July in New Orleans means Fourth of July celebrations, Running of the Bulls, Tales of the Cocktail, and the return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture. Soak in the best of a New Orleans summer with sno-balls, trips to a hotel pool, lots of fun in the sun. Here are our top picks for July in New Orleans.

Virgin Hotels New Orleans – Double Queen Chamber
Save on your stay when you book a hotel through NewOrleans.com.

Book a hotel and ride the streetcar for free  

Planning your summer vacation to New Orleans? For a limited time only (through Labor Day), receive free streetcar passes for up to four people when you book your hotel through NewOrleans.com. New Orleans’ top attractions are just a streetcar ride away. Find more information here.

Welcome the return of ESSENCE Festival   

This June 29-July 3, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture returns to New Orleans. Celebrating 50 years of hip hop, the lineup includes Missy Elliott, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion, and countless others in concert, as well as guest speakers throughout the festival dates. Oh, and don’t forget to show some love to or Black-owned businesses while you’re in town. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Essence Fest here.

Celebrate Fourth of July in New Orleans  

New Orleans is a great place to spend Fourth of July weekend.  Go Fourth on the River returns with a spectacular fireworks show from the historic Riverfront. The show is at 9 p.m. You won’t want to miss it.

Participate in Running of the Bulls  

Every year in July, runners and “bulls” take to the streets of downtown New Orleans in the city’s version of Spain’s Encierro de Pamplona. Our Running of the Bulls happens to feature “roller-bulls” on wheels equipped with bats. Watch from a balcony or, if you’re brave, join in on the fun this July 14-16. The running is on Saturday, July 15, with events throughout the weekend; proceeds benefit Beth’s Friends Forever, a non-profit that helps fund resources for New Orleans-area women fighting cancer.

Cool off with a sno-ball   

It’s officially sno-ball season, and we’ve got plenty to go around. 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.

Catch a Tulane Summer Lyric Theater performance  

This July, see two musicals via Tulane Summer Lyric Theater. Little Shop of Horrors runs July 6-9 and Oliver! runs July 27-30. These local productions continue a summertime tradition in New Orleans. Check out our summer theater guide here for more.

Experience Tales of the Cocktail  

The world’s largest cocktail conference returns this July 23-28. The multi-day event is filled with seminars, workshops, tastings, competitions, networking, and much more all in the cocktail capital of the world.

Photo courtesy of Windsor Court Hotel

Stay cool at a hotel pool 

Relax and unwind at a hotel pool in New Orleans. We’ve got hotel pools by type of traveler here. So whether you’re coming with the whole family or riding solo, a cool escape is not far away. 

Photo: Bob Packert, Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum.
"Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour"

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. 

Attend a Crescent City FC Game

Crescent City FC is New Orleans’ minor league football (soccer) club. The season kicks off in May and ends in July. There’s one home game in July, the final game in the season against Louisiana Krewe II. Catch it July 7 at Lafreniere Park.