Nothing screams summer quite like a vacation. School is out, the sun is up, and the good times are rolling in. With an endless sea of options to choose from, it’s important to know why New Orleans should be top of mind when choosing the perfect vacation destination. From our unique summer festivals and events to our seasonal activities and delicacies, the Crescent City is the perfect place to kick-off or close out your summer. Discover why below.
Warm weather in New Orleans means many things, but one of our favorites is sno-ball season! When the sun is out, sno-balls are in, and the excitement is shared among adults, teens, and children alike. If you’re making your way to the Crescent City this summer, a trip to a local sno-ball stand is easily the most delicious way to beat the New Orleans heat.
Most stands are order-and-go style, so there’s more time to explore the city while you enjoy it. Check out our sno-ball page for all the places to get one of these icy summer sweets, or take our sno-ball quiz here to find out which flavor you are.
Spring fests are fun, but summer festivals are sizzling! From week-long festivals like the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience to one-weekend-only events like the Creole Tomato Festival, there’s a non-stop, wide range of must-attend festivals spread throughout the summer. There’s also two different festivals celebrating the LGBTQ+ community: New Orleans Pride in June and Southern Decadence over Labor Day weekend, both complete with parades and events. Check our events calendar here for all the best events to attend from June-August.
New Orleans is a city filled with living history and culture. Throughout the year, but especially during the Juneteenth holiday, you should make time to visit some of the city’s most historically significant landmarks, museums, and neighborhoods. The Whitney Plantation, the Treme neighborhood, and the Ashe Cultural Arts Center are just a few starting points of the many locations throughout the city. Special Juneteenth celebrations are held throughout the city, including NOLA Juneteenth Festival in Congo Square.
Summertime in New Orleans brings a host of free events, like outdoor arts markets, festivals, and museum free admission days. Visit a local park, go gallery hopping, and even slurp free oysters this summer in NOLA. Here are 35 free things to do this summer.
The change in weather means the return of some of your favorite fruits and veggies used to make seasonal delicacies at restaurants across the Crescent City. Enjoy an array of options featuring fresh Creole Tomatoes at the French Market Creole Tomato Festival, sweet summer corn for Barracuda’s Esquites, or Sofia’s Summer’s End Pizza made with zucchini, squash blossoms, and heirloom tomatoes. See what special dishes await this summer.
Only in New Orleans can you make staying cool, look cool with our popping pool scene. Overlook the Crescent City poolside at Above the Grid, the NOPSI Hotel’s rooftop pool and bar, or the Ace Hotel’s ever-popular rooftop pool, Alto. Or, stay grounded and head to the Bywater’s hidden gem, the Country Club for a fabulous drag brunch and a dip in the pool. Looking for even more pool inspiration? Check out our guide to hotel pools for every type of traveler.
From barbecues along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River to the awe-worthy firework displays, nobody does the Fourth of July quite like New Orleans. For starters, the Essence Festival of Culture returns on Fourth of July weekend from June 30-July 3. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Essence Fest here, and plan to come to New Orleans for Fourth of July weekend.
Say so long to Brandy Milk Punch and Creole Eggnog, refreshing summer cocktails are back in season and New Orleans is the best place to enjoy them. Stick to classics like a Mint Julep or Pimm’s Cup, or switch it up and try Superior Seafood’s signature Frozen French 75 or a far-out flavored New Orleans-style daiquiri. Options are unlimited in the summer, but always so delicious. And for those who don’t drink alcohol, there are plenty of refreshing options for a delicious mocktail.
With extended deals and specials on dining, attractions, and even accommodations, it pays to visit New Orleans in the summer.
- Restaurant Week New Orleans - An annual culinary event that showcases some of the best in New Orleans’ restaurant business. Enjoy a week of exclusive menus at restaurants across the Crescent City. New Orleans Restaurant Week 2023 returns this June 19-25.
- COOLinary - Missed New Orleans Restaurant Week but still itching to experience the specials? Make your way to New Orleans for COOLinary, a summertime culinary extravaganza. COOLinary features exclusively curated menus and special pricing for brunch, lunch, and dinner during the entire month of August.
Bid summer farewell and welcome autumn the right way - with one final trip to NOLA. Labor Day weekend arrives just in time to take advantage of those dining deals, and events like Southern Decadence means that there’s plenty of fun to be had. Enjoy the late summer breeze by spending time outdoors and checking out some of our best attractions.