Synonymous with Mardi Gras, NOLA has more than earned its hard-partying reputation - featuring the best New Orleans gay bars and an abundance of historical depth.

Where the Mississippi River meets Southern charm with a twist of rainbow flair, New Orleans is a carnival of culture and a celebration of LGBTQ+ diversity. This energetic city, a melting pot of music, food, and joie de vivre, offers some of the best gay clubs in New Orleans.

Queer life is centered in the French Quarter, from a few spots on the northern end of famous Bourbon Street, famed for its neon lights and night-long parties, is where the beat of jazz, the clink of cocktail glasses, and the scent of Creole cuisine await you. At just 14 blocks, the whole area is walkable (or stumble-able), making bar-hopping an easy proposition. Bonus: if your drink of choice is in a plastic container, you can take it with you. With bars open 24/7, the party stops and starts when you say it does, so (seriously) hydrate and pace yourself.

Beyond the gay bars, you’ll have plenty to cross off the New Orleans bucket list, like riding the streetcar, savoring Creole food, taking in the gothic architecture, and absorbing jazz culture. If you are a foodie, make sure to dive into a bowl of spicy gumbo, savor a sweet beignet, or indulge in a po'boy sandwich that's loaded up. You can thank us later.

And event-wise, Southern Decadence (one of our go-to recommendations!), New Orleans Pride, and the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival are all worth shaping your plans around. After each event, pop into the best gay bars in New Orleans to keep the fun times rolling.

For those seeking cultural infusions, the art scene is blossoming here. Explore the galleries on Julia Street or lose yourself in the enchanting New Orleans Museum of Art. Take a walk and take in all the city's architecture, which is a storybook of styles, from Creole cottages to grandiose mansions, each telling a tale of the city's storied past.

And let's not forget about romance. New Orleans, draped in Spanish moss and lit by gas lanterns, is a city for lovers. Stroll hand-in-hand along the Moonwalk by the Mississippi or get cozy in a Frenchmen Street jazz club. Here, love is love, and every heartbeat adds to the city's eternal rhythm.

This special city gets many a spirited wanderer saying “Laissez les bons temps rouler” (let the good times roll) soon after touching down. Hope we see you in New Orleans soon!

View the index of more than just the best LGBTQ events + gay bars in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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A lesbian, gay, queer, and transgender crowd at a gay club dancing the night way after finding the club on Rainbow Index