New Orleans Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in February
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Courtesy of Sean Pavone/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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.

Weather in New Orleans

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
60
46.4
64.2
49.8
70.5
56
77.4
62.8
84.6
70.7
89.2
75.9
90.5
77.9
90.8
78.2
86.7
74.6
78.7
66.1
70.7
56.7
62.6
48.8
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
5.12
4.86
4.75
4.01
4.34
6.6
5.68
5.22
4.12
3.1
4.1
4.87
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

February-May

This is the time when most of the major festivals – including Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – take place. However, you should note that hotel rates rise dramatically and, due to heavy tourist traffic, availability can be scarce. Book several months to a year in advance to ensure a reasonable room rate. Many of the city's most popular attractions close during Mardi Gras, so if sightseeing is a priority, plan a trip that doesn't coincide with the event. Springtime weather is comfortably warm, with average high temperatures ranging from the low 70s to the mid-80s.

Key Events: 

June-August

As summer sets in, tourists flee from the heat and humidity, leaving behind a trail of outstanding deals on hotel rooms. Average high temperatures hover in the steamy low 90s, making it somewhat uncomfortable for foot tours. This is also the rainiest season, so make sure to pack an umbrella.

Key Events: 

September-November

Autumn offers a reprieve from the heat, and is a nice time to visit. Hotel rates are still low, and average high temperatures fall back into the 80s and mid-70s. You should still keep an eye on the weather report: Late August and September mark the height of hurricane season (which poses a threat from June to November). However, less stifling weather and plenty of cultural events make the Big Easy more enjoyable to visit now than during the summer.

Key Events: 

December-January

Winter marks a sweet spot in New Orleans tourism. The city has had time to cool off (with average high temperatures resting in the 60s), and the springtime festivals haven't started yet. This is also a good time to save, since the winter attracts fewer tourists, meaning more bargain hotel rates. If you can swing it, try to visit around the holidays when the city is spruced up in seasonal decor.

Key Events: 

Popular Times to Visit New Orleans

Average Tourist Volumes
Average Hotel Prices   Search Hotels
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec

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

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