I recently ventured out for a small luncheon with some of my girlfriends. Out. Of my house. We had all been thoroughly vaccinated and had waited the proper post-shot wait period, so we decided to celebrate a birthday, as well as our ability to start to go out in public again, carefully. Reservations were made in advance. We wore masks when we arrived. And then we were seated. Inside a restaurant! What a revelation. We chatted for a while about what we all had been up to, how our kids were doing and what movies we had been watching recently. Eventually the talk turned to how great it felt to be in the same room together, dressed up in “outside clothes,” enjoying a meal and a glass or two of rosé. We also remarked on how strange it felt. “It’s all about dipping a toe, one at a time, into the water,” remarked one of my friends. And she was right. Going out does feel strange at first, but it also feels really good. 

This May, for our annual women’s issue, we have put together places that celebrate women, with lots of ideas for friends and family to gather and ease into the water together before diving in. Plus, we feature 11 outstanding female leaders who are doing extraordinary things in their fields for our community. It’s always difficult choosing just a few women for our Top Female Achievers, as New Orleans is brimming with amazing candidates throughout the year.

Whether you are celebrating the amazing women in your own life, planning a Mother’s Day outing or just hanging out with friends post-vaccine, we have plenty of spots to shop, wine, dine or get pampered. After a year of quarantine, we have all the best places to celebrate spring, update your wardrobe, your mood and your look.

As we embrace the waning spring and prepare ourselves for the heat of summer, New Orleans is slowly opening back up, with new places to visit and new-to-you places to enjoy. It all kind of feels new when you have been inside for more than a year. We are encouraged by the fact that we can now truly dip our toes into the water. Soon we will all be able to dive on in.