During the summer, New Orleans likes to keep it hot, literally. The city’s notorious reputation for having sweltering summers keeps many non-locals suffering through the heat and locals in doors during the months of June through August. For everyone else who finds it quite restless staying in front of an air conditioner for the entire duration of summer, there are several ways to keep cool in this city while still enjoying all of its amazing attractions.
Find a restaurant with COOL outdoor seating
New Orleans is one of the most beautiful unique cities in the world. The charm and of course the delicious food plays part in why so many people flock to the city. Several restaurants have tapped into combining NOLA’s attributes by getting pretty creative with their outdoor seating areas. Sitting outside is an easy sell during the gorgeous months of Spring and Autumn but when it comes to the hottest months of the year, July and August; sitting outside could become something like a modern method of torture. Recently many restaurants have adapted midst fans around their outdoor seating areas. Others like Pat O’ Briens, has heavy duty fans that can cool off the entire patio. Clear porch screens, tents and large table umbrellas are also pretty popular. They allow restaurants to keep their areas cool and shaded while still providing a great outdoor view for the visiting patrons.
Did someone say Snow-balls?
New Orleans has its own form of snow, the snowball. This sweet icy treat comes in all colors and flavors from Wedding Cake to Rainbow and is probably one of the more traditional ways to keep cool in the Big Easy. Snowballs are fun for adults and children alike. You can keep them simple by only adding one flavor like Strawberry or Bubblegum. As for the snowball sophisticate; there are several fun additions to snowballs like cream flavors, condense milk and adding ice cream in the middle or on top. It doesn’t matter how you like your snowball, it’s always a fun way to keep cool, NOLA style.
Sip on a New Orleans Original Daiquiri
Snowballs are delicious but sometimes adults need a little extra kick to their icy treat. That’s where New Orleans Original Daiquiri comes in to save the day. Whether you’re a Peach Bellini or a 190 Octane, daiquiris are as much a staple to NOLA as the New Orleans Saints. You can drive through and grab one on your way to the river or lake, or stay in and enjoy the Daiquiri shop’s atmosphere. Be sure to grab a couple of jello-shots while in there. And if you dare to be bold, add a shot or two to your frozen confection.
Have a delicious seafood picnic
One thing we love just as much as our spirits is seafood. And now that the snowballs and daiquiris are in hand, grab a few pounds of crawfish or shrimp and head on over to one of NOLAs many gorgeous outdoor locations. No there aren’t any national parks in New Orleans but when it comes to parks of beauty, NOLA is the perfect place. City Park’s overload of ponds and moss is enough beauty to make you forget about the heat. Audubon Park’s large oak trees and surroundings keep the park rather shaded and cool.
If you prefer to be closer to the water, set up a blanket on the Riverview or along the Lakefront. Once you’re there, throw down a few layers of newspaper and pour the pounds of seafood on top. Take a sip of your daiquiri and bite down into one of those crawfish tails, soon the river breeze will start flowing and you’ll forget all about the 100 degree temperatures around you.
Get wet and wild with the animals at the Cool Zoo
For many locals, keeping themselves cool is one thing but keeping the kids cool and occupied can be a difficult task to tackle. One of the smartest attractions ever created for kids is the Audubon Zoo's Splash Park, Cool Zoo. With slides, jungle gyms and water sprouting floors the Cool Zoo is a fun, wet way to stay cool with the kiddos.
Have an adult swim day
The obvious solution to cooling down is finding a body of water near and diving in. Yes we’re a coastal city that can’t swim in our own beaches but there are several other alternatives. During the summer months, certain hotels and public pools open their doors to adults 21 and older. Places like The Country Club, Indulge and the W hotel on Sundays, open their pools and sell cocktails to guest. It’s an easy way to enjoy a great drink outdoors by a pool. What could possibly be better than that?
Enjoy a horse and carriage ride tour
Being that New Orleans is one of the oldest cities in America, it is loaded with historical stories and sites. Taking a ride on one of the many horse and carriages is a fun way to learn more about the city and keep cool. Take a romantic night ride or daytime site seeing tour. Take the family or a group of friends on one of the multi-seating carriages driven by an informative tour.
Stroll through the City on a bike
New Orleans is the perfect place to take a bike ride and many locals have taken note. Areas like Mid-City and the Garden District are encumbered with shade providing trees to ride under and beautiful historic homes to view. A rise in bike tours has taken over the city and bike rental shops are sprouting up in various locations.
Escape into a good film or play in a unique theater
If you must stay indoors, New Orleans theater scene has a variety of options. If you love a good movie, stop by the Theatres at Canal Place for a chic setting or take a seat in the Prytania Theater for a unique movie watching experience.
If a good play is more your scene, New Orleans has several stage theaters available. With the newly opened Civic Theater and the Saenger Theatre, along with smaller theatre like Mid-City Theater and the Southern Rep Theater are always great places to look to for a good musical or play.
Visit an Art Gallery or Museum
Whether it’s a waltz down Julia street or breezing along Royal, art galleries are always a great way to enjoy New Orleans culture while keeping cool. Viewing stunning art can be intriguing and fun. Visiting a large art museum like the CAC or NOMA is also a worthwhile treat. If you’re more into historical museums, the WWII Museum is interesting and very informative.