Things to Do This Summer Near The Brakeman Hotel

Summer in New Orleans is packed with celebrations of local food, music, and culture — going well into the fall. Here are our top recommendations for what’s happening this summer near you.


New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

Wednesday-Sunday, June 5-9, 2024

In its 32nd year in 2024, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE) is a smorgasbord of food and wine tastingstoursmaster classes, and the annual champagne-soaked burlesque brunch. Each year, hundreds of wineries and restaurants participate, offering menus featuring local flavors and innovative new creations inspired by diverse cuisines. Top chefs from around the city create unique culinary experiences, so much so that the event regularly makes a few national “best of” festival lists. The organization behind this popular event is a nonprofit that donates 100% of its proceeds to beneficiaries ranging from food banks to culinary schools. You can see all the events and get tickets online.

New Orleans Pride

Friday-Sunday, June 7-9, 2024

Launched in 2011, New Orleans Pride is a weekend-long celebration taking place in the French Quarter to celebrate and honor LGBTQI+ communities and their allies in New Orleans and surrounding areas. It is the only official Pride Festival in New Orleans, the largest in Louisiana, and one of the fastest-growing Pride celebrations in the nation. Special events include the Pride Gala, the PrideFest block party at the Phoenix bar, and the annual parade. The parade rolls on Saturday, June 8, 2024, starting at 6 p.m. in the Marigny and rolling through the French Quarter.

French Market Creole Tomato Festival

Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9, 2024

Traditionally held on the second weekend of June, the annual French Market Creole Tomato Festival welcomes the arrival of Creole tomatoes that Louisiana loves to incorporate into many local recipes. The French Market location and the food offerings make this a popular festival among locals and visitors alike.

Celebrating its 38th year in 2024, the festival features live music at the market and in Dutch Alley, kids’ activities, and a second line. There are cooking demos in addition to an extensive menu of Creole tomatoes incorporated into gelato, crepes, crawfish pies — you name it. (Here’s the 2024 food vendor list). Of course, you can also get Creole tomatoes from the participating farm stands.

Kick off the Creole Tomato Festival with the Ripe & Ready second line featuring a Jazz Band, The Baby Dolls, and the Amelia Earhawts on Saturday, June 8, at 10:30 a.m. It’s open to all, and you’re encouraged to wear “your favorite tomato attire.” The second line will form at Oscar Dunn Park, 700 Decatur Street across from Jackson Square, and walk to the French Market festival location.

The festival is spread out between the tents and the stages located at the Farmers Market, the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint (this one is indoors), and Dutch Alley. The live music schedule never disappoints.

Restaurant Week New Orleans

Monday-Sunday, June 17-23, 2024

During this time, you can enjoy multi-course, special menus and dining deals in numerous participating restaurants, from upscale Creole eateries to neighborhood bistros. Keep up with this year’s list of participating restaurants and their menus, and don’t miss a chance to try a new spot or revisit your favorite.

New Orleans Juneteenth Festival

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Come to Congo Square in Armstrong Park to commemorate this remarkable date with this free festival, held from noon to 7 p.m.


Independence Day

Thursday, July 4, 2024

New Orleans celebrates July 4th like anywhere else in America but with a flavor all her own. There will be fireworks above the Mississippi River and much partying as usual. As part of the annual Go 4th on the River celebration the “Dueling Barges” will again put on a spectacular fireworks show set to patriotic music.

There are plenty of great spots to watch the display, but a French Quarter balcony is one of the most desired viewing spots in the city. You can grab excellent vantage points on the Riverfront, and in the Marigny and Bywater too. The Woldenberg Park on the shoreline of the Mississippi River is also an excellent spot to throw a picnic while you wait for the fireworks, as well as another waterfront park, Crescent Park. Coolers and chairs are welcome.

ESSENCE Festival of Culture

Thursday-Sunday, July 4-7, 2024

There’s a lot to love about the ESSENCE Festival of Culture, beyond the fact that it is the largest annual African American culture and music event in the world. It’s one of the finest gatherings of musicians in a city that is well-known for throwing together excellent gatherings of musicians.

Beyond the concerts held each night of the fest at the Superdome, its free daytime experiences at the Convention Center include motivational seminars, beauty and style presentations, celebrity interviews, cooking demonstrations with top chefs, and lots more.

Expect a stellar music lineup of major headliners and the best of the local talent, including a reunion of New Orleans rap powerhouse Cash Money Records’ “Millionaires,” curated by label co-founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams. This year, the festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The traditional Sunday Gospel Celebration at the Convention Center will feature the greatest gospel hits, and ESSENCE After Dark, a series of late-night jam sessions, comedy shows, underground performances, live podcast recordings, and more, is returning once again to the Superdome.

Don’t wait! Get your tickets online. You can also download the festival’s app. And please remember that all events held at the Convention Center during the day are free and open to all (registration is required though for anyone over 18).

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls)

Friday-Sunday, July 12-14, 2024

Plenty of people know that Encierro de Pamplona is a major event in the Spanish tourism calendar, but not as many folks realize New Orleans hosts its own bull run. Except here, the “bulls” are roller derby girls, dressed in the traditional colors of Spain’s bull run and wearing horned helmets, who whack the participants — dressed all in white with red scarves and handkerchiefs — with wiffle bats.

This year, the Saturday, July 13, 2024, run takes place at the new venue, Gallier Hall, starting at 6:30 a.m. The annual El Txupinazo party also takes place there, on Friday, July 12, 2024, from 6 to 9 p.m. This is a ticketed event and 18+ only.

Check out the schedule on the event’s website for the annual opening and closing parties happening that weekend. You can also get your tickets online.

Tales of the Cocktail 

Sunday-Friday, July 21-26, 2024

Some of the world’s most famous cocktails were invented in this city: the Sazerac, Brandy Milk Punch, and Ramos Gin Fizz, to name a few. Having a drink in New Orleans isn’t just fun — it’s also a celebration of our unique history.

Still, New Orleans can’t just let a cultural touchstone lay without holding a festival, and thus: Tales of the Cocktail, a celebration of mixed drinks in all of their vast diversity. Every year, the party draws in thousands of bar owners, distillers, mixologists, authors, tastemakers, and enthusiasts who are interested in networking, sharing knowledge, showing off their skills, learning, and, well, drinking.

This six-day event is filled with seminars, workshops,  tastings, book signings, bartender contests, networking, and much more. The Tales’ 2024 theme is “Inspire,” and the festival’s signature annual blowout, the “best of” Spirited Awards, will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2024, followed by the always-popular after-party.

During the festival Tales of the Cocktail hosts dozens of events. Please note that tickets for events are sold individually, so you can build your own itinerary. The prix fixe tasting menus and food-pairing dinners are especially popular, and the tours and cocktail-themed parties also tend to sell out quickly, so we highly recommend getting your tickets as early as you can.



Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, September 15, 2024

The premise of COOLinary is simple: Dozens of area restaurants offer prix fixe menus to customers at a discount. Sometimes, a significant discount — this is a New Orleans event that’s as popular with the locals as tourists, and many city residents take advantage of Coolinary to engage in a bit of gastronomic splurging.

Interested? Check out the COOLinary website and see what restaurants are participating (and for which meals; some spots, for example, only offer a COOLinary menu during lunch). You don’t have to do anything else but show up and get fed; usually, the Coolinary menu is included as a special insert or addition to the regular menu.

Museum Month

Thursday, August 1 – Saturday, August 31, 2024

If you’re in town this August, be sure to take advantage of the Museum Month deal. During the month of August, museum members have the opportunity to visit all participating institutions, FREE OF CHARGE, using their current membership throughout the month of August.

You must be a member of a local museum to take advantage of this deal. This is a great opportunity to explore on the budget. In the past, participating museums in (and near) the French Quarter include the Beauregard-Keyes House, Audubon Insectarium, Contemporary Arts Center, The National WWII Museum, Old Ursuline Convent Museum, New Orleans Jazz Museum, New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Fidelity Bank White Linen Night

Saturday, August 3, 2024

Back in the days before air conditioning, New Orleanians kept cool and looked fresh in the face of August swelter by wearing light-colored linen clothing. Back in the days before White Linen Night, local art galleries felt the pinch of the August tourism slowdown.

In order to combat said slowdown, and to showcase local summer fashion, White Linen Night was created. Art galleries and restaurants on the 300-600 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District throw their doors open for a night of wine, art perusing, dining, and more wine — plus modeling of, naturally, the latest in white linen fashion.

Satchmo SummerFest

Saturday-Sunday, August 3-4, 2024

An initiative from the folks at French Quarter Festivals, Satchmo Summer Fest is a celebration of the city’s most famous musical son (Louis Armstrong, nicknamed “Satchmo”) and New Orleans music in general. As New Orleans festivals go, this one is pretty beloved — it’s family-friendly, kicks off within the French Quarter with a popular parade, the lineup is truly local, and it’s free. More than almost any other festival we mention, this one feels like a New Orleans street party (again, for families), and it definitely should not be missed if you’re in town.

Red Dress Run

Saturday, August 10, 2024

Probably the last thing any sane human being wants to do in the midst of a New Orleans August is run, but then again, the folks involved with the New Orleans Hash House Harriers (NOH3) have always been a little crazy. The Red Dress Run is your chance to see a bunch of locals of all genders don red frocks and go careening through the city on a madcap 2-3 mile course.

Said route is kept secret until the day of the run, but racers always pass through the Quarter. Come out, wear crimson, have a beer (many of the runners will be joining in with you), and enjoy the show.

Dirty Linen Night

Saturday, August 10, 2024

The more rebellious sibling to White Linen Night, Dirty Linen is a similar gallery evening, but in this case, the galleries are located in the Quarter along 300-1100 blocks of Royal Street, and the vibe is a little more counterculture. Peruse food trucks, galleries, and bars, help yourself to the wine the gallery owners brought along with them, and enjoy an unbridled celebration of the creativity of the city.

Southern Decadence

Thursday, August 29 – Monday, September 2, 2024

New Orleans’ largest LGBTQI+  event is a citywide party that celebrates the huge impact the local gay and lesbian community has on the city at large. Almost a week’s worth of partying will kick off within the Quarter, spreading across New Orleans as more and more guests swoop into town for several days of… well, as the title says, decadence.

More suggestions on what to see, eat, and do this summer

For more inspiration and information, check out our guides!


Things to Do in New Orleans: Year at a Glance
Exploring the French Quarter and Nearby With Kids


Guest Guide to The Brakeman Hotel Tremé New Orleans
Top Attractions Near The Brakeman Hotel
Must-See Museums Near The Brakeman Hotel
Exploring St. Louis Cemetery No. 1


Must-Try Dishes Near The Brakeman Hotel
Late-Night Dining Near The Brakeman Hotel


Where to Hear Live Music Near The Brakeman Hotel
Best Bars Near The Brakeman Hotel

Coming to New Orleans this summer?

We’d love for you to stay with us! And if you do, consider booking a guided tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans.

For easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime, and your kids won’t have to do all this walking.

Take advantage of The Brakeman Hotel specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans’ famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Happy summer!