New Orleans is a city of fickle weather, a place where the skies can open up and rain buckets down especially during the steamy summer months. Luckily, the showers usually pass quickly and the sunshine returns. If you find yourself caught in a sudden NOLA shower, there are endless indoor activities all over town that will keep you entertained until the sun comes out again.
The French Quarter is the perfect place to walk between the raindrops, thanks to the cover provided by lacy wrought-iron balconies and galleries that give shelter to those passing by.
Dip into Stanley near Jackson Square. It's the perfect breakfast spot for classic Southern brunch specialties inspired by Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
Spend the day at the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk or the Shops at Canal Place, both havens for upmarket brands and iconic designer boutiques. Or spend the afternoon getting lost amongst the extensive (and eccentric) collection of antiques, jewelry and artwork at M.S. Rau’s Antiques, which feels more like a museum than a store.
Located inside a restored 1794 cottage, The Gumbo Shop is a great venue to experience traditional and contemporary Creole cuisine. Another great option is Dian Xin which offers some of the best dim sum in the city. Their soup dumplings will put you in the perfect cozy, rainy-day mood.
Get up close and personal with more than 15,000 sea creatures at Audubon Aquarium, located along the Mississippi River at the foot of Canal Street on the edge of the French Quarter. The world-class facility is also home to the Audubon Insectarium, formerly located a few blocks away from the river on Canal Street. Together, you've got a full afternoon of indoor educational fun that any animal lover will adore.
Located in the French Quarter, The Escape Game is America’s #1 escape room and immersive adventure. You and your team will work together to find clues, overcome challenges, and ultimately complete a mission. The Escape Game truly is epic for everyone, from friends and families to thrill-seeking tourists and team building outings.
There are many great places to explore indoors, notably The Cabildo, Beauregard-Keyes House, the 1850s House, and the Historic New Orleans Collection. Looking for some of the best views of the city? The aptly named Vue Orleans provides panoramic, 360-degree views from the top of the Four Seasons New Orleans, and also includes immersive history lessons and interactive visual explorations of the city’s rich cultural fabric, from our food to our music.
Savor an unforgettable New Orleans fine dining experience at Antoine's, known for its gorgeous interior and classic Creole menu, or try one of our other famous favorites, Mr. B’s, Galatoire's, or Arnaud’s – all revered for wonderful food and stately décor.
Willa Jean serves a savory Southern-contemporary menu, with favorites including fried chicken on a biscuit and chocolate chip cookies with a side of cookie-dough-and-vanilla-infused milk.
The National World War II Museum is a fabulous way to spend the day. Ranked by TripAdvisor as No. 4 in the top 25 museums in the United States, this profound tribute to these American heroes and their sacrifices overflows with galleries and artifacts that bring history to life. If you’re looking for an artistic experience, check out the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, which dazzles visitors with art from 15 Southern states and the District of Columbia.
Peche is a destination restaurant for any seafood enthusiast, featuring a raw bar and an extensive menu of Gulf seafood grilled over an open wood fire.
Once you digest, take a class at Free to Be Power Yoga, an inspiring escape from the rainy weather. Practice in a spacious wood and exposed brick space sure to leave you feeling fit and empowered.
In the mood for small plates by acclaimed celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse? Check out Meril, which features his signature dishes and a wide selection of delectable cocktails to sip as the rain falls. Pluck Wine Bar is another great stop for shared small plates and glass of your favorite vintage.
Uptown offers a raft of indoor activities during stormy weather.
Whether you’re a donut-fanatic or biscuit sandwich devotee, District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. will satisfy your breakfast cravings. The Garden District spot serves uniquely-flavored donuts along with its breakfast, sandwich, and beer coffee menus. Down the street, Molly's Rise and Shine has a funky menu with breakfast classics to start your day off right.
For a one-of-a-kind look into the magic of Mardi Gras, visit Mardi Gras World on the Uptown edge of the Port of New Orleans or take the NOLA Brewery Tour to get an up-close look at the crafting of some of the city's favorites beers.
Just because the sun isn’t shining, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a po-boy. Family-owned and operated, Domilise's is famous for its fried shrimp and fried oyster sandwiches (dressed of course). For something more upscale, Lilette offers French fare and great wine. Or grab a book at Garden District Book Shop and then settle into their adjoining sister restaurant, Chicory House, for light fare, sandwiches, and a coffee.
Catch a flick at Prytania Theatre, New Orleans’ historic single-screen theater that shows new, classic, family, and indie films.
There are few more magical places to catch a midsummer rainstorm than from the comfort of The Columns Hotel’s covered front porch overlooking St. Charles Avenue. Also on St. Charles, The Chloe’s front patio offers a haven from the storm. Craft cocktails at Cure on Freret Street are another splendid option.
Mid-City is an eclectic neighborhood filled with local treasures.
The Ruby Slipper Cafe is an ideal spot to wait out a storm. Enjoy decadent brunch dishes and sip on specialty breakfast cocktails while you wait for showers to pass. Or grab bagels at Flour Moon - while the majority of the seating is outdoors, it's also covered, which means you'll stay nice and dry while enjoying your breakfast sandwich or tartine.
Come see the incredible collection of paintings, sculptures, and rotating exhibits from around the globe at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The museum is ranked among the top 25 percent of the nation’s largest and most significant museums, making it a treat for any New Orleans visitor. Once the storm passes, be sure to check out the neighboring Besthoff Sculpture Garden, an expansive urban oasis just waiting to be explored. Just down the road, there’s the Edgar Degas House Museum, a tribute to the artist inside his former home.
Grab a table at Lola's with a group of friends and split the paella along with a pitcher of delicious red wine sangria, or dine at Zasu, a cozy shotgun house converted to a restaurant with a menu that combines local and international ingredients.
From local art to dining and live music, the most eclectic gems in the city can be found in the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods.
Forget about the weather over breakfast at Elizabeth's, an art-filled brunch spot known for copious portions and praline bacon. Enjoy coffee and breakfast at Baldwin & Co., a bookstore that stocks the shelves with works from Black authors.
Browse Dr. Bob Folk Art studio and gallery, where you can view and purchase the local artist’s distinctive creations. This is the guy behind the “Be Nice or Leave!” signs you see all over town, along with scenes of the Bayou, local colorful characters, and spirits of the Crescent City. Wine connoisseurs will want to make their way to Bacchanal and toast the rain away with their expansive array of fine wines and cocktails.
Check out funky Bywater shops like Euclid Records, an independent record store with a fabulous selection.
If you love barbecue, look no further than The Joint for a smoky rainy day lunch. The restaurant’s slogan “Always Smokin’” is the truth.