Best & Worst Time to Visit Louisiana: Nailing Your Travel Dates

When Is the Best Time to Visit

If you’re looking to enjoy Louisiana’s vibrant music scene and festivals, spring (late February to May) is your best bet. During this season, the weather is pleasantly warm, and plenty of outdoor events are happening, including the world-famous Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Fall (September to November) is another great time to visit. The temperature is comfortable, there’s less humidity, and you can experience events like the New Orleans Film Festival.

For those of you who prefer a quieter vacation, consider late November or December. The state is less crowded, you can snag some off-season hotel deals, and the festive lights and holiday celebrations give Louisiana a special charm.

Here’s a quick season breakdown:

  • Spring:

    • Warm weather
    • Mardi Gras (New Orleans), French Quarter Festival, Jazz Fest
  • Summer:

    • Hot and humid—maybe avoid this time unless you love the heat
    • Fewer crowds
  • Fall:

    • Comfortable temperature
    • New Orleans Film Festival, Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
  • Winter:

    • Mild and cool weather
    • Celebration in the Oaks, holiday festivals

Note: While summer isn’t ideal due to heat and humidity, you can enjoy Louisiana’s indoor attractions like museums and art galleries with air conditioning!

When Is the Worst Time to Visit

Louisiana is known for its vibrant culture and festive spirit, but certain times of the year might be less ideal for a visit due to weather conditions and events.

Hurricane Season:
June to November is hurricane season. It’s risky because you could face:

  • Storms
  • Heavy rains
  • Potential evacuations

Heat and Humidity:
The summer months, especially July and August, can be particularly uncomfortable due to:

  • Extreme humidity
  • High temperatures regularly in the 90s (°F)

It’s wise to consider how well you handle sticky, hot weather before planning your trip during this time.

Busy Events:
Large events might not be your thing. If that’s the case, avoid:

  • Mardi Gras: Crowds are massive, and prices soar.
  • Jazz Fest: End of April to the beginning of May. It’s packed and noisy.


MonthReason to Avoid
June-NovHurricane risk and higher humidity
July-AugIntense heat and humidity

During these periods, your experience might be less than pleasant, with the chance of itinerary disruptions and uncomfortable weather.

The Cheapest Time to Visit

The sun sets over a serene Louisiana landscape, with colorful foliage and a calm river, depicting the best time to visit

When you’re looking to save a buck on your trip to Louisiana, aim for the summer months, particularly July and August. The heat and humidity are high during this time, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, leading to a drop in tourist demand. As a result, you’ll find better deals on hotels and flights.

  • Summer (July – August)
    • Hotels: Up to 40% cheaper
    • Flights: Reduction in price
    • Tourist Traffic: Light to moderate

Another good time for discounts is the shoulder season. This includes late spring, just after the popular Jazz Fest, and late fall, when the summer crowds have left, but the festive atmosphere of winter holidays hasn’t yet begun.

  • Late Spring (After Jazz Fest)
    • Accommodation: Moderately reduced rates
  • Late Fall (Before Winter Holidays)
    • Attractions: Less crowded

A quick tip: during Mardi Gras season, prices can soar. If you’re not particularly aiming for the festival experience, you’re better off skipping this period for your visit.

Here are some perks of visiting during these less expensive times:

  • Enjoy local cuisine at a lower cost as some restaurants offer special deals.
  • The potential to engage more authentically with locals when it’s not peak tourist season.

Remember to check for any ongoing festivals or events during your planned visit as they can affect prices and crowd levels.

Off-Season: Least Busy Time to Visit

The Louisiana landscape is serene, with empty streets and quiet beaches. The sun shines down on the peaceful, untouched scenery

The off-peak travel period in Louisiana, notably from June to August, can be your best bet if you prefer a quiet visit with fewer crowds. During these summer months, you’ll often find the streets less packed, making it easier for you to explore the local sights.

  • Weather: Expect it to be hot and humid. Pack light clothes and stay hydrated.
  • Accommodations: Hotels may offer lower rates.
  • Festivities: Fewer events mean less tourist bustle.

In terms of local life, this can be a great time to meet residents and experience more of the day-to-day culture without the pressure of peak season schedules. You might enjoy the slower pace, and local businesses often have more time to chat and share their stories with you.

Remember, being prepared for the heat and staying flexible with your plans due to potential rain can make your trip more enjoyable. If you’re looking to take it easy and avoid the lines, this is the time for you to visit.

The Most Expensive Time to Visit

A bustling city street with tourists and locals enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, surrounded by historic buildings and lush greenery. The sun is shining, casting a warm glow on the scene

When you’re planning a trip to Louisiana, you might want to watch out for Mardi Gras season, especially in New Orleans. This is often the priciest time of year.

Peak Season:

  • Mardi Gras: The build-up starts in January, but the main events fall in February or March, depending on the year.
  • Festivals: Jazz Fest in late April to early May also sees higher costs.


  • Expect hotel prices to soar. Booking early can save some cash, but be ready for rates to be up to double the normal price.


  • Airfares spike during major events. It’s best to book several months ahead.
ExpenseNormal PricePeak Price

Travel Tip: While it’s an experience like no other, if you’re budget-conscious, look at other times to visit. Consider the shoulder seasons in fall (September to November) and late spring (late May to June) for more manageable prices and fewer crowds.

Hottest Months

The sun beats down on a sweltering Louisiana landscape, with shimmering heat waves rising from the ground. The air is thick and heavy, with the sound of cicadas buzzing in the background

In Louisiana, you’ll feel the heat ramp up starting in June, and it doesn’t let up until August. These summer months can get super hot and humid.

June to August:

  • Average Highs: Around 90°F to 93°F
  • Average Lows: Usually in the mid-70s°F
  • Humidity: It’s sticky—expect it to be high, around 74% to 76%.
MonthAverage HighAverage LowHumidity

During these months, you’ll want to stay hydrated and keep cool with air conditioning or by taking a dip in a pool or lake. If you’re not a fan of sweating it out, consider planning your visit for another time. Louisiana’s summers are known for their intense heat, coupled with the humidity, which makes it feel even hotter.

Keep in mind that these temperatures can spike, especially in more urban areas where concrete and buildings store heat. So, pack your lightest clothes, sunscreen, and a good hat to shield you from the strong southern sun.

Early mornings and evenings can be the best times to explore if you’re visiting during these peak heat months. Activities near water, like visiting the state’s beautiful bayous or the Gulf of Mexico, can also provide a much-needed respite from the scorching temperatures.

Coldest Months

Snow-covered cypress trees in Louisiana swamp. Icy water reflects winter sky. Wildlife huddles for warmth

In Louisiana, your coldest months are typically January and February. During these months, you can expect average lows that often hover around the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit. Specifically, the northern part of the state tends to be colder, while the southern regions, closer to the Gulf of Mexico, are a bit milder.

Here’s what you need to know about the temperatures:

  • Northern Louisiana Average Lows: Low to mid-30s (°F)
  • Southern Louisiana Average Lows: Mid-30s to low 40s (°F)

Remember, these are just averages, and you might encounter the occasional colder snap, where nighttime temperatures can dip below freezing, especially in the north. Days can still be relatively cool, with highs usually in the 50s to 60s (°F).

What to Pack:

  • Warm jacket or coat
  • Layered clothing
  • Hats and gloves
  • Scarves

Be sure to check the weather forecast before your trip, as temperatures can vary, and you want to be prepared. If you’re not a fan of the cold or if you’re looking to experience the lush, warm side of Louisiana, you might want to skip visiting during these cooler months.

Month-By-Month Weather

January: It’s pretty chilly, especially for Louisiana, with temperatures averaging between 39°F to 62°F. Bring a coat!

February: Still cool, with similar temperatures to January. Mardi Gras might bring bigger crowds, though.

March: Spring begins, and so does warmer weather. It ranges from 46°F to 72°F. Perfect for outdoor activities.

April: You’ll love it—it’s comfortably warm. Temperatures are usually around 53°F to 78°F—a great time for festivals.

May: Starts getting hot and humid. Average temperatures sit between 62°F and 85°F. Pack light clothes.

June: Heat’s on with highs around 90°F. Expect some rain, but don’t forget sunscreen and a hat.

July: Peak summer heat with temperatures similar to June. Lots of sun and high humidity.

August: No relief yet from the heat, and it’s the heart of hurricane season. Be prepared for potential storms.

September: Still quite hot, especially early in the month, but temperatures slowly drop from highs of 89°F.

October: A relief from the heat begins, and it gets more comfortable. Average temps range from 54°F to 80°F.

November: It’s cooler and pleasant with averages from 45°F to 72°F. Fall events are in full swing.

December: It’s cool again, with averages between 41°F to 64°F. A festive month, but you’ll need warm clothes.

Frequently Asked Questions

The sun sets over a bayou, casting a warm glow on the marshland. A calendar shows peak and off-peak seasons for visiting Louisiana

When planning your trip to Louisiana, you might wonder about the best and worst times to visit. Here are some answers to your most common questions.

What’s the ideal season to explore New Orleans with fewer tourists around?

The best time for fewer tourists in New Orleans is usually in late summer and fall, between August and October. This is due to the hotter weather and a higher chance of rain.

When’s the peak time for experiencing New Orleans’ vibrant festival scene?

The festival season peaks from February to May, anchored by Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, so plan your visit then if you love big celebrations.

Can you suggest when to avoid visiting the French Quarter due to excessive crowds?

Avoid the French Quarter during Mardi Gras and other major festivals if you don’t like crowds. Mardi Gras can fall in February or March, depending on the year.

What period should I steer clear of if I want to dodge the worst weather in Louisiana?

Stay away from mid-summer to early fall, as this is hurricane season, and you’re also likely to encounter high humidity and temperatures.

Are there specific months that offer the best cultural experiences in Louisiana?

For cultural experiences, April, with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and October, with the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, are ideal times to visit.

At what times of the year is the safety of tourists most concerning in New Orleans?

While New Orleans is a city that can be enjoyed safely year-round with common-sense precautions, be extra vigilant during busy festival times or in less touristy areas late at night.