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What to do in New Orleans this September

a person riding on the back of a boat in the water

September Adventures in New Orleans

As the curtain falls on summer, a cascade of memories rushes through—the laughter, the late-night stories, the sweltering heat, and the pursuit of that elusive beach bod. August’s fervor lingers, leaving behind a trail of sunburns and a mirror reflecting a gaze of mixed emotions. Summer is a beautiful contradiction, a fleeting moment both wished for and reminisced about.

But fear not, for there is another season, a superior one, especially here in New Orleans. The South has no love lost for the oppressive summer—it’s hot, humid, slow, and volatile. In contrast, autumn in this city is the beginning of something magical. “Down here, it’s our time,” as The Goonies would say. Like the first snow melt after a long northern winter, New Orleans awakens from its summer slumber. The streets and swamps welcome back the people and dogs who find solace in their beloved home place. Vibrancy returns to the city, and joy paints the weathered facades of historic buildings.

Southern Decadence: A Celebration of Love and Acceptance

While the annual LGBTQ celebration, Southern Decadence, technically starts in August, its grand finale unfolds in the first days of September—a beautiful display of color, love, and acceptance. Born from a humble beginning in 1972, Southern Decadence emerged from a ramshackle cottage house in the Treme section of New Orleans. A celebration that started as a means to crowdsource funding has blossomed into a flamboyant testament to diversity and resilience.

To witness this vibrant celebration is to embrace the spirit of New Orleans, where acceptance and celebration know no bounds.

Kayak Tour Through the Bayou: Nature’s Silent Symphony

The most unique landscapes in the country hide in southeastern Louisiana, where the Mississippi River meets the sea. The Bald Cypress, guardian of the delta ecosystem, defines this region. Exploring these swamplands via kayak with Nola Kayak Tours offers an intimate and non-disruptive experience. Glide through the water silently, encountering alligators, owls, turtles, deer, armadillos, and feral pigs in their natural habitat.

If you seek a peaceful yet adventurous ecotour of the Louisiana bayou, Nola Kayak Tours stands as the premier outfitter and guide service, providing a perfect vessel for both beginners and experienced paddlers.

City Park Sculpture Garden: A Stroll Amidst Artistry and Nature

City Park in New Orleans unfolds as one of the nation’s most impressive urban parks. At its heart lies the FREE Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Spanning eleven acres within the park, this garden boasts more than 90 sculptures, nestled within a landscape of pines, magnolias, and live oaks surrounding tranquil lagoons.

Conceived in 2003 and expanded in 2019, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a testament to the marriage of art and nature. Take a leisurely stroll, allowing the sculptures to weave into the picturesque landscape, creating an outdoor gallery that is both captivating and serene.

In the spirit of exploration and the essence of New Orleans, I’ve kept this list concise. With a myriad of possibilities, sometimes it’s best to let the rhythm of the city guide your choices. Don’t succumb to the urge to cram every moment with activities. Instead, channel the essence of a leisurely vacation. Grab a camera, leave the phone behind, and wander. Notice the colors and patterns, take beautiful pictures, and revel in the weightless feeling of being untethered from the digital world.

So, as September dawns in New Orleans, let the magic of this city guide your adventures. Embrace the unseen, savor the unique, and create memories that defy the digital realm.

From $59

Once you’ve walked around the French Quarter, see the rest of this beautiful city by electric bike! Cruise through bohemian neighborhoods, ride along the river for spectacular views of the city, explore City Park and visit the Lakefront all in a 3 hour tour.