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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Louisiana in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Louisiana in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Louisiana?

The best time to visit Louisiana is from February to May, when the weather is warm and it’s the peak festival season, featuring Mardi Gras. This period, known for mild weather and fewer rainy days, is ideal for exploring and enjoying events like the Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival and the French Quarter Festival.

The state of Louisiana is a little slice of French influence in the United States, making it a unique cultural destination in the country. Of course, most visitors to Louisiana head to New Orleans, famous for its Cajun cultural influences, live music on Bourbon Street, and rollicking good parties.

The state does have more to offer visitors, such as nature preserves protecting the unique wetlands, and plantations commemorating the horrors of slavery and the antebellum South.

Louisiana feels like a world away, even for many Americans. To have the best experience in this unique destination, you need to know when to visit; we’ll show you this and more below.

Overall Best Time to Visit Louisiana

View of Bourbon Street in New Orleans during the best time to visit Louisiana

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Louisiana is in the late winter to spring (February-May), which has the state’s most popular festivities and the best weather.

Louisiana’s location on the Gulf of Mexico means that it has a humid subtropical climate, different from much of the rest of the United States. The weather is mostly warm all year round. Months with warmer weather become unbearably hot, and usually have lots of rain.

February to May is the sweet spot weather-wise when it comes to Louisiana. Temperatures are warm enough to spend time outdoors with only a light jacket.

Average daily high temperatures in New Orleans in February are a mild 65 degrees Fahrenheit. May is much warmer, but not overwhelmingly hot, with average daily highs of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even more importantly, this is Louisiana’s dry season. February to May only have about seven or eight days of rain per month on average.

The relatively dry weather is an important condition if you were hoping to explore some of Louisiana’s unique countryside, such as Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, which has the unique landscape of the Mississippi River Delta.

Visiting in February or March allows you to enjoy the best party of the year in Louisiana, and some would argue the entire United States—Mardi Gras. The exact date of this festival changes each year, depending on the Catholic calendar.

The day before Ash Wednesday brings raucous parades, costumed dancers, and free-flowing bourbon. The most famous celebration is in New Orleans, which has massive, costumed parades and parties for two weeks.

Other cities, such as Baton Rouge, also have their own Mardi Gras celebrations. For a less commercial experience, visit one of the small Acadian towns such as Church Point for traditional festivities including costumed runs, chicken-chasing competitions, and communal gumbo cooking.

Outside of Mardi Gras, there are plenty of other festivities during this time in Louisiana, such as:

Cheapest Time to Visit Louisiana

Shreveport skyline at dusk over the Red River showing the cheapest time to visit Louisiana

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Louisiana is in the early winter, from the end of November to early February, when weather is a bit milder, but tourist demand is still low.

Louisiana winters are not cold at all, but there is a distinct nip in the air. Average daytime temperatures in January in Baton Rouge are 62 degrees Fahrenheit, while at night the temperature dips to the low 40s.

You can still walk around during the day without too many layers. The chill just has the effect of lowering demand and lowering prices in turn. Winter is when you can find decent deals on hotels even in Louisiana’s most expensive city, New Orleans.

By the end of November, you can find excellent deals, with some hotels even offering discounts over 40% off. If you are driving to Louisiana, then the cost will be the same no matter when you visit.

For flights, you can find good deals in January and early February, once the Christmas holiday travel rush is over. There are also good deals in the fall, from September to early November.

Least Busy Time to Visit Louisiana

View of Oak Alley Plantation to show the least busy time to visit Louisiana

Brendan van Son/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Louisiana is in the winter, but you can also beat the crowds by arriving earlier in the fall (from September to November). As mentioned above, winter tends to be pretty quiet in Louisiana before Mardi Gras kicks off.

Expect fewer visitors, but also fewer cultural events or festivals. Visiting earlier in the year, from September to November, allows you to hit that sweet spot when there is a lot to do, but not so many visitors.

The weather is also warmer than in the winter—but a lot rainier. Before planning your trip, keep in mind that September and October are still part of the hurricane season along the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the best parts of visiting in the fall is the abundance of cultural events. After a summer break, everyone from sports teams to art galleries is heading back to work. There are plenty of new openings, season openers, live performances, and more.

Sports fans will want to head to Baton Rouge during this time, when LSU kicks off the football season in early September. College football is king in much of Louisiana, so expect tailgate parties and high attendance for games, perfect if you love the atmosphere of the sport.

If you’re more of a fan of music and culture, then there’s still plenty for you to do in the fall. Popular festivals in New Orleans include the Crescent City BBQ & Blues Festival (October) and the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

These festivals are lots of fun but have fewer tourists than those that occur in the spring. This is also the best time to visit for lovers of gastronomy as New Orleans has several festivals dedicated to its cuisine.

Visit in November for Beignet Fest or the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. Plus, you won’t have to wait as long to get into the city’s famous restaurants thanks to fewer crowds.

Worst Time to Visit Louisiana

Louisiana marsh flooded during the best time to visit Louisiana for a frequently asked questions section

jaimie tuchman/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Louisiana is during the state’s rainy season, from June to October, when the weather is unbearable and there is a high risk of hurricanes.

Visiting Louisiana in the summer is not a very pleasant experience. The temperatures are extremely hot, and the high humidity makes it feel even hotter.

Average high temperatures in New Orleans in July are around 91 degrees, which makes it too unpleasant to walk around. The summer is also very rainy. Autumn brings relief from the heat, but not from the rain.

The rainiest months of the year in New Orleans and much of the rest of Louisiana are from June to September, with October also bringing its fair share of showers. Much of Louisiana is low-lying and close to the Mississippi River, so heavy rains also cause floods.

The most concerning aspect of visiting from June to November is that this is hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana is frequently devastated by hurricanes.

The most famous is probably Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which devastated New Orleans so extensively that much of the city is still recovering. There have been regular strong storms since, such as Hurricane Ida in 2021, which killed several people.

If you’re willing to gamble with the weather, visiting from June to October yields some of the fewest crowds and lowest hotel prices throughout Louisiana. There are plenty of outdoor events, such as Pride in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and open-air concerts.

Louisiana by Month: Climate & Activities

Spanish style French Quarter architecture decked out with ferns for a piece on the best time to visit Louisiana

Patrick Civello/Shutterstock

Still unsure about the best time to visit Louisiana? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


Winter temperatures in Louisiana range from 5 to 18°C (41-64°F). January is a great time for cultural experiences in New Orleans, exploring the historic French Quarter, and attending events like the Allstate Sugar Bowl.


Similar to January, February maintains cool temperatures. Experience the lively Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, explore the historic plantations along the River Road, and enjoy the vibrant parades and festivities.


As spring begins in March, temperatures in Louisiana range from 10 to 23°C (50-73°F). March is perfect for exploring the bayous and swamps, attending the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans, and taking a scenic drive along the Great River Road.


Spring temperatures in April range from 15 to 26°C (59-79°F). It’s an ideal time for outdoor activities like hiking in the Kisatchie National Forest, attending the Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and exploring the antebellum homes in Natchitoches.


May sees temperatures ranging from 19 to 29°C (66-84°F). Explore the historic sites in Baton Rouge, visit the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island, and enjoy outdoor music festivals across the state.


Summer arrives with temperatures between 23 to 32°C (73-90°F). June offers opportunities for outdoor adventures in the Atchafalaya Basin, exploring the Creole Nature Trail, and enjoying the beaches along the Gulf Coast.


July maintains warm temperatures from 25 to 33°C (77-91°F). It’s a popular month for water activities such as fishing and boating, attending the Essence Festival in New Orleans, and exploring the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette.


Temperatures in August range from 25 to 33°C (77-91°F). It’s an excellent time for a swamp tour in the Honey Island Swamp, visiting the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, and enjoying Cajun and Creole cuisine.


As fall begins, temperatures range from 23 to 32°C (73-90°F). September offers a pleasant transition, with opportunities for exploring the historic city of Natchitoches, attending the Louisiana Seafood Festival, and visiting the USS Kidd Veterans Museum in Baton Rouge.


October sees temperatures ranging from 17 to 28°C (63-82°F). It’s a great month for exploring the historic sites in Shreveport, attending the Louisiana Cotton Festival in Ville Platte, and enjoying the fall foliage in Kisatchie National Forest.


Fall temperatures range from 11 to 23°C (52-73°F). November is ideal for exploring the scenic byways like the Creole Nature Trail, attending the Bayou Classic in New Orleans, and taking a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River.


In December, winter returns to Louisiana with temperatures ranging from 7 to 18°C (45-64°F). December brings opportunities for holiday celebrations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, exploring the historic district in St. Francisville, and enjoying festive events across the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Street cars in downtown New Orleans pictured during the best time to visit Louisiana

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Here are some of the best questions people have asked about visiting Louisiana:

What is the best month to go to New Orleans?

The best month to go to New Orleans is February if you’re interested in Mardi Gras, and April if you’d prefer a quieter time to visit.

What is the hottest month in Louisiana?

The hottest month in Louisiana is July, followed closely by August. Many cities during this time have daytime temperatures reaching well into the 90s.

Is October a good time to go to Louisiana?

October is a risky time to visit Louisiana because there is still some risk of hurricanes, but the worst of the rain has passed. There are plenty of events, and slightly cooler weather.

What months are winter in Louisiana?

The winter months in Louisiana are November, December, January, and February. However, even during the winter temperatures are mild.

What months are hurricane season in Louisiana?

Hurricane season in Louisiana lasts from June to November. The worst months for hurricanes are August, September, and October.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Louisiana?

The best time to visit Louisiana is from February to May, which has the best weather. Party lovers should visit in February for Mardi Gras, while those who want a quieter trip should come later in the spring.

So, with so much to see and do and countless amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Louisiana has to offer. Happy travels!