Cooling Off in the French Quarter This Summer
The Bombay Club
Let us help you plan your summer sightseeing strategy. These chilled-out destinations offer a refreshing refuge from the summer heat along with a shot of New Orleans flavor.
Daiquiri at St. Lawrence (219 N. Peters Street)
The first rule of dealing with NOLA heat: Never walk anywhere without a daiquiri in hand. These frozen drinks are seriously the next best thing to a portable A.C. unit. Options run the gamut from classic (the pina colada flavored daiquiri at Big Easy Daiquiris) to craft (Cane and Table’s Daiquiri #6), but your best bet for the beat-the-heat drink are St. Lawrence’s seasonal versions. Past offerings include Pimm’s Cup and Peach Bellini versions. Grab a daiq (and maybe a plate of their excellent fried chicken) and be restored.
The Aquarium of the Americas (1 Canal Street)
An albino alligator. A scale replica of a Gulf sea oil rig, surrounded by 400,000 gallons of saltwater, sharks, endangered sea turtles and the occasional human diver. A touch pool where you can have a hands-on encounter with a live stingray. These are just a few of the attractions at The Aquarium of the Americas. It’s probably the only climate-controlled place where you can explore the aquatic life of the Mississippi, Caribbean, Amazon and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Theatres at Canal Place (333 Canal Street)
Just a few steps from the Aquarium of the Americas, on the third floor of the Shops at Canal Place, you’ll find this sleek, upscale movie theater. Featuring digital projection, comfy leather seats and a full food and drink menu, it strikes a happy medium between a gastropub and a film house. There are both elevated movie snacks (truffle or Parmesan-pepper popcorn, candy) and more substantial fare (hamburger sliders, a hummus trio plate). There’s no better place to take in that summer blockbuster with a side of luxury.
The Bombay Club (830 Conti Street)
Take the edge off with a classic martini and cool, free live jazz—there’s a different local act each night. Best of all, you don’t have to venture outside and brave the heat to experience The Bombay Club’s unique ambience—it’s actually attached to the Prince Conti Hotel’s back carriageway.
The Country Club (634 Louisa Street)
This destination requires you to venture outside the French Quarter (it’s about two miles from the Prince Conti Hotel), but it’s well worth the effort. The Bywater neighborhood standby is located in a lushly landscaped Italianate raised center-hall cottage. Enter through the breezy, fern-hung front porch to find a dining area and granite-topped bar. Beyond that lies a saltwater pool, cabana bar, hot tub, sauna and shower area accessible via a day pass, which ranges from $10 to $15. It’s the perfect place to while away a lazy afternoon. (P.S. If it’s raining, it’s happy hour at The Country Club.)
Psst…did you know there’s an inexpensive way to eat at more than 80 of New Orleans’ best fine dining destinations? It’s called Coolinary, and it takes place throughout August. Basically, restaurants offer steeply discounted fixed-price menus, which often include an entree, appetizer and drink or dessert for $39 or less. Two-course lunches are only $20. The idea is to attract locals to “be tourists in their own hometown” during what’s a traditionally slow time of year for restaurants. Keep an eye on the website, make a reservation and cool off with a hot bargain.