With a festival, happy hour specials, and free concerts, Labor Day weekend in New Orleans is unbeatable. But how do you organize your weekend to take advantage of it all? Let us help.
New Orleans Labor Day Weekend Itinerary
Kick off your holiday weekend with happy hour Uptown. Pizza Domenica, Superior Seafood, and Apolline all have great food and drink specials. Coming from the French Quarter or Central Business District? Take the historic streetcar to get to the neighborhood.
After happy hour, head to Tipitina’s for Foundation Free Fridays summer concert series — doors open at 9 p.m., and you won’t want to miss local favorite, Big Sam’s Funky Nation. If you’re hungry for a late-night bite after the concert, head to Bouligny Tavern for upscale bar food (don’t miss the Gougeres & Comté cheese appetizer) served until 2 a.m.
With all the festivities you’re sure to get into over the weekend, you’ll probably want to start off your Saturday morning with a healthy outdoor activity in City Park. Try renting bikes or the 8 a.m. yoga class in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. There’s also free Zumba at the Peristyle — just bring water and a towel.
Post-workout, cool off with an iced cafe au lait at Morning Call before heading over to the pool at The Drifter Hotel for a quick dip. Once you’ve had a chance to cool off, freshen up and head to lunch at Brisbi’s or The Blue Crab on Lake Pontchartrain for some local seafood and a view of the lakefront.
After fueling up with brunch, check out the Southern Decadence Grand Marshal parade, which begins at 2 p.m. near Decatur and Barracks Streets in the French Quarter. This annual walking parade is the festival’s main event, and this year’s theme is “Electrified.” Attendees are encouraged to wear neon — so plan accordingly.
For the last day of your New Orleans Labor Day weekend, take it easy in the morning. When you finally do rouse yourself, start with breakfast in the Bywater at Cake Cafe or Satsuma. If you’d rather sleep in, head to Elizabeth’s Restaurant for brunch before taking on the town.
From here, walk along the river through Crescent Park and hop on the Canal/Algiers Ferry over to Algiers Point. The cool breeze from the water should be quite refreshing after your walk, as you enjoy some of the city’s best views. When you get off the ferry, explore Algiers Point a bit. You’ll want to check out the neighborhood’s beautiful homes and cozy porches and maybe stop for a quick drink at The Crown and Anchor Pub. A round trip on the ferry will run you $4 cash.
End your long weekend with a glass of wine and live music in the courtyard at Bacchanal. Local cellist and vocalist Helen Gillet goes on at 7:30 p.m. Cheers to Labor Day weekend in New Orleans!