When Is the Best Time to Visit New Orleans?
We might be a little biased, but in our opinion, New Orleans is worth visiting year-round! There’s always something to do no matter the season, with indoor and outdoor activities to keep you occupied rain or shine.
Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip to New Orleans, like Mardi Gras, hurricane season, and the climate. We cover all the must-know information about the best time to visit New Orleans so you can plan your trip with ease!
Best Time to Go to New Orleans: February to May
February to May is the best time to visit New Orleans. Festivals like Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival are in full swing, not to mention the weather is typically on its best behavior. You can expect clear skies, lower humidity, and temperatures ranging from 65 to 84 degrees at the highest.
Spring is the ideal season to tour a plantation, enjoy a walking tour in cooler weather, or venture into one of the swamps near the city. The lush oak trees and bright flowers around the city come to life in New Orleans’ parks and gardens. Be sure to take a stroll through City Park to enjoy the changing seasons.
Social butterflies will love visiting New Orleans between February and May. This is peak season for travelers to the city, so you’ll be bumping elbows with locals and visitors from out of state. If you love to party, you’re sure to enjoy the active nightlife scene.
What About Mardi Gras?
You might be wondering why the hotels are so expensive in February. One of the most important considerations for visiting New Orleans between February and May is Mardi Gras. Although the exact time frame varies from year to year, the festival typically falls in February, with weeks of celebrations and events that draw thousands of visitors to the city. Because of this, it can be almost impossible to reserve a hotel, and you’ll probably notice more expensive flights and bookings, as well as long lines at popular restaurants.
If you’re planning to visit the city for Mardi Gras, be sure to make all your reservations as far in advance as possible! Get the details on the 2022 festivities here.
If Mardi Gras isn’t your thing, but you still want to enjoy New Orleans during the spring, plan to visit during April or May when the city is a little less hectic.
Summer Off-Season: June to September
As the heat settles over New Orleans between June and September, the city becomes a lot less crowded. If you’re hoping to score a great hotel deal and enjoy the city during a quieter season, visit New Orleans between June and September. Just keep in mind that the Crescent City gets hot, typically above 90 degrees daily (and that’s before you factor in the humidity!). But if you don’t mind the heat, the summer is a fantastic time to avoid the crowds and save some money.
To make the most of your steamy visit to New Orleans, go sightseeing in the morning before the sun is at its highest, and save the indoor activities for the afternoon and evening. You can even ride the streetcars to avoid a strenuous walk. There are so many fun things to do in the blissfully air conditioned indoors, like visiting the city’s top museums, enjoying a refreshing local beer, or indulging in a long lunch of classic Louisiana dishes.
When Is Hurricane Season in New Orleans?
Many visitors to the city are concerned about hurricane season in New Orleans. While it technically starts in June, the height of hurricane season falls between August and September, something to keep in mind when booking your summer trip to the city. Keep an eye on the weather report and consult resources like NOLA Ready for additional hurricane information.
Autumn Shoulder Season: October to January
Fall in New Orleans is beautiful, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, cool breezes, and less rain. It’s the perfect season to dine outdoors, catch live music in the park, or visit an attraction. And there are many fun festivals as well! The shoulder season has cheaper rates for hotels and flights, so you can stretch your budget by visiting between October and January. Plus, it’s easy to find free things to do throughout the city.
New Orleans’ biggest claim to fame in autumn is Halloween. Trust us, you haven’t celebrated Halloween until you’ve seen how the NOLA locals do it. They don’t call it the most haunted city in America for nothing! Pack your best costume and prepare for parades, ghost tours, and spine-chilling fun. From voodoo events to cemetery visits, there’s so much to do during Halloween.
Planning a visit to New Orleans during the holiday season? Christmas in the Crescent City is absolutely magical, with caroling, holiday lights, and other annual traditions you don’t want to miss.
There’s no bad time to visit New Orleans. Whether you join us during peak season or wait until winter, you’re sure to fall in love with this distinctive city. Find things to do year-round.