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Best Local Things to Do

New Orleans Spring Itinerary

A Treme home bursting with springtime blooms. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Spring in New Orleans is one of the most beautiful times of year, so we recommend spending as much time outdoors as possible. Here’s a list of our favorite places to eat and things to do that will help you take advantage of the beautiful spring weather.

Where to Eat

French Quarter

  • Café Amelie Classic French Quarter courtyard dining.
  • Cane and Table Perfect for small plates and craft cocktails with a distinctly Caribbean vibe. Happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Brennan’s A New Orleans establishment offering patio dining. Enjoy their “Bubbles at Brennan’s” champagne cocktails for $7 (bottles from $35) on Tuesday through Thursday from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.
  • Bayona A romantic spot for an off-the-beaten-trail meal. Offers $5 select cocktails at lunchtime from Wednesday to Friday.
Bayona. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Bayona. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Garden District and Uptown

  • Dat Dog A casual gourmet hot dog joint offering outdoor seating on Magazine Street, as well as at all its locations (you can find them on Frenchmen Street and Freret Street, too).
  • Commander’s Palace Treat yourself to a luxurious courtyard lunch at this New Orleans staple. 25-cent martini specials are available on weekdays during lunch.
  • Cavan Southern hospitality with outdoor seating facing Magazine Street. Daily happy hour.
  • La CasitaLocated on Oak Street, this tasty Mexican taqueria offers a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
dat dog magazine
The scenic outdoor courtyard at Dat Dog on Magazine Street also hosts an arts market with local artists during the weekend. (Photo: Paul Broussard)


  • Bayou Wine Garden and Bayou Beer Garden – Wine and beer lovers can both get their way: these two spots are right next door to each other, with connecting outdoor seating areas.
  • Parkway Bakery and Tavern Enjoy a famous New Orleans po-boy outdoors.
  • Mid-City Yacht Club A community joint offering Friday crawfish boils and lunch specials.
  • Second Line Brewing Food trucks visit the beer garden on Fridays and Saturdays.

    Second Line Beer Garden
    The casual, loading-dock-turned-beer-garden at Second Line Brewing. (Photo: Nora McGunnigle)

Things to Do

Music at Bacchanal This Bywater wine bar offers daily live music in the backyard courtyard. Check their website for times and artists.

Tours — Try a bike, carriage, or walking tour of the French Quarter or Garden District. For even more adventure, try an airboat or swamp tour, or plan a day trip just outside the city.

Visit a park No matter where you’re staying in New Orleans, there’s a park near you. Try Audubon Park and Zoo Uptown, City Park in Mid-City, or Crescent Park for the French Quarter, Bywater, and Marigny neighborhoods.

Flora, fauna, and fountain in Audubon Park. (Photo: Anna-Marie Babington)
Flora, fauna, and fountain in Audubon Park. (Photo: Anna-Marie Babington)

Water Sports – Rent a kayak or paddleboard and adventure along the banks of Bayou St. John (you can even try yoga on the water).

Window Shop on Magazine Street If you feel like shopping but don’t want to get stuck inside on a beautiful day, try window shopping the boutiques on Magazine Street. You’ll be able to stop for a coffee and some people-watching along the way.

Wednesday at the Square Springtime Wednesdays are filled with live music as part of the weekly free concerts at Lafayette Square. Food and drinks are available for purchase surrounding the stage.


Make reservations in advance. Springtime is festival season and graduation season in New Orleans, so hotels and restaurants tend to fill up quickly. Avoid waits by making your reservations early!

In the film adaptation of John Grisham's book "The Pelican Brief," Julia Roberts' character attends Tulane University. (Photo: Paul Broussard)
Spring isn’t just festival season – it’s also graduation season! Be sure to make reservations at restaurants well in advance, if possible. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Pack like a pro. When packing for your springtime trip to NOLA, keep in mind that it’s generally warm, but can occasionally be cool in the evenings. Pack a light sweater or two, dress in layers, and bring comfortable walking shoes since you’ll want to explore the city on foot. You may also want a hat for sun protection and an umbrella or rain jacket to shield you from the occasional spring shower.

Avoid the rainy day blues. Although most New Orleans spring days are sunny and beautiful, rainy days are all a part of the season. Don’t worry – we’ve also created an itinerary for how to enjoy NOLA in the rain.

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