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New Orleans comes alive every February for Mardi Gras, but this city is alive and well all year round. New Orleans is one of the south’s most popular tourist destinations for LGBT travelers. While to most February is the best time to come to “the Big Easy” for the LGBT traveler that time is Labor Day weekend in September, for Southern Decadence, the south’s largest LGBT gathering. While Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence offer big parties and fun times, New Orleans has that amazing vibe year-round.

While in New Orleans you must visit the renowned French Quarter. If you are driving, park your car and take advantage of the famous street cars. You can get all around the French Quarter this way, making it an easy day, with no map reading and directions to find. We do recommend that during the night hours that you stay with your friends and always in well lit areas, try to stay in the tourist areas, these are the safest places at night.

“The Big Easy” is by far one of the south’s most gay friendly cities. You will find some great bars and clubs to spend the night hours in. The two most famous, Bourbon Street Pub and OZ are open 24 hours a day. In New Orleans you are able to walk around drink in hand across the street to each of these bars. One thing to always remember, most of the bars and clubs are cash only, there are ATM’S around, but better have cash on hand than pay high ATM fees.

There are tons of great attractions all around “The Crescent City” for you to spend your days visiting and exploring. You should begin in the French Quarter, the most famous part of town. Jackson Square is a great starting point, filled with great bars, restaurants and quirky little shops. Jackson Square is also home to the United States oldest cathedral, St. Louis Cathedral, perfect for a tour and some great pictures.

Depending on your interests, there are tons of other things to do in the city. You may want to explore the world under the sea at the Aquarium of the America’s. Maybe art and history is more your cup of tea, if so check out the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, the Historic Voodoo Museum and an endless array of restored period residences, large, antebellum homes on St. Charles Avenue, and stucco apartments with wrought-iron balconies. The Warehouse/Art District is another great place to spend a day. Be sure to take some type of dinner or day cruise on the Mississippi River, just another great thing this beautiful southern city has to offer. 

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