When weather permits, there’s nothing better than fresh air and fun. No matter the season, outdoor activities should always be on your agenda when visiting New Orleans.
Outdoor Activities in New Orleans
Get up and get out with outdoor activities in New Orleans.
Kayaking along Bayou Saint John
Kayaking along the bayou is a springtime favorite for both visitors and locals alike. When the weather is nice, Mid-City is bustling with guests soaking up the sun and fresh air while paddling through the water. Schedule a guided kayak tour or rent equipment and go solo - either way, you’ll have a good time!
Follow the nearest second line route
Visiting on a Sunday? There’s nothing better to do than head to a second line and experience the unique city that is New Orleans. Enjoy the sounds of local brass bands and second-line krewes as they footwork all throughout New Orleans. Check the schedule to find the next and nearest second line.
Bike through different NOLA neighborhoods
Blue Bike is not only the official bike share program of New Orleans, but also a fun and active way to explore the Crescent City. It’s as simple as downloading the Blue Bike App to register, locating the Blue Bike nearest you and hopping on.
Spend a Day at City Park
You can easily spend an entire day outdoors at New Orleans City Park. Browse the park’s artistic offerings at the Sydney and Walda Besthoff or Enrique Alférez sculpture gardens, or plan a family-friendly outing at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park or the newly renovated Storyland, or have a picnic near the water and ask about some of the park’s recreation rentals. There’s plenty to see, do and experience at this bustling Mid-City attraction. Find more ideas in our Guide to New Orleans City Park.
French Quarter carriage rides
Make your way through the historic French Quarter in a way as timeless as the neighborhood. A horse and carriage ride lets you take in the world-renowned sites, avenues, boulevards and architecture of the French Quarter at your leisure.
Secluded swamp tours
Take a break from the city and make your way to the swamplands for an outdoor adventure like no other. Swamp tours are great group activities that offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with Louisiana's vast wetland ecosystems. From kayaks to airboats, there are tons of options for seeing the swamps–browse our guide to the different types of swamp tours and choose the experience that speaks to you most.
Outdoor Dining in New Orleans
The outdoors provide a natural ambiance like no other. Head outside for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, and see why the grass is greener with al fresco dining.
Reservations at a patio, courtyard or rooftop dining
Breakfast along the boulevard, courtyard jazz brunches, patio lunches and rooftop dinner. With no shortage of outdoor dining experiences, New Orleans takes eating OUT to a whole new level. Browse our full list of restaurants with outdoor seating or check out a few of our favorites and book your outdoor reservation today.
Lakeside crawfish cravings
Fresh air and fresh seafood - can it get any better? Everyone knows crawfish is best enjoyed outdoors, especially when it’s eaten waterside. Grab a pound (or two.. or three...) from your favorite crawfish place or a host a boil of your own and head to the outdoor venue of your choosing. The Fly, Crescent Park and UNO Lakefront are great places to enjoy a crawfish feast.
If you’re looking for more crawfish tips and hacks, check out our Guide to Crawfish and let the boiling begin.
Best Outdoor Festivals and Events in New Orleans
Keep in mind, these are just a few of our favorite outdoor events and fests in New Orleans. Check out the full list HERE.
Wednesdays at the Square
YLC Wednesday at the Square is a seasonal concert series held in Downtown New Orleans. Hosted at Lafayette Square, enjoy weekly live music performances by some of the best New Orleans talents for free! Past performers have included Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, Cyril Neville and more.
French Quarter Festival
The nearly two-mile stretch of local music, food, art and fun better known as French Quarter Festival is one of the most massive outdoor events in the city. It celebrates one of New Orleans’ most beloved and historic neighborhoods, the French Quarter, in a major way. Make sure to wear your walking shoes and follow the fun.
Red Dress Run
Runners, joggers, walkers and partiers from far and wide join together once a year to paint the city red at the annual Red Dress Run. From the Marigny to the French Quarter, red runners can be spotted throughout the day making their way by foot for a good cause.
Celebration in the Oaks
An outdoor extravaganza that illuminates New Orleans City Park each and every holiday season. Celebration in the Oaks is a monthlong light show where guests are invited to walk the park, snag a few pictures and get in the holiday spirit.
Outdoor Nightlife in New Orleans
Enjoy a true night OUT on the town with outdoor nightlife options in New Orleans.
Visit a local beer garden or brewery
There’s no better way to kick off the weekend than by visiting one of the city’s many beer gardens or breweries. With plenty of outdoor seating and shared tables, it’s easy to meet new friends and have a good time! Most spots have food trucks and local pop-ups for delicious snacks while you sip. Browse our Beer Lover’s Guide to NOLA for some of the best places to try.
Head to a rooftop bar for craft cocktails
What’s happier than a happy hour outdoors? Nothing goes together better than craft cocktails and rooftop views. Sip on something pretty while overlooking the city at one of NOLA’s chic rooftops bars.