What Is There To Do in New Orleans When it Rains?

By Ryan | Destinations

Sep 22
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The Big Easy, renowned for street jazz, festivals, cook outs, countless cultural and incredible things which largely involve being outside, enjoying the sunshine. But what happens when your trip to New Orleans is rained off? Is it a disaster? Will you hate your one shot in The Crescent City? So exactly, what to do in New Orleans when it rains?

Well, don’t you worry, buddy, New Orleans still has you covered with a ton of curiosity peaking adventures and culture craving quenchers throughout the city. For aural attractors, drink drainpipes, food funnels and soul searchers alike, The Big Easy is equally as hot when wet, and we have a list of activities to prove it.

Make The Most of The Many Museums

Since when are museums not the perfect rainy day activity? And New Orleans offers its visitors a vast array of world-class options to get your cultural fix when the weather outside is less-than-pleasant.

New Orleans is the home of the National World War II Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Mardi Gras World, NOMA and a frankly staggering number of others ranging the genres, so even if your entire vacation in The Big Easy is rained off, there’s enough museums and galleries to keep you occupied throughout.

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New Orleans Museum of Arts - By satanoid (Flickr: IMG_5474) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The same principle can apply to different types of trip; a traveler may venture on a year-long continental trip, taking a 55 litre rucksack, working a charm the entire journey. They then may try and use the same rucksack for a week’s camping and find they don’t have anywhere near enough room for all of their belongings, despite going for far less time than they did in their original trip.

On top of litre capacity, a backpack’s big defining point is its ability to externally carry items. Lots of sensibly arranged attachment details may be the difference between taking what you need and having to leave behind potentially useful equipment. Do you need a sleeping back and mosquito net? Or bulky hiking boots? Chances are that they would slot nicely on the side of some backpacks, whilst with others you’d have to try and jam them in the main compartments.

Questioning seriously the purpose of your trip before deciding on what type of rucksack you will need is one of the most important aspects of successful backpack purchasing.

Watch Sports At The Mercedes-Benz Superdome

To shelter from the rain, where better to head towards than the largest fixed-dome structure in the entire world, The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and what better to witness than a sporting event? Whether it’s the super bowl, college football, basketball or any other of your favourite sports, this events arena has and will host it.

It’s always been a monument of New Orleans, but after partial destruction after hurricane Katrina, the arena was reconstructed into the form that it takes now, an undoubtedly stunning building.

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Mercedes Benz Superdome - By Infrogmation of New Orleans (Photo by Infrogmation (talk)) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy An Evening With The Soul Rebels in Le Bon Temps Roule

When you’ve gotta stay indoors in New Orleans, the very least you owe yourself is to stay indoors with some of the best brass band music around. Enter the Soul Rebels at Le Bon Temps Roule. A jumping, jiving orb of energy will fill your entire being, so much so that you’ll completely forget that there is an outside, let alone that it might in fact be raining.

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Le Bon Temps Roule - By Infrogmation of New Orleans (Photo by Infrogmation) [GFDL, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 2.5 or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Many manufacturers are aware of these guidelines and have designed packs which perfectly replicate these dimensions. The benefits of only taking along a carry-on backpack on your trip is that you won’t be charged for hold luggage, and this can also speed up your check-in before a flight.

Cons with carry-on backpacks are that they are generally small, meaning you are more restricted when packing for longer trips, and you have to be very specific on what you pack, as certain items are forbidden from the cabin.

Hunker Down In Your Favourite Cocktail Bar

When the weather outside is raining, sometimes there’s not much else to do but enjoy a tipple or two (or three) in your favourite bar. With New Orleans being such a desirable spot purely for sampling the sauce, there are few better cities than here to find yourself chatting with strangers and forgetting about the deluge in the streets outside.

Particular cocktails born in The Big Easy, which are both delicious and can be classed as a historical and cultural experience, include the Sazarac, Brandy Crusta and Brandy Milk Punch, all have been around for almost 200 years since their genesis.

Famous bars that you might end up finding yourself in whilst your travel umbrella dries up include, Cane and Table, a tucked-away spot to meet the locals; The Old Absinthe House, a 200+ year old bar in the city’s famed French Quarter, or, for all the fun of the fair, The Carousel Bar & Lounge, complete with genuine carousel bar.

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The Old Absinthe House - By Infrogmation of New Orleans (Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans) [GFDL, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 2.5 or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Positives of multi-day backpacks include their superior carrying capacity, number of handy pockets and pouches and space for larger attachments, such as a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping matt.

Negative features of a multi-day are that they can cost money to check-in to flights, where check-in baggage isn’t included, they can be heavy when full and it can be tricky to find a pack which fits perfectly.

Get Your Friends Round and Listen to WWOZ Radio Station

To experience true New Orleans culture, grab a few bottles of Southern Comfort and as many friends and family as you can and listen along to WWOZ radio station, one of the best local radio stations in the entire country.

With a specialism in historical New Orleans culture and music, you’ll find yourselves spanning the decades’ worth of unbelievable talent that The Big Easy has offered to the world, understanding the role this small place has played in molding world music, with roots in almost all genres.

You’ll be praising the rain for giving you such an experience, otherwise ignored by holidaymakers supposedly blessed with sunnier days.

Sit In On St. Louis Cathedral’s Church Choir

Whether you’re spiritual or not, you’ll find your spirits naturally lifted and the clouds outside parted by this incredible ensemble of singers from St. Louis Cathedral choir, inside a venue with such amazing acoustical potential.

Listen along during Sunday Mass or any other special occasions that the Cathedral curates, for a truly heavenly aural experience. As well as St. Louis’ there are a number of other spiritual homes to listen to a whole host of uplifting and inspiring musical performances, with gospel choirs and other jazz and blues bands playing in countless houses of God across the city.

Are you undertaking two weeks of city travelling, 4 nights of camping and wilderness trekking; or is this the worldwide trip of a lifetime, seeing an amalgamation of all of possible tundra and terrain that the globe can possibly throw at you. They all require different preparation and a different sized backpack to one another. Let's look at some examples

Complete Ms. Mae’s Challenge

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Ms. Mae’s Bar - From PCMacFetters

If the deluge happens to be 24 hours long, this is the activity for you. We do not encourage drinking to excess, and of course, you should be entirely aware of your own limits. Now, having got the boring stuff out of the way… take on Ms. Mae’s 24 hour drinking challenge!

The aim of the challenge is to have one drink in Ms.Mae’s bar, per hour, for 24 hours straight. The hardest part of the challenge is probably the ‘no puking’ rule.

Go To The Secretive MOMs Ball

The Mystic Krewe of Orphans and Misfits ball is a Mardi Gras party like no other in the city. Just about the craziest gig going around, and it’s invite-only, the MOMs ball is an insane costume party, where even with your invite, if your own getup isn’t absolutely on-point you stand a solid chance of getting booted out.

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a ticket to the Mystic Krewe of Orphans and Misfits ball, just follow the rules, and break a whole load of others, and enjoy possibly the most memorable experience possible.

What To Do in New Orleans When it Rains? - Get Out and Enjoy It Anyway

Or, instead of hiding away inside, you could just grab your rain poncho, or other favoured water deflecting apparatus and head out into the lively streets of The Big Easy anyway. Rest assured it will still be pumping, still be lively and still be the same old Big Easy you know and love.

Ride the streetcar and watch the raindrops drip down the window and enjoy the sound of its pitter patter on the roof of the car. Listen to a live street band who will no doubt still be playing that jazz or bluegrass that you visited this wild city for. Go for a backyard crawfish boil with some new friends under a gazebo and soak in the flavours the bayou without worrying about the pouring rain outside of your rectangular haven. The list of activities in this amazing and vibrant city is genuinely endless and guaranteed to be exciting, cultural and utterly memorable.

If you happen to have been to New Orleans and have experienced some excellent under-the-radar things to do when the weather is a little off, why not share them with our readers?

Featured Image by Andy Clarke (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons</a>

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Ryan Smith, a solo traveler, and founder of MrAbroad.com with a bunch of friends. I love going outside, reading books and talking to people.