While there’s a welcome quietness about New Orleans in the summer months, the fall marks the return of the city’s famous buzz. With the weather finally tolerable, it seems city life has awakened from a heat-induced lull to welcome droves of tourists, Halloween celebrations, seasonal menus and outdoor dining and activities. While not deemed the city’s official festival season, autumn brings its own brand of fun with spooky events, music and food festivals, football and plenty of seasonal deals. However you choose to let loose, New Orleans has just what you need to fill up this fall’s weekends. 


Arts, Culture & Shopping 

Vintage Market Days of Southeast Louisiana 

Vintage Market Days was first established in Oklahoma in 2012 as a space for vendors to showcase and share their unique products and talents. Now a decade later, Vintage Market Days has expanded to over 60 franchises spread across 26 states, including Southeast Louisiana. This upscale vintage market takes place at Florida Parishes Arena in Amite City where over 90 carefully curated vendors offer vintage, antique and handmade artisans and one-of-a-kind finds. 

This October 14-16, Vintage Market Days of SE Louisiana will host its “Harvest Ball” event – a weekend filled with shopping, food, music and seasonal celebration. Attendees can browse original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home decór, consumable yummies, seasonable plantings and more. 

To learn more about Vintage Market Days of SE Louisiana and purchase tickets to the Harvest Ball, visit vintagemarketdays.com/market/se-louisiana

New Orleans Ballet Association 

The New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) is the Central Gulf region’s premier presenting and service organization dedicated to the art of dance. NOBA’s Main Stage season features a diverse array of internationally acclaimed companies and artists, while its nationally recognized education programs offer accessible, inclusive, and quality arts programs. With support from agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts, NOBA provides over 5,500 tuition-free classes and workshops annually at up to 20 sites throughout Greater New Orleans. 

On Oct. 22, 2022, NOBA begins its season with Kyiv City Ballet. Amid a greater struggle, the exemplary dancers of Ukraine’s Kyiv City Ballet are a “voice of resistance”, says National Geographic, on the global stage, bringing light and joy in the darkness to audiences worldwide. The season continues with Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE, the return Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the acrobatic MOMIX dance company with their interpretation of Alice in Wonderland and concludes with the national company from the country of Georgia, the State Ballet of Georgia, accompanied by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets are on sale now, and season subscription packages are available and offer substantial discounts.

For more information about NOBA programming, class schedules, and performances, please visit nobadance.com

New Orleans Opera 

New Orleans Opera is 80 this year! Honoring opera’s longstanding presence in New Orleans culture, the New Orleans Opera is dedicated to enhancing lives through exceptional performances and deepening the community’s understanding of the art. 

Planning and producing four showcase performances each year, the New Orleans Opera highlights the most exceptional and influential works. Audiences can experience authentic performances sung in their original language along with English translations. Using traditional and innovative educational opportunities, the New Orleans Opera offers lectures, free performances available to students and special events aimed to increase awareness of opera and introduce new works to the region.

Enhance life by discovering the beauty of the opera. To learn more about the New Orleans Opera and to access the event schedule, visit neworleansopera.org. 

“Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition” presented by The Helis Foundation

Experience the South’s leading rotating outdoor public sculpture exhibition in the heart of Downtown New Orleans. Featuring 16 sculptures by renowned regional and international artists along Poydras Street from Convention Center Boulevard to S. Claiborne Avenue. A collaboration between The Helis Foundation, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and The City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways, Poydras Corridor has been home to more than 40 sculptures since 2013.

The exhibition is part of a range of arts initiatives presented by The Helis Foundation that are free and open to the public, including Unframed and Art for All.

Learn more about Poydras Corridor and other arts programming at thehelisfoundation.org.

Festivals 

Rougarou Fest

This October, plan a trip to the Bayou to attend Houma’s annual Rougarou Fest. Taking place October 21-23 this free, spooky, family-friendly festival celebrates Southeast Louisiana’s rich culture through live music, art, food and countless other cultural activities. With all proceeds going to the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, attendees can have fun while supporting a non-profit increasing awareness about Louisiana’s disappearing coast. 

Known nationwide for its cultural vibrancy, live music, food and fun, Rougarou Fest has ranked as one of USA Today’s Top Ten Costume Parties in 2014 and Festival of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Association in 2020. This year’s festival will take place in its new location around the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center giving the event a spooky swamp atmosphere complete with cypress trees and live wetlands exhibit.

To learn more about Rougarou Fest, visit rougaroufest.org or call 985-580-7289. 

The Village of Baytowne Wharf & Sandestin Wine Festival

The Village of Baytowne Wharf and Sandestin Wine Festival will kick off the holiday season with its 10th Annual Sparkling Wine and Holiday Lights event on Saturday, November 19, 4 – 6 p.m.

Pop the bubbly! The Sparkling Wine and Holiday Lights event is the perfect way to kick off a festive holiday season. Thrilled to be hosting the 10th annual celebration, The Village of Baytowne Wharf welcomes visitors from across the Gulf South and beyond to stroll and sip champagne and sparkling wines while savoring delicious and decadent appetizers. Enjoy the charming sights of the decorated streets and end the night with The Village’s spectacular choreographed grand finale light show, 12 Nights of Lights.

Sparkling Wine and Holiday Lights takes place on the beautiful, festive streets of Baytowne Wharf and features more than 30 champagnes and sumptuous food samplings from featured Village restaurants. Enjoy an enchanting evening of holiday cheer, singing carolers, plenty of bubbles, and impressive, shimmering lights. Learn more and purchase tickets at baytownesparklingwinefest.com.

Dining

Briquette

Welcome to fall—with our Shaken Up NOLA Craft Cocktail classes with lunch & brunch—with delicious food and wine shared together at Briquette, the celebrated seafood destination from restaurateur Anna Tusa, Owner of New Orleans Creole Cookery. With Briquette, Tusa puts seafood and contemporary coastal cuisine at the center of the dining experience. Briquette is known locally for its enthusiasm for high quality, often hard-to-find wines and spirits and recently won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its discerning, expansive wine list.

Learn how Briquette’s award-winning cocktails are made with Shaken Up NOLA Craft Cocktail Classes. The two hour experience includes craft cocktail tutorials, a history of each drink and recipe cards to take home. To explore all fall events, visit Briquette’s Facebook page. 

Briquette is excited to announce its new Fall Hours open Wednesday – Monday, 5 – 9 p.m., including post-game Happy Hour following all Saints Games. Guests can enjoy a variety of small plates, discounted cocktails and beer. Briquette is located at 701 S. Peters Street in the Warehouse District. Book your table today by calling the restaurant at 504-302-7496 or via OpenTable. 

New Orleans Creole Cookery 

Fall is officially here, which means enjoying its weather in the beautiful French Quarter courtyard at New Orleans Creole Cookery. Owner Anna Tusa, also known for modern coastal eatery Briquette, presents diners a menu featuring classic New Orleans flavors in a fresh, reimagined space. Embodying the culture of Southern Hospitality, Tusa pairs great service with innovative food to provide guests an unforgettable experience.

Savor the cooler weather in New Orleans Creole Cookery’s courtyard and treat yourself to New Orleans classics like Jambalaya, Crawfish Étoufée and Shrimp Creole. Experience Game Day specials at the Oyster Bar & Courtyard Bar for all college games on Saturday and all NFL games on Sunday. Guests can enjoy specials including discounted oysters and appetizers.

Get a taste of the city’s world-famous food at New Orleans Creole Cookery, located at 508 Toulouse Street. For more information, reservations, or to book a private event, call the restaurant at 504-524-9632 or visit neworleanscreolecookery.com

Get out of Town 

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort 

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort continues to redefine the VIP experience. In addition to over 800 slots and 36 table games, enjoy the Orchid Room where the property has redefined the high-limit gaming experience. The space features private gaming, personal televisions, top of the line slot machines and amenities that you cannot find anywhere else on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Gulf Coast players can book the ultimate staycation at the Scarlet Pearl’s 300-room modern hotel. With breathtaking design, superior service and bathrooms that feel more like a spa, they have taken the definition of luxury into the clouds. 

Scarlet and E.I.P. members of the Pearl Rewards loyalty program have access to the VIP Lounge, which offers three unique upscale experiences. Sip a deliciously curated cocktail at the gravity-defying, full-service bar and tantalize your taste buds with delectable light fare cuisine and scrumptious desserts in the dining area. E.I.P. guests can take a break from the action in the plush Parlor.

Book your next stay at scarletpearlcasino.com or call 888-BOOK-SPC. 

Big Bay Lake

Big Bay Lake is a one-of-a-kind planned community on one of Mississippi’s largest private recreational lakes. Located just outside of Hattiesburg, and only 90 minutes from New Orleans, Big Bay Lake blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Waterfront homesites are available, starting at $85,000, for building custom homes and retreats and several resale homes are usually available for immediate purchase. Both the homes and homesites within this community provide unique opportunities to create the perfect home or weekend getaway.

It’s time to relax, unplug, make memories and create new traditions at Big Bay Lake. Whether you are a boating or fishing enthusiast or just a family who loves to make a big splash, Big Bay Lake is simply about the lure of the water. Come enjoy sun-kissed, fun-filled days and star filled nights at Big Bay Lake, where the little things make life…“Big!”

Call for a boat tour today at 877-4BIG-BAY, or visit bigbaylake.com.

Premier Island Management Group 

Fall getaways to Pensacola Beach, Florida and the properties of Premier Island Management Group provide an idyllic setting for making memories and celebrating life’s milestones. Located only a few hours outside of New Orleans, this collection of vacation rentals includes beach homes, condos, and the acclaimed skyhomes of the Portofino Island Resort—Northwest Florida’s most well-known beach destination. Whether you’re looking for some time away from work and school or prefer to pack it all in during your stay, there’s a property here that will serve as your ideal family home away from home. 

Adventures await you around every corner—whether it’s exploring new surroundings via kayak or paddleboard trips through the sound, surfing or parasailing under amazing skies or watching dolphins frolic from the deck of the cruise boat. More than just another getaway, this will be the one your family remembers forever. Discover yours today. Call 866-935-7741 or visit premierisland.com.

St. Joseph Plantation & Felicity Plantation 

Visit two homes on one property that have remained a thriving sugarcane farm for over 135 years. Learn about the sugarcane industry and its regional significance at St Joseph and Felicity Plantations. Learn about H. H. Richardson of the Priestly family, who was born at St. Joseph and became one of America’s most important 19th century architects. Explore the story of Valcour Aime, known as “The Louis XIV of Louisiana,” and his two daughters, Felicite and Josephine, to whom he gave St. Joseph Plantation and neighboring Felicity Plantation. Discover the stories of the enslaved that lived here and the work they did. 

Additionally, see where scenes from All The King’s Men, Skeleton Key, 12 Years a Slave, Underground, Queen Sugar, the remake of Roots, and four-time Oscar nominee Mudbound were filmed. 

This Oct. 1 through Nov. 3, experience St. Joseph Plantation’s annual Mourning Tour. Dressed in full deep mourning, the house features 18th and 19th century Creole customs and rituals including live reenactments Oct. 15 – 16 and 29 – 30. Explore St. Joseph Plantation, and Felicity Plantation (by phone appointment only). Visit stjosephplantation.com or call 225-265-4078.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel

Unlike regular beachfront hotels cluttered together along the coast, The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel is a unique destination on the Alabama Gulf Coast with nature at its doorstep. Located within the beautiful 6,150-acre Gulf State Park, The Lodge at Gulf State Park provides refreshing accommodations with direct beachfront access, four dining options, 40,000 square feet of flexible event space and miles of beach trails with the pristine coastal scenery of this natural wildlife habitat. During your stay, you’ll connect with the outdoors on a whole new level. And in doing so, you’ll be helping in the hotel’s conservation efforts to restore and maintain the beauty of this truly distinctive property.

Each of the 350 non-smoking guest rooms, including 20 suites, weave comfort and sustainability with a contemporary flair. All rooms bring the outdoors in by providing guests views of either The Gulf of Mexico or Lake Shelby/Gulf State Park. At The Lodge at Gulf State Park, doing nothing is really something. Book your fall or winter getaway today by visiting lodgeatgulfstatepark.com.

Visit South Walton

With 26 miles of stunning sugar-white sand beaches and 16 unique beach neighborhoods, South Walton offers endless opportunities for visitors to find their perfect beach. Nestled on the Northwest Florida Panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico, South Walton is easily accessible from the New Orleans area,making it the ideal destination for a weekend getaway or an extended stay.

 In South Walton, luxury accommodations, outdoor adventure, eclectic shops, art galleries, and award-winning dining options (200-plus restaurants) are part of the distinctive character and relaxing atmosphere. Vast nature preserves create a relaxed respite not often found in similar destinations, offering adventure-seekers more than 200 miles of hiking and biking trails, four state parks, a 15,000-acre state forest and 15 rare coastal dune lakes.

 An upscale, yet casual spot to unwind, South Walton is an ideal place to create lasting memories during any time of year. Plan your perfect getaway at visitsouthwalton.com.