Best time to travel to New Orleans for great weather and fewer crowds (2023)

The Big Easy is just that: a laid-back, happy city where you'll find incredible food, great live music, and friendly locals any time of the year. And although there is no bad time for itNew OrleansDepending on your vacation schedule, there are more (and less) ideal travel times.

If you're planning on attending a major event - like Mardi Gras or the Jazz and Heritage Festival - plan well in advance to ensure you arrive on the dates advertised (and book a hotel room before they sell out). Also, travelers looking for perfect weather, fewer tourists, and travel deals will find that some months are preferable to others.

These are the best times to visit New Orleans for great weather, travel deals and more.

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Best time to visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras

Are you hoping to take part in one of the biggest celebrations of the year? To really be a part of all of thisKarneval-Party, you should plan to arrive the weekend before and stay until Shrove Tuesday. (In 2024, Carnival takes place on February 13, but that date could be anytime between early February and early March, depending on the year.) That's when you're sure to see the most popular parades, including Endymion, Orpheus, Bacchus, Zulu and Rex.

"New Orleans has music all year round, and then there are special Mardi Gras songs," says Branden Lewis, a Grammy-nominated trumpeter and member ofPreservation Hall Jazz Band, toldTravel + Leisure. "They embody the ritual of carnival every year."

As this is an extremely popular time to travel, plan ahead. Try to make hotel reservations up to a year in advance for cheaper room rates, and be prepared for expensive airline tickets. Note that many hotels in the French Quarter and Central Business District have a four-night minimum stay requirement. Since Mardi Gras is a public holiday, many popular attractions and restaurants also remain closed on the day — but you should be too busy dancing in the streets and collecting beads from the parades to think about it.

While Mardi Gras marks the culmination of the Carnival season, the celebrations actually begin long before that, on January 6th (or the twelfth night of Christmas). If you want to experience the carnival and watch the Krewes parade through the streets but avoid the madness and high prices of the carnival, go in January. You can still attend parades, masquerade balls and parties while enjoying fewer crowds and more hotel availability.

Best time to visit New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival

The birthplace of jazz thrives during this annual spring event, offering a variety of musical styles, cultural attractions and great food. It usually takes place towards the end of April, so the weather is appropriate for your trip, even if the prices are not.

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TheNew Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivalbegan in the 1970s as a celebration of the city's music and culture and has since grown into one of the biggest events of the year - remarkable in a city known for its parties. When it comes to Jazz and Heritage Fest, you want to get your plans started as soon as possible — some festival-goers book their reservations a year in advance. However, the festival does offer packages that include hotel accommodation and shuttle transport to the party and will help you securelower prices for rooms.

Best time to travel to New Orleans to avoid the crowds

Winter is the ideal time to avoid the crowds, get great deals on flights and hotels, and admire the festively decorated city. December and January are the coldest months, although they are still mild compared to the rest of the countrydaily highsAverages in the low 60's and daily lows in the 40's. Although New Orleans doesn't snow much, cold snaps still occur and temperatures have been known to drop below freezing. So check the weather forecast and pack accordingly before heading out.

The best time to visit New Orleans when the weather is great

If you want to avoid the most popular festivals and still enjoy good weather, there are two ideal times to go: the window after Mardi Gras and before Jazz Fest (usually between late February or early March and late). April) and in autumn between September and November.

Go in the spring if you're not too concerned about your budget. This is also the most popular time to visit, due to the idyllic weather and festivals at the docks most spring weekends, and you may have to expect higher flight and hotel prices. But New Orleans is amazing in the spring when the city comes alive as the days get warmer and the humidity is relatively low. You might even want to time your rideFrench Quarter Festival(usually mid to late April). This grand, free celebration of Louisiana music, food, and culture offers free tours of the French Quarter's beautiful homes and gardens.

Even in autumn you can enjoy beautiful weatheraverage daily highsin the mid 80's to low 70's. AlthoughHurricane Seasonin New Orleans poses a threat from June through November. Keep in mind that severe storms are rare. Barring major natural disasters, the months of October and November tend to have the lowest rainfall of the year - and the crowds of the spring-like season of festivals will long be over.


July and August are the hottest, wettest and rainiest months of the yearaverage daily highsMid 90's and chances of humidity hitting close to 100 percent any day. While air conditioning makes this bearable for some, it can literally put a damper on your trip. If you find that the heat and humidity are hampering your desire to get out and enjoy the city, avoid a summer trip.

From December to January, the heat subsides (average highs are 60°C) and so do the crowds. So if you're looking for a more relaxed trip, winter might be the best time to experience good weather and lower prices. Visit the city in December when it is decoratedholiday decorations, as inRoosevelt New Orleans, ein Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The busiest times to visit New Orleans

New Orleans has the largest influx of touristscarnivalAndJazz festival, which usually takes place on the weekends from February to early May. The dates for these events change every year. So plan ahead and check ahead of time if you want to avoid the crowds (tourist and local alike) that these busy festivals bring.

Other popular events that attract large crowds include:sugar bowlLate December or early January and Halloween in late October when hotels can fill up quickly.

The best times to visit New Orleans

If you can handle the heat, you're most likely to book a cheap trip to New Orleans during the summer months. Average hotel prices fall to their lowest point in August and average domestic airfares are among the cheapest of the year in July, August and September.

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This means that August is the best month to visit New Orleans for big discounts. Keep an eye out for discounted rates at exclusive hotels and summer deals, many of which include free extras like breakfast and free parking.

Throughout the month of August, travelers will also find that many restaurants (including NOLA institutions such as Commander's Palace, Arnaud's and Galatoire's) are also offering deals“COOLinary” fixed price offer: Multi-course breakfast options for $25 or less and dinner options for $45 or less.

Just be prepared for the intense summer weather. If you want to get a bargain with a trip to New Orleans in August, avoid outdoor activities in the middle of the day and look for air conditioning if possible. (Pack layers, too, since the A/C is set to meat locker level.)

If you can afford to wait until September, this may be the best time to go as you can still get great deals on flights and hotels, but the weather is more pleasant, with less rain and temperatures reaching into the high 80s climb.


Best time to travel to New Orleans for great weather and fewer crowds? ›

If you are looking for the best prices, mildest weather, and thinnest crowds, then October, January, and early spring are the best time to visit New Orleans. If you're prioritizing festivities over easy logistics and cost, consider visiting in February for Mardi Gras.

What months are New Orleans busy? ›

Peak Season: February - May

The most popular time to visit New Orleans is during the spring. The mild weather, combined with a number of special events make it a great time to vacation in the city. As far as special events, there is the Mardi Gras season, January through March.

What are the best days to go out in New Orleans? ›

If you're new to New Orleans and want to make the most of your time, visiting on a Monday-Thursday will give you optimal views of Jackson Square, plenty of space to explore the French Market, and a cozy ride along the streetcar. Make sure to take advantage of other attractions throughout the city as well.

What is the cheapest time to go to New Orleans? ›

The Cheapest Time to Visit New Orleans

While you can find affordability as soon as late June and into early September, July and August are by far the cheapest months to fly to and stay in NOLA. Even the city's priciest luxury hotels slash their rates to cushion their lower occupancy.

During what season is New Orleans rainiest? ›

The wetter season lasts 3.3 months, from June 2 to September 12, with a greater than 40% chance of a given day being a wet day. The month with the most wet days in New Orleans is July, with an average of 17.8 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.


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