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Rainy Day Itinerary in New Orleans

New Orleans is no stranger to a rainy day. Although the Big Easy is lucky to have sunny skies for most of the year, an occasional rain shower is inevitable. If you find yourself in the midst of a NOLA thunderstorm, don’t worry. We know how to have a good time – rain or shine!

Check out these rainy day activities throughout the city that are sure to keep you entertained – and dry.

The French Quarter

One of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, the French Quarter still has tons of options to show you the authentic NOLA experience – even in the rain!

  1. Stanley
    M.S. Rau's Antiques
    Audubon Aquarium
    Carousel Bar
    Breakfast – Don’t let the rain keep you away from a view of Jackson Square and The French Market! Stanley is the perfect breakfast spot to enjoy classic Southern brunch specialties inspired by Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
  2. Movies – See what’s playing at The Theatres at Canal Place. Enjoy a film in the comfort of luxury leather seating with service for a full menu of food and spirits.
  3. Shopping – Indulge in a day of shopping at the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk or the Shops at Canal Place. Featuring a range of clothing and home shopping venues, you’ll be sure to head home satisfied after a day of retail therapy. Or spend the afternoon getting lost amongst the extensive (and eccentric) collection of antiques, jewelry and artwork at M.S. Rau’s Antiques, which almost feels more like a museum than a store.
  4. Lunch – Located inside a restored 1794 cottage, The Gumbo Stop is a great venue to experience traditional and contemporary Creole cuisine.
  5. Aquarium – Find over 15,000 sea creatures at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, located along the Mississippi River in the downtown area.
  6. Drinks – Stop by the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone to experience the beautiful merry-go-round bar and a classic New Orleans cocktail.
  7. Dinner – Have an unforgettable New Orleans fine dining experience at Antoine's, known for its gorgeous interior and world-renowned menu.

The Arts/Warehouse District & Central Business District

Known for museums, industrial architecture and growing restaurant scene, the Arts District and CBD are hotspots in stormy weather.

  1. WWII Museum
    Peche
    Breakfast – Chef John Besh’s Willa Jean serves an incredible southern-contemporary menu, with bakery favorites including chocolate chip cookies with a side of dough and milk (yes you can eat them for breakfast).
  2. Museums The National World War II Museum is a must-see for any New Orleans tourist or native. Ranked by TripAdvisor as the No. 3 Museum in the US in 2015, the museum is filled with galleries and artifacts that bring American history to life. Or if you’re looking for a more artistic venue, check out the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, which dazzles visitors with art from 15 Southern states and D.C.
  3. Lunch Peche is a must-visit for any seafood enthusiast. The restaurant boasts an extensive menu, open wood fire grill, and a raw bar.
  4. Yoga & Wellness – If you’re not too stuffed, a workout at Reyn Studios Power Yoga is an inspiring way to escape the rainy weather. Located within spacious, wood-floor rooms surrounded by beautiful brick walls and large windows, you’ll leave any class here feeling fit and empowered.
  5. Dinner – Nestled into a renovated pharmacy warehouse in the Arts District, Emeril's is a lovely place to let the rain pass. Chef Emeril and his team have created incredible culinary dishes, and you may be lucky enough to sit at the food bar overlooking the open kitchen.

Uptown/Garden District

Uptown is a great place to bring the whole family for a day of indoor adventures and a homey atmosphere.

  1. District Donuts
    Mardi Gras World
    Breakfast – Whether you’re a donut-fanatic or biscuit sandwich devotee, District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. will satisfy your breakfast cravings. The Garden District spot is famous for donuts of unique flavors and ingredient combinations along with its breakfast and beer menus.
  2. Tours – For a one-of-a-kind look into the magic of Mardi Gras, be sure to visit Mardi Gras World on the Uptown edge of the Port of New Orleans. Or swing by NOLA Brewery to get an up close look at how they make some of NOLA’s favorites beers.
  3. Lunch – 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 their fried shrimp and fried oysters.
  4. Movies – Catch a flick at Prytania Theatre, New Orleans’ historic single-screen theater that shows new, classic, kids’, and indie films.
  5. DinnerDante's Kitchen is a cozy dinner spot by the river offering a diverse menu with a New Orleans twist. Or try the Rum House, Basin, and other casual, homey restaurants on Magazine Street.
  6. Music – Stay indoors and get down to some of New Orleans’ best local tunes at Tipitina's or Maple Leaf Bar.
  7. Drinks – 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 Ave.

Mid-City & Esplanade Ridge

Mid-City offers a neighborhood vibe filled with funky local finds.

  1. Rock 'n'' Bowl
    BreakfastThe Ruby Slipper Cafe is an ideal spot to brave a storm. Enjoy decadent brunch dishes and sip on a specialty breakfast cocktail while you wait for showers to pass.
  2. Museums – Come see the incredible collection of paintings, sculptures, and other art from around the globe at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The museum is ranked among the top 25% of the nation’s largest and most significant museums, making it a must-see for any New Orleans visitor. Once the storm passes, be sure to check out the neighboring Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which offers free admission seven days a week.
  3. Lunch: Cooking Class – Grab a friend and sign up for a cooking class at The New Orleans Cooking Experience, which offers highly personalized cooking classes focused on authentic Creole dishes. Leave filled with wine, food, new knowledge, and a recipe!
  4. Bowling – Avoid the showers at Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl, where you can rock out to live music, enjoy a full bar, and bowl with your friends or family.
  5. Dinner – Grab a table at Lola's with a group of friends and split the paella, along with a pitcher of the delicious red wine sangria.

Marigny/Bywater

From local art to dining and live music, the most eclectic gems in the city can be found inside the venues in the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater.

  1. Elizabeth's
    Oxalis
    Breakfast – There’s no better spot to wait for a rain cloud to pass than Elizabeth's, an art-filled brunch spot that serves praline bacon.
  2. Art – Browse Dr. Bob Folk Art studio, where you can view and purchase the local artist’s one-of-a-kind creations. His pieces feature the classic Dr. Bob slogan, “BE NICE OR LEAVE!” along with scenes of the Bayou, characters of the Quarter, and spirits of the Crescent City.
  3. Shopping – Check out the funky shops that the Bywater neighborhood has to offer. Euclid Records, an independent record store, is a must-see for any music lover. Bon Castor is another local favorite, selling quirky and local handmade products.
  4. Lunch – If you love barbecue, look no further than The Joint for your lunch on a rainy NOLA day. The restaurant’s slogan “Always Smokin’” holds true at this Bywater hotspot.
  5. Dinner – Some of the best food in the area can be found at hip dinner spot Oxalis. With a variety of small plates and the option to dine at a large communal table, you’ll feel like a neighborhood local in no time here.
  6. Drinks and Music – A little rain can’t stop the show in the Marigny & Bywater area. Vaughan's Lounge and Hi-Ho Lounge are two great spots to avoid the rain and jam out to incredible music.
 
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