Planning a trip to New Orleans is a definite must on any traveller’s list. From discovering and delving into the massive cultural heritage of the city, experiencing the wide array of festivals held throughout the year, to being part of the Mardi Gras festivities. You are bound to fall in love with New Orleans over and over again.
As any traveller knows, any good trip starts with one decision: When is the best time to go? If you are unsure of the answer, you might risk ruining a potentially life-changing experience.
With all that New Orleans has to offer, the most important factor to consider is what would be the best time of year to plan your trip. Getting drenched during the rainy season or dripping sweat in the middle of summer can be quite anti-climactic. Planning when exactly to take your trip to the Big Easy is crucial.
Getting the most out of your experience relies heavily on a number of different elements (pun intended). Using this guide, you can rest assured that you will choose the best possible time of year to take your trip to New Orleans. Follow our definitive guide for the best times to visit the city, and you will be able to tie in all the possible things that will make your trip amazing.
Best Time to Go to New Orleans
If you were to ask anyone who has visited New Orleans, located on the southern coast of the USA, they would undoubtedly tell you that there are two things to keep in mind when deciding which time of year to take your trip.
Firstly, the weather, and secondly, the purpose of your trip. Weather always has a great impact on any planned trip so taking the predicted conditions into account will serve any traveller well.
Quick Tip: Certain events, festivals, tours, and attractions are only held or are only available during certain times of the year, regardless of the weather.
New Orleans might be known as the Big Easy, but with an increasing number of things to do either during the daytime or at night, there will always be new reasons to head to this amazing city.
Here’s a round-up of what the weather patterns look like for New Orleans.
If you have ever planned a trip basically anywhere, you are already aware that the weather of your destination can have an incredible impact on your entire trip. This is true for New Orleans as well. So let’s take a look at the seasonal choices you have when visiting New Orleans.
First Place – Spring
Doing a quick Google search will reveal that springtime in New Orleans is the be-all and end-all of times to visit the Big Easy. Planning your trip anytime between February and June will guarantee that you are met with ideal conditions to fit in as many activities as you can.
Because New Orleans is known for its many outdoor festivals, parties, and attractions, choosing to plan your trip for February, March, and April to late May is the perfect choice to really take in all that there is. These months are commonly the peak months to visit the city for many tourists.
Spring takes the first prize for many reasons. During this time of year, the weather allows for warm sunny days that aren’t too hot or humid, and taking advantage of this, New Orleans truly comes alive during these months. Due to the change in climate starting in late February you can look forward to a number of unique treats that only New Orleans can offer.
Second Place – Winter
Although people do not commonly associate New Orleans with winter, the months of October, November, December, and January hold many gems for eager travellers. You would be forgiven for thinking that cooler weather and rainy, cloudy skies put a stop to any of the great aspects of the city.
In actuality, these months bring many benefits to any traveller’s to-do list. The most obvious one is the change from warm, hot days to slightly cooler weather. Along with slightly cooler weather, the start of winter also kicks off with the driest month, which is October. If you aren’t a fan of rainy or stormy weather, then October is the perfect time to visit.
Winter in New Orleans brings with it drops in prices due to the general public assuming that the city goes into hibernation.
However, the local festivities and attractions remain open and cater to all, resulting in a bargain travellers paradise. During the winter months of New Orleans, you will be treated to a wide range of food festivals, among other highlights. These highlights, especially during October and November, include Halloween.
Quick Tip: Halloween in New Orleans is seen as a must-do, so planning your trip for this period might be perfect.
The second big thing to keep in mind is that more often than not certain attractions and activities go beyond weather patterns. In a city like New Orleans, it is easy to get the feeling that if the locals aren’t phased by the weather, then neither should you as a traveller be.
Once you see the value there is in what New Orleans offers your trip, planning becomes a bit (maybe a lot) more experience-focused, and in this city that is good news. Some months of the year, however, are more set up for those looking for unforgettable times.
Quick Tip: Months like October and February are known for being stuffed with most festivals and events listed on the calendar.
If you are drawn to festivals (from music and films to food, and everything in between) then anytime is a good time to be in New Orleans. But, if you are a bit more discerning about how you spend your time, making plans to get to New Orleans for one of the major festivals held in the city could be right up your alley.
Of course, the first festival that comes to mind when thinking of the Big Easy is the globally known Mardi Gras festival. Forming part of what is known as ‘Carnival’, it takes place annually either in late February or early March.
Carnival stretches over a period of weeks so booking your trip for this time of year is always a great choice. The main event of Carnival draws thousands every year. Come rain or shine, Mardi Gras is always a great time.
Some of the must visit festivals beyond Carnival include:
- The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival
- The New Orleans Film Festival
- Voodoo Music & Arts Experience
New Orleans loves Halloween, so if you like a bit of thrill and a few scares, visiting the city over Halloween definitely counts as one of the best times to plan your trip.
Attractions At The Top Of The List
Founded in 1712, New Orleans also boasts a deep cultural heritage, and a handful of sites located around the city draw crowds all year round. When you visit the city you will find yourself immersed in many local traditions, events, and tours that are all based on the history of the city.
Although these attractions remain open all year, it comes down to the most enjoyable time to visit them. For some, going during the winter means lower numbers of travellers and a price dive; also factoring in the temperature drop might add to your fun. And keep in mind that most winter days in the city are at their lowest around 80°F.
On the other hand, for those of you who love a packed itinerary, the peak months would be ideal.
Quick Tip: Booking your accommodation, travel, and tour tickets well in advance will ensure you have the best experience.
It might get a bit hotter most days, but nothing an umbrella (which you’ll find plenty of) and a cool cocktail drink (which there are just as many of) can’t fix.
Final Thoughts on When is the Best Time to Go to New Orleans
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of things, taking everything into account, the best time to visit New Orleans would seemingly be during the peak months. Ranging from February to May, you are sure to get the most out of both the weather and the experience of visiting this city.
During these months, all of the major festivals take place, and attractions and tours are ideal due to the easy weather and the local flavor of the city that really takes on life. There is no reason why you should not choose the spring months to visit New Orleans.
However choosing any of the winter months is also sure to fulfill all your New Orleans wants and needs. These months offer bargain prices while delivering the same level of great festivals and events.
Combining ideal weather and all of what the city has to offer, planning your trip regardless of what time of year, New Orleans will deliver a perfect trip. Book your trip to New Orleans immediately.