New Orleans is one of the many destinations that WHEN you go is almost as important as what you do and where you stay. The city of jazzy brunches and haunted cemeteries can get miserably hot and humid during peak summer months and terribly crowded during certain holidays and events. If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans you’ve come to the right place to start your research in discovering the BEST time to visit New Orleans!
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The Worst time to Visit New Orleans is Summer – June through August
I usually don’t start my “best time to visit” posts with the worst time to visit, but it seemed to make sense for New Orleans. Outside of the hot, sticky, humid months of summer that also just happen to coincide with the rainiest time of year, New Orleans is actually quite nice the remainder of the year. To put it simply, the summer months are just miserable…and that’s coming from someone who LOVES the heat. The humidity of this region during summer will make you cringe each time you have to leave the comfort of your air conditioned hotel. New Orleans is a city to be explored by foot so visiting during summer is almost setting yourself up for a vacation that turns into a hot mess.
Because of the high amount of rain and heat this time of year hotel rates will be low. I will usually deal with less than perfect weather conditions to snag a low price but New Orleans just isn’t one of those places. Do yourself a favor and visit the other 9 months out of the year so you can look back with fond memories of your trip rather than just the ugly memory of sluggishly making your way around the city with sweat dripping down your back and your hair slicked to your face…i.e. don’t expect any decent pictures.
The best time to visit New Orleans is Spring and Fall – March through April and October through November
Spring and Fall are absolutely the best time to visit New Orleans. Out of those seasons the best months to visit New Orleans are March through April and October through November. These months offer sunny weather with temps in the 70’s and low crowds (outside of big events). Like I mentioned earlier, New Orleans is a walking town whether that be strolling from art gallery to art gallery, wandering the French Quarter, bar hopping on Bourbon, or restaurant sampling and boutique shopping along Magazine street. This time of year offers the perfect weather for strolling and being comfortable.
I also really enjoy Spring and Fall in New Orleans because you can choose to visit during one of the many events and have a more lively experience or specifically choose a time when nothing is going on so you can have a more quaint and calm experience.
If snagging a good hotel deal is important October and November will be the best time to visit New Orleans. There are more events in the Spring which raises hotel rates.
Experience New Orleans and NewOrleans.com list all events taking place in the city. The biggest events to note in Spring are the French Quarter Festival in April, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience in May, and Jazz Fest sometime in April or May.
Fall sees two popular events, New Orleans Film Festival and Voodoo Experience, in October.
The next best time to go to New Orleans is Winter – December through February
If you prefer cooler temperatures in the 60’s this is the best time to go to New Orleans. Hotel rates will also be lower compared to Spring and Fall. Consider visiting during the Christmas season. New Orleans was actually listed as one of the 23 Best Places to Spend Christmas in 2018 by CN Traveler. The ancient oak trees of City Park don hundreds of thousands of lights making the park glow with festive flare. Christmas Eve is an experience to remember as giant bonfires are lit from Baton Rouge to New Orleans along the Mississippi river to light the way for Papa Noel.
Outside of the obvious Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, Mardi Gras is the next big event. Mardi Gras, or Carnival, season starts January 6thand runs through the day of Mardi Gras. Book your hotels months if not an entire year in advance during this season. Also be aware of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
You now know the best time to visit New Orleans...so start booking your tours and activities!
Are you a frequent visitor of NOLA? When do you think is the BEST time to visit New Orleans? Let me know in the comments below!
See my other BEST TIME TO VISIT posts!
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