From Voodoo tours to Jazz festivals, New Orleans offers an eclectic mix of African and French cultures accompanied by vibrant foodie and music scenes that will assault your senses. With infamous festivals like Mardi Gras and the Jazz Fest, the Big Easy is always hopping — so when is the best time to visit New Orleans? Here’s the most complete breakdown of the best time to visit New Orleans, or as the locals say, “N’awlins.”
No matter when you decide to visit the Crescent City, there is a special and unforgettable bond you’ll create here.”
– Al Groos, Royal Sonesta New Orleans General Manager
January: Best time to go for Families and Football Fans
The Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. You can also watch the game from any of the hundreds of sports bars that broadcast it. See the calendar and purchase your tickets here.
The King Cake Festival in Champion Square at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Local bakeries supply sugary treats and the iconic King Cake, a brioche topped with sugar and frosting — a staple for Mardi Gras season. See the schedule here.
January is the coolest month for New Orleans with average highs around 62 degrees and lows around 42 degrees.
January Flight Prices
Flights in January are average compared to the rest of the year. According to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), domestic airfare to Nola for the first quarter is about $343 (the second most expensive quarter of the year after Q2). Domestic flights to New Orleans for January 2015 came in at an average price of about **$382.
According to the trivago hotel price index, January is a relatively good time to visit Nola in terms of hotel prices with the average price being $184.
trivago Hotel Pick | Homewood Suites by HiltonView on trivago
Located just four blocks away from the French Quarter in one direction and the Superdome in the other, you will be in a prime location to take the kids to either area of the city without resulting in tired little legs. The Homewood Suites offers active families an indoor pool and a kids’ playground.
February: Best time to go for Mardi Gras Goers
Mardi Gras in New Orleans takes place 47 days before Easter, falling sometime between February 3rd and March 9th on a Tuesday Expect colorful floats, marching bands, dancing squads, flying beads and general ‘festive’ behavior. See the schedule here.
The weather in February is still chilly with an average high of 65 F and low of 48 degrees and it also has a bit more rain compared to the other winter months.
February Flight Prices
Domestic flight prices remain in the same price range as January, with an average airfare of **$381.
February Hotel Prices
According to trivago, hotel prices show an average hotel price per night coming in at $227, no doubt a correlation to the pick up in Mardi Gras activities.
trivago Hotel Pick | Royal SonestaView on trivago
If you are going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and you want to get the full effect of the festivities, stay on Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter. It will be loud, it will be crazy, but it will be fun. The Royal Sonesta is the perfect place to sit out on the balcony and watch the parades shuffle below as you catch and throw beads from your vantage point. The hotel fills up fast for Mardi Gras, so book well in advance.
March: Best time to go for History & Literature Buffs
The Spring Fiesta highlights the cultural heritage and history of the city. Historical, private homes open their doors to the public for walking tours and a horse drawn carriage parade through the French Quarter. See more information here.
The Tennessee Williams Literary Festival plays homage to the American poet who made New Orleans his home. The festival features literature readings, actors, playwrights and poets that submit pieces of original work. Sign up for the ‘Stella’ contest or submit a writing or poetry piece here.
The Congo Square Rhythms Festival celebrates the African music that sparked a genre that would forever influence the New Orleans music scene — jazz. Enter free of charge and witness the tantalizing beats from Africa, the Caribbean and beyond. See here for updates.
March marks the arrival of spring in New Orleans with temperatures rising to a comfortable high of 72 and a low of 54 degrees.
March Flight Prices
The pleasurable weather and spring holidays raise the average domestic airfare to New Orleans to **$391.
March Hotel Prices
According to the trivago Hotel Price Index, March average price hovers around $224 per night.
trivago Hotel Pick | Hotel MonteleoneView on trivago
Grab a taste of opulence on Royal Street, just one block a way from Bourbon street at the Hotel Monteleone. The Hotel has served as a staple of elegance in the French Quarter since 1886. Each of the 570 guest rooms is dripping with luxury, with period furnishings and high ceilings with crown moldings; the Monteleone transports guests back to an era of Southern affluence. Stay in one of the Literary Suites like the William Faulkner Suite or the Tennessee Williams Suite, both famous authors who made Monteleone a home away from home at one point.
April: Best time to go for Music Lovers
The French Quarter Festival is the largest free festival in the state of Louisiana with everything from parades to free dance lessons to a massive jazz brunch! See more information here.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a total blowout of festivities with an astonishing array of jazz performances, marching bands, craft corners, and delectable New Orleans style cookin’ available at every turn. See more information and the lineup here.
Jazz in the Park. On Thursday evenings in mid-April head over to Louis Armstrong Park for a free live concert from local jazz musicians. See more information here.
The comfortable spring weather in New Orleans continues into April with temperatures rising slightly with a high of 78 and low of 60 degrees.
April Flight Prices
Airfare to New Orleans show as average around **$394.
April Hotel Prices
The trivago Hotel Price Index shows average hotel prices for New Orleans rested at $209.
trivago Hotel Pick | Windsor Court HotelView on trivago
Other than its gorgeous, oversized 316 luxury guest rooms, the Windsor Court Hotel is a great place to stay for music lovers thanks to its jazzy Polo Club Lounge. The intimate lighting, specialized cocktails, overstuffed leather chairs and an order of their scrumptious crab cakes with truffle fries make for the perfect setting to listen to local jazz bands playing five nights a week! Get your dapper shoes on and head down to the Lounge for a jazzy soiree.
May: Best time to go for Good Weather & Chill Vacation
Bayou Boogaloo Festival features open air music, yummy treats a and crafts for sale — all on the serene Bayou. Dates of the upcoming fest.
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience highlights include the Grand Tasting, educational food seminars, or the saucy Gateaux Show where burlesque entertainers accompany a cocktail and pastry competition. Check here for exact dates of the next event.
With high average temperatures of 85 degrees and lows of 68 degrees, a huge incentive to visit New Orleans in May is the perfect weather.
May Flight Prices
There may be a very slight dip in flight prices for May in comparison to previous spring months due to the fact that school and Easter holidays have ended and the large festivals of April are coming to an end. However, prices are still higher than for both summer months and early fall.
May Hotel Prices
According to trivago data, May shows a tiny increase with average hotel prices coming in at $216.
trivago Hotel Pick | Maison DupuyView on trivago
A combination of history and luxury, the Maison Dupuy is located in the heart of the French Quarter, just two blocks away from lively Bourbon Street. The guest rooms of this boutique hotel are spacious and simply refined with deluxe pillow top mattresses, marble bathrooms and the iconic, New Orleans style wrought iron balconies (request a room with balcony).
“Summer in New Orleans is a terrific time to visit. The city is electric with a myriad of festivals, food and fun from May all the way through August. In fact, some of our biggest annual and uniquely cultural events take place during the summer.”
– Al Groos, Royal Sonesta New Orleans General Manager
June: Best time to go for Southern Culture
New Orleans Oyster Festival is a perfect time to become an oyster lover with endless arrays of oysters served in every form with local musicians and the breeze from the Mississippi River there to cool you off. See here for more details.
Cajun-Zydeco Festival is a fantastic blend of blues, jazz, Cajun influence and Creole rhythms featuring accordions, fiddles and the iconic washboard. See more details here.
New Orleans weather in June starts to get humid. As temperatures rise and precipitation increases — a general mugginess can occur — but that’s the South!
June Flight Prices
With the hot summer months rolling in, flight prices decline for New Orleans. With the average airfare around **$346.
June Hotel Prices
The trivago Hotel Price Index shows that the average price per night for a hotel in New Orleans is $196 in June.
trivago Hotel Pick | St.Pierre French QuarterView on trivago
Located on the fringe of the French Quarter, just a two minute walk from heart of it, is the quaint Hotel St. Pierre. This unique hotel is made up of a bunch of original Creole cottages, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Complete with period furnishings, traditional decor and the trademark French Quarter style balconies, the Hotel St. Pierre is like a modern glimpse into the city’s past. The rooms incorporate an acute attention to detail that only a boutique hotel like St. Pierre could maintain. If you want an authentic Southern-style abode in New Orleans, Hotel St. Pierre is where you should be.
July: Best time to go for Bachelorette Parties or Girls’ Getaways
French Film Festival screens up to twelve films of both contemporary and classic French films, mostly in French with English subtitles. See here for more information.
The Tales of Cocktails event is the perfect place to sample a multitude of cocktails and spirits and network with other spirit-enthusiasts. See here for tickets and event details.
Festigals is a women’s conference that hosts empowering personal and professional seminars, shopping sprees, a Bloody Mary Mixer and food galore. See more details here.
July and August are generally the warmest months in New Orleans with an average high of 95 and low of 75 degrees.
July Flight Prices
Flights to New Orleans are at some of their lowest during the month of July — a great time to go if you enjoy the heat. DOT calculated that quarter three is the time to catch the cheapest average domestic airfare to New Orleans, with the quarterly average price being $329.
July Hotel Prices
The trivago Hotel Price Index reports the average hotel price per night in July coming out at $165 per night.
trivago Hotel Pick | Fleur De Lis MansionView on trivago
The unique Fleur De Lis Mansion boutique hotel is the perfect place for a weekend getaway with the girls. The adult-only hotel features nine themed rooms, each one with a signature decor, like the Hollywood Bungalow — with completely mirrored walls and ceiling and an open shower. Put the crazy friend in that room and let your other pals enjoy cozy abodes like the classy Jazz Room or the pristine White Room — decked head-to-toe in white. The best part of this quaint hotel is not its amazing rooms, or its Downtown location, or its complimentary nightly wine hour, but rather it’s the extravagant, covered courtyard complete with transparent curtains, tropical plants and an oversized Jacuzzi, putting this hotel at the top of your ‘must-stay’ list.
August: Best time to go for Art & Antique Lovers
Nola Downtown Music and Arts Festival is made up of a plethora of live musicians, pop-up shops, food trucks, art displays and some good old fashion bowling! Check here for details.
Whitney White Linen Night is a summer block party in the Downtown Warehouse District of Nola featuring more than 20 local art galleries hosting cocktail strolls through their exhibitions plus live entertainment and food catered by top local restaurants. Check here for exact dates and schedules.
Dirty Linen Night delights visitors who are encouraged to wear dirty clothes and peruse antique shops with a dirty martini in hand along five or six blocks of the infamous Royal Street in the French Quarter. See details here.
August is one of the warmest months for New Orleans with the average high at 91 degrees and the average low at 75 degrees.
August Flight Prices
The average flight price for New Orleans in August is around **$353.
August Hotel Prices
The trivago Hotel Price Index reports that the average hotel price per night for New Orleans in August is $147 — the lowest price for the year.
trivago Hotel Pick | Inn on UrsulinesView on trivago
The Inn on Ursulines is an artistic display of New Orleans history, with 15 guest rooms immaculately decorated with period furnishings and modern touches honoring its 1700s heritage, but still boasting a refined contemporary array of amenities. The Inn originally served as Creole cottages, including a resting house for infamous voodoo queen Marie Laveau’s traveling guests. The Inn is sandwiched between Bourbon and Royal streets, so art and antique aficionados are close to all their favorite shops.
September: Best time to go for Budget Travelers
The Seafood Festival is a kick-off of the fall season with a festival that includes three days of live music and all the crawfish, crab, shrimp, oysters and more you can eat. See details and schedules here.
We Live To Eat Restaurant Week allows visitors to sample signature dishes from top chefs and top restaurants in New Orleans at discounted prices (25 percent off)! See participating restaurants in the next Live to Eat Week.
The weather starts to cool slightly in September with sunny days and less humidity. High temperatures drop down to 88 degrees and lows to 72 degrees. Chance of rain is less than all the summer months.
September Flight Prices
Airfare in September to New Orleans stays about the same as August — one of the cheapest months to travel to Nola. Average airfare remains in the **$350 range.
September Hotel Prices
The trivago Hotel Price Index calculated that average September hotel prices average about $178 a night.
trivago Hotel Pick | St. James HotelView on trivago
An amazing homage to the West Indies history of the eighteenth-century building which houses the St James Hotel, the 84 refurbished guest rooms boast both Caribbean charm and iconic New Orleans-style balconies that overlook the street or a private courtyard. St. James is the perfect place to get a taste of Nola’s history as well as its modern personality due to the hotel’s location in the hip Downtown District. This budget-friendly hotel is value for your money with gorgeous, spacious rooms, modern amenities and impeccable service.
“The fall is a fantastic time to visit and offers its own certain allure. Many visitors are drawn to the ambiance of mystery and intrigue in the city, which is the perfect gear up for Halloween. From ghost tours in the French Quarter to our ornate cemeteries, there’s a certain magic in the air.”
– Al Groos, Royal Sonesta New Orleans General Manager
October: Best time to go for Paranormal Enthusiasts
Voodoo Music & Arts Experience open air concert, of which icons like The Cure, Marilyn Manson and A Perfect Circle have graced in the past. Check here for exact dates and lineup.
Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade illuminates the French Quarter with festive displays of everything spooky and tasty. See more event details here.
Cemetery tours of New Orleans are available year round but there’s no better time to take a spooky tour around Nola than Halloween season. The tour lasts about 1-1.5 hours and costs $20 for anyone over 12 years old. See cemetery hours and directions. You can purchase tickets online here.
October in New Orleans boasts warm weather with cool breezes. The average high temperature is about 80 degrees and the average low is 63 degrees.
October Flight Prices
Flights to New Orleans continue their low streak of the fall with average airfare being around **$333.
October Hotel Prices
The average hotel price per night in Nola for October was $218.
trivago Hotel Pick | Dauphine OrleansView on trivago
Made up of three historical homes, the Dauphine Orleans, named after the street in the French Quarter on which it sits, is the perfect place to get a taste of Nola’s haunted past. The Main House guest rooms are elegantly decorated in a cream and pearl tones with many rooms featuring iconic New Orleans-style balconies overlooking Dauphine Street. The 14 rooms in the Hermann House overlook a private courtyard, reportedly haunted by a roaming Creole soldier and feature the same refined room decor of soft hues. The Carriage House rooms are located in an authentic carriage house from the eighteenth century, with each room overlooking either the pool or private courtyard. The Hotel’s May Bailey’s Place bar offers guests a complimentary welcome drink upon arrival in the bar that once served as a Victorian era bordello. Patrons of May Bailey’s have reported ghostly figures and inexplicable noises at the bar. Sweet dreams!
November: Best time to go for Foodies
Oak Street Po-Boy Festival evokes the warmth of the small town ambiance and the warm, juicy po-boy sandwich that will be dripping down your arm. See event details here.
Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival features numerous variations of this classic Louisiana dish, including the staples: okra, sausage, chicken, crab, crawfish, shrimp and/or other types of seafood. The Festival also features live music by local jazz musicians. See here for more information.
New Orleans weather in November is still mild for the fall season, but temperatures begin to dip into the 50s at night, while daytime temps stay in the mid-70s.
November Flight Prices
November flights drop down to the low **$300 range.
November Hotel Prices
According to trivago data, average hotel prices per night for November in New Orleans were averaged at $197.
trivago Hotel Pick | Hotel MazarinView on trivago
A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the French Quarter, Hotel Mazarin is refined and cozy with plush bedding, black porcelain and granite tile flooring, rich color hues and sparkling chandeliers. The 102 guest rooms share street or courtyard views and offer a quiet retreat away from the noisy streets of the Quarter. Guests rave about the Deluxe Breakfast served in the European-style courtyard, breakfast being every foodie’s favorite meal, making the Hotel Mazarin the perfect way to open the stomach for a day of food excursions through the Quarter.
December: Best time to go for Romance
Caroling in Jackson Square with local carolers who meet in the heart of the French Quarter.
Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee is a gorgeous display of bonfire structures built high enough to have flames that reach up to 30 feet high, making it easy for passersby to see and they stroll along the river.
The Reveillon Dinner has been revived by restaurants in New Orleans who offer specialized, fixed four- and five-course holiday menus on Christmas Eve.
December marks the official start of the winter season in New Orleans with temperatures dropping to an average high of 64 degrees and low of 47 degrees.
December Flight Prices
Flights in December go up slightly from the previous months with the average airfare to Nola being about **$380.
December Hotel Prices
According to the trivago Hotel Price Index, hotels in New Orleans for December are only $163, a perfect time to splurge on a romantic hotel stay for two!
trivago Hotel Pick | The RooseveltView on trivago
The Roosevelt at Christmastime oozes romance. The scent of dozens of fresh pine trees twinkling in the lobby mixing with fresh hot cocoa topped by melting marshmallows is just the beginning of the amorous affair. Children carolers delight guests in the sparkling gold-colored lobby as guests make their way up to the luxurious guest rooms. Each of the hotel’s overly spacious guest rooms feature Old World grandeur reminiscent of the building’s beginnings in 1893 but with a refined contemporary restoration. The champagne tones accompanied by deep jewel hues, formal sitting areas and Ferragamo toiletries make the Roosevelt one of the most opulent hotels in New Orleans. Opt for a romantic suite to take advantage of the claw foot tubs or stroll down to the Waldorf Astoria Spa to see what they have in the Couples’ Therapy Suite.
There you have it, the best time to go to New Orleans for every kind of traveler. No matter what you’re searching for, Nola has an abundance of great food, rich history, extraordinary music and warm weather!
What is your favorite time to visit New Orleans? Tell us in the comments!