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Things to do on a Rainy Day in New Orleans

a steamboat on the river in the fog in New Orleans

It’s an unavoidable fact that it rains a lot in New Orleans. Sometimes those rain showers are quick little bursts that blow through as soon as they start. But sometimes they come and stay. 

Don’t worry! New Orleans in the rain is a magical creature! And a little dampness won’t ruin your fun. Here’s six amazing things to do in New Orleans on a rainy day.

1 - Visit a Museum!

New Orleans has an abundance of amazing museums! Any of these great spots are a killer way to spend a few rainy hours without getting drenched.

The world-famous World War II Museum is a spectacular experience. If you want something a little lighter (and free!) give the Sazerac House a whirl! It gives you a lot of amazing New Orleans history through the lens of its most famous cocktails. And while I haven’t personally visited The Presbytere yet, my local friends in the Big Easy speak very highly of it as a great place to learn about both Mardi Gras and Hurricane Katrina. Pick one and enjoy!

2 - Visit the Aquarium

The Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans is newly renovated and ready to welcome visitors! I love a good aquarium, and while I’ve definitely been spoiled by Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, the Audubon offers a lot of amazing things to see! It has all the aquarium staples, from sharks and penguins to aquarium tunnels, and gives extra attention to the aquatic creatures that call the bayous home.

a frozen irish coffee in New Orleans

3 - Catch Some Music

There is always, and I mean always, music playing somewhere in New Orleans. And you don’t have to wait until the sun goes down either! If you find yourself near Frenchman Street on a rainy afternoon, most of the Jazz clubs are open and playing by early afternoon! Pick one and grab a seat at the bar. Sip a drink and listen to some truly amazing music. Ask me about the jazz quartet I once sat and listened to on a Monday afternoon that featured an astounding tap-dancing vocalist.

4 - Have a Drink

Or two. Or three! Fun fact: many of the sidewalks in the French Quarter are covered! Lots of the buildings have balconies and galleries, meaning you can walk from building to building without being exposed to the elements in a lot of places. Bring an umbrella for the street crossings, and there’s no reason you can’t have a blast in the Quarter in the rain. Click Here for my list of the best bars in the area. It’s your own personal rainy-day bar crawl!

5 - Ride the Steamboat

Seriously, Andi? It’s rainy and you’re telling me to get on a boat? Yes! The Steamboat Natchez has several sailings a day. It has plenty of indoor spaces, including the lower decks and a covered area at the top, where you can stay warm and dry on your journey. Visibility on the river might be lower in the rain, but truth be told, this area of the river isn’t actually that scenic. The parts of the journey that are most enjoyable, the narration detailing area history and the live jazz band, are equally good no matter the weather. And if you want a hot meal while you’re out there, you can book a lunch or a dinner cruise.

a bowl of gumbo and a mint julep

6 - Eat So Much Gumbo!

Rainy day? Sounds like perfect gumbo weather! There’s no better time to enjoy this New Orleans classic than on a chilly or wet day. My personal favorite spots in the Big Easy for a warm and delicious bowl of gumbo are The French Market Restaurant or the aptly named Gumbo House. Why not try gumbo at multiple restaurants and see where the best bowl is??

And Now You're Prepared for a Rainy Day in New Orleans!

There’s no reason to stay cooped up during a NOLA rainstorm. Pack your waterproof shoes and get on out there!

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Love and Shenanigans,


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