Accessibility Tools

The Absolute Best Time to Visit New Orleans

|
Absolute Best Time to Visit New Orleans

If you are looking for a fun place to go and visit, you have probably thought about spending time in New Orleans. The bayou is a beautiful place to visit but the different seasons certainly bring different weather and things to do. Before you book your ideal vacation rental home in the Crescent City, think carefully about when you and your family should visit.

It is one of the most colorful and eccentric cities in the south of the USA, but when is the best time to go? The city is most famous for voodoo music and Mardi Gras, but there is a lot more to experience and explore throughout the year.

So, let’s learn more about some of the top perks of visiting New Orleans, and find the best time of year for your visit!

Visiting the City for Mardi Gras

Photo Credit: victimofcensorship via Instagram

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to take advantage of the Mardi Gras festivities. If you want to experience Mardi Gras, then you want to visit between February and May.

The Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans are unlike anything else, and for many, this is the perfect party getaway. The actual day of the biggest Mardi Gras celebration is usually at the end of February or early March, but it can be expensive to book a place to stay during this time. You’ll also want to plan in advance as things tend to sell out quicker during this time of the year.

The Tourist Fluctuations in New Orleans

After you’ve decided if you’re flexible on visiting during Mardi Gras or not, you need to think about the tourism fluctuations in New Orleans. Typically, spring is going to be the busiest time of year in the Big Easy. The Carnival, which is the name of the Mardi Gras celebration, lasts for several weeks before and after the actual date of Mardi Gras.

In general, New Orleans tends to get a bit quiet during the summer. It can get very hot and humid, so a lot of people like to stay away from New Orleans. Furthermore, many people are nervous about dangerous weather if they visit during the summer months as it’s hurricane season.

Even though the weather will be hot and humid during the summer, there is still plenty to do in New Orleans. You simply need to make sure you put on some sunscreen and stay hydrated during your visit. If you don’t mind the heat, you might be able to get a good deal on a hotel room or vacation apartment.

New Orleans by Season

Most travel guides will advise you to visit during springtime, but we think every season is worth considering.

Summer in New Orleans: What To Know

If you are brave, you may want to visit New Orleans during the summer. Even though this is the cheapest time to visit and you can save a lot of money if you visit during the summer, it will be extremely hot.

The top benefits of visiting New Orleans in the summer include:

  • Fewer crowds
  • Lower prices
  • Less wait time at attractions and restaurants

July and August are the hottest months in New Orleans. The average temperature during the summer in New Orleans is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit which can make sightseeing tough. June and September are a bit cooler, but not by much.

Tip: use the Charles Line of streetcars during summer as they are more modern and have air conditioning.

Visiting New Orleans During the Fall: What To Know

If you visit New Orleans during the fall, get ready to experience something a bit different. Fall arguably has the best weather with temperatures typically in the 70s and 80s.

Keep in mind that there are still hurricanes during the early months of the fall season, so be sure to keep an eye on the weather. It’s possible to predict hurricanes several months in advance, but if you have already booked a trip, you need to think carefully about whether you’d want to reschedule.

You should plan your trip in the fall to:

  • Take advantage of great weather
  • Fewer crowds
  • Partake in historical celebrations

Because the temperature has dropped a bit, New Orleans is absolutely beautiful during the fall and is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities. Lots of people love to come and watch the leaves change colors, and there are plenty of cultural events that take place that make the city truly something special.

There are lots of festivals that typically happen during the fall, so be sure to take a look at the calendar to see if there is something cool going on.

Winter in New Orleans: What To Know

If you are looking for a way to escape the cold weather in the middle of winter, you may want to come to New Orleans. Between November and January, the average temperature in New Orleans is typically in the 60s.

This is a really great time to visit because:

  • Fewer crowds
  • An escape from colder places
  • Seasonal attractions and events

If you are looking for something truly magical to experience, then you should visit New Orleans during Christmas. The entire city is decorated, and you will be treated to some amazing light shows. Hotel rates are also typically cheaper than in spring and fall.

You may want to take a look at the city calendar to see if there is anything special going on during the holiday season before you decide to visit. The New Orleans Film Festival takes place in November and is a must for film fans visiting at the time.

Visiting New Orleans During the Spring: What To Know

If you decide to visit New Orleans during springtime, be ready for some large crowds. Some of the biggest festivals of the year take place in New Orleans during the spring. Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival take place during the spring.

Therefore, spring is probably the best time to visit New Orleans if you really want to get a feel for the city, but lots of other people will have the same idea. Therefore, you should be ready to brave the crowds. Early spring does have slightly fewer tourists compared to later in the month, but it’ll still be chaotic.

Visiting New Orleans in the spring is right for you if:

  • You want to celebrate Mardi Gras
  • You enjoy vibrant celebrations
  • You don’t mind setting a bigger budget for your trip

It is not unusual for hotel prices to rocket during the spring months, and plane tickets can get very expensive as well. If you want to guarantee yourself a place to stay, you will need to book your accommodation as much as a year in advance.

Even though there are a lot of fun festivals that take place during the spring, there are plenty of locations throughout the city that will be closed down because Mardi Gras is simply far too busy. If you want to see all the sights in New Orleans, you may want to come outside of Mardi Gras.

That way, you guarantee that things will be open, and it will be easier for you to get in without having to stand in line for several hours. If you visit during the Mardi Gras months, be prepared for that to dominate your trip.

Highlights in New Orleans By Month

New Orleans is a year-round destination and there are plenty of highlights during every month of the year. Here’s what you can expect from each month.

January

Photo Credit: juliecakess710 via Instagram

If you decide to visit New Orleans in January, the biggest event is going to be the Sugar Bowl. It is a college football playoff game that takes place every year, and tickets are exceedingly hard to come by. Even if you are unable to go to the game, or if you do not have any interest in going to the game, you should expect to see sports bars packed all over the city.

February

Photo Credit: isabella504 via Instagram

In February, the highlight of New Orleans is the Lunar New Year. There’s typically a three-day celebration put on In February, the highlight of New Orleans is the Lunar New Year. There’s typically a three-day celebration put on by the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church to celebrate Asian Heritage. There are lots of food, games, and dragon dances that take place during February to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Ash Wednesday is also usually in February — be sure to receive a blessing if you’re there during that time.

March

Photo Credit: hagamoselequipaje via Instagram

Of course, March is when people are getting ready for Mardi Gras. Even though there will be plenty of Mardi Gras celebrations, you should not miss the New Orleans Bourbon Festival. This is a festival that will take you back to the time of speakeasies. There are plenty of sessions to attend, plus lots of tastings are available. There are also plenty of burlesque shows that take place throughout the city.

April

Photo Credit: freretstreetfestival via Instagram

If yIf you want to see as many festivals as possible, then April is probably the best time of year to show up. On the first Saturday of April, the Freret Street Festival takes place. Then, the French Quarter Festival takes place during April as well. Of course, do not forget to check out the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. All of these festivals will treat you to some delicious food, amazing music, and immerse you in the culture of the city.

May

Photo Credit: riverbeatsnola via Instagram

A lot of people like to visit New Orleans during May because the weather is so beautiful. You may want to check out the Bayou Boogaloo. If you decide to attend this festival, the proceeds will go to a charitable cause. May is also when National Shrimp Day takes place. If you love New Orleans and Cajun food, you should plan on attending the festival in May.

June

Photo Credit: nolaoysterfest via Instagram

June is also a great time of year to visit New Orleans. June is when the annual oyster festival takes place. You can try oysters raw, fried, and chargrill. Typically, these festivals also have plenty of arts and crafts vendors where you can get a nice souvenir. New Orleans is also home to one of the best Pride parades in the city, so you should plan on attending the parade if you decide to visit during June.

July

Photo Credit: clayton harrison

During July, New Orleans has one of the biggest Independence Daycelebrations in the country. Regardless of whether you are in Jackson Square, Algiers Point, or Crescent Park, you can see some amazing fireworks celebrations. Typically, the celebration lasts the entire weekend, and there are some major performers who come to New Orleans for a July 4th celebration as well. Diana Ross and Prince have performed in the past. Thunderstorms are common during this time of year and the city suffers from high humidity, so be sure to plan plenty of indoor activities to mitigate this.

August

Photo Credit: offbeatmagazine via Instagram

If you decide to visit during the height of the summer heat, there are lots of celebrations that take place. One of the biggest events is the Satchmo Summerfest. This is a festival that has been entirely designed to celebrate the life of Louis Armstrong. It takes place during the first weekend in August, and it is a celebration that lasts 3 days. Some of the best performers in the world will come to New Orleans in August to participate in the celebration.

September

Photo Credit: old77_hotel via Instagram

In September, the weather starts to cool off, and Restaurant Week takes place. This is important for those who love food because it is an opportunity for you to enjoy a significant discount on food prices at some of New Orleans best restaurants. There is also a major Irish Festival that takes place in New Orleans during September. Therefore, you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy some delicious food and amazing celebrations.

October

Photo Credit: missclaudiasvintage via Instagram

In October, New Orleans has one of the biggest Oktoberfests in the country. This means that you can get in touch with your German roots, enjoy some Bavarian pretzels, and taste some of the best beer in the country. There is also an annual Blues & BBQ Festival that takes place in New Orleans during October. You may want to take a closer look at the calendar to see if there are special events going on during Halloween.

November

Photo Credit: nola_blondie via Instagram

November is a great time of year to visit New Orleans if you want to learn more about some of the Caribbean countries that are just off the coast. There are lots of celebrations in November that focus on Caribbean culture, and there is even a giant parade that will shut down Canal Street. You may also want to swing by Oak Street, where you can try some of the best po-boy sandwiches in the city.

Late November can also be a great time to do a swamp tour as the grass is much shorter and you’ll have a better chance of spotting deer and migratory birds such as bald eagles.

December

Photo Credit: louziane via Instagram

Of course, December is home to the holiday season. There are plenty of holiday-themed decorations in the city, and all of the historic oak trees are decorated with beautiful Christmas lights. There are also plenty of bonfires that take place throughout the city, so you will certainly have your fill of partying.

Celebration in the Oaks runs through December and is a must-see for visitors to the city. This light festival takes place in City Park and has been one of the top family-friendly activities since it launched in the 1980s.

Enjoy Your Visit To New Orleans, Louisiana

NOLA is one of the most exciting cities in America, and as you can see, there are fun events happening throughout the year. This is a city that is known for Bourbon Street, the crowds during live music festivals, its Creole food, and its amazing jazz fest. Fat Tuesday is one of the top times to visit the city, but this city on the Mississippi River town is fun throughout the entire year.

The best time of the year to visit New Orleans will be based on what you want to do in the city and how much you’d like to spend on your trip, so what are considered the best months will differ from person to person.

Regardless of when you decide to visit, you can expect to have a culture and arts experience like no other. Don’t forget to try a few beignets and crawfish dishes during your visit. You’re going to love them!


Latest Articles

Last-Minute Father’s Day Adventures In NOLA

Forgot to plan something special for Father’s Day? Don’t fret! In New Orleans, spontaneity is jus…

Feast Your Way Through NOLA: A Foodie’s Guide To New Orleans

Whether you’re a first-timer in the Crescent City or a seasoned visitor, take your taste buds on …

The Ultimate Guide to Summer in New Orleans

Welcome to New Orleans, where summer isn’t just a season, but a celebration of life, food, music,…