The best time of year for a New Orleans tour will, of course, depend on the experience you’re looking for. The most popular time to visit the city is between February and May since the weather is mild and NOLA’s famous celebrations are in full swing. Mardi Gras, the city’s iconic two-week festival featuring extravagant parades, lavish balls, and non-stop parties, generally takes place in February, and the Jazz Heritage Festival is in April and May. The Big Easy is most alive during these months, but it also swells with tourists, so it may not be the best time to visit if you’re worried about crowds.
If you want to do some sightseeing without having to deal with large crowds of other visitors, December and January are the best times to go. Winters in New Orleans are very mild, with average highs in the 60s, and tourist season hasn’t started yet so you can find deals on hotels and airfare. If you can manage it, try to visit during the holidays so you can see the city all dressed up in the Christmas spirit. College football fans might also want to visit during January for the Sugar Bowl, played yearly at the Superdome in New Orleans. The Sugar Bowl is the second-oldest bowl game in college football and has been played in New Orleans almost every year since 1935, only missing a single year after Hurricane Katrina.
For the cheapest airfare and hotel prices, visit New Orleans during the summer and early fall. The weather in the summer is hot and rainy, with average highs in the 90s, but if you can handle the heat you should just about have the city to yourself. You may want to pick up some travel insurance, however, since the summer is hurricane season on the Gulf Coast.
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