There’s endless reasons to book a trip to New Orleans in the summer. There are things to do for every type of traveler - the solo traveler, the festival lover, the foodie, the family. Summer is the unofficial season of deals & discounts in the Crescent City - from hotel bargains to month-long restaurant specials, it’s possible to do an extravagant summer vacay in NOLA on a budget. Because of all of this, we’ve created this handy guide to New Orleans summer travel for you. Read on for how to make the most of your PTO during the summer months, whether you’re taking a family trip or a solo getaway.
Eat Like Royalty
There’s no better time to try out some of NOLA’s most legendary restaurants than during the summer. Cool off this summer with a refreshing Pimm's Cup from Napoleon House or maybe enjoy some amazing wood-fired pizza and natural wine from Margot’s after galavanting on Frenchman. In a city like New Orleans, it's hard to go wrong when picking out a restaurant. You can eat at historic, elegant French Quarter restaurants like Arnaud's or Garden District culinary landmarks like Commander’s Palace. And if you’re in for the mood a little sweet but savory check out Wishing Town Bakery Cafe in Uptown for cake and dim sum!
Attend a Summer Festival
This June is jam-packed with Pride events for you and your friends to enjoy. Kicking off Pride from June 3-5, we have Pridefest at Faubourg Brewing Co. featuring LGBTQ vendors, musicians, and much more. Strut your stuff at the Pride Parade June 11, which will roll for the first time since the pandemic, so don’t miss out! Wrapping up the month and flowing into July, brings in the city's Black Pride celebration from June 30 - July 3. Highlighting New Orleans Black queer community, the weekend features several parties and women-friendly events, so you’ll be sure to have a great time.
Or you can indulge at NOWFE, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, from June 7-12. Over the week, participate in wine dinners, labs, tastings, and other one-of-a-kind experiences unique to the festival. Go from sampling sweet indulgent dessert wines or participating in an oyster workshop to checking out the French Quarter’s most impressive wine cellars.
Essence Fest is back from June 30 - July 3! You’ll be able to enjoy a variety of different performances and experiences, as well as shop from a wide variety of vendors. As Essence Festival is the largest festival in the country you’ll be able to find something new to do everyday!
Satchmo SummerFest, the French Quarter festival dedicated to music legend Louis Armstrong, is scheduled for August 6- 7.
To end our festival roundup for this summer, we have Southern Decadence, the largest LGBTQ event in the city. From September 1 -5, finish your summer out in the most extravagant way by attending one of the many events happening that week. Check out the Ultimate Southern Decadence Survival Guide to make the most of your trip!
Explore NOLA's Great Indoors
Beat the heat in some of the city’s most wonderful, air-conditioned institutions. New Orleans is home to the #2 Museum in the World (TripAdvisor), the National WWII Museum, and you don’t have to be a history buff to dive into the museum’s totally engaging and interactive exhibits. Art lovers have plenty of ground to cover, from New Orleans Museum of Art (where you can also check out Queen Nefertari’s Egypt, now through July 17) to The Ogden Museum of Southern Art to the galleries along Julia Street. Anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes glimpse into making Mardi Gras happen should head to Mardi Gras World, too. JAMNOLA offers a glimpse into the music, art, and culture of New Orleans through various interactive and highly-Instagrammable exhibits.
Have Family Fun
Coming with kiddos? To many visitors’ surprise, it’s easy to make a NOLA vacation fun for grown-ups AND kids. Spend a day at Audubon Zoo (and cool down at Cool Zoo), the Audubon Aquarium or the Louisiana Children’s Museum, located conveniently in New Orleans' City Park. City Park is also home to Storyland, gondola rides, City Putt mini golf, and lots of green space and other family attractions. Be sure to treat the fam to sno-balls at Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, too.
Outdoor Pools and Relaxation
If you’re looking to escape the summer heat, you’re in luck. New Orleans is home to many different LGBTQ-friendly pools to help you cool down. The Country Club is a great choice, with poolside drinking and dining, so you can be prepared to indulge in relaxation any day of the week. Treat yourself to specialty cocktails, pop-up events, and light bites at The Chloe, you’ll be enamored by the hotel’s chic decor and occasional live music. Looking for even more ways to get your R&R in New Orleans? See our full guide here.