Beat the Heat in New Orleans This Summer
Whether you're trying to beat the NOLA heat or embrace the sunshine and bayou breezes, we've got the go-to guide for summer sites to see in New Orleans. To complement your journey, we suggest you pour yourself a mint julep or a sweet tea as you find your way to these hidden gems and local hotspots. Cheers and happy exploring!
This stunning 20-room, three-floor historic home, and its 16 garden spaces, takes your breath away as soon as you turn the corner from the gatehouse to the main drive. Hundred-year-old oaks shade the front lawn and extensive grounds that span eight acres. Colorful petals in full bloom billow in the wind and the Three Graces Fountain at the front entrance trickles delicately over the wishes that have been thrown into its basin. It's a magical estate with an interesting history that is worth exploring solo or with the whole family.
The "Rusy Rainbow Bridge," as it's lovingly called, offers a gateway to this 20-acre linear urban park that runs beside the Mississippi River and all the way to the edge of the French Quarter. Wildflowers wind their way along the pedestrian/cyclist path that offers incredible views of the city's skyline. Picnic with a friend, rent a Blue Bike, or park on a bench to watch the riverboats and barges navigate the roaring current of the Mighty Mississip'.
A wonderful way to soak up some sunshine and enjoy the warmer weather is to gather all your best buds and head to one of the many biergartens popping up all over the city. This communal style of dining is fun and interactive making for memorable moments and new friends. Wrong Iron is located along the Lafitte Greenway in the heart of Mid-City and serves up tasty eats from food trucks parked on the premises as well as 50 beers, 10 wines, 5 cocktails, and 4 frozen drinks all on tap! Down in the Irish Channel, there's the Tchoup Yard, a dog-friendly, outdoor patio bar dotted with hanging lights and brightly colored umbrellas, that also gets their grub from food trucks that run on a schedule to visit the space. If you keep going down Tchoupitoulas Street, you'll pass by Port Orleans Brewing Co. and NOLA Brewing Company which will satisfy your local craft beer fix while The Bayou Wine Garden (Mid-City) and Bacchanal (Bywater) are local hot-spots that offer something more for the wine connoisseur with similar atmospheric vibes.
The swing-dance scene is [lindy]-hoppin' in the Crescent City and can be found nearly every night of the week in a different toe-tapping venue. Whether you're a seasoned lead or follow, need a refresher, or just want to sit back and enjoy the music, there's an event for you! Every Sunday at The Maison from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the NOLA Jitterbug Band pumps out tunes in front of a dance floor for all to enjoy at the Swingin' Jazz Brunch. On Mondays, on the second floor of the endearingly divey Dragon's Den, stop in for an 8:00 PM lesson (no partner needed!) and stay for the live music and dance until 12:00 AM. Almost always on Frenchmen Street, you're bound to find some fellow dancers that jive and jitterbug, but definitely try d.b.a. on Friday and Saturday nights. For more detailed information, visit the Swing Dancers of NOLA Facebook Page.
Brewery & Distillery Tours
You could tour that historic plantation home, book an airboat ride on the bayou or a join a walking cemetery tour in Uptown — OR you could tour the oldest rum distillery in the country located right here the in Crescent City! The Old New Orleans Rum Distillery was founded under the company umbrella, Celebration Distillation, by James Michalopoulos in 1995. Ever since then, it's been producing the highest-rated rum in the country and using only locally sourced Louisiana sugar cane to craft its spirits. The three classic types of rum — Crystal, Amber, and Cajun Spice — can be sampled at the end of each tour offered Monday through Saturday at 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM and Sundays at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM. If rum isn't your style, the craft beer scene is thriving in New Orleans and open for tours! Taking inspiration from our Courtyard Dining spots, Port Orleans Brewing Co. and NOLA Brewing Company offer brewery tours as well as Urban South. Kill three birds with one stone and book with New Orleans Brewery Tours with three brewery stops, door-to-door transportation and multiple beer samples at every stop. If you're feeling adventurous, cross the Causeway Bridge to the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain and visit Abita Brewing Company in Covington for a self-guided tour, only $5 for those 21 and over (free for those under 21)!