Best Time to Visit New Orleans for Weather, Prices, and Crowds

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Historic two storey building arches along the balcony and colorful plants hanging
There are many beautiful historic buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleans

'The Big Easy' is a one-of-a-kind city that deserves to be on your travel bucket list. However, you might get stressed when trying to figure out the best time to visit New Orleans.

November and March are considered the two best months all-around to visit the city. During these times, crowds usually aren't too bad, the weather is nice and mild, and prices are generally affordable.

However, there are a lot of things to consider when booking your trip. For example, you'll want to keep in mind that hurricanes are more likely between July and November. That could make your trip cheaper if you're willing to take the risk of potential travel disruptions like cancellations or rescheduled flights.

So, if you're ready to start travel planning, keep reading! This article will give you all the information you need about the weather, prices, and crowds in New Orleans all year.

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Night picture of street and cars lined with buildings lit with neon lights
The French Quarter of New Orleans offers jazz music and gourmet food
Stone walkway with the Mississippi River on the left, a blue sky, and skyscrapers
Take a walk on the stone walkway along the Mississippi River in New Orleans

When is the best time to visit New Orleans?

The best time of year to go to New Orleans will depend on your travel preferences and your ability to tolerate crowds. As a city famous for its festivities and live music, it's a popular destination all year.

Late March and all of November are good times to visit New Orleans if you don't want to deal with excessive crowds. The weather is typically nice enough to go on an excursion, for example, to the Mississippi River. Many tourists also forgo traveling during these months since there are no school vacations and fewer long weekends.

Chuck Wagner/
A blue and red plane flying next to an overpass with a green "N.O. Intl Airport" sign
For cheaper flights, the best time to visit New Orleans is in the summer

When is the cheapest time to fly to New Orleans?

The best time to fly to New Orleans, if your priority is getting a good deal, is during the July to September period. Flights go down in price around this time to entice people to travel in the summer (June to September).

The July to September months are right in the middle of hurricane season, which lasts all summer. While September to December, which is fall in New Orleans, can also see some bad weather, it's less likely for a hurricane to pop up late in the season.

After Hurricane Katrina, many people began taking the hurricane threat more seriously. If you add that to the high humidity index in the summer, which goes as high as 79%, fewer tourists travel to New Orleans during this season.

Black and white street signs for "Bourbon" and "St-Louis" streets
Summertime travel to New Orleans means some tourist attractions offer discounts

When is the cheapest time to go to New Orleans?

The best time of year to go to New Orleans if you want to save money in general, and not just on your flight, is July and August. However, prices start to drop steadily in the middle of June and will be more affordable in September.

July and August have lower crowd levels, so hotels, restaurants, and even some tourist attractions will have offers or discounts available to encourage travelers to visit.

However, if you decide to visit during this time, be aware that you'll be traveling during the height of hurricane season. The weather will also be hot at around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and will regularly reach 79% humidity.

For many, the best time to visit New Orleans is during the Mardi Gras celebrations
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a well-known festival that attracts many people

When is tourist season in New Orleans?

New Orleans has two main times when tourist levels will be at their highest. However, while these periods are distinct in what they offer tourists, they occur right after one another.

Mardi Gras season is what the city is known for, with people coming from around the world to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is traditionally 47 days before Easter, so the date changes annually. However, it most often occurs in February.

Starting in March, springtime (March to June) tourists flock to New Orleans. From March until May, temperatures in the area range between a mild 73 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is tolerable for visitors to the city.

Grey building with words "The National WWII Museum" with a US flag - nighttime
The WWII Museum is one of many indoor attractions to visit in New Orleans

When is the rainy season in New Orleans?

If you want to avoid bad weather, January, July, and August may not be the best times to go to New Orleans. January has more dry days than rainy ones, but when it does rain, it pours--often well over an inch.

Officially, the New Orleans rainy season lasts from June until November, but the months with the most rain on average are July and August. Since New Orleans is on the coast, brief but frequent showers and storms are a daily occurrence during the summer (June to September). July and August are also part of hurricane season which increases rainfall.

Red streetcars on the road with palm trees and black streetlamps on either side
Streetcars in the French Quarter are one way to get around, while in New Orleans

When is the best weather to visit New Orleans?

The best time to travel to New Orleans is during the spring (March to June). March and April have the nicest weather with the mildest temperatures. Even May's temperatures rarely go above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. During the March to May period, there's an average of only 4-5 rainy days per month, so it's also one of the driest times of the year.

If you can't go to New Orleans in the spring, the next best time to visit is during the late fall (September to December). Though November is still part of hurricane season, it's much less likely you'll encounter storms than during the summer (June to September). That's mainly due to the temperatures hovering around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Various buildings and skyscrapers with a blue sky in downtown New Orleans
Downtown New Orleans includes many indoor and outdoor attractions

What is the best season to visit New Orleans?

Early springtime (March to June) and late fall (September to December) are the best times to go to New Orleans. Both have comparable temperatures, usually no higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and rainy days occur around five days a month.

These seasons also have mirrored crowd levels. During the springtime, crowds slowly increase as the season progresses. In the fall, the opposite happens, with the number of tourists decreasing. Late March and November tend to be "slower" seasons with fewer tourists.

Bruce Alan Bennett/
Balcony filled with "happy" skeletons brick building and windows with green shutters
Visit in October for events reflecting the magic and paranormal roots of New Orleans

When is the best time to visit New Orleans in the off-season?

October and November are both within New Orleans' off-season and are excellent options for budget travelers because accommodation is cheaper.

Both months are technically part of hurricane season. However, the chances of a hurricane occurring are much lower than in the July to September period.

Since it's the month of Halloween, October showcases more events related to New Orleans' magical and paranormal roots. On the other hand, November is the perfect time for outdoor activities like visiting the Mississippi or the Bayou since you won't have to battle with the elements.

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in New Orleans

Large white church with 3 dark grey steeples, a stone walkway lined with palm trees
St-Louis Cathedral offers tours of this Catholic Cultural Heritage Center

New Orleans in January

January isn't typically considered the best time of year to visit New Orleans. However, it still has its merits. The month is the city's coolest, with an average temperature of around 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, while New Orleans in winter (December to March) is 30 degrees colder than it is in summer (June to September), it won't get as chilly. January can also be a rainy month, however. Even though there is only an average of nine rainy days in January, when there is rainfall, it's likely to be heavier.

New Orleans (NOLA) for its nice, warm weather, so January is generally not that crowded. Due to fewer tourists, you'll be able to find better deals on accommodations and flights.

New Orleans in February

If you want to be part of the famed Mardi Gras festivities, February is the month you must go. It is a well-known New Orleans fact, that since the 1800s, the city has hosted Mardi Gras celebrations that global travelers flock to experience.

February also marks the beginning of New Orleans' tourist season. That's in part due to the Fat Tuesday festivities, but that isn't the city's only drawcard. The weather is a little warmer than in January, sometimes reaching as high as the mid-70s Fahrenheit, making it a pleasant time to visit.

Unfortunately, the increased volume of tourists that come with the month's good weather also means prices increase as well. Many people want to travel to NOLA in February, so there's less incentive for hotels and airlines to offer special deals. Though you might be able to find something last-minute that's more affordable.

New Orleans in March

If you ask the locals, they'll tell you March is the best time of year to visit New Orleans. Tourist season is probably in full swing, making the crowd levels a little overwhelming, but there are plenty of other factors that could outweigh that.

March has some of the city's best weather. As winter (December to March) turns into spring (March to June), temperatures remain in the low-mid 70s Fahrenheit. The area's winter rain also recedes as well with mostly dry days during the month.

There's a brief period around the last 10 days of March where you're likely to find good deals on accommodations. This gap signals the transition from NOLA's Mardi Gras-based tourism and the regular flow of spring break visitors. As a result, there are fewer tourists.

New Orleans in April

New Orleans in spring (March to June) has some of the best activities for tourists. Even though many of the city's attractions and tours are available all year round, April's clement weather and moderate temperatures of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit make outdoor activities more inviting.

April tends to be a busy month in NOLA. However, there are ways you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by crowds. Going on a French Quarter Walking Tour that guides only small groups is a great option. You'll get the chance to learn about one of the city's most famous neighborhoods without getting lost in hoards of foot traffic.

The costs of traveling to and staying in New Orleans may not be that affordable, however. The demand for lodging, flights, and restaurant reservations is at a high point during the month, so businesses don't need to lower their prices.

New Orleans in May

Though it's still part of the city's "tourist season," May can still be one of the best months to go to New Orleans for some travelers.

The weather is still in the in-between area between the cooler temperatures earlier in the year and the high heat and humidity of the summer (June to September).

Since it's near the end of the busy season, you might start to see prices come down a little compared to mid-spring.

Multiple activities might draw you to the city during this month. One of the most culturally important events is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which starts at the end of April and lasts into the first week of May.

However, expect to run into crowds during the month. To help you cope with all the people milling around and to keep from overheating on warmer days, consider taking a carriage ride tour through the French Quarter.

New Orleans in June

New Orleans in summer (June to September) is hot and humid, but June tends to be the mildest month during the season. The temperature can reach as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average humidity index during the month is 76%. While that's certainly balmy weather, it gets hotter and more humid as the season continues.

June is also the only summer month that isn't part of hurricane season. Some showers and thunderstorms during the month aren't unheard of, but it's usually a pretty dry month.

The crowds in June are manageable as well. Most people know how unpredictable and hot the weather in New Orleans can be during the summer and avoid traveling there during this time. If you're looking for good deals on hotels and flights, this would be a good time to start looking.

New Orleans in July

July isn't a typical month to plan a trip to New Orleans, but that doesn't mean the city is dead during the month. Those who are there have fun and celebrate the Fourth of July in typical NOLA style with fireworks on the river and live music in the streets.

July's temperatures creep into the mid-90s Fahrenheit, however, and the humidity stays in the 70%-80% range all month. If you don't handle heat well, this isn't the right month for you to visit 'The Big Easy'. July also marks the start of hurricane season. Storms during this month are rare, but they're possible, which is something to keep in mind.

July's weather tends to dissuade tourists, which can be good news if you would like to move around without jostling crowds or if you want to save a little money on your trip. Since there are fewer visitors, you're more likely to find deals for your trip. You'll also be more likely to get last-minute reservations for hotels or restaurants.

New Orleans in August

August is, unfortunately, right in the middle of the New Orleans hurricane season. However, the incidence of tropical storms and low odds of 1 in 10 for hurricanes is good news. But, the weather is still more unpredictable during this time.

Daily rain showers are common, though they usually won't last longer than a few minutes when they pop up. The overwhelmingly hot temperatures are the main weather drawback for the month. The daily high is regularly 92 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter, coupled with high humidity.

On the other hand, August is one of the most affordable months to visit New Orleans. Prices for both flights and accommodations are regularly at their lowest during the month because there is lower demand compared with the rest of the year.

New Orleans in September

The New Orleans fall (September to December) is different from the rest of the country. The weather is still warm and sunny, with temperatures rarely dipping below 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The month isn't free from the summer's (June to September) unpredictability, since hurricanes and tropical storms are still possible during this time. However, the chances of many strong storms are pretty low, hovering between 10% and 33%, but rain and sudden thundershowers are likely.

Since there is a good chance of some less-than-perfect weather during the month, a lot of people don't want to risk rain delaying or ruining parts of their trip. September tends to be one of the least-crowded months in the city.

You can use the lack of crowds to your advantage. You'll be able to get flights and hotel rooms much cheaper than you would during other times of the year. Fewer people decreases wait times for attraction lines.

New Orleans in October

If you are waiting until after the summer (June to September) heat to plan a trip, the best time for you to vacation in New Orleans might be October. Crowd levels continue to remain low throughout the month, but the cooler weather will start bringing more people to the city. The same trend is also seen in prices which will still be affordable but will start slowly increasing.

It's also a great month to visit if you want to include spooky or magical types of activities in your visit. October is the perfect time to participate in a haunted nighttime walking tour that focuses on the paranormal stories pervasive throughout the city.

Since the daily low temperature doesn't usually get below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you won't have to worry about freezing while walking around. Just dress in layers since New Orleans' autumn (September to December) still has daytime temperatures in the low-80s.

New Orleans in November

November is widely regarded as the best month to visit New Orleans, especially during the fall (September to December). This is largely due to the weather that rarely goes over the mid-70s Fahrenheit in temperature and stays relatively dry despite being part of the hurricane season.

This weather makes it easy to book activities like the Honey Island Swamp Tour because you won't have to deal with as many mosquitoes thanks to the cooler weather. Since the water and air still have some leftover heat from the summer (June to September), you're more likely to see wildlife on these tours as well.

Crowds in November are pretty manageable, and prices will stay fairly low until the end of the month. However, some events draw more people to the city. Day of the Dead celebrations on November 1st and 2nd will see more people out and about. The New Orleans Film Festival is also hosted in the first week of the month and draws film lovers and filmmakers from around the country.

New Orleans in December

December might be one of the most underrated times to visit NOLA. If you live somewhere with cold holiday seasons, Christmas time in New Orleans can be a welcome change since the temperature ranges between a high of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 45.

'The Big Easy' doesn't get snow, but you might have a few showers here and there, so keep that in mind as well when you're packing. In general, though, most days should be mostly sunny, or, at the very least, dry.

Not too many tourists come to NOLA during the Christmas holiday season, so you'll be able to walk around relatively freely without dealing with too many crowds. While there are plenty of parades, bonfires, and Christmas shows throughout the whole month, many of them are only frequented by locals, so you'll feel like a New Orleans native.

Despite the low season for tourism, the holiday season will impact prices for everything from flights to food. It won't cost a fortune to visit during this time, and you'll likely be able to find deals on things, but there will be a "holiday premium" the closer to Christmas you travel or make reservations.

In Summary

New Orleans is a city full of music and culture for the whole family. From Mardi Gras to spooky tours, there's something for everyone in The Big Easy.

While there's something to see all year, different travel factors can change the way you experience the city. Prices, temperatures, and even storm chances can change drastically from one season to the next.

Hopefully, the information above has given you all the details you were looking for to plan the best NOLA trip possible. All you have to do now is start booking!

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Written by Gabrielle T

ggtraveler1213 FORMER WRITER Gabrielle loves all things travel and culture. She is originally from the USA, but she has lived in Italy for over a decade. She's always ready to pack her bags, grab her passport, and head out on an adventure!

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