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 spring and summertime favorite for both visitors and locals alike. When the weather is nice, Mid-City is prime for 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!
Bike through different NOLA neighborhoods
Biking through New Orleans is one of the best ways to see the city. Rent a bike (or bring your own) and follow our bike itinerary for some of our favorite places to explore on two wheels.
There are also a number of facilitated bike tours and social bike outings offered throughout the city. Get Up N Ride NOLA and Flambeaux Bike Tours are two local favorites.
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 Sculpture Garden and the Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden, plan a family-friendly outing at Storyland, or have a picnic near Big Lake and ask about some of the park’s recreation rentals. If you’re feeling sporty, City Park’s disc golf courses are a great way to explore the park and enjoy some friendly competition, too. There’s plenty to see, do, and experience at this sprawling Mid-City oasis.
Walk, bike or run the Lafitte Greenway
The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile linear park that runs from Mid-City to the foot of the French Quarter in New Orleans. When traversing the trail by foot or on two wheels, you’ll run into restaurants and retail shops, exercise groups, designated play areas, farmers markets, and green spaces. Stop into a beer garden for a refreshing sip, grab a bagel from Flour Moon Bagels, catch an outdoor show at Broadside, or hike the trail all the way to Armstrong Park. The Greenway is ever-evolving, with new points of interest popping up every few months.
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. For a fun alternative, check out Zip NOLA, the world's first and only fully aquatic swamp zip line located just 45 minutes outside of New Orleans in LaPlace.
Golf around the city
Grab your clubs and golfing buddies and tee off at one of the city’s beautiful golf courses. Both public and private courses span the city and surrounding area. Take in beautiful Uptown at the Audubon Park Golf Course or play like your favorite pros at TPC of Louisiana, home to the PGA’s Zurich Classic tournament. The Joseph M. Bartholomew Municipal Golf Course offers a serene experience in the quiet of Gentilly. Between tee times, follow our golf itinerary to get the most out of your golfing experience in New Orleans.
Walk with the animals
Get up close and personal with the wildlife of New Orleans – both native and exotic. Explore the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Reserve and walk the Madere Marsh Boardwalk in New Orleans East to get face-to-face with some of Louisiana’s local wildlife. Or, head on down to the beautiful, award-winning Audubon Zoo to see a sea lion show, explore the African savanna, and much more.
If you're visiting during the summer months, be sure to bring a swimsuit and check out the Cool Zoo to splash around just like the animals do.
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.
Picnic in a park
Grab a blanket and some snacks and head to one of these New Orleans picnic spots. Jackson Square, Lakeshore Drive, and Woldenberg Park are just a few of our favorite places for the occasion. With plenty of nearby restaurants offering grab-and-go options, it’s as easy as one, two, three to plan the perfect picnic.
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. Immerse yourself in historic beauty by dining in a secluded French Quarter courtyard or take in the view from restaurants with balconies overlooking bustling thoroughfares and historic squares. 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 host a boil of your own and head to the outdoor venue of your choosing. The Fly, Crescent Park, and the Lakefront are great places to enjoy a crawfish feast.
Check out some of our top places to get boiled seafood right now in New Orleans.