Autumn Fun in New Orleans

Summer is nearing an end, but in New Orleans, that means temperatures outside will continue to climb. June through early September tends to be the hottest season in the area, for a few reasons. Even with the sweltering heat, there is plenty of fun to be had in the Crescent City. New Orleans is an adventure mecca, with delicious dining, rich history, and French-inspired flair, you’ll be sure to find fun for everyone.

Lessons in History
One of the best ways to avoid the heat is to head to one of the many museums in New Orleans. The National WWII Museum is routinely rated as one of the top-five best museums in the country. The museum houses an exhibition of aircraft and boats used in World War II, as well as an award-winning 4-D film which provides a fantastic overview of the war. With over 700,000 visitors a year, the museum is at the forefront of new edge technology for its guests. It also keeps adding new experiences making it a must-visit over and over again.

Other museums in and around downtown New Orleans include the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Insectarium, and the New Orleans African American Museum. For the bug lovers in your group, the insectarium may be of extra interest, it is the largest museum dedicated to insects and their relatives in North America. You’ll find the insectarium on the border of the French Quarter on Canal Street.

Fun Festivals
The two biggest festivals in August are Satchmo SummerFest from August 2 – 4, and Southern Decadence from August 31 – September 2.

Satchmo Fest celebrates the life and legacy of New Orleans icon Louis Armstrong and takes place at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. There are three stages for music and local speakers to entertain and teach the crowd about the legacy of Jazz music in the city. If you’re looking to beat the heat, the indoor stage sponsored by Hilton is where many of the speakers lead discussions.

Southern Decadence attracts close to 300,000 people annually to New Orleans. It is a celebration by the LGBTQIA community and the largest event of its kind in the city. Parties and events throughout the weekend leading up to the parade on Sunday. Keep a lookout for captivating costumes, glitter, and of course, beads.

Other activities include White Linen Night on August 3 and Red Dress Run on August 10.  During White Linen Night, you’ll experience a free block party across four blocks in the New Orleans Arts District with live music, art installations, local galleries, and food and drink sales. Red Dress Run is a charity “run” around the French Quarter bringing locals and visitors together for a day of celebration and fabulous people watching.

Where to Eat in Nola
During August, New Orleans’ restaurants celebrate dining through the annual COOLinary Event. Throughout the month, participating restaurants offer a specially-priced prix-fixe menu for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Dinner prices are typically under $35, while lunch prices are around $20. It’s a great way for you to taste the many flavors of New Orleans while saving some money for tours and other activities.

In a city with so many dining options, make sure to venture outside of the French Quarter. Many of the oldest and most famous restaurants in the city are inside this historic neighborhood, but each neighborhood boasts world-renowned food. If the temperatures obey, a stroll down Magazine Street, beginning or ending at Atchafalaya must be in the cards. The restaurant is in an old New Orleans home, making the atmosphere as enticing as the culinary options. From my visits, I recommend the Black Drum Jubilee for dinner and the Shrimp & Grits for Brunch.

Bar Crawl around New Orleans
If you ever have trouble figuring out what to do during your trip, the best idea might be to create your own bar crawl. Walk a few minutes, feel the heat, step inside for a drink, and repeat. With more bars per capita than any other city in the country, it’s easy to make a stop every few blocks for water or an alcoholic beverage. The normal must-visits near downtown include the Sazerac Bar inside The Roosevelt Hotel for an infamous Sazerac cocktail, The Carousel Bar, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for a Voodoo Daiquiri, and Pat O’ Brien’s for a Hurricane. If you make your way to Frenchmen Street, you can even catch some great live music along with the refreshments.

While August is typically a slow month for tourism in New Orleans, don’t let that convince you there isn’t fun to be had. You can find room rates at some of the best hotels for steep discounts, dining deals like COOLinary, and plenty of reasons to dance with joy. These suggestions are just the start! Some of the best exploring advice will come from Nola locals you meet on the streetcar, your server at dinner, or from our friendly concierge staff across our hotels. Come ready for rain and heat, but stay for the same great adventure you’ll find in New Orleans any time of the year!

Know Before You Go

  • New Orleans is known as “The Big Easy.”
  • The National WWII Museum is one of the top-rated museums in the country. Don’t miss checking it out!
  • The famous Café Du Monde is open 24 hours a day to get your beignet fix.
  • If you plan to go during Mardi Gras, pack comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Man wearing a blue striped shirt

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Ryan E. Are you interested in traveling to New Orleans? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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