4th of July is just around the corner… have you made your plans yet? We’re a city full of celebration, so of course we start the party early when it comes to America’s birthday. In addition to Fourth of July celebrations, New Orleans also features an event on the third of July, plus, of course, there’s ESSENCE Fest all weekend long.

With the festivities happening over a long holiday weekend, you can guarantee it will come with all the typical French Quarter fanfare. Here’s the scoop on what to see and do during 4th of July weekend 2016 in New Orleans:

New Orleans' annual 4th of July fireworks display is consistently rated one of the best in the country. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

New Orleans’ annual 4th of July fireworks display is consistently rated one of the best in the country. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Go 4th on the River

Every year, New Orleans goes all out with a fireworks display that begins at 9:00pm on Monday, July 4th and usually lasts 15-20 minutes. The annual fireworks show has consistently been rated as one of the best fireworks displays in the country.

You can walk from our doors down to the riverfront and view a spectacular fireworks display launched from dueling barges on the Mississippi River. It can be viewed from either side of the river. For optimal viewing on the French Quarter side, head to Woldenberg Park in between Spanish Plaza and the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf. To view the fireworks with the stunning New Orleans skyline in the background, hop on the Canal Street Ferry and find a spot along the levee in Algiers Point! This is truly a spectacular event, not to be missed.

Craving something closer still? We’ve got you covered. You can make reservations on the Creole Queen paddlewheeler to enjoy a 4th of July river cruise, and watch as the fireworks go off above you. It’ll be a memorable Fourth for sure!

Visiting New Orleans for Independence Day with your family in tow? The Audubon Institute’s Zoo, Aquarium, IMAX Theater, Butterfly Garden and Insectarium will all be open on Monday, July 4, plus they are offering discounts during the holiday weekend on two favorite downtown attractions, the Aquarium of the Americas at Woldenberg Park and the Audubon Insectarium on Canal Street. From Thursday, June 30 through Sunday, July 3, 2016 enjoy a special offer of $4 off any single adult or child admission with this coupon!

ESSENCE Fest

Fireworks aren’t limited to the literal kind in New Orleans. Head to ESSENCE Festival from July 1-3, 2016 to see high-octane, sparkling performances from national acts like Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy, Maxwell, Faith Evans, and Kendrick Lamar, plus speakers who include supermodel Tyra Banks and ballerina Misty Copeland. Held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, ESSENCE Festival is close to our hotel. You can also beat the heat at the ‘Dome – it’s fully enclosed, features Wi-Fi, and is crisp and cool thanks to constant air conditioning!

Celebrate the 4th of July like New Orleans locals do, on the banks of Bayou St. John. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Infrogmation.)

Celebrate the 4th of July like New Orleans locals do, on the banks of Bayou St. John. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Infrogmation.)

Patriotic Family Fun in Mid-City

Meanwhile in Mid-city, the New Orleans City Park hosts a patriotic pre-party featuring the Marine Corps Band and fireworks. The Happy 3rd of July event is free and open to the public, and perfect for relaxing with the whole family. Bring a picnic basket and blanket, or purchase concessions, snoballs, wine or beer, which will be available on-site. The event lasts from 7:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

In the same neighborhood, visitors can experience 4th of July in New Orleans the local’s way, as The Krewe of Kolossos hosts their fifth annual July 4th Flotilla on Bayou St. John. Think of it as a mid-summer aquatic Mardi Gras parade, with patriotic-themed boats and the crowning of Carnival-style “royalty.” The event takes place near the corner of Dumaine Street and Moss Street, beginning at 5:00 p.m. and lasting until sunset.

To get to either event from our hotel, you can take the scenic route and hop on a Canal Street streetcar (our concierge can help direct you).

Celebrate America’s Birthday At Hotel Monteleone

There is plenty to explore, right outside our doors. You can spend the rest of your 4th of July weekend visiting many of the family-friendly attractions found nearby in the French Quarter, or enjoy a cocktail and some live music at our very own Carousel Bar.

What are you waiting for? Book your room at our historic French Quarter hotel today!