New Orleans is a popular destination among travelers from all around the world especially those who look forward to partaking in the famous festivals of the crescent city. Situated near the Gulf of Mexico, the magnificent city on the Mississippi river is nicknamed as “Big Easy”. It is widely famous for its lively night-life, vibrant music scene, erotic spicy cuisines and colorful festivals.
If you are looking to find the best time to visit New Orleans, we have news for you. There’s really no bad time to visit New Orleans! All you need to do is factor in your own interests and plan your trip accordingly.
The Peak Season
Months: February to May
The peak season comes along with spring in New Orleans. Mild weather with plenty of sunshine makes it one of the best times of the year to vacation in New Orleans. Moreover, the city is alive with the buzz of special events. Let’s have a look at some of the most famous events of spring in New Orleans.
1. Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”. Also known as the Shrove Tuesday, it marks the start of the Christian lent season leading up to Easter. In New Orleans the celebrations filled with colorful parades, food and music last for about two weeks. The exact dates of the festivals vary year to year. The two-week party sometimes starts as early as the end of January but mostly, the festival is celebrated in the months of February or March.
2. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is one of the most happening events in the city. Along with showcasing a number of talented local musicians, it features internationally famous acts from all around the country.
Master artisans produce cultural treasures through techniques that have been passed down through generations. Their craft showcases the history and cultural heritage of the region.
If you are looking for a long party infused with fun, food and cultural then spring is the time for you to visit New Orleans. Here’s a tip for you, don’t forget to make reservations in advance!
Months: June to September
If you are planning to visit New Orleans in the summer, get ready to embrace the heat because summers can get really hot. The temperature goes as high as 91 degrees in July and August but the silver lining is that it is a lot more affordable to stay in New Orleans during these months.
Since it’s the off-season, the crowds are small, giving you a better chance to explore the city and get to know it as good as the locals. While you may not want to spend as much time outside during the day, the night is another story!
The happening night-life of New Orleans thrives at its best during summer. Nothing’s better than enjoying an evening with cold, cheap drinks after a hot day in New Orleans. Furthermore, there are a number of local events that you may want to check out. Have a look at a few of them.
1. Go 4th on the River
You can celebrate the Independence Day with your friends and family at the magnificent Mississippi River bank, complete with food, music and fireworks. The river bank has a festive air that lasts the entire day. You can spend the day barbecuing at the riverside or explore the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Aquarium, where, by the way, you get special discounts for the weekend!
2. Essence Musical Festival
Usually scheduled around the weekend of the 4th of July, the Essence Musical festival attracts hundreds of people every year. It is famous for its music and its celebration of the black culture. The event has a strong representation of all kind of music including rap, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, blues and what not!
Essence Music Festival is so much more than just a series of acts and concerts. You get to meet the musicians and artists and interact with the experts of the black culture. You can even attend free workshops and seminars relating to diverse topics from entrepreneurship to flirting tips.
If you wish to experience the serenity of this historic city while going easy on the pocket, this is the best time of the year to visit it.
The Shoulder Season
Months: October – January
Pleasant weather with a hint of chill sets the mood for the winter. The city is not jammed packed yet but tourists still pour in to attend the winter and Halloween fests.
A saying goes around New Orleans around the time of Halloween, “New Orleans: We put the Fun in funeral!” It does not come as a surprise that the Halloween celebrations in New Orleans are massive. If you think that the crazy-dressing-up fun is only for the kids, you need to spend a Halloween in New Orleans.
Adults get to join in on the fun. You can spend your night dressing up and going for a haunted tour with your friends, explore the century-old spiritual practices by visiting the Voodoo shops or attend the biggest Halloween street party on the Frenchman street.
In short, Halloween in New Orleans – filled with music, culture, food and just a pinch of eerie – can simply not go wrong!
2. New Orleans Music Festival
New Orleans Music festival is one of the nation’s biggest premier film festivals. The festival draws more than 17,000 attendees every year, including a number of filmmakers and celebrities. In addition to the screening for multiple films, the attendees can also attend parties and events like Nooff Gala to know more about the film society.
This is the best time to visit New Orleans for those who wish to redefine Halloween for themselves while still avoiding the large crowds.
So, when are you going to visit New Orleans?