What's the first thing you'll notice after your flight to New Orleans? A city draped in vibrant colors and people dancing in the streets. The sounds of BB King, Winston Marsalis and Ella Fitzgerald make their way through the Big Easy as people pack the open-air restaurants and cafes in the French Quarter. It can only be New Orleans, and the journey to the most "unique city in America" starts on the New Orleans flight.
Despite the heartache it suffered on August 29, 2005, New Orleans has not lost its heart. Hurricane Katrina destroyed 80 percent of the city, but the New Orleans spirit prevailed. Beyond the depths of destruction was the music that for centuries kept this city alive. Today, tourists book flights to New Orleans to participate in the revival of one America’s most beloved cities.
Book airline tickets to New Orleans to see the beautiful architecture that still remains in the French Quarter of the city. Vacation in New Orleans for a taste of the Cajun cuisine that makes this city famous. Book New Orleans flights and hotel rooms to support the people – they stayed, they survived and they continue to provide the music, food and festivities that keep people traveling to New Orleans every year.
New Orleans climate
New Orleans can be hot and muggy in the summer. Summer temperatures are well into the 90s (Fahrenheit), the humidity oppressive, and there are occasional thunderstorms. September and October often have clear, mild days. Winter is short, overcast, and chilly. Temperatures are usually in 50s, but can drop and, combined with the dampness, make for a cold day. Spring is delightful with sunny, mild days.The city gets plenty of rain, about 60 inches a year. The hurricane season is June to September.
Best Time to Fly to New Orleans
February through April is the peak season with the best weather and the city’s two biggest events, Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest. Book your New Orleans flights and hotel reservations at least six months in advance.
September and October tend to have good weather. The oppressive heat and humidity of summer even drives some of the residents away from the city, but you can find cheap hotels and flights to New Orleans.
The damp cold of winter does not attract many visitors, and low rates can be found.
Getting around New Orleans
New Orleans has a great public bus system and the oldest streetcar service in the country, which has been designated a National Historic Monument. The buses are the cheapest way to get around, but they can be slow. Vintage St Charles streetcars can take you uptown while the Riverfront streetcar runs along the Mississippi River for two miles. Make sure you have exact change for the buses and streetcars. You can also get VisiTour passes that offer one to three days of unlimited rides on the streetcars and buses. The best way to get around at night is by hailing or calling for a cab. There are plenty of taxis to be found, and a metered ride won’t cost you much. If you want to take a tour of New Orleans, try hiring a cab to take you and up to four of your friends around the city. Head out on the water aboard the Canal Street Ferry for a great view of New Orleans’ skyline. The ferry is free for pedestrians and will take you out to suburban Algiers. It’s easy to drive in the city, but parking is another story.
New Orleans Travel Information
- The French Market is a farmer's market which sells everything from canned alligator and chocolates to hot sauce. It’s a good place to pick up souvenirs.
- Julia Street is a well-kept secret. The 600 block has 13 mid-19th-century townhouses called Julia Row or the Thirteen Sisters. It has great art galleries, and the Contemporary Arts Center is here too.
- Friday Lunch is a New Orleans tradition. The meal starts about midday - and lubricated by several drinks - and lasts all day. Galatoire’s on Bourbon Street is the place to lunch for those lucky enough to get a reservation, although tables in the first floor dining room are first-come, first-served.
- Mardi Gras celebrations are world famous. The festivities start officially on January 6 (Twelfth Night or Little Christmas) and last until Shrove Tuesday and feature parties and parades. For visitors at other times of the year, there is Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World, where you can take a tour and see the props and giant figures. The tour includes coffee and King Cake (a Mardi Gras tradition, a ring cake like a brioche decorated with green, purple and gold sugar with a small figure of the baby Jesus baked inside).
- Take a swamp tour of Bayou Segnette, a Cajun fishing village, 20 minutes from the centre of New Orleans with Westwego Swamp Adventures. Included in the tour is an ecology/naturalist presentation. The nesting grounds of alligators, egrets, raccoons and many types of snakes can be spotted along the way.
- For a glimpse of the other side (perhaps), visit an above-ground cemetery. Saint Louis Cemetery No 1. is the oldest cemetery in the city, and boasts (it is said) several ghostly apparitions including an old man and most famously Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.