic courtyards, an acclaimed on-site restaurant and bar, and top rated service. Immerse yourself ...

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