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Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

Thunder Bay, Canada
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Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

Just returned from New Orleans and loved it.

What I like to know is what other times of year are good and not too crowded for New Orleans..

I will like to spend another weekend walking bourbon street since its always busy like that at night.

I want to make sure i get similar experience.

What times other then Mardi Gras are really prime time for New Orleans.

As i was considering maybe January or Feb 2012 for a return visit?

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Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
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New Orleans, LA
New Orleans...
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1. Re: Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

The most inexpensive time used to be the first two weeks of December, a stellar time to visit. Don't know if this is still the case or not prise-wise but the weather and Christmas decorations really make the city special that time of year. You'll want to avoid Jazz Fest, which is maybe April or May. Also avoid Halloween.

Kansas City
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2. Re: Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

So glad you got bitten by the New Orleans bug! I have it so bad that I don't think there is a bad time to go, but I will try to give you a few facts upon which to make your decision. Keep in mind that another factor which affects crowds and rates are conventions. Thank God the convention business in New Orleans is on the upswing again. When you target some possible dates you may want to check to see if they coincide with a big convention. An example is that last year DH and I both took time off work, got flights lined up for a long weekend and then found that due to a huge medical convention(Orthopods I think), we had to pay over $300 a night for hotel. We bucked up but would have preferred to pick our dates better as that is more than we like to pay.

January and February are Carnival time leading up to Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday is Feb 21 this year. There will be a quieter period after Mardi Gras until around St Patrick's and St Joseph's day, (great fun and crowds and rates increased from the demand). You may also want to avoid Spring Break time. It will quiet down again between then and the start of the Spring Festival season in April & May. Jazz Fest runs two weekends, French Quarter Fest as well as some lesser festivals that are also fun.

Summer is low season due to the heat and start of hurricane season, (although in reality that is rarely an issue). We usually make one trip a year in the Summer. Still fun on Bourbon at night but easier to get restaurant reservations, etc. I always say, the air conditioning is fierce and the beer is so cold it can crack your teeth, still fun. A crazy event we are looking forward to is The Running of the Bulls in July. If you are curious you can search on that in this forum. August and Sept are slower times, (except for big conventions and home Saint's games). Labor Day weekend is Southern Decadence which I have heard described as Gay Mardi Gras. Lower Bourbon especially will have some fun parades. For the most part they are well behaved and the upscale restaurants love this event. October starts picking up and Halloween in NOLA is truly special. The weather is typically gorgeous and the outrageous fun is amplified. Can slow down a bit after Halloween with same exceptions, (conventions and Saints). Christmas is a time I have never visited, (family commitments prevent it), but I would LOVE to. Have seen wonderful images of the FQ and GD decorated. The restaurants have wonderful offerings. A local physician whom I know professionally says the only time he and his lovely wife go to the FQ for cocktails is Christmas evening. Carnival season starts January 6 and the whole thing starts again. I am sure I have left out many significant events that impact the crowds and I am equally sure that OPs will chime in to correct and amplify. I truly believe there is no bad time to go, only different flavors of the same wonderful trip. I hope for you that your return will be sooner rather than later. : )

Edited: 12 June 2011, 15:02
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Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
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New Orleans, LA
Fat Tuesday
Fat Tuesday
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New Orleans, LA
Mississippi
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3. Re: Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

KC gave you some good information. Summer is a good time to visit if you want to go when it's quieter. I have been on NY's and had a great time but I don't think there's a bad time to go to NOLA. I don't go during Mardi Gras or big festivals because I don't like the large crowds in town. I like it much quieter if possible. Here's a link that will give you some guidance on events during the year in NOLA. Good luck.

http://www.neworleansonline.com/

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Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
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New Orleans, LA
AR
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4. Re: Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

The hotels/restaurants, shops, etc. have special rates the entire month of December for Christmas in New Orleans. There are special events the entire month, including free cooking demos, open houses, caroling, free concerts in the cathedral (including local jazz and blues musicians) and on and on. If you check on neworleansonline.com or fqfi.org, they may still have some of Christmas 2010 events on the site for examples. Bourbon St. and the other music places are still thriving, but it is not as big or as young a crowd as Mardi Gras, etc. As previously mentioned, summer is also a good time for fewer people, however, many consider it to be too hot and humid for them.

There is never a bad time to visit NOLA!!!

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Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
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New Orleans, LA
Illinois
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5. Re: Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

We went the first weekend in December last year. It was a really nice time to go. They have a parade for Christmas and the decorations everywhere are very nice and festive.

We also went one year for St. Patrick's Day. There are a few parades during this time. The weather was fairly nice too.

6. Re: Other quieter times to go to New Orleans

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