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24 Best things to do in New Orleans when it Rains

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New Orleans is a city full of life, no matter what the weather is like outside. While summer days can be hot with high humidity, frequent showers, and thunderstorms are common. But do not let a few little raindrops, or a downpour, ruin your vacation! There are plenty of things to do in the rain.

Does it rain a lot in New Orleans?

It rains a lot in New Orleans. It is one of the rainiest cities in the United States. The Rain in New Orleans usually comes down in a downpour, with many inches collecting in an hour.

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What is the rainiest month in New Orleans?

With New Orleans’s semi-tropical climate, summer is usually the rainiest month of the year. You can expect to have showers in June, July, and August. But June is the wettest month of the year.

Although you may experience rain in New Orleans, there are still plenty of fun things to do, even if you might get a little wet. Here is a list of some of the best things to do in New Orleans when it rains – bring your rain jacket and boots if you want to check out the outdoor attractions!

1. Enjoy live music

New Orleans is known for its live music scene, and the rain shouldn’t stop you from experiencing it. Head to Frenchmen Street, where you’ll find some of the best live music in the city.

Snuggle inside one of the many music venues, such as The Spotted Cat Music Club or d.b.a., and enjoy some great tunes.

For Rock and blues-themed music, House of Blues is another popular music venue with a bar and restaurant serving traditional, delicious Southern dishes such as jambalaya and po’boys. 

2. Go for a cruise down the Mississippi River

A unique way to experience New Orleans in the rain is by taking a romantic cruise down the Mississippi River. Various boat tours offer themed cruises and a fantastic view of the city from the water.

If you’d like some insights into this city and its colorful history, try a historical cruise with a tour guide introducing you to the places of interest.

Another fun option is a jazz cruise – the perfect way to enjoy a relaxing afternoon while being entertained by the music of a traditional New Orleans jazz band as you take in the sights.

24 Best things to do in New Orleans when it Rains 2

3. Visit the City Park

New Orleans City Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States and is 50% bigger than New York’s famous Central Park. On a dry day, you can enjoy the walking paths, botanical garden, and an amusement park or play a game of golf or tennis.

If it’s raining, plenty of indoor activities are available, including the Pelican Greenhouse, Louisiana Children’s Museum, or the New Orleans Museum of Art.

city park is a fun place to go for labor day

4. Spend an afternoon shopping.

There are quite a few places where you can go shopping! These places are not 100% indoors, so you may be dodging raindrops to find the perfect gift. 

Canal Place

Shopping and a movie is always great way to while away a few hours on a dreary day! Canal Place Shopping Mall on Canal Street is a luxury shopping mall with three floors of high-end boutiques and a historic movie theater – the Prytania Theaters at Canal!

what to wear in new orleans mardi gras season

French Market

The French Market in the French Quarter is another excellent spot to visit on a rainy day. This historic open-air (but under cover) market features a wide variety of vendors selling everything from fresh produce to souvenirs to handmade crafts. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Every April, thousands of people descend on the French Quarter for French Quarter Fest, a festival celebrating this historic area’s culture, food, music, and art.

If you’re not in the mood to spend money, some French Quarter window shopping might do the trick. The area is full of unique shops and boutiques, and the architecture is stunning.

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Magazine Street

Be sure to check out Magazine Street in the Garden District, the most popular shopping destination in New Orleans. It stretches for 6 miles and is a shopper’s paradise, lined with antique shops, vintage clothing stores, independent bookstores, and eateries. 

IMG 5662

Riverwalk Outlets

The Riverwalk Outlets (featuring the Outlet Collection) in New Orleans is a premier shopping destination on the Mississippi River. It has over 75 retailers, including national brands and local boutiques, and visitors can shop for everything from fashion and accessories to home goods and souvenirs. The outlets also offer a range of dining options and scenic views of the riverfront.

Add some of these activities to your upcoming trip or staycation!

🚌 Take a 2-Hour City Sightseeing Bus Tour which is great way to learn about the history and romance of this magnificent city
🚢Experience Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with dinner while soaking in incredible views.
👻 Hear tales of vampires, voodoo, and witchcraft on this city walking tour of New Orleans’ French Quarter
🦸 Try Escape Room Adventure and test your problem-solving skills with fun and tactile challenges
⛰️ Go on a food tour and explore the history and culture of the area with an expert local guide while tasting regional specialties at some of the best restaurants around.

5. Visit a museum

A museum is the perfect indoor place to visit on a rainy day, and New Orleans has several museums where you can learn about its rich cultural heritage. There’s something for every budding history enthusiast in this list of popular museums

New Orleans Museum of Art
The National WWII Museum
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Louisiana’s Children’s Museum
Southern food and Beverage Museum
Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience
Backstreet Cultural Museum
Mardi Gras World
mallory in noma

6. Historic New Orleans Collection

This fascinating museum is dedicated to studying and preserving the history of New Orleans and the Gulf South. It is situated in the French Quarter and is a great way to learn about the history of the people, the culture, and the evolution of New Orleans art and literature. There are activities for all ages, and admission is free!

7. National World War II Museum

There is a lot to see at the National WWII Museum, so the suggested duration is 4+ hours. To see everything in detail and read all the information available would take much longer, so bring your walking shoes and plan to spend the whole day (or two) if you can!

This is the top-rated tourist destination in New Orleans and is respectfully dedicated to honoring the lives of the Veterans who fought for our country. Visitors will learn about the war’s impact on the United States and the world through interactive exhibitions, artifacts, and more. 

Do not forget to book your tickets a head of time!

Being a tourist in your town is one of the best things you can do if you cannot get away on a trip or a vacation. The month of August is always hot and steamy, and organizations will do everything and anything to get us out of our air conditioning and into the streets celebrating.
Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

8. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

This museum is on the site of Louisiana’s first licensed apothecary shop from the early 1800s. It contains early medicines, medical equipment, and superstitious cures for just about anything that ails you. Voodoo potions included! You walk through on your own or take a guided tour, and the visit should take about an hour. Many people have called this museum the highlight of their trip.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is a great way to spend a few hours inside learning about the history of prescription drugs.

9. Ogden Museum of Southern Art

This museum contains many beautiful art and photography exhibits from a vast range of genres, but with a focus on Southern artists. It’s a small museum, and visitors usually spend 1.5-2 hours visiting the five floors.

10. Southern Food and Beverage Museum

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a small museum dedicated to the ingredients and preparation of Southern food. Learn the history of Creole and Cajun food and how to cook it! This is perfect for history buffs as well as cooking and food lovers. Plan to spend 2-3 hours here as you cook, eat, and view the museum. 

11. Hermann Grima House and Gallier House

These are two historic, beautifully restored properties filled with well-preserved artifacts that show how affluent, upper-middle-class families lived in a 19th-century townhouse. They also focus on the enslaved servants and their contribution, and visitors learn the difference between urban slavery and plantation slavery.

Both Houses offer a magnificent and eye-opening experience, and knowledgeable tour guides guide visitors.

12. JamNola

If you have kids with you or need to fill up your Instagram, JamNola is the best place to hide from the rain. This interactive Instagram museum can keep you entertained (And dry) for about 90 minutes.

The history buff of the group will be excited to learn what it means to be a New Orleanian. It is a good idea to wear your favorite solid-color outfit because you will take plenty of photos at this spot!

Grab your ticket today.

Umbrella Strut of the Baby Dolls in JAMNOLA

13. Visit the Audubon Aquarium of The Americas

If you’re looking for the perfect place to take your family on a rainy day, try the Audubon Aquarium of The Americas, run by the Audubon Nature Institute. This public aquarium has been around for 32 years and is rated one of the ten best aquariums in the US. It currently houses thousands of exotic aquatic animals and birds and offers interactive learning experiences for all the family. The Audubon is presently closed for renovations but will be reopening in the summer of 2023 and will then be combined with the Audubon Insectarium. 

14. Learn about the fascinating world of Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras World offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the biggest free party on earth – Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras World is a working studio and warehouse where many of the Mardi Gras floats and decorations used in the parades are designed, constructed, and stored.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility and see the intricate and elaborate floats up close, learn about the history and traditions of Mardi Gras, and even try on costumes and masks. It is a unique and interactive way to experience the vibrant culture and festivities of New Orleans.

mardi gras float

15. Get the View at the Vue

Partially a museum and partially a viewing station, the Vue is one of the newest attractions in New Orleans. Situated on top of the Four Seasons New Orleans, the Vue is the perfect place to avoid bad weather or watch it roll in!

16. Enjoy hot drinks at a coffee shop

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Café du Monde. While the outdoor location is iconic, there’s also an indoor location on Decatur Street where you can enjoy beignets and café au lait away from the rain. The original coffee stand was established in the late 1800s, and it has become one of New Orleans’ most enduring traditions, with 10 in the New Orleans Metropolitan area today. 

New MSY at Cafe Du Monde

17. Try a Local Cooking Class

New Orleans is known for its cuisine, and taking one of the local cooking classes is a fun and educational way to learn how to cook some of the city’s most iconic dishes. Many cooking classes are offered indoors, making them perfect for a rainy day. You can learn how to make gumbo, jambalaya, and other New Orleans classics at the New Orleans School of Cooking or Langlois Culinary Crossroads.

New Orleans Travel Agents

Are you looking for a New Orleans local to plan your Trip to New Orleans?

Look no further than Sunset Chasers to create the perfect New Orleans Vacation package. The sisters are New Orleans Natives and can help you plan the perfect trip, from strolling down Magazine Street to shopping the art galleries on Royal Street.

Please do not waste your vacation days and fill them with travel days. Give Sunset Chasers a visit today! Tell them Plaid Shirt Yoga Pants sent you!

Sunset Chasers Ad

18. Visit St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square

A tour of the stunning St. Louis Cathedral overlooking Jackson Square is something no visitor to New Orleans should miss. The cathedral, dating back to 1720, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in New Orleans and is the oldest Catholic cathedral in North America that is still in use.

In the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square is also a must-visit on any trip to New Orleans. If you’re willing to brave the elements, you can take a guided tour of the square. Or take a stroll around and view the historic buildings, the shops, and the street performers. 

19. Try an Escape Room adventure.

If the New Orleans weather is too wet for outdoor activities, why not try an escape room? New Orleans hosts some excellent escape games in which players are locked in a themed room and must solve a series of puzzles, riddles, and challenges to escape. 

Teamwork, communication, and critical thinking are necessary skills to succeed, and escape rooms can be fun. Check out Clue Carre, Escape My Room, or The Escape Room to join in one of these experiences when visiting New Orleans. 

20. Go Bowling

New Orleans has two easy-to-find Bowling Alleys. Fulton Street is in the middle of the Central Business District and is easy to pop into if you are downtown and it starts pouring. A local’s favorite is the historic Rock n’ Bowl. You will find food, bowling, drinks, and live music!


21. St Charles Avenue

Architecture buffs will want to take advantage of a drive down St. Charles Avenue to look at the incredible historic homes in this residential thoroughfare. This is a highly sought-after area, and if you’ve ever seen pictures of the Mardi Gras, you might recognize the avenue as it’s on the Mardi Gras parade route. Stately homes and mansions and The Elms Mansion are particular points of interest in this beautiful tree-lined neighborhood.  

22. When all else fails, drink!

One of the best ways to taste New Orleans is by trying her food, but during a rainy day, it is a great option to go bar hopping and try all of the great drinks and craft cocktails that were invited and perfected in New Orleans. One of the best places to get a cocktail is the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt, or ride the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. Both hotels are great places to grab a cocktail and watch the rain pour.

You could even go on a Drunk History Tour!

getting a drink on rainy day

23. Tour a brewery

If cocktails are not your thing, you can always tour one of the many breweries in New Orleans. Nola Brewing Company has free tours every Friday, and you get to enjoy a free beer while you wait for the start of the tour. The Nola Brewery tour is one of my favorite rainy-day activities. There are several breweries in New Orleans, so you can make a day brewing hopping around!

Three beers from Nola Brewery

24. Tour a distillery

Booze is a big part of New Orleans, so why not tour one of the many local distilleries in the city? Happy Raptor distillery is one of my favorites, specializing in Rum made with Louisiana sugar Cane!

Distillery tour

When to visit New Orleans

If you can bear the heat, the cheapest time to visit New Orleans is during the summer months, as it’s usually quieter than during the springtime peak season. Summer is also when many special events and major festivals take place.

The city comes to life with activities from the Essence festival to the Louisiana Seafood Festival and lots more. Remember that hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, so you can expect to be on the lookout.

New Orleans is a popular city with many indoor activities to explore during rainy days. Museums like the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas offer unique and interactive exhibits for a perfect rainy-day activity. 

Visitors can also enjoy shopping on Magazine Street or exploring the city’s unique history through visits to the Hermann-Grima House or the National WWII Museum. Even on a rainy day, visitors can still indulge in New Orleans’ great food scene with Jazz brunch at Preservation Hall or Cafe du Monde’s famous beignets at their indoor locations. With comfortable temperatures year-round, a light jacket and rain boots will be enough to enjoy all New Orleans offers.

Now that you know what to do when it rains, how about what to do on your dry days?

Even though it may rain a lot in New Orleans, there are quite a few days where the whole day is sunny! Check out some of these fun things to do on the days when it is not rainy!

Visit a Cemetery

Visiting a Cemetery is a must in New Orleans. If you want to stay within the French Quarter, St Louis Cemetery No 1 is one of the best cemeteries to visit.

October is one of my favorite months in New Orleans. The weather is cooling down, tons of festivals, cemetery tours, and of course Halloween.
Cemetery Tour with Two Chicks Walking Tour

Escape New Orleans with a day trip.

If you’ve been to New Orleans a lot, you can make a day trip to Jefferson Parish, the North Shore, or even Mississippi! There are plenty of places to go on a day trip outside New Orleans.

Visit Jean Lafitte National Historic Park

Visiting the swamp is a must for many people visiting New Orleans! Just make sure you rent a car or pre-arrange a car service to pick you up because cell service can be tricky to get an Uber or
Lyft out here!


Do something for free in the city.

Even though New Orleans is a fun place to visit, eat and drink in, some items may cost a pretty penny. If you are looking for local treasures and want to save a buck or two, do something like a free tour! Check out my blog post on 99+ free and cheap things to do in New Orleans.

Need a place to stay in New Orleans?

There are so many great places to stay while visiting New Orleans.  Here are some of our favorites:

Omni Royal Orleans – In the heart of the French Quarter, you barely have to think twice about transportation because everything is within walking distance.

The Eliza Jane – If you are looking for modern suites and an easy way to be in the middle of downtown, the Eliza Jane is my favorite hotel.

The Pontchartrain Hotel – Right on St Charles, the Pontchartrain Hotel keeps you out of downtown but still close to all of the action. With beautiful rooms, delicious dining, and a rooftop bar, you may never want to leave.

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