New Orleans   Travel Guide

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best time to visit new orleans 2024

Best Times To Visit New Orleans

The best time to visit New Orleans is from February to May when the weather is comfortably cool and the celebrations are in full swing. If you're not interested in Mardi Gras mania, plan to visit in December or January, when the city is calm and you don't have to worry about making hotel reservations a year in advance. To save on room rates, travel in the summer or fall. Just note that these seasons are known for their stifling heat and humidity, not to mention the threat of hurricanes – making travel insurance  a worthy investment for those traveling to New Orleans during this time.

Weather in New Orleans

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

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Popular Times to Visit New Orleans

Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.

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Best Times to Visit New Orleans for Great Weather and Smaller Crowds

There's no real "bad" time to visit the Big Easy, but here's when to go if you want to beat the heat, avoid the crowds, or snag a great deal.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

The Big Easy is just that: an easygoing, jovial city where you'll find incredible food, fantastic live music, and friendly locals any time of year. While there's really no bad time to go to New Orleans, there are times that are better (and worse), depending on your vacation agenda.

If you're aiming to catch a major event — Mardi Gras or the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, for instance — you'll have to plan far ahead to make sure you arrive within the specific dates, and book a hotel room before they're all sold out. Travelers seeking perfect weather, fewer tourists, and travel bargains will also find some months preferable to others.

  • High season: February through May
  • Shoulder season: September through January
  • Low seasons: June through August

Here’s what you need to know about the best times to visit New Orleans.

Best Times to Visit New Orleans for Smaller Crowds

New Orleans sees the greatest influx of visitors for major cultural events such as Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which happen on weekends from February to early May.

Plan your trip to New Orleans well in advance if you want to avoid the crowds — made up of tourists and locals alike — that come with these high-traffic, family-friendly festivals. In general, though, the sweet spots tend to be between late February (or early March, depending on when Mardi Gras is) and late April, or in the fall.

December and January are also good times to visit New Orleans if you’re looking to score solid deals on flights and hotels, experience the city with fewer crowds, and see it decked out for the festive season. The weather is relatively mild and it’s a wonderful place to celebrate the holidays or New Year’s Eve if you’re looking for a timely reason to go.

Best Times to Visit New Orleans for Good Weather

New Orleans in spring is marvelous. Humidity is relatively low and the city comes alive as the days get warmer. Try to time your trip with the French Quarter Festival in mid-April, a massive celebration of Louisiana music, food, and culture that features free tours of the neighborhood’s beautiful homes and gardens.

The weather can also be pleasant in the fall, with average temperatures falling between the mid 60s and high 70s. Although hurricane season poses a threat from June through November, severe storms are rare. Barring any major natural disasters, October and November typically see the lowest rainfall of the year — and the crowds of the festival-packed spring season will be long gone.

July and August are the hottest, muggiest, and rainiest months of the year, with average highs of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity typically over 80 percent. While air conditioning can make this more bearable, if you think the heat and humidity will hinder your desire to get out and enjoy the city, avoid a trip during the summer.

Winter is cooler with average highs in the low 60s and lows dipping into the upper 40s in January. And while snow is rare in New Orleans, cold snaps do occur and temperatures have been known to drop below freezing.

Best Times to Visit New Orleans for Lower Prices

If you can bear the heat, summertime is when you'll save money on a New Orleans vacation. Hotel rates tend to drop in August — perfect if you want to book a stay at one of New Orleans's best hotels — while average domestic flight prices are especially affordable from July through September. Be on the lookout for slashed rates at high-end hotels and check for summer specials, many of which include free extras like breakfast and parking.

In August, many restaurants — including NOLA institutions like Commander's Palace, Arnaud's, and Galatoire's — offer Coolinary prix-fixe deals: multicourse lunch, brunch and dinner specials for $50 or less.

Just be prepared for the intense summer weather: Avoid outdoor activities midday and seek out air conditioning whenever you can. Pack layers, too, as most air conditioners are cranked to meat locker levels.

If you can wait until September, that may be the best possible time to go, as you can still get good deals on flights and hotels but you'll have more enjoyable weather, with less rain and temperatures topping out in the 80s.

Winter is also a good time to save — not counting the holidays in December and Mardi Gras in February — as prices tend to be lower during this part of the shoulder season.

Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras

Hoping to participate in one of the biggest celebrations of the year? To really partake in all the Mardi Gras revelry , arrive the weekend before and stay through Fat Tuesday (which can fall any time between early February and early March, depending on the year). That's when you'll catch the most popular parades, including Endymion, Orpheus, Bacchus, Zulu, and Rex.

Needless to say, this is an extremely popular time to visit, so plan ahead. Reserve your hotel room a year in advance for more reasonable rates, and expect pricey airfares. Many hotels in the French Quarter and Central Business District require a four-night minimum stay, and because Mardi Gras is a public holiday, many attractions and restaurants will be closed. But you should be too busy dancing in the streets and collecting beads from parades to mind.

While Fat Tuesday is the culmination of the season, the celebrations actually begin long before, on January 6 (the Twelfth Night of Christmas). If you'd like to experience Carnival and see krewes parading through the streets, but want to avoid the madness and inflated prices of Mardi Gras, go in January. You can still catch masquerade balls and parties while enjoying thinner crowds and more hotel availability.

Best Time to Visit for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The birthplace of jazz positively shines during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival , which features a lineup highlighting different musical styles, cultural attractions, and good food. The festivities usually take place around the end of April, so the weather will be fair for your trip, even if the prices aren’t. Definitely plan ahead for this one (rooms can fill up quickly), and check the website for hotel deals and packages.

Worst Times to Visit New Orleans

Unless you want to join the hordes of revelers and jazz fans celebrating Mardi Gras or the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, avoid visiting on weekends from February to early May. Other than that, the most popular annual events linked to large crowds include the Allstate Sugar Bowl — a beloved college football championship game that’s typically held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day — and Halloween, with events taking place throughout late October.

If you're someone who can't stand humidity — or you don't want to worry about the possibility of encountering a hurricane — pass on a summer trip to the Big Easy, when the heat can be particularly intense.

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Time your trip right: the best time to visit New Orleans

Mar 13, 2023 • 6 min read

Dancing Man dancing to music on a street corner in the French Quarter.

Honestly, there isn't a bad time to visit New Orleans; festivals fill the calendar year-round © Kris Davidson / Lonely Planet

The best time to visit New Orleans is whenever you're feeling like you need to add some fun and random beautiful chaos to your life, because this city manufactures good times in overdrive. Good times aside, you probably want to arrive at the fun factory when the weather is pleasant. 

When it comes to New Orleans climate, there are basically two seasons: summer and not-summer. Summer lasts from May until October but can rear its muggy head at any time of the year: 80°F (26°C) days in the middle of a 50°F (10°C) week in winter are definitely a thing. Keep in mind that most of summer also overlaps with hurricane season, which has its own climatic footnotes. Meanwhile, "not-summer" (October to April) can include a surprisingly chilly winter, bracketed by a roughly two-month long, gorgeous spring on the one end, and an autumn that lasts maybe three days on the other (we’re exaggerating, but only just).

But "best time to visit" is not just a question of climate. There are other major concerns when visiting New Orleans, namely: what festivals are happening, and how many formal opportunities will exist for overindulgence? Spoiler alert: something will be happening, and yes, you can always have too much of a good thing. Read on to find out how, and more importantly, when.

Marching band, Mardi Gras, New Orleans

January to mid-March: It’s Carnival Tiiiiiime

The above is the hook for Al Johnson’s masterpiece Carnival Time , which was recorded in 1960 and, some six decades later, remains the definitive Mardi Gras banger (OK, yes, it shares the title with Professor Longhair’s Go To the Mardi Gras ). If you're from outside Louisiana you might think Mardi Gras is a one-day party, but you'd be mistaken. While Mardi Gras  French for Fat Tuesday – is just the one Tuesday, it caps off the whole  Carnival season, which lasts from Twelfth Night/The Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) until the day before Ash Wednesday. That latter date is set by the Catholic liturgical calendar – you can get a list of upcoming Mardi Gras dates here , but the holiday always hits in February or early March.

Carnival begins with the streetcar procession of the Phunny Phorty Phellows , and then continues to grow in fever-dream fantasy, with parades like the science fiction-themed Chewbacchus , and culminates in the five days before Mardi Gras, when everything in the city shuts down, everyone throws on a costume and the greater New Orleans metro area becomes an explosion of glitter, costuming and king cake .

Which is all to say: Carnival season is a ton of fun. If you’re coming from up north, the weather will almost certainly be warmer than what you’re used to, although the high humidity of South Louisiana makes the chill of 50°F (10°C) feel a lot more bitter than you’d expect – on the flip side, 70°F (21°C) or warmer days are certainly not unknown. Rates for everything, of course, are high – and you’ll want to make any sort of bookings, be it for accommodation or dining, well in advance.

A group of musicians play at the Fritzel Jazz Club in the French Quarter during a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 19, 2023

Mid-March to May for the best festivals 

Lent begins the day after Mardi Gras , but big communal celebrations are decidedly not on the list of things New Orleans gives up. Spring in the city heralds festival season, marked by two big-name events: the French Quarter Festival (which is free!) and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (ie, Jazzfest), and sprinkled by several smaller parties. The weather approaches chef’s kiss perfection at this time; Louisiana spring is sort of like the golden days of early summer in many other parts of the country. 

Are room rates high? Definitely, and anything that can be booked should be done so well in advance. But in return, you’re getting good weather and great live music around the clock, and the city just feels like it’s in a good mood. In addition, on the last weekend of April, Lafayette in Louisiana, some 140 miles west of New Orleans, hosts Festival International de Louisiane, a rollicking free festival that celebrates Francophone music and heritage.

The summer slog of high heat and humidity settles in around mid-May, but prices don’t drop until after Memorial Day weekend.

A large group of women, some wearing helmets with horns hold up red plastic bats while wearing roller skates during the annual Running of the Bulls in New Orleans.

June to September means summer heat and hurricanes  

Summer in New Orleans is, to be frank, interminably long and pretty miserable. Temps regularly hit the 90s (32°C), but high humidity means the real feel is often in the triple digits. It can feel hard to breathe, and being outside for longer than 30 minutes means dealing with copious amounts of sweat. The main relief comes from thunderstorms: the humidity swells and swells until it gets swept away by a dramatic storm. On top of everything, hurricane season starts, and while it technically lasts from June through November, peak hurricane time in South Louisiana is August and September.

Why visit at this time? Well, it’s as cheap as New Orleans gets. Waitstaff and hospitality workers tend to seem a little friendlier, a nod of respect to those who come here during the swelter. And there are parties, like the chichi White Linen Night, and the more down-to-earth Dirty Linen Night (both art gallery extravaganzas).

There's also the New Orleans Running of the Bulls (featuring roller derby skaters), the  Essence Music Festival , Satchmo Summerfest , and Southern Decadence (the city's most energetic LGBTQIA+ festival) takes place over Labor Day weekend. You’re a lot more likely to rub shoulders with a local during a show and there is a sweaty romance in the air on those long, sticky summer nights. Then, in September, New Orleans usually experiences a "false fall" (we just call it "Fallse") when temps drop to 70°F (21°C) before the heat comes raging back for a few more weeks.

Halloween decorations in New Orleans

October to December for the best of fall, with Halloween and Christmas 

There is no wishful thinking like the Louisiana family that hangs an autumnal wreath come late September, when the real feel still regularly tops 100 degrees (38°C). Still, by October the hellish heat gets broken up with cooler days, "cooler" here meaning 80-ish degrees (26°C). It’s not unusual for the air-con to be switched on on Halloween day, although sometimes Spooky Season in the Crescent City is decently temperate.

Either way, Halloween is fun in New Orleans, a time when costuming and silliness and defiant celebration manifests itself after the looong summer. Rates go up Halloween weekend but drop again in November, itself a generally quiet month and an excellent time for exploring the city free of the trifecta of heat, hurricane threats and high season rates. Indeed, if you’re into just having a (relatively) quiet New Orleans experience of strolling and admiring historical buildings, November is tough to beat.

Christmas is big in New Orleans, and while the weather will often top 70 degrees (21°C), there are days that drop into the 50s (10°C) and 40s (4°C), which feels cold in that humid air. December in New Orleans is all about hitting up holiday parties and celebrations, and while rates climb back up in anticipation of Carnival season, this is more or less a shoulder window with the added bonus of sincere, warm family cheer.

This article was first published Feb 12, 2021 and updated Mar 13, 2023.

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Discover the best that Southern USA has to offer! Hidden gems, vibrant cities and more!

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Best Time To Visit New Orleans: When To Go And When To Avoid

April 17, 2021 //  by  Southern Trippers

While there are probably a thousand reasons to go when exactly is the best time to visit New Orlean s ? One of the most eccentric, vibrant, colorful cities in the South, the answer depends on you! With so much to experience, you’re going to want to plan your trip around your own interests!

Planning your trip to New Orleans last minute?

Make sure to book your hotels and tours in New Orleans in advance to ensure availability! Here are our top picks for your trip!

Top Experiences And Tours In New Orleans:

  • Evening Jazz Cruise On Steamboat (Likely to sell out!)
  • Ghosts, Vampires + Voodoo Tour (Unique French Quarter tour!)
  • High-Speed Airboat Ride (Super fun for the whole group)
  • Cemetery Bus Tour At Dark (Very popular tour with 4.5/5 stars)

Top recommendations for accommodation In New Orleans:

  • Sonesta New Orleans ES Suites (Downtown with views)
  • Four Points By Sheraton French Quarter (Chic Bourbon Street location)
  • The Brandywine Sextant (Rooftop pool!)
  • NOPSI Hotel New Orleans (5-star luxury hotel!)

New Orleans is filled with friendly citizens, incredible live music, some of the best food in the South , and attractions that will create lifelong memories.

You can always find something to enjoy here! So when is the best time to visit New Orleans?

Victoria stands in one of New Orleans' most historic street corners at dusk, the best time to visit New Orleans

When Is The Best Time To Visit New Orleans?

The answer to this question will depend mostly on whether or not you’re interested in attending Mardi Gras! If you want to get the most of the festivities, you’re going to want to visit in early spring from February to May when the celebrations are in full swing. This will make a perfect weekend getaway !

If you want to attend actual Mardi Gras Day, that day usually falls either around the very end of February or the very beginning of March. Keep in mind that hotel rates during this time of year are very expensive. Expect to book your hotel and flight reservations at least a year in advance.

If you don’t mind the heat and want to stick to a budget, keep in mind that the best time to visit New Orleans for your wallet will be during the summer months. To get the best deep discounts, plan to visit during July, August, and September.

A view down one of the historic streets in downtown New Orleans

High And Low Season For New Orleans

Spring will always be the High Season for the Big Easy. The entire Mardi Gras season, or Carnival, runs for several weeks before actual Mardi Gras Day. Spring in general has the best weather, and is considered by most to be the best time to visit New Orleans. The summers can be hot and oppressive!

Because summers in New Orleans are long, swampy, and balmy, this is generally the low season for the city. While the summer months are difficult, you can definitely still survive. Just take it slow and drink plenty of water, especially if you’re day-drinking too. The sun can and will dehydrate you quickly!

While July and August are hot, this is when you’ll find the best hotel deals . The low season means fewer tourists, so airlines and hotels want to lure in travelers on a budget. You’ll be super hot, but you’ll love the deals!

Two colorful streetcars drive through downtown New Orleans.

Visiting New Orleans In Summer

Summer in New Orleans is not for the faint of heart. Trust us, you need to be prepared for brutally hot days. But if you’re hoping to avoid large crowds while saving a few bucks, this may be the best time to visit New Orleans for you!

July and August will be the hottest months. Average temperatures are 91 degrees Fahrenheit, but June and September aren’t much cooler. The trade off will be less crowds because summer is the low season. Hotels and airfare will be cheaper as well to draw you in!

Terrence and Victoria walk hand in hand through downtown New Orleans

Visiting New Orleans In Winter

Winter is one of our favorite times to visit New Orleans! We’re not big fans of that summer heat, and even spring can be oppressive. From late November to January, the city has had time to cool off to the 60s before the springtime festivals have started.

A New Orleans winter vacation will also be easy on your wallet. Fewer tourists will be in town, which translates to big savings for your wallet. Expect to find bargain hotel rates and airfare prices. If you don’t have anywhere to be during the holidays, then you should try to visit in December during Christmastime when the city is decorated !

A streetcar in New Orleans zooms by.

Visiting New Orleans In Fall

Not quite the high season and not quite the low season, autumn in New Orleans is a strange beast. While temperature have receded back into the 80s and mid 70s, you still need to pay attention to the weather.

Late August and September are the height of the hurricane season, which lasts from June to November. While hurricanes can be predicted in advance, a sudden formation can still throw a wrench into vacation plans. However, the reduced temperatures and many cultural events still make fall one of the best times to visit New Orleans!

A sidewalk shaded by many oak trees in New Orleans

Visiting New Orleans In Spring

Ahh, springtime in the Big Easy. There’s nothing like it. Comfortably warm weather in the low 70s to mid 80s brings the most major of festivals: Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Many tourists and locals will tell you that spring is the best time to visit New Orleans.

Keep in mind that heavy tourist traffic due to these festivals means dramatically raised hotel rates and airfare. If you want to guarantee your attendance and go easy on your wallet, you’ll need to book early. Just to secure a room at all? You’ll want to book several months to a year in advance!

Remember too that if you visit in spring, many of the city’s most popular attractions will be closed during Mardi Gras. If sightseeing is a priority, then you should try to plan a trip that doesn’t coincide with the biggest events of the year.

Victoria stands in an orange dress outside as horse drawn carriages wait for passengers.

New Orleans By Month

If you still can’t decide when to go, don’t worry. We’ve broken down all the events in the Big Easy month by month so you can pick exactly when you want to vacation there! Although, with this many events and festivals happening, every month is the best time to visit New Orleans.

New Orleans In January

On New Year’s Day, check out the Sugar Bowl, the annual college football playoff game. Even if you can’t be in the Dome for the game, you can head to a local watch party at one of the sports bars downtown! You’ll see fans flooding downtown from inside.

On Joan of Arc’s birthday, January 6, you can catch the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc parades which run annually downtown. The walking parade stars a medieval-themed procession through the French Quarter, ending with the first king cake of the Mardi Gras season!

Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, also on January 6 marks the official beginning of the Mardi Gras season! The first king cake of the season will make its way into local offices and parties until Fat Tuesday. Look out for the Phunny Phorty Phellows on the St. Charles Streetcar who herald the beginning of the Carnival Countdown during the best time to visit New Orleans.

This is one of our favorite things to do and you should add it to your Weekend In New Orleans Itinerary.

A King cake is topped with green, yellow, and purple sprinkles, the signature colors of Mardi Gras

New Orleans In February

February is Black History Month, and there’s no better way to start your celebration by attending mass or visiting the St. Augustine Church. Historically this was a place of worship for the black community of Treme. Then visit one of the many Black-owned restaurants in the area!

 Look out for Mary Queen of Vietnam Church’s three-day celebration which celebrates the Lunar New Year, Tet, and Vietnamese heritage. All are welcome to enjoy live music, amazing Vietnamese food, games, dragon dances, and fireworks!

A parade during Mardi Gras, the best time to visit New Orleans

New Orleans In March

Every spring, starting in March, seasonal snowball shops reopen their storefronts and stands! Locals are incredibly loyal to their favorite stands who are neighborhood institutions. Bring cash and check out dozens of flavors at places like Hansen’s and Plum Street Snowballs!

You can also check out the New Orleans Bourbon Festival, an annual tradition reminiscent of 1920s speakeasies. You can attend sessions on topics like Bourbon History, go to grand tastings, bourbon pairing dinners, and burlesque shows!

Of course, you can’t forget BUKU, or the BUKU Music + Art Project. A music festival of EDM, hip-hop, and indie rock musicians unite in an underground/house party atmosphere. During this festival at Mardi Gras World, the best time to visit New Orleans, past performers have included Tyler the Creator, Glass Animals, and Megan Thee Stallion.

Beads hang from a fence along with masks during Mardi Gras, the best time to visit New Orleans

New Orleans In April

April is thought to be the best time to visit New Orleans, mainly because of the sheer number of festivals! First, on the first Saturday of April, check out the Freret Street Festival. Celebrating the local businesses, live music, and iconic food of the Uptown part of the city, this is the perfect way to start spring in New Orleans!

In one of New Orleans’ most beloved neighborhoods, you can catch the French Quarter Festival. From Woldenberg Park to Jackson Square, you can take in live music, incredible food, and the culture of the area! This is truly one of the Best Places To Stay In New Orleans!

Then catch the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, or Jazz Fest. Drawing massive crowds from all over the world, only Mardi Gras can top this festival. Over two weekends, hear live music on 14 stages and taste signature Jazz Fest foods!

The Mississippi River at sunset

New Orleans In May

Simply because of the weather, many consider May to be the best time to visit New Orleans. You can also check out the Bayou Boogaloo, whose proceeds are reinvested in the Bayou Saint John community! Enjoy fun for the entire family, local food, and craft vendors!

May 10 hails as National Shrimp Day, and the local restaurants in New Orleans do seafood the best. You can also grab a frozen margarita on Cinco de Mayo from a local spot like Casa Borrega! If you’re looking for a family vacation, Mom will certainly love being treated to New Orleans brunch for Mother’s Day weekend!

A beautiful Oak tree shadows a mansion in the spring, the best time to visit New Orleans.

New Orleans In June

New Orleans’ cuisine is famous, so you can expect great things from the city’s annual Oyster Festival. Enjoy them chargrilled, fried, and raw while enjoying live music and browsing arts and crafts vendors! June also heralds one of the best Pride parades in the U.S., as New Orleans has been voted one of the most welcoming cities!

Then get your appetite ready at the end of June for Black Restaurant Week! You can patronize and taste the food of some of the best Black-owned restaurants in the city, all who feature special menus and deals!

This is also a great time of year to visit if you want to check out some of the best beaches Near New Orelans because it is so hot!

One of the historic oak trees that lives in New Orleans

New Orleans In July

July means Independence Day, so that means gather your friends and family to watch the fireworks. You can get the best views from Crescent Park, Algiers Point, and Jackson Square! Host your own BBQ, or check out some of New Orlean’s best places!

Then check out the annual ESSENCE Fest, one of the Big Easy’s biggest festivals! Over three days, celebrate Black music, health, food, beauty, and culture with panel discussions and celebrity guests! Past performers have included Prince, Mary J. Blige, and Diana Ross!

Paying homage to the Spanish influence throughout New Orleans, head to the Arts + Warehouse District for the annual Running of the Bulls! Instead of living bulls, you’ll run away from New Orleans Roller Derby Girls!

Fireworks illuminate the New Orleans skyline for July 4th, the best time to visit New Orleans

New Orleans In August

The Big Easy has a lot of famous natives, so the best time to visit New Orleans is during Satchmo Summerfest which honors the life of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. During the first weekend of August, the three-day celebration hosts many live performances, local food, and seminars about the great trumpeter.

Then catch Southern Decadence, the largest LGBTQ event in New Orleans. The celebration lasts six days through the French Quarter and beyond. A favorite for Labor Day weekend, enjoy parties, parades, and glamorous costumes!

Then don your best red dress for the Red Dress Run. A beloved Big Easy tradition held the second Saturday of the month, runners and walkers participate to support local charities throughout the area!

Sitting at a beautiful green booth in a restaurant sipping a cocktail during a festival, the best time to visit New Orleans

New Orleans In September

September is the best time to visit New Orleans if you’re a foodie! Not only does the month bring cooler weather, but it also brings Restaurant Week from September 9-15. You can get 25% off regular prices at restaurants offering Prix-fixe menus!

St. Patrick’s Day may be in March, but in September, New Orleans celebrates Irish Fest. Across two stages and fairgrounds, this celebration of Irish culture includes arts, dance, music, food, and crafts!

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society also annually celebrates William Faulkner’s birthday with Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner, a birthday party and literary festival of sorts from September 24-27. 

Full plates of food are ready to be devoured at the one of New Orleans' festivals in September, the best time to visit New Orleans

New Orleans In October

Throughout October, head to the Deutsches Haus of New Orleans for Oktoberfest! Paying homage to German presence and culture in the Crescent City, enjoy classics like sauerbraten, cabbage, Bavarian pretzels, and of course, BEER!

Memphis may be known for their blue and BBQ, but it has nothing on the annual Crescent City Blues + BBQ Festival. With over 20 local vendors specializing in BBQ, enjoy a lineup of live brass bands, blues, and gospel musicians. You can enjoy more food and music styles at the Voodoo Arts + Music Experience over the Halloween weekend!

With over 200 films from almost 120 countries, New Orleans earns its claim as the Hollywood of the South at the New Orleans Film Festival. Attend showings during the weeklong event in addition to exclusive events, panels, and parties!

Other events to experience include the Mac n Cheese Fest, Beignet Festival, Gentilly Fest, Treme Fall Fest, Praise Fest NOLA, and many more! Don’t forget to check out some of the most Haunted Hotels in New Orleans!

Spiders decorate New Orleans during Halloween, the best time to visit New Orleans.

New Orleans In November

During the first weekend in November, arguably the best time to visit New Orleans, you can attend the Bayou Bacchanal! Celebrating Caribbean culture in the Crescent City, you can enjoy food and music from a number of Caribbean nations while the parade shuts down Canal Street!

Then get hungry for the Oak Street Po-Boy festival! Each year, Oak Street is transformed into a po-boy haven with 35 different vendors! Only you can decide who makes the best po-boy in the Big Easy! Then enjoy the Treme Creole Gumbo Fest to enjoy the New Orleans trifecta: brass bands, beads, and gumbo!

The Carousel Bar in New Orleans with its circular carousel bar as seen in spring, the best time to visit New Orleans

New Orleans In December

The holiday season is the best time to visit New Orleans with a flurry of Christmas celebrations! The Krewe of Jingle parade kicks off the season! Mr. and Mrs Claus make appearances, as well as Mr. Bingle, Rudolph, and more!

Then enjoy Celebration in the Oaks throughout the entire month. In City Park, you can take a romantic evening stroll with holiday-themed decorations illuminating the historic oak trees. Then head to the levees along the Mississippi River for the Christmas Eve Bonfires , which light the way for Santa and his reindeer!

Lights and decorations adorn a street corner in New Orleans.

There’s always a festival in New Orleans to enjoy, no matter what time of year you arrive! Even if you’re not keen on attending Mardi Gras, the Big Easy will leave your belly full, your spirits lifted, and put a song in your heart! The best time to visit New Orleans? All the time!

there are so many gorgeous cities in the south there will be something for everyone

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The Best Times To Visit New Orleans, Louisiana [By Seasons & Interests]

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Lindsey Olander

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The Best Times To Visit New Orleans, Louisiana [By Seasons & Interests]

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The best time to visit new orleans by season, the best time to visit new orleans by interest, final thoughts.

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No city in America is quite like New Orleans. Built by French colonists in 1718 prior to the Louisiana Purchase, the state’s coastal capital has been a cultural crossroads for food, music, and language for generations. This is the birthplace of jazz, a major purveyor of Creole cuisine, and ground zero for one of America’s biggest celebrations — Mardi Gras .

When it comes right down to it, though, planning your visit to the Big Easy is all about timing. Harsh winters rarely touch the American South, especially New Orleans. However, while most months of the year are calm and pleasant, weather-wise, certain windows can experience extreme rises in crowds and temperatures, causing prices (and your sweat levels) to skyrocket.

In the end, the best time to visit New Orleans depends on what you are looking for, or looking to avoid, in your trip. Here to listen to some jazz? Join the party? Escape the party? Events, weather, and crowds are all important factors when choosing the right month to go. Below, we take a deep dive into the city’s seasons, festivals, and more to help you make the best decision.

New Orleans Jackson Square

Spring is considered New Orleans’ peak season . The weather starts to warm up, some of the city’s biggest festivals get underway, the food is fabulous — hello, crawfish season! — and the blooming flowers and emerging wildlife are a serious draw for anyone looking to venture out into the bayou on a swamp tour.

If Fat Tuesday falls late in the year, the beginning of spring can coincide with Mardi Gras, or Carnival — the city’s biggest and most raucous party of the year — when tourists from around the country come to see costumed performers take to the streets, catch beads thrown by fellow revelers on ornate parade floats, and attend parties and masquerade balls through the wee hours.

While you might think Mardi Gras is where the springtime celebrations start and end, New Orleans is just getting started. This season welcomes 1 outdoor festival after another , as the fabulous weather keeps tourists out around the clock.

All of this is to say that spring is the most expensive time to visit New Orleans. For some travelers, however, the hype is worth the price.

Mardi Gras , the biggest event of the year in New Orleans, occurs 40 days before Easter, meaning it can land as late as early March. When it does, flight and hotel rates skyrocket as tourists clamber for a front-row seat to the action surrounding Bourbon Street and the historic French Quarter, where many of the parades process.

Coming off the months of winter, March tends to be the least-humid month  in New Orleans, and also less rainy than other times of the year. Beginning in March and lasting through April and May, trees and flowers begin to bloom and regain their luster in verdant neighborhoods like the Garden District and Audubon Park.

New Orleans Frenchman Street

By April and May, the focus finally shifts away from Mardi Gras and onto New Orleans’ famous incredible music scene.

The French Quarter Festival that sets up stages around the district in early April for various acts spanning blues, jazz, and zydeco is followed by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival  when musicians of varying talent and background come together in a celebration of music, food, and crafts that lasts through early May.

Temperatures continue to rise into the high 70s, making April a warm and comfortable month to stroll the city’s streets and riverfront. That said, April showers are no myth here, so be sure to pack a raincoat and some sturdy, waterproof boots if you don’t want a surprise storm to ruin the day.

May’s blooming orchids and lush, green foliage make plantation and bayou tours incredibly vibrant and colorful.

By now, alligators also start to remerge from hibernation and stick around through October — making swamp tours an especially thrilling experience for taking in the local wildlife. Temperatures reach into the mid-80s, and nights are also warm, averaging in the high 60s.

Louisiana Bayou

There’s no way around it. In the summer, the South gets hot . Heat and humidity are at an all-time high in New Orleans between June and September, particularly in July and August when temperatures consistently hit the 90s. This season is dominated by long, muggy days as well as frequent thunderstorms that send street vendors and tourists scrambling for cover.

If you’re looking to save a buck, though, you’ll find some incredible discounts during the summer . Many travelers choose to avoid traveling to NOLA this season because of its blazing temperatures, which means crowds are few and far between while hotel and restaurant deals are available and abundant.

Wildlife sightings are abundant during summer swamp tours, though the lingering humidity does attract bugs. If you plan on spending extended time outdoors, it’s important to hydrate and drink plenty of water.

Mississippi River Cruise

June signals the start of the hurricane season . Both rain and thunderstorms are frequent, making June the wettest month of the year with an average of 8 inches of rainfall. The heat and humidity start to kick in as well, with an average daily temperature of 90 degrees — though the highest temperatures hold off until July.

Along with August, July is among the hottest months of the year , with an average daily temperature of 91 degrees and nights that stay balmy at 75 degrees. Rain continues to fall as the hurricane season progresses, but that doesn’t stop the city from holding a few key events for locals and travelers less bothered by the heat.

The annual Go 4th on the River fireworks show is always a sight, when 2 barges set off spectacular fireworks displays over the Mississippi River. That same weekend hosts the Essence Music Festival , which has become the largest African-American culture and music event in the U.S.

The oppressive heat of July continues in August, and by this time, the humidity is at an all-time high . Daytime temperatures average in the low 90s and don’t let up, rarely falling below 75 degrees even at night. Light, cotton clothes and plenty of water are essential for spending time outdoors.

Keep in mind that this is the height of hurricane season, and storms pass through the city on the regular.

New Orleans Commanders Palace Restaurant

Although September can still experience the tail-end of summer’s heat, rainfall drops off considerably, making fall the driest season in New Orleans and a pleasant time to visit . In fact, October and November are considered one of New Orleans’ best travel windows in terms of weather and activities .

Because this is considered shoulder season, crowds and hotel rates start to drop as the city’s events become less and less frequent. That’s not to say nothing is going on.

On the contrary, October is one of fall’s busier months thanks to the New Orleans Film Festival, the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience, and, of course, Halloween — a perfect time to break out those costumes or embark on one of NOLA’s storied ghost tours.

New Orleans French Quarter

Don’t be fooled by fall elsewhere in the country — September feels just like summer in the Big Easy, with an average daily temperature of 88 degrees that rarely dips below the 70s, even at night. Think of September as a slightly milder version of August.

New Orleans Cemetery

By October, cooler weather and low humidity finally begin to give the city a break. Temperatures begin to fall into the low 80s, and locals start to break out their jackets and jeans. Nights get chillier as temperatures reach the low 60s.

This is still hurricane season, but on average, October is New Orleans’ driest month of the year , which might explain why the city jams so many events into its short four weeks.

The celebrations kick off with the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival , which sets up in and around Lafayette Square Park with 2 musical stages, an arts market, and dozens of food vendors. Also in mid-October, the New Orleans Film Festival has been nicknamed “the Cannes of the Mississippi” and is considered one of the best in the country.

Finally, there’s Halloween. Few places do this spooky holiday better than New Orleans, whose crumbling cemeteries with their above-ground graves and lauded ghost tours have lured tourists for decades. Around the same time, the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience takes over City Park, where past performances have included Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The end of hurricane season sees days get even brisker, with an average daily temperature of 72 degrees that drops into the mid-50s after sunset. Long pants and long sleeves are now the recommended wardrobe, and you might even want a pair of gloves as you take your Sazerac — New Orleans’ signature drink — outside.

After the big-ticket events of October, November is a relatively quiet month as the city recovers from Halloween and begins to prepare for the holidays. On Thanksgiving Day, Celebration in the Oaks — one of the city’s most spectacular displays — debuts in City Park, when tens of thousands of holiday lights take over its massive oak trees.

New Orleans Holiday Decorations

Many travelers consider winter to be the best time of year to visit New Orleans.

The weather, although more unpredictable than other seasons, can be surprisingly pleasant. Daily temperatures have cooled off considerably from summer’s blazing heat and can fluctuate between requiring a heavy coat or just a light jacket. Holiday decorations begin to take over the city , too — an attraction many look forward to each year.

Despite this, winter remains an unpopular and therefore affordable time to visit New Orleans — rain is frequent and, if temperatures are cold enough, can change into sleet without warning — which means crowds are virtually nonexistent , keeping prices for flights, hotels, restaurants, and activities at an all-time low.

Although alligators hibernate until March, swamp tours are still a popular pastime and, while certainly chillier than other times of the year, benefit from 3 winter conditions — no mosquitos, bare trees (which allows you to see better and deeper into the swamp), and seasonal wildlife sightings including deer, otters, and migrating birds.

The 1 exception to the affordability rule, of course, is when Mardi Gras falls early in the year. When that happens, the end of winter becomes the busiest and most expensive time to visit the city.

The holiday spirit takes over the streets , and one of the most magical (not to mention unusual) events in New Orleans — Bonfires on the Levee — takes place on Christmas Eve, when gigantic log pyramids are set aflame along the Mississippi River.

Packing can be tricky this month, Some days call for a heavy winter coat and gloves while others can be downright warm — we’re talking 80 degrees warm. On average, though, expect to see temperatures around the mid-60s and lows in the mid to high 40s.

Mardi Gras may still be at least a month away, but in this town, the celebrations start early — almost immediately after the New Year.

January 6 is Three Kings Day, the official start of the Mardi Gras season , and from then until Ash Wednesday, New Orleans exponentially ramps up the festivities with costume parties, balls, and parades. The energy (and hotel rates) pick up in preparation for the main event.

January might be the coldest month of the year , though “cold” in the American South is a relative term. Temperatures during this month average in the low 60s, though nights can be downright freezing in the mid to high teens.

New Orleans Mardi Gras Decorations

New Orleans is in all-out party mode by February , as Fat Tuesday draws ever closer. This is the month of Mardi Gras , or Carnival, when tourists from around the world come to see costumed performers (and don costumes of their own), attend formal masquerade balls, and watch as massive parade processions shut down large sections of the French Quarter and the Marigny.

The narrow streets of New Orleans’ most historic neighborhoods, where much of the celebrations take place, mean crowds can be almost insufferable this time of year, but many consider Mardi Gras in New Orleans , like New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square, to be an experience worth checking off that bucket list.

Mardi Gras can land as early as mid-February or as late as early March, meaning the festivities often last all month long. Just make sure you pack appropriately, especially if you plan to stay out late. Just slightly warmer than January, daytime temperatures in February hover in the mid-60s while nights dip into the shiver-inducing teens.

Bottom Line:  The best time to travel to New Orleans is typically between October and April . Off-season rates and lower rainfall make fall a beautiful time to visit, while winter and spring festivities keep the energy high. Generally, travelers tend to avoid the city in the summer and early fall due to high temperatures and humidity, which can make long days outside uncomfortable.

The Best Time to Visit New Orleans During Mardi Gras

New Orleans Mardi Gras

Here’s a fun fact: Louisiana is the only U.S. state that has made Mardi Gras an official legal holiday . Also known as Fat Tuesday, it’s a day of celebration and indulgence before Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent, and can land as early as the first week of February or as late as early March.

Over the years, Mardi Gras has become New Orleans’ biggest celebration of the year and has taken on a life of its own in the form of raucous street parades, eye-popping masquerade balls, and all-around revelry.

For the true experience, most previous attendees arrive the weekend before Mardi Gras and stay through the week. However, the closer it gets to the holiday, the pricier rates become. In the week leading up to the big event, be prepared for hotels to require bookings of 3 or 4 nights minimum and book out up to a year in advance.

Unfortunately, flights will always be expensive in order to take advantage of the popular travel time.

Although the excitement comes to a head on the day of and in the week leading up to Fat Tuesday, festivities are known to begin in NOLA as early as January. If you don’t care about being there on the actual day, considering flying in a few weeks before when lower-key events can still be enjoyed alongside a fraction of the usual crowd.

The Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Weather

New Orleans during July and August is notoriously hot, humid, and rainy, making summer one of the worst times to visit the city in terms of weather — not to mention hurricane season lasts from June through the fall. Other than that, though, the weather in NOLA is relatively pleasant throughout the spring, fall, and even during winter.

Spring spells warm temperatures, low humidity, fresh blooms, and emerging wildlife. Fall is equally mild. Though storms have been known to pass through, October and November experience the driest conditions all year. Fall also sees fewer crowds than spring and much lower rates across flights and hotels.

For the best weather without the crowds or high prices, time your visit for late March through April or between October and November .

The Best Time to Visit New Orleans Without Crowds

New Orleans Bourbon Street Crowds

Without a doubt the busiest and consequently most expensive time to pay a visit to the Crescent City is during its big-ticket festivals and events.

If you’re looking to stay away from the mobs, steer clear of spring — specifically the weeks leading up to and during Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, which draw thousands of tourists every year and see hotel rooms and restaurant reservations increasingly difficult to come by.

Instead, the least crowded times to visit New Orleans are during summer and winter, which hold fewer events due to their harsh or, in winter’s case, unpredictable weather and see far more affordable hotel and flight rates.

The Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Seafood

Louisiana Crawfish

New Orleans wouldn’t be New Orleans without its food, especially its seafood. Being on the Gulf of Mexico will do that. Luckily, you don’t have to limit yourself with specific travel dates in order to enjoy what this culinary capital has to offer. That said, some seasons feature fresher ingredients than others, while big-ticket food festivals are worth planning a whole trip around just to attend.

The best season to try Louisiana shrimp, which make their way into must-try dishes like shrimp po’ boys and shrimp remoulade, is in January and between April and November.

Oysters and crab, specifically blue crab, are mostly available year-round, though oyster peak season falls between October and April.

As far as southern food goes, it might not get more traditional than crawfish, which can be boiled or made into an étouffée (shellfish smothered in sauce and poured over rice). You can enjoy these bite-size crustaceans anytime outside July through October.

As for festivals, here are some of the biggest food events to keep on your radar:

  • NOLA Crawfish Festival
  • Oyster Festival
  • Treme Creole Gumbo Festival
  • Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

The Cheapest Time to Visit New Orleans

New Orleans Saint Louis Cathedral

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the cheapest time to visit New Orleans is during its least-crowded months, when flights, restaurants, and hotels see the lowest amount of bookings. If you can suffer through the heat and humidity, summer is the best window to experience New Orleans on a budget .

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. Keep a lookout for special deals, too, at some of the city’s landmark restaurants.

Rates during this time are low for a reason. Many travelers can’t, or don’t want to, endure the city’s oppressive heat and humidity, which can reach into the 90s with a stifling humidity level of 100 percent.

Whether your taste buds are in need of a hearty bowl of gumbo or sugar-coated beignets, your ears are craving some jazz or blues, or your inner history buff is itching to explore the cobbled streets and colorful townhouses of the picturesque French Quarter, New Orleans is a feast for the senses.

Southern temperatures remain warm and pleasant for most of the year. Still, even the heat of summer can’t dissuade some travelers from coming out to enjoy strolls along the Mississippi waterfront or cramming into NOLA’s award-winning restaurants and storied music clubs.

Whatever season you choose to visit the Big Easy, don’t try to fit it all in on one visit. It takes multiple trips to do this fascinating, culturally rich, unique city justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best month to visit new orleans.

The best month to visit New Orleans all depends on what you want out of your trip. We hope this article sheds light on which month best suits your preferences — be it mild weather, famous festivals, or affordable hotel rates.

What is the cheapest time to go to New Orleans?

The cheapest time to visit New Orleans is in the summer, when high temperatures and humidity levels keep most travelers away. During this season, flights and hotels are the most affordable they’ll be all year.

What is hurricane season in New Orleans?

Hurricane season in New Orleans lasts from June through November, which coincides with the city’s rainiest months of June, July, and August. Typically, rainfall tapers off considerably by October, the city’s driest month.

Because much of New Orleans sits below sea level, flooding poses a particular threat to the area. Effects are still being felt from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the city in August 2005.

Developing storms should be an important factor when making travel plans, and can be a justifiable reason to postpone a trip.

When is the rainy season in New Orleans?

Rain is a common occurrence in New Orleans throughout the year because of its semi-tropical climate, though it rarely lasts long. The summer months of July, July, and August, as well as January, experience the most rain, with June clocking in as the city’s wettest month with 8 inches of average rainfall.

How many days to you need in New Orleans?

Squeezing a quick weekend trip to NOLA is an exciting prospect, but first-time visitors will feel rushed and be limited to seeing just the major sights.

Many locals and seasoned visitors would recommend that you set aside at least 4 days to take full advantage of the city’s food and music scenes, tour its diverse neighborhoods, take a steamboat cruise along the Mississippi, and embark on a day trip to the area’s swamplands or historic plantations.

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About Lindsey Olander

Currently based in New York, Lindsey spent her childhood in Connecticut dreaming of far-off places. Her first flight was to Disney World at age 11. Her second flight was for a high school field trip to Italy, though travel as a career didn’t stick until she studied abroad in London during college and discovered the true power of her passport. Since then, she’s worked as a travel editor at Jetsetter  and Travel + Leisure , where she reported on everything from African safaris to hot hotel openings to, yes, Disney World.


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Mardi Gras

The best time to visit New Orleans

Any time is a great time to visit New Orleans, even in swampy summers

The New Orleans economy is driven by tourism, so the city—especially the French Quarter— is always busy with visitors. So, rather than deciding based on crowds, it’s best to consider the weather and the multitude of annual can’t-miss events when planning a trip to New Orleans. Even the oppressively humid month of August is well worth a visit, especially for those attracted to lower hotel rates and easier dinner reservations.

Regardless of the weather, New Orleans has res taurants , bars , live music venues, jazz clubs and cultural attractions that can be enjoyed any time of year. There’s always something going on in the city. Each season brings a different lineup of festivals and celebrations, so read on to decide the best time to visit New Orleans (hint: you’ll want to experience every season).

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Best time to visit New Orleans


Spring is probably the best season for weather in New Orleans. Mild temps are ideal for outdoor festivals, and there are plenty this time of year. From the meat-centric Hogs for the Cause and the amazingly free French Quarter Festival to the world-renowned Jazz Fest , and everything in between— Greek Fest , Freret Fest , Tremé Creole Gumbo and Congo Square Rhythms Festivals , NOLA on Tap , Tennessee Williams Fest and so many more—there’s a festival for everyone. 

Festivals around the city are prime spots for trying some of the best food in New Orleans—these fests have real, local vendors—but spring is also peak season for crawfish. Spicy crawfish boils are plentiful around town, at restaurants, bars, breweries and backyards, and you won’t want to miss out on these tasty crustaceans.


There’s no denying it, summer in New Orleans is hot.  But there are plenty of ways to deal with the heat: think snowballs, frozen daiquiris, picnics on the river, and refreshing dips in hotel pools open to the public. Despite the swampy conditions, the city is still alive with activity in the summer—just at a slower pace. Don your coolest linen or seersucker and hit up Essence Festival , Creole Tomato Festival , Satchmo Summerfest , White Linen Night , Midsummer Mardi Gras or Decadence . 

Summer is the perfect time to visit the city’s top museums and attractions, most of which are sufficiently air-conditioned. Check out the National WW2 Museum , New Orleans Museum of Art , Ogden Museum , Backstreet Cultural Museum and many more. If you’re here in August, you can enjoy special menus and great deals at some of New Orleans’ best restaurants through the month-long COOLinary New Orleans .

Hurricane season

Hurricane season

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. This doesn’t mean the city is constantly under threat, but since hurricanes arrive with plenty of notice, you can adjust your plans accordingly.


Fall is also a great time to visit, with another round of amazing festivals that take advantage of good weather while presenting the best food and music in the city. There’s Beignet Fest , Blues & BBQ Fest , Fried Chicken Fest , Gentilly Fest , Art for Art’s Sake , Top Taco , Po-Boy Fest , and so on. Halloween is also a big draw in the fall, with a slew of events that infuse the macabre with the spirit of Mardi Gras.

Fall means football too, which is huge in New Orleans whether you’re a fan or not. Saints fans—if not in the Dome or tailgating outside—gather at beloved sports bars around the city to cheer on the Black and Gold, and everyone's invited. College football fans, especially those who pray to the altar of the LSU Tigers, are unmissable, and Saturday nights are always a party when there’s a big game. Around Thanksgiving, the annual Bayou Classic is much more than a football game between rivals Southern and Grambling, as the event brings parties, parades and a Battle of the Bands like no other.


Winter in New Orleans is mostly mild, with only a few frigid days here and there. It’s a festive time that includes both the holidays and Carnival season. Stately homes along St. Charles Avenue and in the French Quarter are decorated for the holidays, and there are plenty of spirited events, from caroling in Jackson Square to Celebration in the Oaks . Visit hotels like the Roosevelt , Ritz-Carlton and Windsor Court to see them decked in their holiday finest while sipping on a seasonal cocktail. Be sure to check out the special Reveillon dinner menus at restaurants around town—a tradition from Creole times in the early 1800s. 

Of course, winter is also Carnival time ; the city’s most famous festival period starts on January 6 (Twelfth Night/Epiphany) every year, and lasts until Mardi Gras, which changes based on Easter. Carnival means king cake, fanciful balls, parades and the big day itself, which draws hundreds of thousands of revelers locally and worldwide. While the week or so leading up to Mardi Gras is probably the most crowded with tourists, it’s definitely a bucket-list New Orleans event for all.

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Best Time To Visit New Orleans 2024

Discover the best time of year to visit New Orleans! With temperate climates, unique festivals, and fantastic cuisine, the city has something for everyone.

  • - New Orleans is a vibrant city known for its rich history, unique culture, and lively atmosphere.
  • - The best time to visit New Orleans is during the months of February to May when the weather is pleasant and there are several festivals and events taking place.
  • - Mardi Gras, which usually falls in February or March, is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in New Orleans, attracting visitors from all over the world.
  • - The spring months of April and May are also a great time to visit as the city experiences mild temperatures and beautiful blooming flowers.
  • - Another popular time to visit is during the fall months of September to November when the weather is cooler and there are fewer crowds.
  • - During these months, visitors can enjoy the city's famous cuisine, live music, and explore the historic neighborhoods and landmarks without the summer heat and humidity.
  • - However, it's important to note that hurricane season in New Orleans runs from June to November, so it's advisable to check weather forecasts and travel

What is the Best Time to Visit New Orleans

With its vibrant music, tantalizing cuisine, and intoxicating blend of cultures, New Orleans beckons visitors with an allure that is both mysterious and magnetic. Known as " The Big Easy " or " The Crescent City " this enchanting destination on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River pulsates with an energy unlike anywhere else. From the soul-stirring rhythms of jazz to the mouthwatering aromas of Cajun and Creole delicacies, New Orleans is a sensory feast that ignites the spirit and captivates the soul. But when is the best time to experience the true essence of this intoxicating city? Let's explore the seasons, festivals, and hidden gems that make New Orleans an unforgettable destination year-round. Whether you seek the spirited revelry of Mardi Gras or the tranquility of strolling through historic neighborhoods, there is a perfect time to answer the call of New Orleans and immerse yourself in its vibrant embrace.

A Quick Overview at New Orleans

Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, New Orleans boasts a storied history among its neighbors in the United States that permeates every corner of its charming streets. From its early French and Spanish influences to its vibrant African, Caribbean, and Native American heritage, the city's rich history is palpable at every turn. Wander through the French Quarter's narrow, cobblestone streets and marvel at the elegant architecture that returns to the city's colonial past.

Yet, it's not just the history that makes New Orleans an extraordinary destination. The city pulsates with a unique and vibrant culture deeply rooted in its diverse communities. Experience the rhythm and soul of the city's renowned music scene, where jazz was born and continues to thrive. From sultry blues clubs to lively street performances, saxophones, trumpets, and drums fill the air, inviting you to dance to the infectious beat.

New Orleans is where time seems to stand still, where traditions are cherished, and where the past dances harmoniously with the present. So, as you plan your visit, consider the best time to immerse yourself in the city's rich history, revel in its unique culture, sway to the rhythm of its music scene, and embark on a culinary journey that will leave your taste buds yearning for more. In New Orleans, every moment is an invitation to experience the essence of a city that captures hearts and leaves an indelible mark on the soul.

1- Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Good Weather

For good weather-Best Time To Visit New Orleans

The best time to visit New Orleans in terms of weather is during the fall season from September to November when the temperature is mild, humidity is lower, and there is less chance of rain. The average temperature during this time ranges from 60 °F to 80 °F ( 16°C to 27°C ).

The spring season from February to May is also an excellent time to visit New Orleans as the temperature is pleasant, ranging from 50°F to 80°F ( 10°C to 27°C ). However, be prepared for occasional rain showers and thunderstorms during this time.

The summer season ( June to August ) is hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 70° F to 90 °F ( 21°C to 32°C ) and high humidity levels. This season also experiences occasional thunderstorms and hurricanes, so it may not be the best time to visit.

The winter season from December to January is relatively mild, with temperatures ranging from 45 °F to 65 °F ( 7°C to 18°C ). However, it can get quite chilly, and it's not the best time to visit if you're looking for outdoor activities or festivals. Here's a quick glance at some of the best places in the world to visit in the next January .

2- Best Time to Visit New Orleans For Festivals and Events

For festivals and events-Best Time To Visit New Orleans

New Orleans is known for its vibrant festivals and events throughout the year, so there is always something happening in the city. Here are some of the best times to visit New Orleans for festivals and events:

  • Mardi Gras (February/March): Mardi Gras is the most famous festival in New Orleans, and it takes place in February or March, depending on the lunar calendar. It's a 2-week celebration leading to Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.
  • Jazz Fest (April/May): The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place in late April and early May and is one of the largest jazz festivals in the world. It features music, food, and arts and crafts from Louisiana and worldwide.
  • French Quarter Fest (April): The French Quarter Festival is a free, 4-day event in April and features over 20 stages with live music, food, and arts and crafts.
  • Essence Festival (July): The Essence Festival is a 3-day event in July that celebrates African American music, culture, and community. It features live music, speakers, and empowerment sessions.
  • Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (October): The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is a 3-day music festival in October and features a diverse lineup of musicians, food, and arts and crafts.

These are just a few examples of the many festivals and events in New Orleans throughout the year. It's always good to check the city's event calendar to see what's happening during your visit.

3- Best Time to Visit New Orleans to Avoid Crowds

For avoiding crowds-Best Time To Visit New Orleans

The best time to avoid crowds in New Orleans is typically during spring and fall shoulder seasons when the weather is still pleasant, and the crowds are smaller. It's worth noting that New Orleans is known for its hot and humid weather, particularly in the summer months, so it's always a good idea to be prepared for heat and humidity, regardless of the time of year you visit.

It's recommended to check the local situation before planning your trip. Additionally, it's a good idea to check the local events or festivals schedule as these events may attract more tourists to certain areas. It's recommended to check the local situation before planning your trip.

Best for Hotel Prices in New Orleans The best time to find lower hotel prices in New Orleans depends on the specific location and type of accommodation. In general, it's usually cheaper to book hotels during the off-peak seasons, which for New Orleans is typically from May to September, when the weather is hot and humid.

During these months, the weather is not as pleasant, and there are fewer tourists, so many hotels and resorts will offer lower rates to attract guests. Additionally, it's good to consider alternative types of accommodation such as vacation rentals or Airbnb.

These options can often provide more value for your money than traditional hotels. Booking well in advance can also help you find lower prices, but checking for last-minute deals or discounts is also a good idea. It's worth noting that prices vary depending on the hotel and time of booking.

It's recommended to check the hotel's policies before booking and consider possible changes or travel insurance needs. Best Time for Activates Orleans The best time for activities in New Orleans depends on the specific activity you have in mind.

4- Best Time to Visit New Orleans Sightseeing

For sightseeing-Best Time To Visit New Orleans

The best time to visit New Orleans for sightseeing is during the fall season (September to November) and the spring season (February to May). The weather is mild and comfortable during these months, with fewer crowds than in peak summer and festival seasons.

During the fall, you can use the cooler temperatures to explore various outdoor attractions in USA such as City Park, Audubon Park, and the historic cemeteries. You can also stroll through the French Quarter and explore the beautiful architecture, art galleries, and antique shops without feeling overwhelmed by the crowds.

In the spring season, you can witness the beautiful blooming of the magnolia trees and azaleas in City Park and other green spaces around the city. The weather is also perfect for exploring the many walking tours and historical sites that New Orleans has to offer, such as the National WWII Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the historic Garden District.

While the summer season can be hot and humid, it can also be a great time to visit New Orleans for indoor sightseeing options like museums, galleries, and other cultural attractions. However, if you plan to explore the outdoors during summer, stay hydrated and take breaks to avoid the heat.

The best time to visit New Orleans for sightseeing is during the fall and spring seasons, when the weather is mild and comfortable, and there are fewer crowds to contend with.

5- For Outdoor Activities Such as Parks and Gardens

For outdoor activities such as parks and gardens-Best Time To Visit New Orleans

The best time is typically during the fall season (September to November) and the spring season (February to May). During these months, the weather is mild and comfortable, with lower humidity and less rainfall than the summer season.

In the fall season, you can enjoy the beautiful fall foliage in City Park, Audubon Park, and other green spaces around the city. You can stroll or picnic in one of the many parks or enjoy a bike ride along the Mississippi River or on the scenic bike trails in the surrounding areas.

In the spring season, the city comes to life with the blooming of magnolia trees, azaleas, and other beautiful flowers in parks and gardens throughout the city. You can explore the famous Garden District, home to beautiful historic homes and gardens, or stroll through the Botanical Garden in City Park.

The best time to visit New Orleans for outdoor activities such as parks and gardens is during the fall and spring seasons, when the weather is mild and comfortable, and the city's natural beauty is at its peak.

6- Best Time to Visit NEw Orleans For Enjoying the Nightlife

For enjoying the nightlife-Best Time To Visit New Orleans

The best time to revel in New Orleans' vibrant nightlife is during its cooler months, from late September through April. This stretch encompasses the city's festival season, offering a perfect blend of temperate weather and electrifying events. The renowned Mardi Gras in February marks an exuberant celebration with colorful parades, music, and masquerade balls. However, for a more relaxed yet equally lively experience, October to November presents ideal conditions.

The humid heat of summer dissipates, allowing visitors to explore the French Quarter's iconic bars, jazz clubs, and live music venues comfortably. The evenings come alive with an array of performances, from sultry jazz at Preservation Hall to vibrant street music along Frenchmen Street. During these months, the city pulsates with an infectious energy, welcoming night owls to indulge in the spirited and soulful essence of New Orleans after dark.

7- The Best Time to Book Flights to New Orleans

The best time for flights prices in Orleans-Best Time To Visit New Orleans

The best time to find lower flight prices to New Orleans depends on the specific route and airline. Generally, booking flights well in advance is recommended for the best prices. However, it's usually cheaper to fly during the off-peak seasons, which for New Orleans is typically from May to September, when the weather is hot and humid and there are fewer tourists. It's also good to note that prices can fluctuate depending on the day of the week and time of booking.

Typically, booking flights midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) is cheaper than booking on weekends. Also, booking flights during non-peak travel hours (early morning or late at night) can lower prices. Using price comparison websites or signing up for price alerts can help you find the best flight deals.

It's also good to check the prices of different airlines and alternative airports or layover options. Some airlines or airports may have lower prices than others.

Checking the airline's policies before booking and considering possible changes or travel insurance needs is recommended. Best Time for Weather Orleans The best time for weather in New Orleans, Louisiana depends on what you're looking for.

8- The Best Time to Visit Orleans with Family

The Best Time to Visit Orleans with Family - Planet Travel Advisor

The optimal time to visit New Orleans with family is during the spring months, specifically from late March to May. This period offers agreeable weather without the intense heat of summer or the chill of winter. Families can enjoy various outdoor activities, exploring the city's rich culture and history while partaking in family-friendly events like the French Quarter Festival in April. During this time, the city isn't as crowded as during Mardi Gras, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

Additionally, the blooming gardens and parks add to the scenic beauty, providing excellent opportunities for outdoor excursions. With mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and a plethora of family-oriented attractions and activities, spring becomes an ideal window to explore New Orleans together, creating lasting memories for all ages.

Watch This Video for Things to Know Before Visiting New Orleans

Check this video for THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO NEW ORLEANS, created by the Creative Travel Guide YouTube channel.

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Dat Dog on Frenchmen

24 Things to Do in 2024

There’s never been a better time to come to new orleans.

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024 10:49 AM by Lauren Saizan

There are seemingly never-ending reasons to visit New Orleans, but in keeping with the year, we went with our top 24. Festivals each weekend, Mardi Gras season, traditional food, cultural celebrations…the list goes on. Here are 24 reasons to visit New Orleans in 2024.

Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus

Attend Mardi Gras parades

January 6 - February 13  

While the rest of the world dreads January as the end of the holiday season, New Orleans rolls from one holiday to the next with the start of Mardi Gras on January 6. From that day until Fat Tuesday (February 13), parades roll down city streets and festivities abound. Consider visiting early in the season and check our Guide to Early Mardi Gras here . Reason #1 to visit New Orleans: it’s Mardi Gras season, baby.

Manny Randazzo's King Cake

Taste king cake

January 6 - February 13

A highlight of Mardi Gras season is tasting king cake, a cinnamon roll-meets-coffee cake-baked treat. Restaurants, bakeries, and local businesses make everything from traditional to creative and savory king cakes. We’re talking boudin king cake, crawfish king cake, tres leches king cake, and more. See our Ultimate Guide to King Cake here .

Tet Fest - New Orleans East

Celebrate Vietnamese New Year

Early February

New Orleans is home to a substantial Vietnamese population, and Tết Fest celebrations are a highlight on our calendar every year. Held at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, Tết Fest celebrations typically include authentic food, music, children’s activities, and fun for the whole family. Tết Fest returns February 16-18, 2024.

"One Day More" from Les Misérables

See Broadway in New Orleans

January - June, October - December

No need to travel to New York for the best of Broadway; we’ve got it right here as Broadway in New Orleans graces the Saenger Theater with shows throughout the year. The current season continues into winter and spring, with performances of “My Fair Lady,” “Les Misérables,” “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” “Annie,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “CLUE” all on tap. Come October, we’ll see the start of the 2024/2025 season with shows to be announced. Experience a little magic this year at the Saenger.

Crawfish in New Orleans

Experience Crawfish Season

February - May

Whether you’re a New Orleans native or a first-time visitor, spring in NOLA means one thing: boiled crawfish. Get ready to boil, peel, and devour this delicious Louisiana favorite, and check out our guide to get the best of the best.

Hogs for the Cause

Enjoy Spring Festivals

March - May

Spring in New Orleans is a busy, busy time with multiple festivals each weekend, plus parades for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. This spring, we look forward to  New Orleans Book Festival  (March 14-16), Overlook Film Festival (April 4-7),  Hogs for the Cause  (April 5-6), and many, many more. Check out our spring festival page  here and come on down. 

Crescent City Classic

Run the Crescent City Classic

A New Orleans tradition, the Crescent City Classic 10K is typically held over Easter weekend. With the warm spring air and runners dressed in costume, it’s fun for the whole family–and even includes a festival at the finish line with live music, food, and more.

French Quarter Festival

Enjoy free admission to French Quarter Festival

April 11-14

Known as the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world, French Quarter Festival is a beloved springtime tradition. The festival is free to attend and held in the heart of the city. Browse hundreds of food and art vendors, and kick back near one of the many stages in the area. For more information, see  here .

Trombone Shorty at Jazz Fest

Experience the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

April 25 - May 5, 2024

With an extra day added to the festival in 2024 and the news that the Rolling Stones are headlining, attending Jazz Fest is perhaps the second biggest reason to visit New Orleans this year only behind Mardi Gras. Jazz Fest is an annual festival celebrating the music, art, culture, and heritage of New Orleans. Since its origins in 1970, the fest has worked its way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Jazz Fest's lineup is typically announced in mid-January each year, with artists such as Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, and The Who as past headliners. See  here  for the latest.

New Orleans Pride Parade

Celebrate New Orleans Pride and Southern Decadence

June 7-9, Labor Day Weekend

Recognized as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the U.S., June is a special month in New Orleans for celebrating  Pride . Events go on throughout the month of June, but the Pride parade on the weekend of June 7-9 is something you won’t want to miss.  Southern Decadence  is essentially Pride round two, with a parade, parties, and general celebration of the LGBTQ+ community over Labor Day Weekend.

Bocuse d'Or - 2023

Watch the competition at Bocuse d’Or

The Americas selections of the Pastry World Cup and the Bocuse d’Or will be held for the first time in the United States right here in New Orleans! The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will host the two continental selections of the most prestigious international culinary and pastry competitions on June 11, 12, and 13, 2024, showcasing the best pastry chefs and cooks from all over the American continent. Bocuse d’Or tickets will be available to the public at a later date—stay tuned here .

Hansen's Sno-Bliz

Keep cool with sno-ball season

March - September

The summertime may be hot, but sno-balls are here to cool us off. A delicacy of sorts, a sno-ball is shaved ice drowned in deliciously flavored syrup—and no, it’s NOT a sno-cone. Find our guide to sno-ball season  here , and make sure to try many flavors before settling on your favorite. 

French Market Creole Tomato Fest

Enjoy summertime festivals

May - September

We’ve got festivals celebrating the Creole tomato , jazz legend Louis Armstrong , the food + wine scene , plus Running of the Bulls , White Linen Night , and Tales of the Cocktail . Check out our page on summer festivals here and experience everything NOLA has to offer. 


Experience ESSENCE Festival of Culture

ESSENCE Festival of Culture is a celebration of Black culture, with thousands of visitors converging on the city for main stage performances, iconic speakers, and programming tailored to the Black community. Past performers have included Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, and many more, while past speakers have included Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. It’s a celebration you truly can’t miss. Learn more here .


Taste New Orleans during COOLinary New Orleans

August 1-31

When the heat kicks up, the deals kick in. During COOLinary, indulge in two-course lunch, or three-course dinner and brunch deals from August 1-31. Past participants have included GW Fins, Café Degas, and over 70 other restaurants. Don’t miss your chance to try some of the best food in New Orleans for a steal all month long.

People's Museum at Tipitina's

Celebrate live music during NOLAxNOLA

September 26 - October 6

The music never stops in New Orleans, and this September and October, mark your calendars for a citywide celebration of local musicians, music venues, and New Orleans culture. Catch your favorite artists and discover new ones at dozens of live performances at indoor and outdoor venues all over town as part of NOLAxNOLA (NOLA BY NOLA). You won’t want to miss this event—find more details  here .

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

Enjoy Fall Festivals

September - December  

Just like spring and summer, fall in New Orleans is busy, busy, busy with festivals. We’re looking forward to the return of  National Fried Chicken Fest ,  Beignet Fest ,  Praise Fest ,  Oak Street Po-Boy Fest , and more! Check out our festival calendar  here  and plan to visit during fall of 2024. 

Saints tailgating

Cheer on a sports team

New Orleans has sports teams from the collegiate to the professional level. There’s our NFL team, the New Orleans Saints , and our NBA team, the Pelicans . Then there’s the NOLA Gold , our major league rugby team, and the Jesters , our National Premier Soccer League team. We even have a roller derby team, the Big Easy Roller Derby. On the college level we have winning teams ranging from football to women’s basketball and everything in between. Check out our sports page here and plan to come to a game.

Taylor Swift The Eras Tour New Orleans

Visit for Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

October 25-27

Taylor Swift is no stranger to New Orleans, and she’s scheduled to bring The Eras Tour to Caesars Superdome on October 25-27, 2024. This epic concert is a journey spanning 17 years and 10 albums, with 44 songs divided into 10 distinct acts. You won’t want to miss it, but in the meantime, check out our Taylor Swift-Inspired Guide to New Orleans here .

Krewe of Boo

Celebrate Halloween

October 1-31

Halloween may fall on a Thursday this year, but the entire month is a celebration of the spookiest city in the U.S. From haunted houses to ghost tours and the Krewe of BOO! parade , New Orleans is a Halloween destination all October long. Click  here  to see how New Orleans typically celebrates spooky season.

Seafood Gumbo

Taste classic New Orleans food

Year-round; seasonality applies

Classic New Orleans food is reason enough to spawn a visit to the city. Think: decadent gumbo, red beans & rice, crawfish étouffée, soft-shell crab, overstuffed po-boys, oysters on the half shell…is your mouth watering yet? Learn about famous New Orleans foods here and make plans to come on a food tour.

Bayou Classic Battle of the Band

See the rivalry at Bayou Classic

Thanksgiving weekend

Bayou Classic is an annual tradition each and every Thanksgiving weekend, with four decades of football games held mostly in New Orleans. The rivalry between Southern University and Grambling State couldn’t be closer, with their records matching each other almost evenly. The weekend is about more than just football, we’re celebrating HBCU culture at large, with a Battle of the Bands, parade, and fanfare throughout the weekend. Learn more about the historic meeting here .   

Christmas Tree in Washington Artillery Park

Experience the Holidays, New Orleans Style

November 29 - December 31

The day after Thanksgiving kicks off Holidays New Orleans style, a monthlong celebration that brings the holiday season to life. During the holiday season, enjoy Celebration in the Oaks , NOLA Christmas Fest , the Children’s Hospital New Orleans Holiday Parade , Algiers Bonfire Festival , plus shopping, dining, music, and more. Learn  more here and experience the magic of New Orleans.

Fireworks on the Mississippi River

Ring in the New Year

December 31

New Orleans is the perfect place to ring in the new year, with parties, restaurant reservations, concerts, and children’s celebrations all on the calendar. Take a look at  7 Reasons to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New Orleans  and expect many of the same offerings to be available on December 31, 2024.

New Orleans By Month

Author: Lauren Saizan

Lauren Saizan is a New Orleans native raised in the Gentilly neighborhood. In addition to being the editorial and online content manager for New Orleans & Company, she is also a member of Mélange Dance Company. Lauren has performed professionally in many venues across the city, including the Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Longue Vue House & Gardens, and Marigny Opera House. When not writing or dancing, she can be spotted sipping the Blue Eyes tea at French Truck, attending a concert downtown, or visiting a local library.

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The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

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Best & Worst Time to Visit New Orleans in 2024

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The best time to visit New Orleans is during the spring months, particularly from February to May. This period offers a delightful blend of pleasant weather, vibrant cultural events, and a lively atmosphere.

The temperatures during these months are comfortably warm, typically ranging from the mid-60s to the low 80s Fahrenheit, making it ideal for exploring the city's charming streets and historic neighborhoods.

One of the most compelling reasons to visit New Orleans in spring is the famous Mardi Gras celebration, usually held in February or March. This festival transforms the city into a kaleidoscope of parades, music, and colorful costumes, presenting an unforgettable experience.

Additionally, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, held in late April and early May, attracts music lovers worldwide with its rich display of jazz, blues, and other music genres.

Apart from these festivals, spring in New Orleans is a time of blooming gardens and outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls in the French Quarter, boat tours on the Mississippi River, and sampling the city's renowned culinary delights, from beignets to jambalaya.

While summers in New Orleans are warm and humid and winters can be unpredictable, spring offers a harmonious balance, making it the prime season for experiencing the city's unique blend of culture, history, and entertainment.

What Month is the Best to Visit New Orleans

What Month is the Best to Visit New Orleans

Visiting New Orleans in January

January in New Orleans brings cooler temperatures, averaging around 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a quieter time for the city, making it perfect for those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.

Visitors can enjoy the iconic sights of the French Quarter without the usual crowds, and local events like the Twelfth Night mark the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. January is also a great time to explore the city's museums and indoor attractions, as the cooler weather lends itself to indoor activities.

Visiting New Orleans in February

February in New Orleans is vibrant and lively, highlighted by the famous Mardi Gras celebrations. This month sees the city at its most colorful and festive, with parades, music, and street parties. The weather is mild, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit.

It's the perfect time for tourists who want to experience the city's legendary party atmosphere. However, it's important to book accommodations well in advance, as this is a popular time for tourists.

Visiting New Orleans in March

March in New Orleans is characterized by the tail end of Mardi Gras and the onset of spring. The weather continues to warm up, offering pleasant days with temperatures between the mid-60s and 70s Fahrenheit.

This month is ideal for outdoor activities like strolling through the historic French Quarter or visiting the beautiful City Park. Additionally, the New Orleans Bourbon Festival typically takes place in March, offering a unique experience for whiskey enthusiasts.

Visiting New Orleans in April

April is one of the best months to visit New Orleans, thanks to the perfect weather and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The city is alive with the sounds of jazz, blues, and R&B, attracting music lovers from all over the world.

Temperatures are warm yet comfortable, usually in the 70s Fahrenheit. Visitors can also enjoy the blooming beauty of the city's gardens and parks, making it ideal for those who appreciate both cultural events and nature.

Visiting New Orleans in May

May in New Orleans is warm and lively, with temperatures often reaching into the 80s Fahrenheit. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival continues into early May, offering more opportunities to enjoy world-class music.

The city's outdoor spaces, like the Audubon Park and the Mississippi Riverfront, are particularly inviting during this month. Food enthusiasts will enjoy the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, which typically occurs in late May.

Visiting New Orleans in June

June marks the beginning of summer in New Orleans, with temperatures often climbing into the high 80s and 90s Fahrenheit. This month is less crowded, making it a good time for visitors who prefer a more laid-back experience.I

t's an excellent period for exploring indoor attractions like the National WWII Museum or enjoying the city's famous culinary scene. However, visitors should be prepared for the possibility of rain and high humidity.

Visiting New Orleans in July

July in New Orleans is hot and humid, with temperatures frequently in the 90s Fahrenheit. This is the heart of summer, and the city adjusts with a slower, more relaxed pace. It's a good time for indoor activities, such as exploring the famous New Orleans Museum of Art or enjoying the city's renowned jazz clubs.

The Essence Music Festival, one of the largest events celebrating African-American music and culture, often takes place in July, offering a unique and vibrant experience.

Visiting New Orleans in August

August continues the trend of high temperatures and humidity, with similar weather to July. This month is less crowded, offering a more laid-back visit. It's an excellent time for those interested in culinary experiences, as the city celebrates COOLinary New Orleans, where many restaurants offer special menus at reduced prices.

Additionally, the Satchmo SummerFest, a festival dedicated to the legendary Louis Armstrong, typically occurs in August, showcasing jazz music, local food, and cultural discussions.

Visiting New Orleans in September

September in New Orleans sees a slight decrease in temperature but remains quite warm, with averages in the 80s Fahrenheit. The city starts to come alive again after the hot summer, with various events and festivals.

The New Orleans Burlesque Festival is a highlight, celebrating the art of burlesque with performances and workshops. It's also a great time to experience outdoor dining in the city's many courtyards and patios, enjoying the still-warm evenings.

Visiting New Orleans in October

October is one of the most pleasant months to visit New Orleans, with mild temperatures ranging from the high 60s to the low 80s Fahrenheit. The city celebrates the Halloween season with gusto, offering haunted tours, costume balls, and festive parades.

The weather is comfortable for exploring the city's outdoor attractions, such as the historic cemeteries and the scenic riverfront.

Visiting New Orleans in November

November brings cooler weather to New Orleans, with temperatures usually between the 50s and 70s Fahrenheit. It's a fantastic time for visitors who prefer a quieter experience, as the summer crowds have dissipated.

The city's cultural scene is vibrant, with events like the New Orleans Film Festival and the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful autumn colors in the city parks, making it a great month for outdoor enthusiasts.

Visiting New Orleans in December

December in New Orleans is festive and charming, with temperatures typically in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit. The city is beautifully decorated for the holiday season, with lights and decorations adorning the streets and public spaces.

The Celebration in the Oaks, a stunning display of holiday lights in City Park, is a must-see. It's also a good time for shopping, with holiday markets and unique local boutiques offering a variety of goods. The cooler weather is ideal for enjoying the city's famous beignets and hot coffee.

New Orleans Weather Guide

New Orleans Weather Guide

New Orleans offers a unique climate that varies significantly throughout the year, creating distinct experiences for visitors in each season.

New Orleans Weather Year Round Table

This weather data is provided by   Weather Spark .

In New Orleans, the weather varies from cool and windy winters to long, hot summers. The summers are known for their high temperatures and humidity, peaking in July with an average high of 91°F (33°C). Winters, while short, bring cooler temperatures, with January being the coldest month, averaging a low of 43°F (6°C).

Rainfall is distributed throughout the year, with July experiencing the most rain days. The transitional seasons of spring and fall offer more comfortable temperatures and are generally considered the best times to visit for warm-weather activities.

New Orleans Travel Guide and Trip Ideas

New Orleans Travel Guide and Trip Ideas

New Orleans, a city rich in history, culture, and unforgettable experiences, offers a diverse array of attractions and activities. This guide explores the best places to visit, things to do, accommodations, and tours, ensuring your trip to the Big Easy is as memorable as the city itself.

Places to Visit in New Orleans

New Orleans is a treasure trove of historic sites, vibrant neighborhoods, and unique attractions. From the lively streets of the French Quarter to the tranquil beauty of City Park, there’s something for every traveler.

  • French Quarter : The heart of New Orleans, known for its historic architecture, lively bars, and street performers.
  • Garden District : Renowned for its stunning antebellum homes and lush gardens.
  • National WWII Museum : A must-visit for history buffs, offering an in-depth look at the impact of WWII.
  • Jackson Square : A historic park, famous for its artistic scene and the iconic St. Louis Cathedral.
  • City Park : Offers a range of outdoor activities amidst picturesque landscapes and waterways.
  • Audubon Zoo and Aquarium : Perfect for families, showcasing a wide variety of animals and marine life.

What to Do in New Orleans (Top Things to Do)

New Orleans is not just a city to visit; it’s a city to experience. From indulging in culinary delights to soaking up the vibrant music scene, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy.

  • Enjoy Live Jazz Music : Visit the city's numerous jazz clubs for an authentic New Orleans experience.
  • Explore the Culinary Scene : Sample Creole and Cajun cuisine at renowned local restaurants.
  • Take a Steamboat Cruise : Experience the Mississippi River on a historic steamboat.
  • Attend Mardi Gras : Participate in one of the world’s most famous festivals.
  • Stroll Down Bourbon Street : Experience the lively atmosphere of New Orleans' most famous street.
  • Visit Art Galleries and Museums : Explore the city's rich artistic and cultural heritage.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

Accommodation in New Orleans ranges from luxury hotels to charming bed-and-breakfasts, catering to every preference and budget.

  • French Quarter Hotels : Stay in the midst of the action with easy access to major attractions.
  • Garden District Bed-and-Breakfasts : Experience Southern hospitality in a historic setting.
  • Downtown Condos : Ideal for those seeking modern amenities close to business and entertainment areas.
  • Mid-City Guesthouses : Offers a more local experience, away from the tourist crowds.
  • Warehouse District Apartments : A trendy area with a blend of old and new, close to art galleries and museums.

Best Tours in New Orleans

To fully appreciate New Orleans' rich history and culture, consider taking one of the many guided tours available.

  • French Quarter Walking Tours : Discover the stories behind the historic architecture and famous landmarks.
  • Swamp and Bayou Tours : Explore Louisiana's unique wetlands and wildlife.
  • Haunted and Voodoo Tours : Experience the city's mysterious side with tales of ghosts and voodoo.
  • Culinary Tours : Taste your way through New Orleans' culinary landscape.
  • Jazz Tours : Immerse yourself in the birthplace of jazz with visits to iconic music venues.
  • Plantation Tours : Journey into the past with visits to the region's historic plantations.

When is the Best Time to Travel to New Orleans


Best Time to Visit New Orleans with Family

The ideal time for a family trip to New Orleans is from late February to early April. This period avoids the intense summer heat and coincides with many family-friendly festivals and events.

The weather is pleasant, perfect for outdoor activities like picnics in City Park or visiting the Audubon Zoo. Moreover, Mardi Gras, with its vibrant parades, falls during this time, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both kids and adults.

Best Time to Visit New Orleans Without Crowds

To experience New Orleans without the crowds, plan a visit in late November to early December or in January, post-New Year. These times offer cooler weather and fewer tourists, providing a more peaceful exploration of the city.

Attractions like the French Quarter and the Garden District are less crowded, allowing for a more relaxed pace. Additionally, hotel rates are generally lower during these months, making it a budget-friendly option.

Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Seafood

Seafood enthusiasts should consider visiting New Orleans from April to June. This period is prime time for fresh seafood, including the much-loved crawfish season, which peaks in April and May.

Local restaurants and seafood festivals during these months showcase the best of Gulf seafood, from oysters to shrimp. The weather is also conducive for dining outdoors, enhancing the culinary experience.

Best Time to Visit New Orleans French Quarter

The French Quarter is best visited in the spring, particularly from March to May. This time of the year offers moderate temperatures and lower humidity, making it comfortable to walk through the historic streets and enjoy outdoor dining.

The spring calendar is packed with events like the French Quarter Festival in April, adding to the area's lively atmosphere. Additionally, the blooming gardens and courtyards add to the charm of the Quarter.

Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Cheapest

For budget-conscious travelers, the cheapest time to visit New Orleans is during the summer months, from June to August. Although it's the hot and humid season, you'll find the lowest hotel rates and airfares.

This period is also less crowded, meaning you can enjoy major attractions without long lines. Keep in mind that afternoon thunderstorms are common, so plan indoor activities accordingly.

Worst Time to Visit New Orleans

The worst time to visit New Orleans is typically during the peak summer months, from late June to August. During this period, the city experiences its highest temperatures and humidity levels, making outdoor activities uncomfortably hot and tiring.

The sweltering heat often reaches into the 90s Fahrenheit, coupled with significant humidity. Additionally, this time coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season, increasing the chances of heavy rains and potential storms.

Tourists looking for a more comfortable and less risky experience might want to avoid planning their trip during these months.

Best Time to Visit New Orleans FAQ

What is the best month to visit new orleans.

The best month to visit New Orleans is April. This month offers comfortable temperatures, vibrant cultural events like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the beauty of spring in full bloom.

When is the peak tourist season in New Orleans?

The peak tourist season in New Orleans is during Mardi Gras, usually in February or early March. This period sees the city come alive with parades, music, and festivities.

Is summer a good time to visit New Orleans?

Summer, particularly from June to August, can be challenging due to high temperatures and humidity. It's less ideal for those who prefer outdoor activities and comfort.

When is the cheapest time to visit New Orleans?

The cheapest time to visit New Orleans is during the summer months, especially from June to August. Despite the heat, you'll find lower hotel rates and airfares.

Can you visit New Orleans during the winter?

Yes, you can visit New Orleans in winter. The months of December and January are cooler and less crowded, offering a quiet and enjoyable experience with mild weather.

When is the best time for food lovers to visit New Orleans?

Food lovers should consider visiting in April and May. This period coincides with crawfish season and numerous food festivals, showcasing the city's rich culinary heritage.

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best time to visit new orleans 2024

Best Time To Visit New Orleans | 2024 Travel Guide

New Orleans is a lively city in Louisiana on the Mississippi River, located close to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s nicknamed “Big Easy” for its 24-hour nightlife, dynamic live-music scene, and spicy, unique food that reflects its past as a melting pot of French, African, and American cultures.

New Orleans is known for Mardi Gras, the late-winter celebration that is renowned for colorful costumed parades and street parties.

No matter the time of the year, a visit to this beautiful city guarantees a great time! With unforgettable special events happening throughout the entire year, warm weather, unique things to see and do around every corner and so much more, you’re bound to have a good time in New Orleans.

Keep reading to see when the perfect time will be for you to visit New Orleans. 

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Best Time To Visit New Orleans

There isn’t a bad time to visit New Orleans, as all of the different seasons offer something amazing to experience.

Determining the best season to visit really depends on what you want your New Orleans experience to look like. Do you want to experience the hustle and bustle of the festival season, or would you prefer to travel during the shoulder season to avoid crowds and high prices? 

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Spring in New Orleans – End of March to Late June

Spring is one of the greatest times to visit New Orleans because the weather is often nicer than the rest of the year: not too hot and not too wet!

April and May are the driest months of the year, with an average of only four rainy days each.

The weather during the spring months is pleasant, with average high temperatures ranging from 20 to 27 degrees Celsius.

Spring in New Orleans means you can expect plenty of fun in the sun, JazzFest, and other outdoor celebrations – making New Orleans ideal for a long weekend escape, or a complete spring break vacation!

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Spring Events in New Orleans

Tennessee williams literary festival: march.

The Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival is a five-day festival hosted in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter each spring that draws visitors from all over the world who will attend workshops, panels, and much more.

French Quarter Festival: April

The French Quarter Festival is a free, annual music festival held in early April in New Orleans, Louisiana’s historic French Quarter. This year, it will take place from Apr 13 – Apr 16, 2023.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: April – May

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is an annual celebration of local music and culture held at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds Race Course. Every year, thousands of travelers attend New Orleans for Jazz Fest!

The lineup for the 2023 event, taking place from April 28 to May 7, features performances by Lizzo, Ed Sheeran, and many other incredible artists.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Summer in New Orleans – End of June to Late September

As summer approaches, tourists leave the city as the hottest months bring the heat and humidity, leaving a trail of fantastic hotel room offers in their wake! If you’re okay with the heat, this is a wonderful time of the year to visit New Orleans and snag some great hotel rates.

Keep in mind that the average summer temperatures remain in the hot low 30s, making walking around the city during the heat of the day somewhat uncomfortable. This is also the rainiest season, so bring an umbrella for the rainy days! With the summer heat and it being hurricane season, the summer months are the cheapest time to visit New Orleans. You can find amazing hotel deals, and fewer tourists during this time.

The summer months in New Orleans also usher in a plethora of free events, including outdoor art markets, festivals, and free museum entry days. Visit a city park, go gallery hopping, cool off with some refreshing cocktails, and relax by a pool.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Summer Events in New Orleans

Essence music festival: june – july.

The Essence Festival, sometimes known as “the party with a purpose,” is an annual music festival that began in 1995 as a one-time event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Essence, an African-American women’s magazine. It grew to be the largest gathering of African-American culture and music in the United States.

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience: June

This is a gourmet feast throughout New Orleans featuring great chefs, fine wine, and one-of-a-kind entertainment happening June 7-11, 2023. Experience banquets, galas, grand tastings, demonstrations, seminars, promenades, and more at various venues throughout the metro area.

New Orleans Pride: June

Every year in early June (this year – June 7-11, 2023), New Orleans Pride celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in the Crescent City and beyond in the French Quarter.  Pride is an excellent opportunity to see the welcoming nature of New Orleanians.

New Orleans Pride typically involves parties throughout the French Quarter, special events at Bourbon Street bars and beyond, burlesque shows, culinary events, and other activities.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Fall in New Orleans – End of September to Late December

Fall months in New Orleans provide relief from the heat and are a pleasant time of the year to travel to New Orleans. Average hotel rates remain low, and temperatures stay around the mid-20s. But make sure to keep an eye on the weather, since late August and early September are the height of hurricane season.

However, for some, New Orleans is more pleasurable to visit in the fall compared to the summer because of the more mild temperatures and the abundance of cultural events. You’re bound to experience nonstop fun, whether you’re a foodie eager to sample the best of New Orleans cuisine or take part in football season and soak up the atmosphere of a Saints game.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Fall Events in New Orleans

New orleans film festival: november.

With a focus on new, diverse storytellers from around the world, the New Orleans Film Festival delivers the finest in independent film to New Orleans in early November.

Beignet Fest: September

Experience New Orleans Beignets at Beignet Fest, which is held at New Orleans City Park’s Festival Grounds at the end of September. Bring your hunger and load up on delectable, decadent goodies like classic Beignets dusted with powdered sugar or unique savory Beignets filled with cheese, shellfish, and more.

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience: October

In New Orleans, there is a multi-day music and arts festival that takes place in October called the Voodoo Music and Arts Festival. On Halloween weekend, you can experience some of the top musical performers in the nation.  Of course, this festival’s best attraction is the fantastic music! However, the festival experience wouldn’t be complete without the food; the three-day festival will also feature chefs from New Orleans’ best restaurants.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Winter in New Orleans – E nd of December to Late March

The winter months are a sweet spot in New Orleans for tourism. With normal high temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius, the city has had time to cool down, and the spring celebrations haven’t yet begun. 

January is the coldest month and it is also the time just before Mardi Gras, when the city really gets busy. Because of this, January draws fewer travelers, which results in more affordable accommodation prices. It’s also a wonderful time to travel during the winter holiday season because you’ll be able to see the city decked out in festive decorations!

Once Fat Tuesday (February 21, 2023) gets closer, the Mardi Gras celebrations begin and the crowds start rolling in. With Mardi Gras season comes higher prices and large crowds, since this is the most popular time to visit New Orleans. 

Mardi Gras Travel Tips: 

Hotel rates are high during Mardi Gras season, so make sure to book your accommodation well in advance, even up to a year in advance for the best price. Keeping this in mind, Mardi Gras 2024 is on Feb 13, 2024. 

It’s important to note that many of the city’s most popular attractions are closed during Mardi Gras, so plan a trip that doesn’t coincide with the holiday if sightseeing is your top priority.  

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Winter Events in New Orleans

Sugar bowl: january.

The Sugar Bowl is an annual college football bowl game in the United States that takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the second-oldest bowl game in the nation, behind only the Rose Bowl Game, and has been played every year since January 1, 1935, together with the Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl.

Mardi Gras: February 

Celebrating Mardi Gras actually begins earlier than Fat Tuesday, with parades beginning weeks in advance! There are many activities to do in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and the Carnival season other than watching parades, getting dressed up in beads and masks, eating king cake, visiting Mardi Gras World (where a lot of the parade floats are created), and much more. The primary festivities for Mardi Gras 2023 will take place two weeks before the actual date, which is February 21st this year. 

Check out the 2023 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule here .

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Best Things To See and Do in New Orleans

French quarter .

The French Quarter is a must-visit destination all year round. The Vieux Carre, the city’s oldest area, is home to stunning architecture, a tonne of history, a wide variety of food and music, and a colorful cast of characters that includes long-time locals, chatty tour guides, and skilled street performers. Take in the vistas of the Mississippi from the edge of the Quarter and don’t forget to visit historic sites like the Historic New Orleans Collection.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Bourbon Street

The amazing nightlife of New Orleans is embodied by Bourbon Street. Every tourist who visits New Orleans needs to experience Bourbon Street at least once. Neon lights illuminate the street, alive with music and embellished with balconies and beads. Visit iconic bars, enjoy live music, experience luxury hotels and restaurants, and much more.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

New Orleans Jazz Museum

Given that New Orleans is the location where jazz music originated, it only seems to make sense that there would be a jazz museum there. You can see and hear the history of jazz in this extensive collection of objects from the very start of the 20th century. Additionally, the museum conducts instructional programs for children (and adults, too) who want to perform jazz like the city’s jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt, Louis Prima, and more. It also hosts more than 365 concerts annually.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

New Orleans City Park

1,300 acres of beautifully maintained green space known as City Park are home to moss-covered oak trees, tranquil strolling trails, and native birds. Rent a swan boat at the Big Lake, take the kids to Storyland, and let your inner child loose at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Don’t miss the Couturie Forest, a varied nature walk that includes Laborde Mountain, which rises a remarkable 43 feet above sea level and is New Orleans’ highest point.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

The French Market

The French Market has been operating since the late 18th century, and although it has changed throughout the years alongside the city, it still retains an open-air market-like atmosphere. The five-block-long French Market features a wide selection of regional foods, artwork, and retail stores. Dutch Alley, a pedestrian plaza, and the New Orleans Jazz National Park visitor center, where you may find the answers to all of your questions about jazz in the city. There are local restaurants in the area which are some of the best places to find amazing food, including a wide range of New Orleans staples such as po’boys, oysters, and more.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Visit Jackson Square

Jackson Square is a lovely French-style square modeled after Place des Vosges in Paris, France. Jackson Square is named for General Andrew Jackson, a celebrated Battle of New Orleans hero (who subsequently became President). The Jackson statue and the St. Louis Cathedral are two prominent landmarks in the French Quarter’s central square. Visitors won’t want to miss taking a trip around the region, as it is full of historic landmarks. Don’t forget to stop at the renowned Cafe du Monde for a cup of coffee and some beignets.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Warehouse District

Brick buildings that were once warehouses have been converted into chic coffee shops, unique boutiques, and BBQ eateries in the popular Warehouse District in New Orleans. In this area you can also explore the famed National WWII Museum, see warplanes that are displayed in a towering pavilion, and view the local artwork on display at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Modern art galleries surround Julia Street, and at the Crescent City Farmers Market, vendors sell local food and baked goods.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

If you’re looking for some unique outdoor activities in New Orleans, why not go on a swamp tour? Swap out the crowded tourist attractions of the city for peaceful surroundings and the possibility to see some local animals. Choose between sailing a boat through the wetlands or paddling on a kayak. Going on a swamp tour is an amazing way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the natural wonders of Louisiana.

best time to visit new orleans 2024

New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

Voodoo had a significant role in New Orleans’ past and learning the long history of New Orleans voodoo is one of the best ways to appreciate the city’s vibrant culture. This museum is dedicated to commemorating voodoo history, folklore, and its significance in modern New Orleans literature, film, and music. It is a favorite stop for voodoo experts. Locally crafted voodoo dolls, gris-gris bags, candles, and potions are available for purchase in the museum’s gift shop.

Best New Orleans Travel Guides

best time to visit new orleans 2024

Fodor’s New Orleans

The local Fodor’s travel specialists in New Orleans provide guidance on everything from drinking on Bourbon Street to taking part in Mardi Gras to listening to jazz on Frenchmen Street. Maps, carefully chosen recommendations, and everything else you need to streamline your trip preparation and make the most of your time are all included in Fodor’s New Orleans travel guidebook.

Get your copy here: Fodor’s New Orleans

best time to visit new orleans 2024

DK Eyewitness New Orleans

New Orleans is a city unlike any other since it is a mingling ground for cultures from Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe. This mix of influences has resulted in a city that constantly celebrates life, as proven by its contagious music, delicious cuisine, and vibrant party vibe.

With expert-led insights and guidance, thorough information on all the must-see attractions, and stunning photography and illustrations, DK Eyewitness’s guide brings New Orleans to life and transports you there like no other travel guide does. The trip of a lifetime is yours with DK Eyewitness New Orleans.

Get your copy of the travel guide here: DK Eyewitness New Orleans

The Best Time to Visit New Orleans

To sum it all up, no matter when you decide to visit New Orleans you’re sure to have a fantastic time, as each season offers something unique to experience.

Head to New Orleans in February to attend Mardi Gras if this has been on your bucket list! You could also choose to visit New Orleans between March and May, when the weather is at a comfortable temperature and the festivities are in full force. Or, if you want to avoid the craziness of Mardi Gras, choose to go in December or January when the city is its most quiet and you don’t have to worry about making hotel reservations a year in advance. Looking for the most affordable option? Travel in the summer or fall to score cheaper rates on hotel rooms. 

There’s a perfect time of the year for everyone for a visit to New Orleans!


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20 Best Things to Do in New Orleans in 2024

Best Things to Do in New Orleans

New Orleans, The Crescent City, The Big Easy — whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying that New Orleans is the place to go to have fun in the Deep South. But while New Orleans is known as a party city, it’s so much more than that. Go to Bourbon Street for a celebration that spills out onto the sidewalk every evening, but beyond this, make an effort to also find the plenteous watering holes, spooky haunts, mouthwatering food scene, and near-endless culture and history that all exist in New Orleans.

Ready to discover all that New Orleans has to offer? We’re helping you build your itinerary, with the 20 best things to do in New Orleans.

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Neighborhoods to Explore in New Orleans

Okay, so you don’t always head to a particular destination just to see the neighborhoods, but exploring the neighborhoods of New Orleans is bound to come with some adventure and you can find many a tour to show you the best spots to discover said adventure. Whether you prefer spooky haunted tours, food tours, or historic or architectural tours, you can find one that fits your travel style — or, you can head off and explore these neighborhoods on your own.

1. The French Quarter

The French Quarter

Photo: The French Quarter via Viator

The French Quarter is a required experience when visiting New Orleans, no matter how far away your hotel may be. Centered around Bourbon Street, the French Quarter is New Orleans’ most popular and recognizable neighborhood, with its historic architecture and mixture of old-timey luxury and modern-day debauchery. Live music delights at every turn and you won’t need to walk far to find a drink.

While you could easily keep yourself entertained in the French Quarter once dusk settles, no help needed, for a daytime activity in the neighborhood, try a French Quarter historical sights and stories walking tour .

2. The Garden District

The Garden District in New Orleans

Photo: The Garden District via Viator

The Garden District is a little more refined than the French Quarter, but just as historic. This is where you can go to see the plantation mansions and incredible Southern gardens, with the moss-wrapped oak trees and magnolia trees in full bloom. Photo ops abound, as you might guess.

You can see the Garden District on your own if you hop on and off the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, or you can book a tour .


Photo: Bywater via TripAdvisor

The Bywater neighborhood is more residential than the French Quarter and the Garden District, but getting off the beaten path and exploring this neighborhood definitely comes with its perks. Boutique shopping, art, galleries, music venues, dives, and more abound. A walking tour can show you the best of the best of this evolving spot.

Museums in New Orleans

Learn a little bit about the culture and history of New Orleans, with a visit to one of the city’s most interesting, one-of-a-kind museums.

4. Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World

Photo: Mardi Gras World via Tiqets

Don’t have the chance to visit New Orleans for actual Mardi Gras? Get the next best thing by buying tickets for Mardi Gras World . This museum is unlike any other you’ve ever seen, with its larger-than-life floats and colorful costumes. View collections from Mardi Gras festivals past and get closer than you likely ever could at any parade.

5. The National World War II Museum

National WW2 Museum


A little more serious, the National World War II Museum could take an entire day of exploration, maybe even more than a day. The museum experience is incredibly immersive, dropping you into recreated environments from the European and Pacific Theaters. The extensive collection of memorabilia and machinery is sure to impress.

6. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Photo: New Orleans Pharmacy Museum Facebook

This small museum will require little time from your itinerary, but it is still worth a visit for anyone interested in the odd and sometimes disturbing history of medicine. The first floor of this museum covers questionable medical practices, voodoo potions, and antique surgical instruments, among other items and topics. The top floor contains rotating exhibits, as well as the home’s original historic living quarters. Several New Orleans tours worth booking offer a stop at the Pharmacy Museum.

7. The Museum of Death



The New Orleans Museum of Death contains all things, well, pertaining to death. If you have an interest in anything death-related, you can find it here, from the more “normal” death-related items, such as exhibits on embalming and autopsies, to the more disturbing, such as exhibits on serial killer art. The museum is definitely not one for children or those with weak stomachs, but it is interesting nonetheless.

8. The New Orleans Voodoo Museum

Voodoo Museum


Voodoo comes with its own very real culture and history, one that’s impacted New Orleans a great deal. While the causal tourists might merely want to stop into a voodoo shop for a gris-gris bag to take home as a souvenir, if you actually want to learn a thing or two, you might want to stop into the New Orleans Voodoo Museum , too. The small museum features relics and paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. There are many New Orleans Voodoo Tours to consider .

9. New Orleans Museum of Art

New Orleans Museum of Art


The New Orleans Museum of Art sits inside City Park (more on that free attraction in a bit) and contains nearly 50,000 works of art from some of your favorite artists from the Renaissance era onward. From Monet to O’Keefe to Rodin, there’s a little bit of it all. A sculpture garden sits adjacent.

10. Studio Be

Studio Be New Orleans


A non-traditional art museum in the Bywater neighborhood, Studio Be is dedicated to public art. A huge, 35,000-square-foot, four-building, five-story space makes up what is the largest public art exhibition in the South. Originally designed as a non-permanent museum, Studio Be has stuck around since 2016, gaining great fame and attention from all around the world. The museum was even called one of the 50 best things to see in the world.

Spooky Attractions in New Orleans

New Orleans is known for its spooky attractions, too. From voodoo legends to Anne Rice’s vampires, American Horror Story’s covens to the city’s above-ground cemeteries, ghost stories lurk around every corner.

11. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Photo: Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 via Viator

One of the oldest cemeteries in New Orleans, built in the early 1800s, Lafayette Cemetery is beautiful, if also macabre. More than 7,000 people are laid to rest here, but there aren’t too many notable internments. Still, plenty of notable living people have been attracted to the cemetery, for things like publicity stunts and filming for movies and television series. The cemetery was used as a shooting location for Interview with the Vampire, The Originals, and The Vampire Diaries, as well as for music videos from LeAnn Rimes and New Kids on the Block. Anne Rice emerged from a coffin in the cemetery once, as a promotion for a 1995 book.

To see the cemetery for yourself, you’ll need a guide, but luckily, you can pair a Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 tour with a New Orleans Garden District tour .

12. LaLaurie Mansion

LaLaurie Mansion

Photo: LaLaurie Mansion via TripAdvisor

Sign up for just about any ghost tour in New Orleans and you’re likely to make a stop by the LaLaurie Mansion, or LaLaurie House. Tales of torture and murder abound and no owner has stuck around long, at least not long enough to sweep away the ghosts that are supposedly the long-term residents. While you won’t be able to go inside, a tour will tell you all you need to know about the grisly home.

13. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1  


Photo: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 via Viator

While Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is old, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is older, established in the late 1700s. Part of a group of three cemeteries (No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3), St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is purported to be the final resting place of such historic characters as voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and slave owner Delphine LaLaurie. Nicholas Cage has also famously purchased a plot here. To see St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, a tour is required , but you can visit St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 without a tour, and see the tombs there that date back to the 1850s.

Sports Activities in New Orleans

Don’t think of New Orleans as a sports city? Think again. The Big Easy is ready and willing to cheer on its two professional sports teams.

14. The Superdome

Caesars Superdome


At the Superdome (its official name is Caesars Superdome, like the casino, but let’s be real — it’ll always just be the Superdome), you can catch a New Orleans Saints game during the fall and early winter. If you’re not in town for NFL season, you can find other events occurring at the venue throughout the year, from the New Orleans Home & Garden Show in the spring to concerts to collegiate events.

15. Smoothie King Center

Smoothie King Center


Right next to the Superdome, Smoothie King Center is home to the New Orleans Pelicans. An NBA game is a fun way to spend an evening in the city, especially if you’re not into the nightlife scene, but if you’re not in town for NBA season, still check the center’s calendar. You can find A-list music acts performing just about every week.

Free Things to Do in New Orleans

Saving your cash for cocktails? We wouldn’t blame you. Here are a few free things to enjoy while in New Orleans.

16. Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral

Jackson Square

Photo: Jackson Square via Pixabay

Jackson Square is another iconic New Orleans sight to see. On the edge of the French Quarter, right next to the Mississippi River, Jackson Square provides wonderful views of St. Louis Cathedral. The square is always bustling with activity, tourists, and street musicians. Enjoy the view, but then also stop into St. Louis Cathedral for a quick glimpse at the oldest cathedral in continuous use in the United States. Self-guided tours are free (though you do have to pay $1 for a brochure if you want one).

If you do decide to spend a few bucks after walking about the square, check out Cafe du Monde , on one of the square’s corners, where they’re serving up some of New Orleans’ best beignets and cafe au lait. 

17. The Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum

Lower 9th Ward Living Museum


A newer small museum in New Orleans, the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum covers the history of the neighborhood that many may only know due to news coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Learn not only about the history of the neighborhood but also about the hurricane’s impact and how things have changed since 2005. The best part? Admission is always free.

18. The Sazerac House

Sazerac House


The Sazerac House offers free tours to introduce visitors to New Orleans’ cocktail culture. The interactive museum sits across three stories, all filled with exhibits on how Sazerac Rye is distilled, how bitters are handcrafted, and how it all comes together for a classic cocktail.

19. City Park

City Park New Orleans


City Park is like New Orleans’ Central Park. The expansive green space is gorgeously landscaped and home to tons of extra attractions beyond the greenery and ancient, moss-draped trees. There are nature trails, hiking, boating, museums, and even an amusement park.

20. Audubon Park

Audubon Park

Photo: Viator

Across the city, Audubon Park provides respite in the form of 350 acres of green space within Uptown. Popular with walkers, joggers, and cyclists, the park is also a favorite for visiting families, as it’s home to the Audubon Zoo and the Tree of Life, a mammoth oak tree that’s very easy to climb, but also a fun spot to stop and see if you can’t peak a few giraffes in their enclosures, from outside the zoo’s boundaries.

New Orleans is blisteringly hot in the summer and prone to hurricanes during the fall and winter. Your best bet for good weather is the spring.

You can easily fly into Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport from most urban airports. From there, you’ll want to take an Uber or Lyft into the city.

Unless you plan on leaving the city, there’s no point in renting a car for visiting New Orleans. You’ll have plenty to enjoy within the city, which is highly walkable. Anything that’s too far of a walk for you, can be equally easily reached via rideshare services.

Editorial Disclosure:   Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Holly Riddle Headshot

By Holly Riddle

Holly Riddle is a freelance travel, food, and lifestyle journalist who also dabbles in ghostwriting and fiction. Her work appears in publications ranging from Global Traveler to Golf Magazine, Mashed to Forbes, and Bloomberg. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the mountains near her home in the Adirondacks. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago and New Orleans.

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When is the best time to visit New Orleans?

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Which is the hottest month in New Orleans?

The hottest time of year in New Orleans is normally July . Expect maximum daytime temperatures to reach 33°C with very high heat and humidity .

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In terms of rainfall, July is usually the wettest month in New Orleans with 174mm on average. There are normally 14 days in July with some rain.

When is it sunniest in New Orleans?

The sunniest time of year in New Orleans is normally October with bright sunshine on average for 68 % of daylight hours; that's 8 hours of sunshine per day .

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5 Tips for a Successful Mardi Gras Trip to New Orleans in 2024

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Mardi Gras 2024 in New Orleans: A Guide to Planning the Trip of a Lifetime

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is an unforgettable experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The city comes alive with vibrant colors, lively music, and nonstop Mardi Gras celebrations leading up to the big day. If you’re planning a Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2024, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your Mardi Gras vacation.

Crawl New Orleans Mardis Gras Crawl 13

When is Mardi Gras 2024 in New Orleans?

First and foremost, it’s essential to know the dates of Mardi Gras 2024. The main event, also known as Fat Tuesday, will take place on Tuesday, February 13th. However, the Mardi Gras celebrations leading up to Mardi Gras, known as “Carnival season,” usually begin in January and run through Fat Tuesday. During this time, the city hosts numerous Mardi Gras parades, parties, and other events, so there are plenty of opportunities to get in on the fun.

What's open in New Orleans

Accommodations: Book Early to Secure Your Spot

Next, it’s crucial to book your Mardi Gras accommodations well in advance. Mardi Gras is a highly sought-after time to visit New Orleans, and hotels and Airbnb rentals can fill up quickly. To ensure you have a place to stay, it’s a good idea to start planning your Mardi Gras trip at least six months in advance. If you’re traveling with a group, consider renting a house or apartment for more space and privacy.

Crawl Nola 1 2

How to Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Now, decide how you want to experience Mardi Gras. There are several ways to participate in the Mardi Gras festivities, from watching Mardi Gras parades to attending Mardi Gras parties and balls. If you want to see the Mardi Gras parades, make sure to research the routes and stake out a spot along the route early. You can also purchase tickets to sit in grandstands, which offer a more organized and comfortable experience. If you’re interested in attending Mardi Gras parties or balls, you’ll need to purchase tickets or make arrangements with a local organization or krewe.

Group of friends enjoying a VIP bar crawl in the French Quarter

Experience Mardi Gras Like a Pro: Take an Organized Bar Crawl in New Orleans

Consider taking an organized Mardi Gras bar crawl to fully immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere. These events typically offer a guided tour of some of the best bars and clubs in the French Quarter, with live music and drink specials along the way. Book your spot in advance, as these events tend to fill up quickly, and enjoy the convenience of having everything planned out for you while you make new friends and celebrate Mardi Gras in style.

New Orleans Food Tours

Don’t Miss Out on Delicious New Orleans Cuisine and Drinks

Mardi Gras is also known for its delicious food and drinks. Be sure to indulge in some classic New Orleans cuisine, such as gumbo, beignets, and po’ boys. And don’t forget to sample some of the city’s famous cocktails, like the hurricane and the sazerac.

Stay Safe During Your Mardi Gras Trip to New Orleans

While Mardi Gras is a fun and festive time, safety should always be a priority. Stay in well-lit, crowded areas and keep an eye on your belongings. Traveling in groups and avoiding walking alone at night is also a good idea to ensure a safe and enjoyable Mardi Gras experience.

In conclusion, a Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans in 2024 is a unique and unforgettable experience waiting to be had. With a little planning and preparation, you can have the trip of a lifetime and create memories that will last forever.

5 Tips for Planning the Perfect Mardi Gras Trip to New Orleans in 2023

  • Mardi Gras 2024 in New Orleans will take place on February 12th.
  • Book your accommodations well in advance to secure a spot.
  • Decide how you want to experience Mardi Gras, whether it’s watching parades, attending parties or balls, or both.
  • Indulge in classic New Orleans cuisine and drinks.
  • Stay safe by staying in well-lit, crowded areas and traveling in groups.

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9 Best Things to Do in New Orleans May 2024


New Orleans is a city that knows how to party, and there’s no better time to visit than during the month of May, when the weather is warm and the city is alive with festivals and events. From live music and street performers to historical tours and delicious food, there’s something for everyone in New Orleans in May. Here are 9 of the best things to do in New Orleans May 2024:

French Quarter Festival

The French Quarter Festival is a free, four-day music festival that takes place in the historic French Quarter. The festival features over 500 musicians on multiple stages, as well as food, drinks, and art vendors. It’s a great way to experience the city’s vibrant culture and music scene.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is one of the most popular music festivals in the world. The festival takes place over two weekends in April-May, and features a wide variety of music genres, including jazz, blues, R&B, and gospel. There’s also food, drinks, and art vendors, as well as a kids’ area.

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is a three-day music festival that takes place in City Park. The festival features a mix of rock, alternative, and electronic music, as well as art installations and food vendors. It’s a great way to experience the city’s music and art scene.

Essence Festival

The Essence Festival is a four-day music festival that celebrates African-American culture. The festival features a variety of music genres, as well as speakers, workshops, and vendors. It’s a great way to experience the city’s vibrant African-American culture.

New Orleans Fringe Festival

The New Orleans Fringe Festival is a two-week performing arts festival that features a variety of shows, including theater, dance, music, and comedy. The festival takes place in venues throughout the city, and it’s a great way to experience the city’s thriving arts scene.

Culture in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city with a rich and diverse culture. The city’s unique blend of French, Spanish, African, and American influences can be seen in its music, food, and architecture. New Orleans is also home to a number of museums and historical sites, which offer visitors a chance to learn more about the city’s past and present.

Best Months to Visit New Orleans

The best time to visit New Orleans for festivals and events is during the spring and fall, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists. However, the city is also worth visiting during the summer, when the weather is hot and humid, but the city is alive with activity. Winter in New Orleans can be chilly, but the city still has plenty to offer visitors, including Mardi Gras.

Nearby Transportation

New Orleans is a major transportation hub, with a large international airport and a deep-water port. The city is also served by Amtrak, Greyhound, and Megabus. Once you’re in New Orleans, the best way to get around is by foot or by streetcar. The city’s public transportation system is reliable and affordable.

New Orleans is a foodie’s paradise. The city is home to a number of world-renowned restaurants, serving up everything from traditional Creole and Cajun cuisine to modern American fare. Some of the city’s most famous dishes include gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets.

Best Hotels

New Orleans has a wide variety of hotels to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury accommodations. Some of the best hotels in the city include the Ritz-Carlton, the Windsor Court Hotel, and the Ace Hotel New Orleans.

New Orleans is a city that has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re interested in music, history, or food, you’re sure to find something to love in New Orleans. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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Discover the Past: Best New Orleans Cemetery Tours- 2024

O n my latest getaway to New Orleans, I had the chance to dive into something a tad different from a typical attraction – a cemetery tour. I know the idea of traipsing through graveyards might not scream ‘family weekend getaway’, but New Orleans isn’t your typical city, and its cemeteries are anything but ordinary, so participating in one of the New Orleans cemetery tours really should be a part of your trip!

New Orleans is a city brimming with tales, where every corner tells a story, and in this city, the dead have some of the best stories to share. The city’s cemeteries, with their above-ground vaults, are more than just final resting places. They’re historical goldmines, giving us a peek into the past and showcasing the unique blend of cultures that make up this incredible city.

Planning your New Orleans adventure? Click here to book your combined city and cemetery tour !

Why are New Orleans Cemeteries Above Ground?

And why are they aboveground? Well, it all boils down to New Orleans’ below-sea-level quandary. Early settlers learned the hard way that traditional burials just didn’t cut it here (the bodies float to the top when it floods!) . So they adopted these unique burial practices, creating not just a practical solution but a visually stunning landscape that’s as much a part of New Orleans as beignets and jazz.

Thanks to my many years of planning the ins and outs of our family getaways, I get how hard it is to find fun things to do for everyone in the group. You want experiences that are engaging, enlightening, and worth every minute of your precious vacation time. That’s why I did the work to help you find the best cemetery tours in New Orleans. And yes, even though they are a bit creepy, there are several that are totally kid-friendly.

Best Combined New Orleans City & Cemetery Tours

1. new orleans city and cemetery tour.

When you are tight on time, a combined city and cemetery tour is perfect for families. This is what we did on our recent New Orleans getaway. We hopped on a small bus with a few other visitors and got to experience the hidden gems scattered throughout the city.

On this particular tour, you’ll see the elegant Garden District, feel the rhythm of Treme, and catch a glimpse of the resilience in the 9th Ward. It’s a chance to dive deep into the heart of New Orleans, cruising along Frenchmen Street, Esplanade Avenue, and beyond, all while soaking up tales that breathe life into the city’s history and culture.

Top 3 Benefits of This City and Cemetery Tour:

  • Maximize Your Time: This tour is all about getting the most out of your New Orleans visit. Cover more ground in less time and leave no stone unturned—from vibrant neighborhoods to sacred resting places.
  • Diverse Discoveries: Beyond the jazz and jambalaya, you’ll see the real New Orleans. Each neighborhood tells a part of the city’s story, from its triumphs to its tragedies, making for an eye-opening experience.
  • Educational and Entertaining: Perfect for curious minds of all ages. This tour blends fun facts, historical insights, and engaging stories to keep everyone entertained and informed.

For first-time visitors or those on a short weekend trip (maybe a combination New Orleans and beach vacation?) , this combined tour is a game-changer. Instead of having to choose between soaking up the city’s lively streets and delving into its hauntingly beautiful cemeteries, you get the best of both worlds.

Plus, after experiencing a tour like this you’ll have a good feel for where you’d like to go back to and explore in-depth (this is how I figured out I want to do just a cemetery tour on our next visit) . With prices ranging from $55 to $65, it’s an affordable way to explore New Orleans’ rich tapestry of cultures and histories.

I love this city & cemetery tour for a great overview of New Orleans AND the cemeteries.

2. New Orleans Architectural & Cemetery Tour

If you are at all into architecture as well as history, this would be the ideal combined city & cemetery tour for you. It’s a journey through the architectural marvels of New Orleans, coupled with an intimate look at St. Louis Cemetery #3, and some delightful pit stops that are sure to make your heart (and stomach) full.

The tour guides you into the sacred grounds of St. Louis Cemetery #3, where you’ll get out and explore a bit offering a rare glimpse into the city’s past, encapsulated within the silent stories of its tombs and mausoleums.

Why This Tour Stands Out:

  • Architectural Focus: Showcases the best of New Orleans’ architectural diversity. You’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for the city’s design heritage.
  • Cultural Immersion: The visit to St. Louis Cemetery #3 isn’t just about the graves; it’s a lesson in the traditions, beliefs, and histories that define New Orleans (which are super interesting!.
  • Indulgent Intermissions: What’s a tour without a little treat? Enjoy a serene break in City Park, check out the sculpture garden at NOMA, and cap it off with the world-famous beignets at Cafe du Monde . It’s the perfect blend of culture and indulgence.

Priced between $95 to $100, this tour offers a more comprehensive exploration of New Orleans, making it perfect if you want a little more than a basic overview.

I love this City Architecture & Cemetery Tour for its extra stops!

3. Dead of the Night Ghosts & New Orleans Cemetery Tour

If you’re drawn to the mysteries that linger in the moonlit streets of New Orleans, and the tales of the past that whisper in the shadows, then the Dead of the Night Ghosts & Cemetery Tour is perfect for you. This evening tour invites you into the darker side of New Orleans, blending the eerie beauty of its cemeteries with the spine-tingling thrill of ghost stories, all under the cloak of night.

As dusk falls over the city, this tour takes you beyond the ordinary into the realms of the extraordinary, including the enigmatic St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 , where the night adds a layer of mystique to the historical and architectural wonder. You’ll also hear the stories of the Charity Hospital Cemetery and a poignant stop at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial – a sobering reminder of the devastation that occurred during that hurricane not too long ago.

Highlights of the Dead of the Night Tour:

  • A Night to Remember: Experience New Orleans when it’s most magical—at night. There is nothing spookier than a cemetery at night!
  • Eerie Exploration: Delve into the haunted history of New Orleans, from its legendary cemeteries to the ghost stories that have been passed down through generations. It’s a thrilling peek into the city’s spectral side, and if you have teens with you they will probably love this creepy aspect.
  • Culinary Comforts: After a night of exploration and chills, wind down with a stop for coffee and beignets at the iconic Cafe du Monde in Central Park. It’s the perfect sweet note to end on, and you’ll have fun talking about all the spooky stories you heard.

Priced between $110 to $120, this tour is pricier but super cool if your family wants to experience the haunted tales of New Orleans – and I’ve found this aspect to be a good way to get teens interested in a cemetery tour!

I love this New Orleans bus & cemetery tour for its creepy angle!

Best Standalone Cemetery Tours in New Orleans

4. new orleans st. louis #3 cemetery walking tour.

This is the tour I’ll be taking on my next trip to New Orleans – since we’ve done the city tour, I want to dive into the heart of one of New Orleans’ most storied resting places with the New Orleans St. Louis #3 Cemetery Walking Tour .

This particular tour is a deep dive into history, culture, and the intriguing world of the dead, guided by Sally Asher, a renowned author and historian. Her book, “Stories from the St. Louis Cemeteries of New Orleans,” brings the stories behind the headstones to life and you’ll be walking through these stories, guided by her expert knowledge.

It’s a cool way to get up close and personal with the past. You’ll meander through the winding paths of St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, absorbing the solemn beauty and chill vibes. Sally will also unravel the mysteries behind the different types of tombs you’ll encounter, from grand mausoleums to humble resting places.

Ever wonder about the stories of the folks buried in cemeteries? I know I do, and Sally’s got the scoop on some of the cemetery’s most notable residents, sharing tales that might just make these stone markers feel a bit more… alive.

Here’s why this tour is a must-do:

  • Walk and Learn: This tour is strictly on foot, offering you the chance to truly immerse yourself in the surroundings. It’s a chance to stretch those legs and your mind at the same time.
  • Expert Insight: With Sally Asher leading the way, you’re not just getting a tour; you’re getting a narrative journey crafted by someone who has dug deep into the cemetery’s history. It’s like walking through a live documentary.
  • Cultural Deep Dive: Understanding the burial practices and tomb architecture gives you a unique glimpse into the cultural fabric of New Orleans. This tour goes beyond the surface, exploring the why and how behind each stone.

This walking tour is super affordable at just $25 – $30 per person!

I love this walking cemetery tour for its insider information!

5. New Orleans Cemetery Bus Tour After Dark

If you’re intrigued by the tales that dance on the edge of darkness, the New Orleans Cemetery Bus Tour After Dark is your gateway to a world shrouded in mystery and legend. On this tour, you’ll get to explore the haunted heart of the city under the veil of night, where history and the paranormal intertwine.

You’ll board your bus and embark on a journey through New Orleans’ most infamous “haunted” locales. Whether you’re a skeptic or a full-fledged believer in the paranormal, there’s something undeniably eerie about venturing into cemeteries after dark.

Here’s what makes this tour a must-experience adventure:

  • Nighttime Narratives: With a knowledgeable guide at the helm, you’ll be treated to interesting stories that paint a vivid picture of New Orleans’ haunted history and culture. From the eerie to the downright chilling, these tales are enhanced by historical insights that bring the shadows to life.
  • Paranormal Pursuits: Ever fancied yourself a ghost hunter? Here’s your chance. Armed with EMF readers, you’ll delve into the spectral side of the city, seeking out the paranormal signatures that linger in these age-old resting places.
  • Sip and Sightsee: The tour offers a unique twist—guests are welcome to bring their own drinks aboard the bus. Sip your favorite beverage as you cruise from one hauntingly beautiful site to the next, making for a relaxed yet riveting journey through the night.
  • Exclusive Access: Your adventure begins at Odd Fellows Rest, entering the gates of a cemetery that opens its doors to your group alone after dark. It’s an exclusive opportunity to tread where few dare to go once the sun sets.
  • Iconic Stops: Beyond the cemeteries, the tour doesn’t shy away from New Orleans’ other dark gems. You’ll visit the Hurricane Katrina Memorial under the moonlight and even stop for a snapshot outside the infamous Coven House from “American Horror Story,” adding layers of cultural context and eerie excitement to your night.

At $55 to $65 this tour packs a punch since it includes the night aspect as well as a bus tour.

I love this after-dark cemetery tour for its spooky vibes!

Tips for Taking Cemetary Tours in New Orleans

Taking a cemetary tour in New Orleans is a truly unique experience. To ensure your adventure is as smooth as it is enlightening, here are a few pro tips:

1. Know the meeting spot & arrival time

Some tours kick off with a bit of local lore right from the start, and you wouldn’t want to miss the opening act. Plus, often they want you at the designated meeting spot fifteen to thirty minutes early, so check your tour details so you aren’t late.

When we did tours in New Orleans , we scouted out the locations ahead of time (just while exploring the city on foot) so we knew how much time we’d need to get to the meeting spots – it made it much less stressful.

2. Understand how much walking you’ll be doing

Given that these tours can cover quite a bit of ground, read the fine print so you’ll know how much walking you’ll be doing. If it’s a lot, make sure you are capable of it, and wear your most comfortable shoes .

3. Check age suggestions if you have kids along

It’s also smart to check if the tour is kid-friendly or if it leans more toward an adult audience, ensuring it matches your group’s vibe. There are plenty of kid-friendly tours in New Orleans – just read the fine print and understand what the kids in your group can handle.

4. Book your cemetery tour in advance

Booking in advance is key—these tours fill up really quickly.

5. Don’t overbook yourself

Here’s a little piece of advice from someone who’s done quite a few tours in New Orleans – limit yourself to one organized tour per day. New Orleans is a city of unexpected wonders, and leaving room for those spontaneous moments can turn a great trip into an unforgettable one.

Beyond the Grave: Other Ways to Experience New Orlean’s Haunting History

If you’re itching to peel back more layers of the city’s haunting history in addition to one of the cemetary tours of New Orleans, don’t worry—the city has plenty more goosebump-inducing experiences up its sleeve.

My first suggestion is to join a ghost tour. New Orleans’ streets are practically a maze of ghost stories, and there are dozens of options to choose from. With a local guide leading the way, you’ll explore the French Quarter’s dimly lit alleys and learn about the spirits that lurk in the shadows of the city’s oldest buildings. A ghost tour was one of the highlights of our last trip to New Orleans.

Book this ghost tour to experience the spooky side of the French Quarter.

If you are on an adults-only New Orleans getaway, the city’s haunted pub crawls are a must. During this type of tour, you can sip on a cocktail while soaking up stories of the bars and spirits ( the paranormal kind, that is ) that call them home. It’s a social, slightly spooky way to see a different side of New Orleans’ nightlife and maybe make a few friends along the way.

Get your drink on with this Ghost Tour and Haunted Pub Crawl

FAQs About Cemetery Tours in New Orleans

Which new orleans cemetery is the best to visit.

All of them are interesting and well worth a visit, but you can’t go into some of them without a guide.

Can you visit the New Orleans cemeteries without a guide?

Yes to some of them, but no to others.

Are New Orleans cemetery tours worth it?

Yes, the cemeteries are so unique and interesting that the tours are well worth it.

How long is a New Orleans Cemetery Tour?

Anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours depending upon the tour.

What is the most visited grave in New Orleans?

Marie Laveau, legendary voodoo queen of New Orleans is in St. Louis Cemetery N. 1

We love the Kimpton Fontenot when we stay in New Orleans

Conclusion: Including New Orleans Cemetery Tours to Your Itinerary

Wrapping up our ghostly gallivant through the crescent city, it’s clear that whether you’re stepping softly through centuries-old cemeteries, listening to tales of the past at dusk, or sipping spirits among spirits on a haunted pub crawl, New Orleans serves up history with a side of the supernatural like nowhere else. My own journey into the heart of the city’s cemeteries was a departure from my typical tourist activities but it revealed a side of the Crescent City that was as enriching as it was unexpected.

In New Orleans, diving into its cemetery tours offers a glimpse into the soul of New Orleans. From the architectural artistry of its above-ground tombs to the vibrant lives of those it commemorates, these cemeteries are chapters in the ongoing story of the Big Easy.

But don’t just take my word for it. With tours aplenty, from the informative and insightful to the downright eerie, there’s a perfect choice for everyone. Remember, booking ahead ensures you won’t miss out on these popular excursions.

So, whether you’re a first-timer looking to soak up as much as possible or a returning visitor eager to explore deeper, the cemetary tours of New Orleans await to unveil the layers of history, mystery, and culture that lie beneath the surface of this unforgettable city. Here’s to discovering the stories that linger long after you’ve left the graveyards behind and to the serendipitous moments that await around every corner in the enchanting city of New Orleans.

New Orleans Weekend Itinerary

Visit my Etsy store to get a “done-for-you” weekend itinerary for New Orleans with your teens. All the planning is done for you – just print it out and follow along!


The best cemetery tours in New Orleans. You'll find something for every visitor in this article.


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