The Hot and Cool Guide to Summer in New Orleans

What's new, now and not to be missed this season.

How can you beat the heat in “the northernmost Caribbean city”? With our summertime roundup of hot properties and seriously cool venues.

Music Box Village New Orleans

Cool Scenes

Effervescence: The bubbly crowd at this chic Champagne bar gets even more spirited as the evening progresses.

Music Box Village: Make your own kind of music at this whimsical wonderland, where ramshackle huts double as instruments.

St. John’s Eve: It’s not every day you get to witness a real-deal voodoo ritual. Mark the calendar for June 23, when this annual head-washing ceremony takes place along Bayou St. John. 

Bayou Oaks-South Golf Course New Orleans

Hot Games

Bayou Oaks-South Course: City Park's new 205-acre golf course features 46 bunkers, 300 oak trees and water hazards at nearly every hole.

Dave & Buster’s: The Texas-based entertainment emporium has finally landed in Louisiana, bringing with it 40,000 square feet of fun.

New Orleans Boulder Lounge: Soon to open a second location, this colorful indoor climbing facility is taking Crescent City fitness to new heights.

Windsor Court Hotel New Orleans

Cool Quaffs

Brews Cruise New Orleans: How best to navigate the city’s burgeoning beer scene? By letting someone else do the driving. This group provides tours of local breweries with multiple samples at each stop.

Pisco Bar: Pisco is the pour of choice at this Catahoula Hotel hot spot. A taste for tiki? Head to the rooftop.

Windsor Court Hotel: Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn while lounging around the lobby bar, sipping “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”-inspired cocktails.

Seaworthy New Orleans

Hot Plates 

Killer Po’Boys: The name says it all. The humble po’boy gets gussied up with rum-glazed pork belly, smoked salmon and chicken confit.

Seaworthy: Oysters—from the Gulf, East and West coasts—are the big love at this offshoot of Manhattan’s floating Grand Banks bivalve bar. But burger fans will fall just as hard for the brisket/chuck version with roasted ham and fontal cheese.

Turkey and the Wolf: A sandwich shop nominated for a James Beard Award? Yep, it’s that good and deserving. Try the fried bologna topped with chips.

Audubon Zoo New Orleans

Cool for Kids

Cool Zoo: At this animal-themed splash park live elephants look on as kids tube around Gator Run, a 750-foot lazy river ride.

The French Library: School may be out, but there’s always time to learn something new… like another language.

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz: Shaved ice soaked in flavored syrup; it doesn’t get much simpler or more summery.

Frank Relle Photography New Orleans

Hot Art

Frank Relle Photography: Night owl Frank Relle has gained a strong national following with his haunting images of nocturnal New Orleans.

Red Truck Gallery: Circus sideshow meets outsider art at this edgy, oddball gallery, where the works are at once weird and wonderful.

Sarah Ashley Longshore Studio: Oversize Champagne bottles, ottomans filled with shredded cash, bedazzled Abe Lincolns: The wacky works here are as colorful as their creator.

Art & Eyes New Orleans

Cool Shades

Art & Eyes: This shop’s eye-catching eyewear is sourced from artisans and independent brands around the globe.

Krewe: Local designer Stirling Barrett’s fab frames are a hit in Hollywood, spotted on everyone from Kendall Jenner to Gigi Hadid.

Vintage 329: Retro designer sunglasses—Chanel, Dior, Gautier, Ginet, Gucci, Versace—never go out of style.

Johnny Sanchez New Orleans

Hot Happy Hours

Broussard’s: No, you’re not hallucinating: the daily L’Heure Verte service features $5-$7 absinthes from 5 to 7 pm.

Palace Café: Duck into the upstairs Duck Bar, Monday to Friday, from 4 to 7 pm, for half-priced small plates—fried duck wings, duck confit poutine)—tap wine and draft beer.

Johnny Sánchez: Celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez helps get the party started with $2 tacos and half-off house margaritas, beer, wine and mixed drinks, weekdays from 3 to 6 pm.