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Lindsay
London

Lindsay from London asked

When is the best time of year to go to New Orleans?

I want to start planning a trip to NOLA but have no clue when the best time of year would be? Obviously, Mardi Gras is a huge event but is this an ideal time to go? I'd like to experience the city more like a local instead of a tourist. Also, I hate the heat and I know that it gets warm there during the summer months. Looking for an "in between" time (not too hot, not too cold). Suggestions?

New Orleans   Louisiana

1 Answer
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answered first by
Luke from New Orleans

Hi Lindsay,

While Mardi Gras (February 9, 2016) and Jazzfest (April 22 – May 1, 2016) are premier times to be in New Orleans, accommodations can be pricey and the city too crowded to enjoy like a local. Unless you're a diehard festival music lover (Jazzfest) or know people you can stay with (during Mardi Gras) let's say, you're better off enjoying a weekend in September through May with a local festival going on (during the summer, you sweat through your clothes in 10 min, but summer is cheaper and there are, again, more fun festivals). Here is a non-exhaustive list of festivals/events you might enjoy as a visitor to New Orleans during non-summer months:

Krewe of Boo (Oct. 22, 2016) – experience a Mardi Gras like parade in the French Quarter. And you can dress up!

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival (Nov. 14 – Nov. 15, 2015) Louis Armstrong Park

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival (Nov. 22, 2015) Oak Street

Krewe de Vieux (Saturday two weeks before Mardi Gras). If you don't do actually Mardi Gras, come a couple weeks before for this very clever parade in the French Quarter where parades historically ran.

St. Patrick's Day Parade (March 19 – 20, 2016). Another way to see a parade in New Orleans without going to Mardi Gras. Magazine Street

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (March 30 – Apr. 3, 2016)

French Quarter Festival (April 7 – 10, 2016). It's Free.

Greek Festival (May 27-29, 2016) Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity

Check out these exhaustive lists:

2015 Guide to Louisiana Fairs & Festivals (stay tuned for the 2016 Guide)

New Orleans Events List


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Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. French Quarter (restaurant)
  2. Louis Armstrong Park (attraction)
  3. Oak Street (attraction)
  4. Magazine Street (attraction)
  5. Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity (attraction)
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