Summer in New Orleans is a legendary affair. The heat is always intense, and the humidity is nothing short of unbelievable. Tourists know the drill and avoid the city for more appropriate environs like the beach, the lake, or anywhere up north. Plenty of mom-and-pop businesses in the city shut down and take a months long siesta. But some of us are stuck here, and we have to make the best of the card we are dealt.
Here are my tips for getting through a brutal New Orleans summer.
Some in the city are fortunate enough to have the time and resources to make it out to the Alabama and Florida panhandles for some quality time on the “Redneck Riviera.” Despite the tongue-in-cheek nickname, this stretch of beaches on the Gulf of Mexico is incredibly beautiful with sugar white sand and emerald green water. It flies under the radar to most Americans, but it is a destination worth experiencing.
For anyone without several days and a few hundred dollars to spare, Bay St. Louis and Waveland Mississippi have the same white sand, albeit with muddier water. Also, Bay St. Louis is the definition of quaint southern coastal town, and it’s less than a 1-hr drive from New Orleans.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, there is great river tubing on the Bogue Chitto River, canoe trips go down the Wolfe River in Mississippi, and there are dozens of hotels in the city with great rooftop pools. I have heard of some people sneaking into said pools, but I have absolutely zero experience with such tomfoolery.
Find a Beverage
Find a cold beverage specifically. Daquiris are definitely the most ubiquitous chilly drinks in the city. If you are feeling up for one, I recommend skipping the standard sugary concoctions and heading to New Orleans East to the Daquiri Chef. Made with real frozen fruit instead of the high fructose corn syrup with food coloring you see at most places.
If you want to go a little more high end, I suggest grabbing a Pimm’s Cup at Kingfish or the ever changing Daily Punch at Cane & Table. If you must go the more traditional daquiri route, I prefer the drive through line at Daquiris & Creams in Bucktown.
Find an Air Conditioner
Seriously, though. After about 7:30 am in the summer, the heat becomes pretty oppressive. The only respite you will have in the city is to get indoors and let the modern magic of forced air and freon put their gris-gris on you. Watch your Entergy bill trickle upwards as you do your best to keep your core temperature below heat stroke levels.