No pool at your hotel? No need to get all hot and bothered about it. There are a number of cool venues around the city that offer summertime visitors welcome relief from New Orleans’ trademark heat and humidity.
In the Bywater neighborhood, The Country Club has served as a popular destination for Crescent City sun seekers for more than four decades. Recently renovated, both indoors and out, the sophisticated space draws big weekend crowds with its wildly popular drag brunch and lushly landscaped saltwater pool. Public access is offered daily, from 10 am to 1 am, for $15, along with great poolside dining.
For just $5 (Mon.-Thur.; $20, Fri.-Sun.) you can spend the entire day sunning and swimming on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel. Great city views are coupled with cool cocktails (like the frozen Eternal Summer, made with honeysuckle vodka, fresh-squeezed OJ and coconut) and summery small plates (Gulf fish tacos, vegan dogs on pretzel buns) from its Alto bar and restaurant.
At the elegant Windsor Court Hotel, $30 ($15 children) secures a place poolside Mon. Thur. ($50/$20, weekends). The 65-foot salt-water facility is surrounded by 10,000 square feet of decking with a cocktail bar and four flat-screen TVs. Double your pleasure with a treatment at the hotel’s award-winning spa, which includes pool access.
Splashy cabana rentals are offered at the ritzy Roosevelt Hotel’s newly revamped rooftop pool ($200, Mon.-Thur.; $400, Fri.-Sun.) Accommodating up to eight people, cabanas come with a pool attendant, bottled water and fresh fruit.
Hipness happens at the retro-cool Drifter Hotel, where you can dive in for $5 Mon.-Fri. ($15 Sat.-Sun.). Grab a frozen concoction from the bar and a bite from one of the visiting food trucks and...drift away.
Traveling with children? Head for the Audubon Zoo, where the animal-themed Cool Zoo splash park brings a bit of the beach to the heart of the city. Water-spitting snakes, spider monkey soakers, lion-head water cannons; the big attraction is a giant alligator slide that dumps 400 gallons of water at regular intervals. Up the cool quotient even further at the adjacent Gator Run, where live elephants look on as kids tube around the 750-ft. “lazy river” ride.