We were lucky enough to spend a day in New Orleans on our road trip from Florida to California. Sadly the weather was terrible, and we were almost rained out. We did find some great spots indoors to wait out the storms and explored a bit when the downpours lightened. Find our suggestions for how to spend a rainy day in New Orleans below, and tell us your favorite NOLA spots in the comments.
We loved checking out Toups’ Meatery on Carrollton Avenue. The Toups, the family that owns the restaurant, have been in Louisiana for over 300 years. The cracklins are a local favorite, and pair nicely with the craft cocktails from the full bar. We recommend the confit chicken thighs that come with heirloom carrot puree, chicken liver, and cornbread dressing. We also loved Toup’s burger, which includes pork and beef, pickled squash, cheddar, bacon and a delicious herbed aioli.
Head to Canal Street and the Port of New Orleans for an afternoon of fun. At Riverwalk you can shop until your heart is content, grab some beignets, the deep-fried pastry New Orleans is known for and take in the view of the port, pictured below. If you love the beignets, Riverwalk sells the mix in various stores so you can try making them at home.
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is a short walk from Riverwalk and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The aquarium features penguins, stingrays and an otter named Emma.
It also has a 400,000-gallon tank showcasing Gulf of Mexico creatures like sharks, schools of fish, stingrays, and sea turtles. Make sure to check out the Great Maya Reef exhibit that allows visitors to walk through a 30-foot-long tunnel and gaze at the submerged Maya city.
Despite the rain, we were still able to walk around the downtown area and take in the beautiful hotels and Nola charm. There are a ton of other options for indoor activities for adults and children within walking distance of the aquarium. You can check out the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, which, according to the staff, is North America’s largest museum devoted to insects. The Louisiana Children’s Museum is also nearby. And for a unique experience, we recommend checking out the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, which has partnered with Sculpture for New Orleans to create large-scale outdoor exhibits.