Are you considering a trip to New Orleans? Get pumped up since this southern city has many enjoyable activities, interesting sites, and events to attend all year long.
The Big Easy is renowned for its delectable cuisine, vibrant music and arts scene, and rich cultural past, communicated through the region’s architecture, events, and language.
Knowing the ideal time to visit New Orleans is the first step in making the most of your trip there.
You’ll discover the best time to visit New Orleans based on your travel objectives. Whether it’s experiencing the most economical New Orleans escape, being in the center of the Mardi Gras festivities, or going when the city is least crowded and most laid-back.
Please find it in this concise travel guide, which includes advice for your trip and the least desirable times to go to New Orleans.
1. Best Time to go to New Orleans
Depending on your travel goals, there is no one perfect time of year to visit New Orleans. The ideal time to visit New Orleans is from November through December.
The city is decorated with holiday decorations, the weather is mild enough for most visitors, and there aren’t many people around, so travel and lodging are more affordable.
Continue reading for more suggestions on how to plan the ideal trip, as well as details on the climate, the seasons in New Orleans, and momentous occasions and festivals.
1.1. The Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras Season
Do you intend to participate in one of the year’s most significant events? Plan to visit and stay the weekend before Mardi Gras to experience the festivities.
Schedule ahead of time because this is a time of year when people want to travel more than usual. To get cheaper hotel rates, try making bookings up to a year in advance, but be ready to pay expensive airfare.
Remember that many French Quarter and Central Business District hotels require a minimum four-night stay.
The day of Mardi Gras will also see many well-known sites and eateries close because it is a public holiday, but you should be too busy dancing in the streets and gathering beads from the parades to notice.
If you want to participate in Carnival and see krewes parade through the streets but don’t want to cope with the mayhem and expensive cost of Mardi Gras, go in January.
Even though fewer people are around, and more hotel rooms are available, you may still attend parades, masquerade balls, and parties.
2. Month-by-Month, the Best Time to Visit New Orleans
One of the numerous places you go is almost as important as what you do and where you stay in New Orleans.
During the height of the summer, the city of jazzy brunches and eerie graves may become excruciatingly hot and muggy, as well as packed during particular holidays and events.
If you’re considering going to New Orleans, you’ve come to the right place to find the best time to go there.
2.1. New Orleans in January
Visit the Sugar Bowl, the yearly college football championship game, on January 1.
If you can’t make it to the Dome for the game, you may still attend a neighborhood watch party at a sports bar downtown! From inside, you’ll witness fans swarming downtown.
You may witness the annual Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc marches downtown on January 6, Joan of Arc’s birthday.
During Mardi Gras, the first king cake of the season is served after the walking parade, which features a procession through the French Quarter with a medieval theme!
The start of the Mardi Gras season is officially marked by Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, which falls on January 6!
The first king cake of the season will be served at gatherings and local offices.
The Phunny Phorty Phellows, who announce the start of the Carnival Countdown at the ideal time to visit New Orleans, may be seen on the St. Charles Streetcar.
2.2. New Orleans in February
Attending church or paying a visit to St. Augustine Church is the best way to begin your commemoration of Black History Month in February.
Historically, the black people of Treme used this as a place of worship. After that, go to one of the numerous black-owned restaurants nearby!
Keep an eye out for the three-day Tet and Vietnamese heritage celebrations at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church.
Everyone is invited to take in delicious Vietnamese cuisine, live music, fun activities, dragon dances, and fireworks!
2.3. New Orleans in March
Seasonal snowball stalls and businesses return in the spring, beginning in March.
Locals are fiercely devoted to the favored stands that have become pillars of the community. When visiting places like Hansen’s and Plum Street Snowballs, bring cash in and sample the many flavors they offer!
The New Orleans Bourbon Festival is a yearly custom-evoking speakeasy from the 1920s, which you should check out.
You can go to grand tastings, bourbon-matching dinners, burlesque performances, and discussions on subjects like Bourbon History!
Of course, the Buku Music & Art Project must not be overlooked. EDM, hip-hop, and indie rock musicians come together for a music festival in a club or house party setting.
The most significant time to visit New Orleans is during this festival at Mardi Gras World, where previous artists have included Tyler the Creator, Glass Animals, and Megan the Stallion.
2.4. New Orleans in April
Because of the abundance of festivals, April is considered the best month to visit New Orleans.
First, go to the Freret Street Festival on the first Saturday in April. This event in Uptown honors neighborhood businesses, live music, and famous dishes, and it’s the ideal way to welcome spring in New Orleans.
The French Quarter Festival is held in one of New Orleans’ most adored areas.
From Woldenberg Park to Jackson Square, you may enjoy the local arts, delectable cuisine, and live music!
Then attend Jazz Fest, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Only Mardi Gras can rival this festival for its ability to draw large numbers of people from around the globe. On 14 stages, live music will be performed throughout two weekends.
2.5. New Orleans in May
Many people believe May is the ideal month to visit New Orleans simply because of the weather.
The Bayou Boogaloo is another option, and all earnings go back into the neighborhood of Bayou Saint John! Enjoy family-friendly activities, regional cuisine, and artisanal sellers!
On May 10, National Shrimp Day, New Orleans’ seafood is at its finest. A frozen margarita on May 5 is possible at a local restaurant like Casa Borrega!
If you’re looking for a family getaway, Mom would undoubtedly enjoy being surprised with a Mother’s Day weekend brunch in New Orleans!
2.6. New Orleans in June
You may anticipate amazing things from the annual Oyster Festival in New Orleans because the city’s cuisine is well-known.
Enjoy them chargrilled, fried, or raw while listening to live music and browsing the arts and crafts vendors!
Given that New Orleans has been named one of the friendliest cities, June also marks the beginning of one of the best pride parades in the United States!
Prepare your appetite for Black Restaurant Week at the end of June. You can visit and eat at some of the top black-owned restaurants in the area, all of which offer unique menus and discounts!
2.7. New Orleans in July
To celebrate Independence Day, which is observed in July, gather your loved ones together to enjoy the fireworks display.
Crescent Park, Algiers Point, and Jackson Square offer incredible views. Check out some of New Orleans’ most excellent locations or host your barbeque!
Then attend the essence Fest, one of the largest festivals in the Big Easy every year!
Celebrate Black music, health, food, beauty, and culture over three days with panel discussions and celebrity attendees! Previous performers included Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, and Prince.
Visit the Arts & Warehouse District for the yearly Running of the Bulls to honor the Spanish influence that permeates all of New Orleans! You’ll flee from the New Orleans Roller Derby Girls rather than actual bulls!
2.8. New Orleans in August
The best time to travel to New Orleans is during Satchmo Summerfest, a celebration of the life of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, born and raised in the Big Easy.
The three-day event features numerous live performances, regional cuisine, and seminars about the great trumpeter over the first weekend in August.
Then attend Southern Decadence, New Orleans’ most extraordinary LGBTQ celebration. Six days of festivities are held in the French Quarter.
Enjoy parties, parades, and fancy dress this Labor Day weekend!
Wear your best red dress to the Red Dress Run after that. The second Saturday of every month marks a treasured Big Easy tradition where runners and walkers take part in assisting neighborhood charities.
2.9. New Orleans in September
If you’re a foodie, September is the ideal month to visit New Orleans! In addition to colder temperatures, September also ushers in Restaurant Week, which runs from September 9 to 15. Restaurants that offer prix-fixe dinners offer 25% off of usual prices!
While Irish Fest is observed in New Orleans in September, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in March. This celebration of Irish culture spans two stages and fairgrounds and features arts, dance, music, food, and crafts!
Every year from September 24-27, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society hosts “Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner,” a birthday party and literary festival in honor of William Faulkner.
2.10. New Orleans in October
Visit the Deutsches Haus of New Orleans for Oktoberfest throughout October! Enjoy traditional fare like sauerbraten, sauerkraut, Bavarian pretzels, and, of course, beer!
Memphis is renowned for its blues and barbecue, but the annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is far superior. Enjoy a lineup of great brass bands, blues, and gospel performers while shopping from over 20 local BBQ vendors.
Over the Halloween weekend, the Voodoo Arts & Music Experience will feature more cuisine and musical genres.
The New Orleans Film Festival solidifies New Orleans’ status as the Hollywood of the South with more than 200 films from nearly 120 nations.
During the week-long event, go to the screenings in addition to the exclusive parties, events, and panels!
The Mac n Cheese Fest, Beignet Festival, Gentilly Fest, Treme Fall Fest, Praise Fest New Orleans, and many other events are also worth checking out. Don’t forget to tour some of New Orleans’ most eerie hotels!
2.11. New Orleans in November
You may go to the Bayou Bacchanal the first weekend in November, undoubtedly the most fantastic time to visit New Orleans!
While the parade closes down Canal Street, you may enjoy cuisine and music from many Caribbean countries as the Crescent City celebrates Caribbean culture!
Every year, 35 different vendors turn Oak Street into a PO-boy paradise!
Who creates the best PO-boy in the Big Easy is up to you to decide! Then take in the New Orleans trinity of brass bands, beads, and gumbo at the Treme Creole Gumbo Fest!
2.12. New Orleans in December
With a rush of Christmas festivities, the holidays are the most fantastic time to visit New Orleans!
The season begins with the Krewe of Jingle parade! Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Mr. Bingle, Rudolph, and more make an appearance!
Then take pleasure in the Celebration in the Oaks for the remainder of the month.
You can go for a romantic stroll in the evening at City Park, where holiday-themed decorations illuminate the old oak trees. Afterward, please proceed to the Mississippi River levees for the Christmas Eve bonfires, which Santa and his reindeer use to light their route!
3. The Best Weather to Visit New Orleans
There are two prime seasons to visit if you want to skip the busiest festivals while still getting great weather: after Mardi Gras, before Jazz Fest, and in the fall, between September and November.
If your budget is not a significant factor, travel in the spring. Because this is also the most popular time to travel, and because of the pleasant weather and festivals scheduled for most weekends during spring, you might pay more for a flight or a hotel.
The city comes to life as the days grow warmer and the humidity is relatively low, making New Orleans in the spring a beautiful time to visit.
The weather will also be friendly, with daily highs often ranging from the mid-80s to the low 70s in the fall. Although there is a risk of hurricanes in New Orleans from June to November, be aware that powerful storms are uncommon.
3.1. The Best Time to Go to New Orleans to Avoid the Crowds
The winter months are the best for seeing the city decked out in cheery Christmas decorations, avoiding crowds, and finding great prices on flights and hotels.
Although quite warm compared to the rest of the country, December and January are the coldest months, with daily highs averaging in the low 60s and daily lows in the 40s.
While it doesn’t frequently snow in New Orleans, cold spells sometimes occur, and temperatures have been known to drop below freezing, so check predictions and pack accordingly before going.
4. Final Thoughts
You may be sure that you will have a great time in New Orleans if there is one thing you can bank on.
However, because it is in the Deep South of the United States, the temperature there can be anything from mildly comfortable to bitterly chilly and muggy.
It’s crucial to be aware of the regular weather patterns in New Orleans so you can choose the ideal season to travel there.
The best times to go sightseeing are early spring and late fall. March through April and October through November, specifically.
Winter will bring cheaper rates and fewer crowds than other seasons, such as the holidays and Mardi Gras. Even though it’s cool, the temperatures, which often range from the 40s to the 60s, are not what I would term “winter weather.”
If you don’t intend to spend the entire summer indoors, avoid it like the plague. This time of year, the humidity and heat are awful.
A journey to New Orleans is something everyone should experience at least once, whether it’s to sample the Big Easy’s culinary staples, see live music, explore the city’s incredible architecture and history, or take in Louisiana’s distinctive landscapes and animals.