Summer staycation: 5 things to put on your New Orleans summer bucket list

Summer staycation: 5 things to put on your New Orleans summer bucket list

Instead of getting ready to enjoy a getaway to a beautiful vacation destination, the coronavirus pandemic has turned this time of year into an unprecedented summer.

Since things are still so uncertain due to the novel coronavirus, many are looking towards making the most of a summer closer to home. Luckily, New Orleans offers many options to help create a staycation. Here is a list of suggestions to add to your plans to make the most of a summer here in the Crescent City.

Stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 restrictions at

1. Rent paddleboards, kayaks and tubing gear on Louisiana waterways

The abundance of waterways around New Orleans and its surrounding areas offer many creative ways to cool off.

Near New Orleans, Bayou St. John and New Orleans City Park have become more popular spots for recreation during the pandemic.

Companies like Bayou Paddlesports offer kayak rentals, while NOLA Paddleboards will get you paddling down Bayou St. John on a stand-up paddleboard.

On the North Shore, Canoe and Trail Adventures operates on the dock outside of The Chimes Covington. The rental service helps families get paddling on the Bogue Falaya River in St. Tammany Parish.

The North Shore is also home to a few places you can go tubing, with most in the heart of Washington Parish along the Bogue Chitto River. Tubing operators we spoke with said they are taking extra precautions to keep people safe as they venture out on the water while social distancing. Here’s a list of places to take a float trip on Louisiana’s rivers.

Some other water attractions opening for business on the North Shore include Northshore Hydro Sports, Honey Island Kayak Tours and Bayou Adventure.



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Bring the #family paddling with us. We promise 2 things: 1️⃣. Big smiles all around 😁 2️⃣. They will fall asleep 💤 as soon as their heads hit the pillow. #winning 📸 @soulshinemommy Book online: (link in bio) 📱504-233-0686 Rental schedule: Thursday and Monday 9:30-2 Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9:30-5 • #canoeandtrail #kayak #canoe #livetheadventure #unpluggedadventures #nolanewsgram #followyournola #boguefalaya #familyfun #covingtonla #sup #suplife @lanorthshore @amkitch

A post shared by Canoe and Trail Adventures (@canoeandtrail) on Jun 23, 2020 at 9:18am PDT


2. Get a cocktail at a rooftop bar in New Orleans

Lift your spirits while taking in breathtaking views of New Orleans at one of the city’s rooftop bars open under restaurant conditional permits.

Keep in mind that under Phase Two requirements, New Orleans restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity, with masks and social distancing required.

Due to social distancing restrictions because of the pandemic, calling ahead for reservations is recommended, if available.

  • Hot Tin
  • Monkey Board


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The perfect view for a cocktail or two. 🥂 📸 by @itsjuliegoode . . . #hottin #pontchartrainhotel #nolaviews #followyournola #thirstythursday

A post shared by Hot Tin (@hottinbar) on Oct 10, 2019 at 12:58pm PDT


3. Visit one of New Orleans’ interesting museums

New Orleans is home to several top-rated museums and cultural art centers — along with some top-notch air conditioning.

Under Phase Two guidelines, museums in New Orleans are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity with staggered admission using an appointment or reservation system.

Here’s just a sample of museums you can add to your list before the summer ends:

  • The Sazerac House
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art
  • National WWII Museum
  • New Orleans Museum of Art
  • New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
  • Louisiana Children’s Museum
  • Southern Food & Beverage Museum


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Join Distillery Operations Manager David Bock for a virtual Whiskey Walk where he leads us through production of @sazeracrye whiskey here at the Sazerac House in downtown New Orleans!

A post shared by Sazerac House (@sazerachouse) on Jun 23, 2020 at 9:54am PDT

4. Go wild at local animal parks and swamp tours

Whether you want to head down to the Audubon Zoo or take a wild ride through the swamp, Louisiana is a great place for wildlife lovers.

Animal lovers can take advantage of fun attractions open this summer, even though there are restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

  • Audubon Zoo
  • Audubon Aquarium
  • Global Wildlife Center
  • Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours
  • Cajun Encounters Swamp Tour
  • Dr. Wagner’s Honey Island Swamp Tours

5. Explore an outdoor oasis for a peaceful escape

Ten acres of lush greenery and striking sculptures await for your peaceful escape at the New Orleans Botanical Garden.

Featuring more than 2,000 plants from around the world, the Botanical Garden remains one of the few examples of public garden design from the Art Deco period.

In addition to exploring the grounds, you can order meals from the Botanical Garden’s outdoor kitchen on Sundays and Wednesdays for a picnic.

At Longue Vue House and Gardens, explore acres of breathtakingly landscaped gardens for a moment of wellness and inspiration. Set your own pace on a self-guided tour through the gardens and grounds, or take a more in-depth, docent-led tour.

You can also look for an outdoor experience that is more off-the-beaten-path. Check out this list of nearby tranquil nature trails to enjoy while social distancing.

Due to COVID-19, make sure you check these websites for any updates and reservation requirements prior to visiting.



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New Orleans Botanical Garden- Come expand your horizon, refresh your soul & find inspiration. 12 acres of beautifully cultivated gardens & art in the heart of New Orleans since the 1930’s. . 🌈Now open year round- Weather permitting. Wed 10:00am- 8:30pm; Thur-Sun 10:00am-4:30pm.🐝 Wednesday Louisiana resident enjoy free admission thanks to The Helis Foundation. . 🍅Kitchen in the Garden Enjoy our delicious picnics prepared in our outdoor kitchen. Check “Kitchen in the Garden” on our website for updates. Pre-Order online to guarantee. Serving times: Wednesday Dinner 5-8pm Sunday Brunch 10:30AM- 1:30PM . . 📸@davidmateoh . . #arboretum #conservatory #botanicalgardens #botanicalgarden #botanicalgardennola #neworleanscitypark #iheartcitypark #cityparknola #louisianagardener #louisisanafamily #lovemygarden #gardensoftheworld #gardenblogger #gardengreatorsmall #beautifulgarden #gardenphotography #botanicalpickmeup #botanical #jardinbotanico #gardenstructure #flowergarden

A post shared by New Orleans Botanical Garden (@botanicalgardennola) on Jun 14, 2020 at 6:52am PDT

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Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.