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.

Paul Broussard

Sno-Ball Season

Warm weather in New Orleans means many things, but one of our favorites is snoball season! When the sun is out, snoballs 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 snoball 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 Snoball page for all the places to get one of these icy summer sweets.

Paul Broussard

Summer Fests + Events

Spring fests are fun, but summer festivals are sizzling! From major events like ESSENCE Fest and New Orleans Pride to smaller and quirkier events like the Red Dress Run and the Creole Tomato Festival, there’s a non-stop, wide range of must-attend festivals spread throughout the summer. Browse our Summer Festival Guide for all the best events to attend from June-August.

Justen Williams

Juneteenth Celebrations

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, Treme and the Ashe Cultural Arts Center are just a few starting points of the many locations throughout the city.

Paul Broussard

Midsummer Mardi Gras

Missed carnival season but still itching for a taste of Mardi Gras? Visit New Orleans in August to experience Midsummer Mardi Gras. Join the Krewe of Oak as they parade along their Uptown-based namesake, Oak Street. Each summer, the Krewe tackles a funky theme and everyone is invited to dress the part, march along and catch fabulous throws - just like Mardi Gras, but with an even more local vibe.

Paul Broussard

Seasonal Menus

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.

Paul Broussard

Cool Pool Scene

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.

Paul Broussard

Fourth of July Fun

From barbecues along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River to the awe-worthy firework display in Algiers and of course, the annual music extravaganza of the year - ESSENCE Fest, nobody does the Fourth of July quite like New Orleans.

Zack Smith

Refreshing Cocktails

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.

Rebecca Todd

Exclusive Summer Specials

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 weeklong deals and exclusive prix-fixe menus at over 80 restaurants across the Crescent City. New Orleans Restaurant Week 2020 is set for June 22-28. 
  • Museum Month - Art and history lovers rejoice! During the month of August, just one local museum membership grants you free access to a host of participating institutions. Last year’s participants have included everything from the New Orleans Jazz Museum to the revered World War II Museum and even the family-friendly Audubon Insectarium. See who’s on the list for 2020 and ask about a membership package today. 
  • COOLinary - Missed New Orleans Restaurant Week but still itching to experience the specials? Make your way to New Orleans for August and catch COOLinary, a month-long culinary extravaganza. Similar to restaurant week, COOLinary features exclusively curated menus and special pricing. Enjoy two and three-course lunches, brunches and dinners for no more than $39. 
  • Stay & Play - An end of summer special geared specifically toward locals, Stay & Play allows Louisiana residents to enjoy deals and discounts on a host of attractions, hotels, restaurants and tours throughout August. It’s the perfect time of year for a day trip to the city or even New Orleans locals to get out and explore the wonder that lies right under their noses. 
Paul Broussard

Labor Day Done Right

Bid summer farewell and welcome autumn the right way - with one final trip to NOLA. The annual Southern Decadence celebration dominates Labor Day Weekend in New Orleans, but there are plenty of other ways to close out summer in the Crescent City.