With two major festivals, 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.
New Orleans Labor Day Weekend Itinerary
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 their Foundation Free Fridays summer concert series — doors open at 9 p.m., and you won’t want to miss local favorite, Big Sam’s Funky Nation. If you’re hungry for a late-night bite after the concert, head to Bouligny Tavern for upscale bar food (don’t miss the Gougeres & Comté cheese appetizer) served until 2 a.m.
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 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.
Post-workout, cool off with an iced cafe au lait at Morning Call before heading over to the Louisiana Seafood Festival. Live music starts at 11 a.m. and you’ll definitely want to try seafood specialties from the festival vendors, which include many of NOLA’s top seafood restaurants like Drago’s and Acme Oyster House.
Start your Sunday off with brunch at 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 festival.
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 “Decadence Takes the World.” Theme colors are amethyst purple, ruby red, blue sapphire, and pearl white — plan accordingly.
After the parade, you’ll probably want to stay and party in the French Quarter. Try Verti Marte, Clover Grill, or Dat Dog on Frenchmen Street for a late bite. You can sleep in tomorrow — it’s a long weekend!
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. Local cellist and vocalist Helen Gillet goes on at 7:30 p.m. Cheers to Labor Day weekend in New Orleans!