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Things to Do

Labor Day Weekend Itinerary

Southern Decadence, free concerts, and more are an ideal way to send off summer, New Orleans style.

A parade during Southern Decadence (Photo: Paul Broussard)

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.

Tipitina's. (Photo: Paul Broussard)
Tipitina’s Foundation, an iconic location for live music in New Orleans (Photo: Paul Broussard)

New Orleans Labor Day Weekend Itinerary

Apolline Restaurant serves up a stellar seafood Benedict. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Apolline Restaurant serves up a stellar seafood Benedict (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Friday

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 thier Foundation Free Fridays summer concert series — doors open at 9 p.m., and you won’t want to miss local funk artist, John “Papa” Gros. If you’re hungry for a late-night bite after the concert, head to Bouligny Tavern for an upscale bar food (don’t miss the Gougeres & Comté cheese appetizer) served until 2 a.m.

Saturday

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 and riding through the park 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.

Treo features mesmerizing decor and rotating artwork from local artists, plus food from acclaimed Chef Michael Gulotta. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Treo features mesmerizing decor and rotating artwork from local artists, plus food from acclaimed Chef Michael Gulotta (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Post-workout, cool off with an iced coffee from Fair Grinds Coffeehouse off Esplanade Avenue 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 Landry’s Seafood House or The Blue Crab on the Lakefront for some local seafood and a view of Lake Pontchartrain.

In the evening, grab dinner at Vessel, Ralph’s on the Park, or Treo and then head to Frenchmen Street for some live music.

Sunday

Start your Sunday off with brunch at the Ruby Slipper or Horn’s. Both spots offer killer Bloody Marys (or coffee, depending what you’re in the mood for) that will help you recover from yesterday’s fun.

southern dec nuns
A scene from Southern Decadence (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

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 “House of Bourbon – Unleash Your Beast.” Attendees are encouraged to wear the official colors of the event — royal blue and canary yellow — so plan accordingly.

After the parade, you’ll probably want to stay and party in the French Quarter. Try Verti Marte or Clover Grill for a late bite. You can sleep in tomorrow — it’s a long weekend!

Brunch at Elizabeth’s (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Monday

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 Satsuma. If you’d rather sleep in, head to Elizabeth’s Restaurant for brunch before taking on the town.

Did I mention that crepe myrtles make for an excellent framing device for an already picture-perfect home? They're green a good portion of the year, but when they're in full bloom, it's spectacular.
A historic home in Algiers Point (Photo: Paul Broussard)

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. Live music starts at 7:30 p.m. Cheers to Labor Day weekend in New Orleans!

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