Out + About

Where to chill when the mer­cury soars

Where New Orleans - - CONTENTS -

Cool ways to beat the Au­gust heat, from mu­seum must-sees and guided beer tours to deep din­ing sav­ings and the deep end of the pool.

Come on, it’s Au­gust in New Orleans; what did you ex­pect? A quick Google search shows the av­er­age lo­cal tem­per­a­ture for the month to hover around the mid 90s … with the oc­ca­sional spike here and there. It only feels like it’s 108 de­grees. Sure, you could hole up all day in a dark-lit Bour­bon Street bar—as many do—but there are lots of cool al­ter­na­tives to keep you

ac­tive and air-con­di­tioned at the same time.

PUB­LIC POOLS A dip in the pool al­ways helps to lower body temps. Don’t have one at your ho­tel? Dive in at The Coun­try Club (p. 24), where a mere $15 pro­vides all-day ac­cess. For just a few bucks more, the rooftop pool at the Ace Ho­tel is all yours, while $20 at the W French Quar­ter se­cures a place pool­side (Fri.-Sun.), along with two cock­tails. Splashy ca­bana rentals are of­fered at both the Roo­sevelt and Le Méri­dien ho­tels.

MU­SE­UMS Au­gust is New Orleans Mu­seum Month, mak­ing it an ideal time to ex­plore the city’s var­i­ous cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions; pur­chase mem­ber­ship to one, and visit other par­tic­i­pat­ing venues for free all month. Among the must-sees are

“Con­struct­ing the Break,” a group ex­hibit of re­gional artists at the Con­tem­po­rary Arts Cen­ter (p. 40), “Chang­ing Course: Re­flec­tions on New Orleans His­to­ries” at the New Orleans Mu­seum of Art (p. 41, which also of­fers free film screen­ings Aug. 11 and 25 at 2 pm) and the Og­den Mu­seum of South­ern Art’s (p. 41) an­nual “Louisiana Con­tem­po­rary” ju­ried ex­hibit.

RESTAU­RANTS Au­gust also brings COOLi­nary menus of prix-fixe spe­cials at area restau­rants (cooli­narynewor­leans.com). Never eaten at Com­man­der’s Palace? Here’s your chance. Bar­gain-hun­gry din­ers should also check out the Tem­per­a­ture Lunch menu at Palace Café (p. 22), priced at the pre­vi­ous day’s high (92 de­grees = $9.20), and Bay­ona’s (p. 19) 28th An­niver­sary Lunch (Wed.Fri.), fea­tur­ing three cour­ses for $28 … and 28-cent mar­ti­nis.

THE SHOPS AT CANAL PLACE Re­mem­ber when the lo­cal mall was the sum­mer­time go-to? It still is, just kicked way, way up a notch. While away a few hours in the mar­ble-floored Shops at Canal Place (p. 31) try­ing on work­out wear at lu­l­ule­mon, scout­ing out Saks Fifth Av­enue and ogling glit­tery gew­gaws at Tif­fany & Co. Then as­cend to the third-floor, state-of-the-art movie theater for an old-fash­ioned Hol­ly­wood es­cape, re­plete with cock­tails.

AUDUBON AQUAR­IUM Big-screen fans will also want to set­tle in for a show at the nearby Audubon Aquar­ium (p. 36), where the En­tergy Giant Screen Theater is in­cluded in ad­mis­sion. Out­side are a num­ber of splash pads to help quell the heat, while in­side you’ll dis­cover “Washed Ashore,” an ex­hibit of fan­tas­ti­cal sea crea­ture sculp­tures cre­ated from plas­tic pol­lu­tion gath­ered from West Coast beaches—a per­fect com­ple­ment to the aquar­ium’s Aug. 16 Sum­mer of Sus­tain­abil­ity seafood din­ner spot­light­ing lead­ing lo­cal chefs.

BREW­ERY TOURS Over the past few years Cres­cent City craft brew­ing has seen a sub­stan­tial up­swing, with close to a dozen brew­eries now in op­er­a­tion. To help vis­i­tors tap into the lo­cal suds scene, the NOLA Brew Bus (no­labrew­bus.com), New Orleans Brews Cruise (p. 39) and New Orleans Brew­ery Tours (pre­mi­um­tour­sand­trans­porta­tion.com) have got­ten rolling. Though they dif­fer slightly, all of­fer at least three brew­ery stops with free sam­ples at each.

CHURCHES The Big Easy’s well-earned rep­u­ta­tion as a bas­tion of de­bauch­ery might ex­plain its vast num­ber of places of wor­ship, many of which are also ar­chi­tec­tural wonders. St. Louis Cathe­dral (p. 38) is the city’s most vis­ited, but it’s St. Mary’s, ad­ja­cent to the Old Ur­su­line Con­vent (p. 38), that re­ally wows with its cof­fered ceil­ing. Just off Mag­a­zine Street, the side-by-side Ital­ianate St. Alphon­sus and Ger­man Baroque St. Mary’s As­sump­tion com­pete for over-the-top or­nate­ness, while Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion, a Moor­ish-in­spired struc­ture built by Je­suits across from the Roo­sevelt Ho­tel, melds Chris­tian, Jewish and Is­lamic in­flu­ences and features wrought-iron pews. Now, how cool is that?

“Con­struct­ing the Break”

W Ho­tel

Audubon Aquar­ium

Palace Café

The Shops at Canal Place

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