With its many gorgeous shops, fabulous restaurants, luxe spas and unparalleled nightlife, New Orleans is frequently a top spot for groups of gals seeking a destination getaway. Here’s a great sample itinerary for a girls’ day out. Start the day with a spectacular brunch, accompanied by a glass of Champagne or rosé, in the courtyard of Sylvain—one of the most atmospheric restaurants in the French Quarter. Then walk over to Royal Street, and browse among some of the best art galleries in the South. Spend the afternoon at one of the city’s spa sanctuaries (like the luxurious Belladonna); then get ready for an evening out with a creative cocktail or two (maybe at Three Muses in Marigny). Then have dinner at one of the city’s fantastic restaurants, catch some live music or do some dancing, and then take the late-night edge off with coffee and pastry at Café du Monde.
Brunch at Sylvain
Heralded as “the Tom Petty of restaurants” Sylvain takes it to the next level when they do brunch on Sundays. Make sure to try the Crispy Blackeyed Pea Cakes or the Brioche French Toast. And if that wasn’t already great enough, the Bloody Marys at Sylvain are made with what can only be described as something kin to gazpacho.
Royal Street Galleries
Nowhere in New Orleans will you find such a stunning collection of art galleries than the ones on Royal Street that start on Bienville and continue well into the French Quarter. For seriously high-end art don’t miss the Galerie D’Art Francais where artists like Todd White and Denis Lebecq have gorgeous pieces. For great art that’s more left of center try the Antieau Gallery that has a fantastically hilarious “Misunderstood Monsters” collection.
Even if you’re staying at a hotel with its own spa, you might want to consider hopping in a cab for a treatment at this Magazine Street oasis. The prices for its lavish treatments—which include massages, facials, body scrubs, waxing, and nail services—are more reasonable than at many hotel spas, and the staffers make you feel like a V.I.P. The spa also has a charming retail shop selling bath and body products, home wares, cute pajamas and more.
Legendary local bartender Kimberly Patton-Bragg serves some of the city’s most delicious cocktails at this hip Marigny bar and restaurant. Stop in for a few libations (like The Muse—a blend of Hendrick’s gin, blueberry syrup, St. Germain, and fresh lime); you may well find yourself lingering for the nightly live music, and the delicious Gulf fish tacos.
Café du Monde
After a long night out on the town, coffee—and, naturally, a couple of hangover-busting beignets—is in order. And there’s no better place to end your evening (or start your morning) than this famous French Quarter café. Don’t worry if you need your fix in the wee hours; this place never closes.