While much of the country is either still deep in the throes of frigid weather or only just beginning to thaw, springtime in New Orleans comes a bit earlier. You can expect plenty of opportunities for sun, fun and outdoor festivities, making NOLA the perfect place to plan everything from a long weekend getaway to a full spring break vacation.
Attend a spring festival, or two… or three*
You’d think the Crescent City would take a break following all of the Mardi Gras madness. Wrong! Carnival is just a precursor for the next three months filled with spring festivals here in NOLA. Of course, mega-fests live Jazz Fest and French Quarter Festival draw crowds of hundreds of thousands from near and far. But there are a host of other trip-worthy festivals that celebrate music, food, neighborhoods and culture.
Mardi Gras Indian traditions
Nothing says Sunday in New Orleans like a second line. While second lines roll most Sundays throughout the year, there are a few Sundays slightly more spectacular than the rest - Super Sundays. Once a year, the community can marvel at the beauty and tradition of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indian culture. Uptown, Downtown and Westbank Mardi Gras Indians all do things differently so pay attention along the routes.
Welcome back crawfish season
Saying goodbye to King Cake season while simultaneously welcoming back crawfish season is a sure sign of springtime in New Orleans. While the state-wide delicacy is technically available year-round, any New Orleanian knows that crawfish is best enjoyed in the spring. Grab a pound (or two) while the getting is good this season.
From boiling and peeling, to where to purchase and picnic - check out our Guide to Crawfish for inspo and help.
Explore the Crescent City’s Asian influence
May marks Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and thanks to Crescent City’s thriving Vietnamese community, we have a lot to celebrate. From authentically prepared Asian eats to Asian inspired activities and events like Tet Fest, discover how Asian Americans have contributed to New Orleans culture.
Celebrate special spring holidays
No matter the holiday, New Orleans always has a fun way to celebrate it. Parade your way through the French Quarter on Easter Sunday and the Irish Channel for St. Patrick’s Day. Take mom, grandma, an aunt and other mother figures out for a special Mother’s Day brunch or spa date. Pay a visit to the National WWII Museum over Memorial Day weekend. Scout out some of the best Latin music, margaritas and mojitos around town for Cinco De Mayo at some of the city’s Hispanic-owned Businesses.
Have fun, rain or shine
Like most cities during spring, the weather can be a hit or miss–after all, something has to usher in those May flowers. Some days are filled with sunshine and clear skies and other days can be a little gloomy with high chances of rain. Luckily, New Orleans knows a thing or two about keeping the festivities alive during the rain flurries.
If the weather permits, take full advantage of our endless outdoor activities like kayaking down Bayou Saint John or Biking through the French Quarter. But if the forecast has other plans, take a rain check and enjoy some indoor activities from our rainy day itinerary. Either way, the show must go on and the fun never stops.
Uplift New Orleans’ amazing women
Each year in March, communities across the country celebrate Women’s History Month and the Crescent City no exception. Women make up so many of the award-winning chefs, ground-breaking historians, and well-known musicians and socialites throughout New Orleans. During the month of March and beyond, celebrate their endless contributions and their undying influences at some of New Orleans’ many women-owned businesses.
Attend the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience .. or create your own
The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE) is an annual culinary extravaganza highlighting some of the city’s finest dining and wines from around the globe. The four-day event features creations by top chefs from around the city, specially curated menus at local restaurants and ticketed programming and fun.
*Editor's Note: While there are no travel restrictions to New Orleans due to the Covid-19, out of an abundance of caution and consideration for staff, vendors, performers, and guests, a number of spring festivals, including NOWFE, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, Hogs for the Cause, New Orleans Book Festival and Super Sunday, have decided to postpone or cancel this year’s events. Please check the event website for details and updated information.