There are seemingly never-ending reasons to visit New Orleans, but in keeping with the year, we went with our top 23. Festivals each weekend, Mardi Gras season, traditional food, cultural celebrations…the list goes on. Here are 23 reasons to visit New Orleans in 2023.
January 6-February 21
While the rest of the world dreads January as the end of the holiday season, New Orleans rolls from one holiday to the next with the start of Mardi Gras on January 6. From that day until February 21, king cakes are available in abundance, parades roll down city streets, and festivities abound. Reason #1 to visit New Orleans: it’s Mardi Gras season, baby.
For the first time ever, the MISS UNIVERSE® pageant will be held in New Orleans. The competition will be held in the Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 14 and feature almost 90 women from around the globe vying for the crown. There are a few different events open to the public. Find more information and purchase tickets here.
New Orleans is home to a large Vietnamese population, and Tet Fest celebrations are a highlight on our calendar every year. Held at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, Tet Fest celebrations typically include authentic food, music, children’s activities, and fun for the whole family. Tet is January 21-27, 2023, so mark your calendars for the festival around that time.
No need to travel to New York for the best of Broadway; we’ve got it right here in our own backyard as Broadway in New Orleans graces the Saenger Theater with shows throughout the year. The current season continues into winter and spring, with performances of Jesus Christ Superstar, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, Fiddler on the Roof, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, and To Kill a Mockingbird all on tap. Come October and we’ll see the start of the 2023/2024 season with shows to be announced. Experience a little magic this year at the Saenger.
Whether you’re a New Orleans native or a first-time visitor, spring in NOLA means one thing: boiled crawfish. Get ready to boil, peel, and devour this delicious Louisiana favorite, and check out our guide to get the best of the best.
November 15, 2022-March 1, 2023
The Historic New Orleans Collection brings world heritage to life with a 360-degree augmented reality immersion into the 850-year history of Notre-Dame Cathedral and its ongoing restoration in the aftermath of the tragic fire of April 15, 2019. This visually stunning experience joins other interactive technology on display at The Historic New Orleans Collection’s state-of-the-art new exhibition center at 520 Royal Street in the French Quarter. Visitors will navigate Notre-Dame de Paris through the ages by using a HistoPad™, an augmented reality touch-screen tablet developed by Histovery. The handheld device transports visitors back in time through its immersive, interactive reconstructions available in more than 10 languages. Catch the exhibit through March 1.
To most Americans, "Super Sunday" connotates the Sunday on which the NFL Super Bowl is played. However, in New Orleans, Super Sunday has a totally different meaning. It’s a day for the city's Mardi Gras Indian tribes to put on their colorful suits and "strut their stuff" while marching in a procession through the streets. In keeping with traditions that date back to the 19th century, New Orleans Super Sunday is the Sunday closest to St. Joseph's Day (March 19). Learn more about the tradition here.
Spring in New Orleans is a busy, busy time with multiple festivals on each weekend, plus parades for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, and more. This spring, we look forward to New Orleans Book Festival (March 9-11), Hogs for the Cause (March 31-April 1), Freret Street Festival (April 2), and many, many more. Check out our festival calendar page here, and come on down.
Known as the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world, French Quarter Festival is a beloved springtime tradition. The festival is free to attend and held in the heart of the city. Browse hundreds of food and art vendors, and kick back near one of the many stages in the area. For more information, see here.
April 28-May 7
Perhaps the second biggest reason to visit New Orleans in 2023 only behind Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest is an annual festival celebrating the music, art, culture, and heritage of New Orleans. Since its origins in 1970, the fest has worked its way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Jazz Fest's lineup is typically announced in mid-January each year, with artists such as Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, and The Who as past headliners. See here for the latest.
An unparalleled new attraction, Vue Orleans offers a 360-degree view of New Orleans from 34 floors above. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, you’ll travel through time to meet the change-makers and dreamers who brought our city to life. Both educational and entertaining, Vue Orleans is a must-visit during the year 2023.
June 9-11, August 31-September 4
Recognized as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the U.S., June is a special month in New Orleans for celebrating Pride. Events go on throughout the month of June, but the Pride parade on the weekend of June 9-11 is something you won’t want to miss. Southern Decadence is essentially Pride round II, with a parade, parties, and general celebration of the LGBTQ+ community over Labor Day Weekend from August 31-September 4.
The summertime may be hot, but sno-balls are here to cool us off. A delicacy of sorts, a sno-ball is shaved ice drowned in deliciously flavored syrup—and no, it’s NOT a sno-cone. Find our guide to sno-ball season here, and make sure to try many flavors before settling on your favorite.
June 29-July 3
ESSENCE Festival of Culture is a celebration of Black culture, with thousands of visitors converging on the city for main stage performances, iconic speakers, and programming tailored to the Black community. Past performers have included Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, and many more, while past speakers have included Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. It’s a celebration you truly can’t miss. Learn more here.
In New Orleans, no two hotels are alike. This is especially true for boutique hotels, which include unique room designs, custom finishes, and curated spaces. Book a stay at one of these hotels and enjoy your home away from home.
When the heat kicks up, the deals kick in. During COOLinary, indulge in two-course lunch, or three-course dinner and brunch deals from August 1-31. Past participants have included GW Fins, Café Degas, and over 70 other restaurants. Don’t miss your chance to try some of the best food in New Orleans for a steal all month long.
September 28-October 8
The music never stops in New Orleans, and this September and October, mark your calendars for a citywide celebration of local musicians, music venues, and New Orleans culture. Catch your favorite artists and discover new ones at dozens of live performances at indoor and outdoor venues all over town from September 28-October 8 as part of NOLAxNOLA (NOLA BY NOLA). You won’t want to miss this event—find more details here.
New Orleans is a Halloween destination all October long, so don’t wait to partake in your share of spooky activities. Haunted houses, ghost tours, and the Krewe of BOO! parade are all spooky activities to get you into the spirit. Click here to see how New Orleans typically celebrates spooky season.
Available year-round; seasonality applies
Classic New Orleans food is reason enough to spawn a visit to the city. Think: decadent gumbo, red beans & rice, crawfish étouffée, soft-shell crab, overstuffed po-boys, oysters on the half shell…is your mouth watering yet? Learn about famous New Orleans foods here and make plans to come on a food tour.
Bayou Classic is an annual tradition each and every Thanksgiving weekend, with four decades of football games held mostly in New Orleans. The rivalry between Southern University and Grambling State couldn’t be closer, with their records matching each other almost evenly. The weekend is about more than just football, we’re celebrating HBCU culture at large, with a Battle of the Bands, parade, and fanfare throughout the weekend. Learn more about the historic meeting here.
November 24-December 31
The day after Thanksgiving kicks off Holidays New Orleans style, an over-monthlong celebration that brings the holiday season to life. During the holiday season, enjoy Celebration in the Oaks, NOLA Christmas Fest, Children’s Hospital New Orleans Holiday Parade, Algiers Bonfire Festival, Hanukkah celebrations, Museum Store Sunday, plus shopping, dining, music, and more. Learn more here and experience the magic of New Orleans.
New Orleans is the perfect place to ring in the new year, with parties, restaurant reservations, concerts, and children’s celebrations all on the calendar. Take a look at 7 Reasons to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New Orleans 2022 and expect many of the same offerings to be available on December 31, 2023.