Are you looking to experience the famous attractions and vibrant culture of New Orleans without the overwhelming crowds?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss when is the best time to plan your visit in order to get the most out of your trip while still avoiding large groups.
We’ll look at seasonal weather fluctuations as well as special events throughout New Orleans that may draw attention from tourists.
Whether you decide on summertime jazz festivals or shoulder-season days exploring local haunts – one thing’s for sure: with a little research and advanced planning, visiting beautiful New Orleans can be anything but a crowded affair.
The best time to visit new orleans without crowds
If you’re looking to visit New Orleans without the crowds, the best time to go is during the months of October, January, March and April.
These are the least busy and cheapest times of year to visit. During these months, you can still enjoy mild weather and a variety of local seafood.
The shoulder seasons of October, January, March and April offer the best combination of pleasant weather and fewer tourists.
Since this is when the city is at its least crowded, you can avoid large groups during popular attractions like The National World War II Museum or Mardi Gras celebrations.
In addition to mild temperatures and fewer tourists, you’ll also find great deals on hotels and restaurants during the shoulder seasons.
Prices for accommodations tend to be lower, meaning you can get more bang for your buck – or even save a few bucks when booking with special travel packages.
What are some tips for avoiding crowds in New Orleans?
If you are planning a trip to New Orleans and want to avoid the crowds, here are seven tips to help you make the most of your experience:
Visit during the off-season:
One of the easiest ways to avoid large crowds in New Orleans is to plan your trip during the off-season.
While Mardi Gras may be the most popular time to visit, with its non-stop parties and parades, it is also the most crowded.
Instead, consider visiting during the quieter months of October, January, March and April, when the weather is still mild and the crowds are thinner.
Explore the less-popular neighborhoods:
While the French Quarter may be the most well-known area of New Orleans, it is also the most crowded.
Consider exploring some of the less-visited neighborhoods, such as the Marigny or the Garden District, where you can still experience the unique architecture and culture of the city without the crowds.
Take a walking tour:
Instead of wandering aimlessly through the city, consider taking a walking tour which can help you navigate the city’s streets and find lesser-known attractions.
There are many different types of tours to choose from, including food tours, history tours, and music tours, which can help you discover the unique character of New Orleans.
Visit attractions in the morning or late afternoon:
To avoid the crowds at popular attractions like the Audubon Zoo or the National World War II Museum, consider visiting these places early in the morning or in the late afternoon when the crowds are thinner.
This will not only give you a chance to see the sights with fewer people around but also allow you to take your time and really enjoy your experience.
Take advantage of public transportation:
While driving in New Orleans can be a challenge, the city also has a very efficient public transportation system that can help you get where you need to go without the stress of navigating crowded streets.
Consider taking the streetcar or bus to explore different parts of the city without worrying about traffic or parking.
Book accommodations away from the tourist areas:
While it may be tempting to book a hotel in the French Quarter or other well-known tourist areas, this can also mean dealing with larger crowds and more noise.
Instead, consider booking accommodations in quieter neighborhoods, where you can enjoy some peace and quiet after a long day of exploring the city.
Eat like a local:
Instead of going to the most popular restaurants, consider venturing off the beaten path to find local favorites.
Some great options include po’ boy shops, seafood markets, or coffee shops that offer delicious beignets.
By eating like a local, you can not only avoid the crowds but also sample some of the most authentic flavors of New Orleans.
Best things to do in New Orleans:
If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans, you’re in for a treat. To make the most of your visit, here are seven of the best things to do in New Orleans.
Visit the French Quarter:
This is perhaps the most iconic neighborhood in New Orleans, and for good reason. It’s home to some of the city’s oldest buildings, beautiful architecture, and vibrant nightlife. Stroll along the streets and soak in the sights and sounds of this lively neighborhood, or take a tour to learn about its history.
Enjoy some live music:
New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz, and it’s still one of the best places in the world to hear live music. Head to Frenchmen Street, where you can find some of the city’s most popular music venues. Or, if you’re looking for something more traditional, check out Preservation Hall for some classic jazz.
Try some Cajun cuisine:
New Orleans is famous for its delicious food, and Cajun cuisine is a must-try. From gumbo to jambalaya to crawfish, there are plenty of classic dishes to sample. For a more upscale experience, try Commander’s Palace, or head to Acme Oyster House for some of the best seafood in town.
Take a swamp tour:
The wetlands surrounding New Orleans are home to a diverse range of plants and animals, from alligators to herons. Take a swamp tour to see them up close and learn about this unique ecosystem. Many tours leave from the city, and some even offer transportation.
Visit the National WWII Museum:
Located in the Central Business District, the National WWII Museum is a world-class museum that tells the story of the war from the perspective of the American experience. With interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations, it’s a must-visit for history buffs.
Go on a ghost tour:
New Orleans is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States. Take a ghost tour to learn about the city’s spooky past and visit some of its reportedly haunted locations. There are plenty of tours to choose from, including walking tours and haunted pub crawls.
Attend a festival:
New Orleans is known for its festivals, and there’s always something going on. From Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest to the French Quarter Festival, there’s a celebration for every taste. Check the city’s events calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.
Best hotels to stay at in New Orleans:
finding the perfect hotel is essential to making your trip truly memorable. Here are the top seven hotels in New Orleans that will give you the ultimate experience.
This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of the French Quarter and offers stunning views of the Mississippi River.
It’s known for its rooftop pool, exquisite restaurant, and comfortable rooms that are perfect for any traveler.
This world-renowned hotel chain provides the ultimate in luxury accommodations.
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is no exception, offering top-notch amenities, including an on-site spa, a French-inspired restaurant, and a cocktail bar.
The Roosevelt New Orleans:
Known for its luxurious ambiance and classic elegance, The Roosevelt is a truly iconic New Orleans hotel.
The hotel’s architecture and design capture the spirit of the city, while its rooftop pool and bar offer amazing views of the surrounding area.
Ace Hotel New Orleans:
If you’re looking for a unique and trendy hotel, Ace Hotel New Orleans is a perfect choice.
This chic hotel offers an on-site restaurant and bar, as well as stylish rooms that cater to hip travelers.
International House Hotel:
This boutique hotel is situated in the Central Business District and offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
You’ll love the hotel’s courtyard, which offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans.
Loews New Orleans Hotel:
This contemporary hotel is situated close to the riverfront and offers stunning views of the Mississippi River.
The Loews offers a luxurious spa and fitness center, as well as a delicious on-site restaurant.
Windsor Court Hotel:
The Windsor Court Hotel is known for its world-class amenities, including a full-service spa and a uniquely designed rooftop pool.
The hotel’s elegant decor is reflective of the city’s Southern charm, and its charming location in the Garden District is unbeatable.
Best restaurants to eat at in New Orleans:
New Orleans is famous for its diverse cuisine, particularly Cajun and Creole.
You will find many great restaurants in and around the city, each serving up unique dishes that will leave you satisfied and amazed.
But with so many options, it can be challenging to decide which one to go to first.
I’ve compiled a list of the ten best restaurants to eat at in New Orleans for those who are looking for an unforgettable and mouth-watering experience.
The classic New Orleans restaurant, Commander’s Palace, has been serving upscale Creole cuisine since 1880. Located in the Garden District, the restaurant boasts an elegant atmosphere with impressive service. Try their jazz brunch, turtle soup, or the bread pudding souffle if you have a sweet tooth.
If you’re looking for Cajun-style cuisine, Cochon should be on your list. Chef Donald Link is known for his outstanding pork dishes, like the wood-fired oysters with chili-garlic butter that will surely awaken your taste buds.
Galatoire’s is the place to be for a fancy dinner. For more than 100 years, this restaurant has been serving up classic French creole dishes like the Oysters Rockefeller and Seafood Gumbo.
If you’re interested in trying authentic Creole food, then Dooky Chase is the place to go. Founded by Leah Chase, who passed away in 2019, the restaurant has played an essential role in preserving the Creole cuisine throughout the years. Make sure to order their fried chicken, gumbo, and bread pudding to have a taste of true Creole food.
For something a little more modern and sophisticated, head to Herbsaint, a restaurant serving French-inspired Creole cuisine. It’s the ideal spot for business lunches or a romantic dinner. Don’t miss their must-try dishes like the house-made spaghetti and gumbo with chicken and andouille sausage.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House:
Willie Mae’s is one of the most famous fried chicken restaurants in the city. Her lightly battered, juicy, and tender fried chicken is a must-try.
Located in the Garden District, Coquette is a modern and chic restaurant with dishes like House-Made Irish Whiskey Cured Salmon and the Smoked Pork Loin on the menu.
Acme Oyster House:
Acme Oyster House is the go-to spot for oysters in New Orleans. It’s one of the oldest restaurants in the French Quarter, and it’s been serving up charbroiled and raw oysters since 1910.
Café du Monde:
This popular landmark in the French Quarter serves the best beignets in town. The café is open 24/7, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth cravings whenever you want.
Peche is known for its seafood dishes, including the grilled oysters and seafood tower. This chic restaurant reinvents classic seafood preparations with innovative culinary techniques.