August in New Orleans calls for a special wardrobe beyond the shorts and sun hats of summer. With Red Dress Run and White Linen Night on the horizon, locals and visitors will be donning red and white and making their way through the Bywater, French Quarter, and downtown New Orleans. Dining deals and attraction specials are also highlights of the month, along with Satchmo Summerfest and plenty of options for fun. Here are our top 10 things to do this August in New Orleans.

Andy Kutcher, New Orleans & Company

Delight in COOLinary dining deals

Take advantage of dining deals in New Orleans with COOLinary. Indulge in two-course lunch, or three-course dinner and brunch deals from August 1-31. Participating restaurants include Bywater American Bistro, Couvant, Seaworthy, and over 100 others. Don’t miss your chance to try some of the best food in New Orleans for a steal.

Participate in Museum Month

Purchase one museum membership and get access to all participating museums for the month of August. Participants include The New Orleans African American Museum, JAMNOLA, Backstreet Cultural Museum, and over 20 others. Find the details for Museum Month 2023 here and enjoy staying cool this summer in NOLA.

Tap your toes at Satchmo Summerfest

Celebrating the life and legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Satchmo Summerfest is a food and music fest that takes over the French Quarter. Held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, expect performances in tribute to Louis Armstrong, as well as authentic New Orleans cuisine. Satchmo Summerfest is August 5-6 and admission is free.

Jam out at Tipitina’s Free Fridays

Tipitina’s Free Fridays summer concert series is back and better than ever. On Fridays from May 26 to September 1, enjoy free concerts from a rotating list of local performers, including Brass-A-Holics, Honey Island Swamp Band, Billy Iuso, and more.

Stroll the art galleries at White Linen Night

Fidelity Bank White Linen Night returns on Saturday, Aug. 5. Art galleries on the 300-600 blocks of Julia Street will open their doors to patrons in the largest free art stroll in the city. With more than 20 participating galleries, live music and art installations, special giveaways, delicious bites, cocktails, and much more, White Linen Night is an opportune time to experience the best of the Arts/Warehouse District. The Julia Street block party kicks off at 5 p.m. The following Saturday, Aug. 12, Dirty Linen Night is hosted on nearby Royal Street.

Attend NOLA Pickleball Fest

The first ever NOLA Pickle Fest benefitting the Brees Dream Foundation is scheduled for August 10-13. This unique, festival-style pickleball tournament will feature 24 tournament-quality PickleRoll courts, live music, a celebrity exhibition match featuring Drew Brees, VIP experiences, and much more. Sign up here for the latest on scheduling and ticket prices.

Race for charity at Red Dress Run

On the morning of Saturday, Aug. 12, runners dressed in red will take to the streets of the Marigny and French Quarter for an annual charity race. The event, presented by the Hash House Harriers, is a fundraiser for local non-profits. It may be a race, but lots of people go just for fun since the event ends with food and live music. Find more information and register here.

Stay cool with a sno-ball

There’s nothing quite like a cold sno-ball on a hot day. Enjoy this classic New Orleans treat of shaved ice with sweet syrup at Imperial Woodpecker, Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, and these sno-ball shops around town. Having trouble deciding what flavor to get? Check out our “What Sno-Ball Are You?” quiz here.   

See “Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour”

Opening at the New Orleans Museum of Art on July 21, “Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour” is all about American fashion from cowboy boots and bathing suits to Hollywood gowns and streetwear. Highlighting experimental art-garments, ready-to-wear classics, and iconic red carpet fashion moments, “Fashioning America” demonstrates the widespread impact of media and celebrity culture through fashion. This bilingual Spanish–English presentation includes more than 100 objects—from a rare 19th-century denim frock coat to a zero-waste wedding dress and Savage X Fenty lingerie—and amplifies the voices of Native American, Black, and immigrant designers who are often left out of dominant narratives of American fashion history. The exhibit closes on November 26, 2023.

Celebrate the start of Southern Decadence

Celebrating the city’s LGBTQ+ community, Southern Decadence is an annual Labor Day weekend tradition. From August 31 - September 4, enjoy parties, brunches, and events in the French Quarter. Check out the lineup here and get ready to dance the night away during Southern Decadence.


Take a dip in a hotel pool

New Orleans has hotel pools for every traveler, whether you’re looking for a family-friendly option or a swanky luxury retreat. Check out our blog on hotel pools here, and plan to spend a day cooling off.