Summer in New Orleans is most likely on the warmer side, but that doesn’t keep the good times from rolling. We’ve rounded up our top ways to spend a summer day in New Orleans. Rain or shine, there are plenty of ways to soak up the sun or cool off.

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Paul Broussard

Visit the animals and sea creatures

The Audubon Aquarium is a great way to pass some time indoors. Located along the Mississippi River, it is centrally located to the French Quarter and downtown areas. Pet a stingray, catch an IMAX film and gaze at the sea otters. Another option is the Cool Zoo at Audubon Zoo in Uptown. This splash water park is the perfect summer activity for children.

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Paul Broussard

Visit a museum

With over 50 museums in the New Orleans area, there are endless ways to explore. Head to the National World War II Museum for a full day of exhibitions and activities. The New Orleans Jazz Museum is just $6 for adults and free for children. It is a great opportunity to learn about jazz in its birthplace. Educate yourself on the legacy of free people of color at Le Musee de FPC. Keep in mind you must make an appointment to visit. Head to the Children's Museum, which will open in its new location in City Park in 2019 (you can catch visit the current Warehouse District location until the end of June). Check out these museums and more on a discount during Museum Month in August.

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Paul Broussard

Dine around town

Cool off with some seafood at GW Fins in the French Quarter, or a plant-based dish from Carmo. Venture to Bywater American Bistro for dinner or weekend brunch made with fresh ingredients from local farms. Saba is a great choice for a light meal from award-winning middle eastern chef, Alon Shaya. Head to Landry’s Seafood to enjoy a meal on Lake Pontchartrain. Find dozens of dining deals during the month of August thanks to COOLinary.

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Rebecca Todd

Grab a cold cocktail

There are countless places to grab a cold beer in New Orleans, but Wrong Iron and Tchoup Yard are two great options to enjoy the sunshine in a fun setting. Rooftop bars like Hot Tin and Monkey Board also provide great views to go along with cool drinks. Slurp down a Cuban cocktail at Manolito or a tiki drink at Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29. If you’re a champagne drinker, Effervescence is a must.

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Paul Broussard

Take a dip in the pool

You can find a pool that fits your interests here, but there are several pools that are open to the public with day passes at a small fee. The Ace Hotel is a funky, trendy spot with djs and frozen cocktails. The Drifter Hotel has a clothing-optional pool underneath a disco ball. The Country Club offers a salt-water pool, cabana and poolside bar. If you’re looking for something more kid-friendly, check with your hotel.

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Hunter Holder (Courtesy of Belladonna Day Spa)

Relax at the spa

Escape the heat the pamper yourself at the spa. There are several options to choose from but some of our favorites include Woodhouse Day Spa and Belladonna, or enjoy the spa at the Windsor Court or the Roosevelt and gain access to their pool for the day.

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Paul Broussard

Enjoy a cool treat

A snowball is a must during the summer months in NOLA, regardless if you are a child or an adult. Top snowball spots include Hansen’s and Pandora’s. If you still have a sweet tooth, grab some ice cream at Angelo Brocato or Creole Creamery.

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Rebecca Todd

Jump on board

New Orleans is surrounded by water, giving you plenty of options for boating. Check out a fishing charter or take a swamp tour. If looking for something more lowkey, head to City Park and rent a kayak or canoe, or take a gondola ride! The Steamboat Natchez is a great way to see the Mississippi River as well.