Though it can be a toasty one, July in New Orleans is one of the very best months to experience the city like a local. With festivals every weekend and plenty nooks and crannies to explore, come see why July in NOLA is its own breed.
15 THINGS TO DO IN JULY
Jam out to R&B, hip hop, and more at ESSENCE Fest
Happening June 29 to July 2, Essence Festival is the premier showcase for African American music and culture. Join the fun with artists like Diana Ross, John Legend, and Mary J. Blige!
Have a Happy 3rd of July in City Park
Bring your own blankets and chairs for this July 3 event at the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn in New Orleans City Park, featuring fireworks and patriotic music by The Marine Corps Band. Concessions such as hot dogs, waffles fries, and vodka snowballs will be for sale, but you can also bring your own snacks or drinks.
Have a happy 4th of July on the Mississippi River
Go Fourth on the River is the best way to continue your Independence Day celebration on July 4 with a dueling barge firework show along the historic downtown riverfront at 9 p.m.
Cool off with a snowball
Summertime means snowball season! Available only during the hot months of the year, snowballs are a New Orleans signature frozen treat you won’t want to miss.
July 7 is National Macaroni Day, so you’ll definitely want to check out some of NOLA’s most decadent mac ‘n’ cheese options: try the lobster mac at Cowbell, The Big Cheezy’s Mac ‘n Cheezy sandwich, or fried mac and cheese bites at Camellia Grill. Or, hey, try all three!
Run with the bulls
Wake up bright and early for San Fermin en Nueva Orleans, a “running of the bulls” event inspired by Encierro of Pamplona, Spain. On Saturday, July 8 at 8:00 am sharp, wear white and red to try to escape the “bulls,” who are actually Big Easy Rollergirls bearing Wiffle ball bats.
Swim in one of NOLA’s many pools
Don’t forget your swimsuit when you’re packing! What better time than July to take advantage of the many public and hotel pools in New Orleans?
Practice your French at Bastille Day Fete
A celebration of French Independence, Bastille Day Fete takes place on Friday, July 14 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Here you’ll find an experience that’s très French, with francophone musicians, children’s cultural activities, cooking demos, and of course… wine!
Check out NOLA’s best midday happy hours
New Orleans has tons of great happy hours from Pizza Domenica’s half off pizza, beer, and wine to Tableau’s daily happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring reduced prices on drinks and appetizers. Powerful air conditioning doesn’t hurt at peak afternoon, either.
After all that indulgence, you might want to take some time to get centered. Each Thursday from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., check out yoga in Crescent Park under the pavilion at the North Peter’s Street entrance. This class is free, and locals are known to wander over to Frenchmen Street for a drink afterward.
Cool off with a frozen treat on National Ice Cream Day
Get smiley on World Emoji Day
July 17 is also World Emoji Day. Learn how to text like a local with our favorite NOLA emoji combinations.
Visit with sea creatures
A visit to The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas lets you mingle with giant sea turtles, sharks, penguins, and even an albino alligator. The aquarium is located at the foot of Canal Street near the French Quarter and is open seven days a week.
Toast Tales of the Cocktail
Bartenders take over New Orleans from July 18-23 for the annual Tales of the Cocktail, which celebrates the best of mixology with more than 200 events including tastings, seminars, and parties. With a rich history of cocktail-making, New Orleans is the best city to say “cheers.”
Toast again at the West Bank Beer Fest
If beer is really more your thing, check out the West Bank Beer Fest on Saturday, July 22 at the NOLA Motorsports Park. There will also be live music from DJ Brice Nice, Johnny Sketch, and The Roots of Music.