Best Time to Go to New Orleans: Your Vacation Travel Guide

With huge events all year round, there’s never a terrible time to visit New Orleans!

From the rich history and stunning architecture to the culinary delights and huge festivals, New Orleans has something to offer for everyone. With that, deciding the best time of year to visit New Orleans can be quite a challenge.

If you’re looking for the best weather, the most budget-friendly times to visit, and fewer crowds, we have you covered. Certainly, there are several factors to consider when planning a trip such as schedules, budgets, and travel preferences. To help you save time, decide which factors are most important to meet your needs.

Ready to dive into the Big Easy? Stick with us, and we promise – you’ll know just when to pack your bags for New Orleans!

Bourbon Street balcony in New Orleans
View from the French Quarter in new orleans to Downtown

When Should I Visit New Orleans for the Best Weather?

With its pulsating energy, intoxicating music, tantalizing cuisine, and vibrant history, the Big Easy is an irresistible destination all year round. However, timing, as they say, is everything! Weather stands as a major contributor when deciding the best time to go to New Orleans.

Because of the cooler spring weather and huge festivities, February to May is the best time to visit. Average temperatures range from the low 70s to mid-80s. Mardi Gras or celebrations take over the city in February, March for the iconic Crescent City atmosphere, and April for the Heritage Festival.

However, please note that many sightseeing destinations tend to close because of the Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday celebrations, so if that is a priority, you may want to visit another time.

Related Post: Things to Do in New Orleans for Free – 18 Must-Try Activities

If you’re a fan of Southern American literature, the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is an annual five-day celebratory festival named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. We’ve heard that the “Stella!” shouting contest along with multiple panels and master classes will be back.

In addition, New Orleans hosts:

Early March is prime for a vacation in the city with so many cultural events. Note that because it’s such a popular time, hotel rates do rise significantly, so book several months to a year in advance. Luckily, the Big Easy boasts a wealth of lodging options prepared to accommodate you if you’re on the hunt for luxury or budget-conscious options.

Book these New Orleans hotels from Tripster to enjoy a memorable holiday that’s kind to your pocket.

VUE Rooftop Bar with black chairs and tables, one set with food, and a beautiful sunset over the river in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: VÜE Rooftop Bar -Claridge Hotel via Facebook

When is the Most Affordable Time to Visit New Orleans?

Planning on a budget? Understanding your travel funds could easily help decide the best time to travel to New Orleans. While this city can be more expensive during the Mardi Gras or Carnival season, summer through winter provides more affordability while traveling since this time period is considered the off-season. 

Due to the city’s subtropical climate, summer can be quite hot and humid, resulting in fewer out-of-town guests. This results in discount rates at hotels, and restaurants, as well as on flights during August and September. The city known for partying is relatively calmer during this time, so guests are bound to save money.

Related Post: Tour in New Orleans – Guide to Discount Tickets & Reviews

Summer specials at favorite local air conditioned eateries are quite common, allowing you to enjoy some of the city’s best food at discounted prices. Top and numerous destinations also provide special deals. And with fewer guests rushing to the Big Easy, hotel prices drop considerably, letting you enjoy high-end lodgings. You won’t have to make room reservations months in advance.

Summers in New Orleans also mean entertainment as the city showcases countless fun events including:

However, know that summer and fall do bring humidity and high temperatures, as well as hurricane season.

Close up of a large brunch with mimosas on a white clothed table and a trees with lights in the back ground at Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: The Court of Two Sisters via Facebook

When is the Best Time to Avoid Crowds?

The charm of New Orleans is undeniable any time of year, yet the best time to visit New Orleans if you want to dodge the masses and enjoy the city’ charm in peace, might be in the tranquil months of late fall and winter (except during Mardi Gras or before Ash Wednesday).

October, November, December, or January presents a great choice for fewer crowds. These are the best months to visit to find shorter lines and quieter streets.

Despite lesser crowds, there are many cultural and culinary events through the autumn season, including but not limited to:

What Time of Year is Ideal for Families?

Want to know what is the best time to visit New Orleans with the little ones?

As said, New Orleans becomes more serene and decorated for the holidays in Winter. This is perfect for families in search of good deals and cool New Orleans weather.

Visiting around December or January enables guests to skip larger crowds and higher hotel rates as average temperatures rest in the 60s. Plus, the Big Easy commemorates the holidays with Celebration in the Oaks, one of the many extravagant holiday lights festivals, and the annual Allstate Sugar Bowl for sports fans. These events offer a fun-filled experience for the whole family.

While Spring is a lively season in New Orleans as well. March, April, and May are particular favorites, offering moderately good weather and a plethora of family-friendly events. The Easter parades, in particular, offer delights for kids and adults alike. Witness the neighborhood processions, egg hunts, and mouth-watering Creole feasts that make this time of year so special.

Wide shot of an old building in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana
photo credit: Rosie Kerr via Facebook

When is the Perfect Time to Visit New Orleans?

Wrapping it up, you might be wondering, “When is the best time to visit New Orleans?” Determining the perfect time to explore the city largely depends on your personal preferences and interests. Whether it’s the climate, events, crowd size, or costs, each can significantly shape your New Orleans journey. And without a doubt, every changing season enhances the city’s unique charm and excitement.

If you want to get the best deals on hotels, restaurants, and flights, summer is the best time. Winter hosts the iconic Twelfth Night and the globally famed Mardi Gras, ensuring incredibly high energy across the city. You’ll also experience cooler weather and the beauty of the holiday lights and decor this time of the year.

Related Post: Walking Tours in New Orleans: Which One is the Best?

On the other hand, Spring ushers in major music events like the French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest, promising groovy rhythms and endless fun. Since Mardi Gras crowds have left, you won’t have to book months to a year in advance and you can experience New Orleans’ attractions interrupted.

Finally, there is Autumn – crisp and serene. The weather in Fall provides a sweet spot between the sweltering summer heat and humidity, and the influx of visitors during the winter or spring. It’s also the season for mouth-watering comfort food, including seafood gumbo and po’boys, making it a culinary explorer’s haven!

There’s no wrong time to visit New Orleans. The best time depends on what you’re seeking from your travel experience. Whether it’s the historic allure, the electrifying festivals, the financial savings, or the culinary delights, New Orleans has a season for everyone’s tastes.

When is Your Favorite Time to Visit New Orleans?

Do you have any tips, advice, or insight? Leave us a comment below!

Avatar photo

Written by Anne Joyce Raymundo

Anne is a Filipino writer who formerly managed and created marketing strategies and materials for numerous websites and eCommerce platforms. Now, her voice...

Have something to add? Post it here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you a Tripster?

Create an account to get access to exclusive pricing and rewards.

Tagged in this post

New Orleans Planning

Read more about

New Orleans