Faubourg Marigny Arts & Books (600 Frenchman St.; 504-947-3700), the oldest LGBT bookstore in the South, brings in local and visiting writers and showcases resident artists. The Marigny's American Aquatic Gardens and Gifts (621 Elysian Fields; 504-944-0410), New Orleans' first complete aquatic gardens and nursery, offers everything you never thought you needed to build a pond, including plants, fountains, statuary, and bronze sculpture. It's worth a visit just to see the spectacular garden and eclectic gift shop.
Magazine Street, in the Uptown District (from Felicity to Audubon Park), is one of the city's art gallery and antiques row; there are also plenty of contemporary design and home-accents shops in the neighborhood.
Second Skin Leather Co. (521 St. Philip St; 504-561-8167) sells "barwear, clubwear, and sexual hardware." Haven't got a stitch to wear to hit the numerous bars and clubs? Pop in to Rab-Dab (918 Royal St; 504-525-6662) for a quick fix of hip gear fitting for the hot weather. Got a costume ball to attend? New Orleans teems with drag and other fabulous wear. Fifi Mahony's (934 Royal St; 504-525-4343) has all the wigs and cosmetics required for a total transformation. Gay tchotchkes galore are available at Alternatives (909 Bourbon St; 504-524-5222).
If all the shopping leaves you hungry, stop by Laura's Candies (331 Chartres St; 504-525-3880), New Orleans' oldest candy store, for authentic pralines and Mississippi mud of the chocolate variety.
ATHLETIC & OUTDOORS
Audubon Park (St. Charles Avenue, near Tulane University; 504-861-2537) and City Park (City Park Avenue at Marconi Drive; 1 Palm Drive; 504-482-4888) are both gay-popular and filled with a variety of recreational facilities. Audubon has 10 tennis courts and the city's only open 18-hole golf course, near the Uptown section; joggers should run around the City Park's track, at the end of Esplanade Avenue.
Rent bikes at Bicycle Michael's (622 Frenchmen St; 504-945-9505) in the Marigny and bike two miles to City Park or six miles to Audubon Park. The friendly staff there will assist cyclists in drawing up their own route, or give you a prescribed, 25-mile city route map taking in a variety of sights.
Downtown's Elmwood Fitness Center (701 Poydras, 13th Floor; 504-588-1600; $13/day) has great equipment, full aerobics, a fabulous view, and lots of gay members. Club Body Center (515 Toulouse St; 504-581-2402; $8/day plus $15 locker rental or $20 dressing room rental) offers workout facilities and wet and dry areas for men. Located in the French Quarter, it is the only sauna/bathhouse in New Orleans.
Ambush (504-522-8047) is the Crescent City's biweekly gay publication with local bar and entertainment listings and party pix. Surf www.gayneworleans.com for listings of gay-identified and gay-popular attractions, accommodations, tours, events, dining, and shopping options.
The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (2020 St. Charles Ave.; 504-566-5011 or 800-672-6124) provides general tourist information. Check out www.nola.com, affiliated with New Orleans' hometown newspaper, the Times-Picayune, for local news, events and weather.
Part One | Part Two | Part Three
New Orleans: Introduction
New Orleans: Where to Stay
New Orleans: Where to Eat
New Orleans: Where to Play