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How to Relax in NOLA

Forget your stress and find appreciation in the simple things by partaking in these six relaxing (and fun!) activities you’ll only find in New Orleans.

A sunset picnic at The Fly. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Here in New Orleans we sure know how to have fun. And our idea of fun is predicated on enjoying food, activities, and music that don’t require a lot of fuss. Forget your stress and find appreciation in the simple things by partaking in these six relaxing (and fun!) activities you’ll only find in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Healing Center houses Wild Lotus Yoga. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Six Ways to Relax in New Orleans

De-Stress with Yoga

Improve your flexibility and center your mind by taking a yoga class at one of the many studios throughout the city. Staying in the downtown area? Then Reyn Studios’ candlelit warehouse on Magazine Street near Julia Street or Wild Lotus in the New Orleans Healing Center on St. Claude in the Marigny are ideal locations. Mid-City folks can enjoy Swan River on Canal Street, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., you can take a yoga class inside the Cabildo on Jackson Square for $15.

The Pontchartrain Hotel’s Hot Tin has one of the city’s best views of downtown. (Courtesy photo)

Enjoy Cocktails with a View

New Orleans now has several rooftop bars with great city views. Hot Tin on top of the Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue offers views of Central City, the Superdome, and downtown. The Alto Bar at the Ace Hotel on Carondelet Street has a fabulous pool, rooftop views of downtown, and delicious food and drinks, to boot. Or, enjoy 360-degree views of downtown and the Superdome at Monkey Board, the newest rooftop bar at the Troubadour Hotel.

Daiquiri machines in rotation. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Have a Daiquiri Tasting

Pick up a variety of daiquiris from New Orleans Original Daiquiris on St. Charles Avenue and Carrollton Avenue, and head to the levee behind the Audubon Zoo, which locals refer to as “the fly.” Bring a blanket, some friends, and a frisbee for some fun in the sun.

The fried shrimp po-boy from Parkway. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Eat with Your Hands

Some of the best food in the city is portable, sharable, and requires no utensils. Wrap your hands around a fried seafood stuffed po-boy or muffaletta piled high with Italian cold cuts and olive salad, peel hot boiled crawfish, or slurp icy-cold oysters straight from the shell during happy hour.

Tuesday night means Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Listen to Live Music

There’s no shortage of live music in the city, especially nightly on Frenchmen Street. But if you’re looking for a workweek music tradition to take the edge off, Rebirth Brass Band plays at Maple Leaf on Oak Street every Tuesday, and The Soul Rebels bring the house down every Thursday at Le Bon Temps Rouler on Magazine Street.

NOLA Paddleboards hosts a SUP yoga class on Bayou St. John. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Bayou Paddleboarding

Get some sun and recreational activity along scenic Bayou St. John in Mid-City with NOLA Paddleboards. Experienced instructors can teach you everything you need to know, and they even offer paddleboard yoga classes for those looking for a core balancing workout while getting a healthy dose of vitamin D.

Emily Smith is a native New Orleanian and Uptowner who loves sharing her passion for food with others. When she’s not blogging about culinary adventures, she can be found snapping food photos, running alongside the streetcars on St. Charles Avenue, or hovering over a steaming hot bowl of phở at her favorite Vietnamese restaurant. She also firmly believes that nothing says, “I love you” like a dozen... donuts. Follow her on Instagram at @fleurdelicious_nola

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