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Need a stylish packing list for what to wear in New Orleans in winter? I’ve got you covered.
New Orleans, affectionately known as NOLA is one of the most popular cities to visit in Lousiana along the Mississippi river. The city is well known for its culture, music, and various historical landmarks. It also has a fantastic food scene. The Mardi Gras here is a popular event, although this doesn’t happen til the end of Winter / early Spring. If you’re looking to save money on accommodation though, winter is a good time to visit before the prices start rising.
Winter in New Orleans is beautiful, if not a little chilly. Read on for what to pack to stay warm and stylish.
When to visit New Orleans: Weather and Seasons
If you’re trying to celebrate Mardi Gras or just get away for a lively weekend, then the months of February through May are the best time to travel. The average temperatures are pretty mild, especially in February. While it can be quite cool, you can still enjoy outdoor activities, festivals and the overall party atmosphere. It can get quite hot in the summer though, so try to avoid that time if you can.
What to Pack for Spring in New Orleans (March, April, May): The best time to visit New Orleans is in the spring, when warm weather and beautiful flowers make for a lovely time in NOLA. Temperatures are normally between 52-77F (11-24C) during March, April and May. You’ll want to bring a jacket but you certainly wont be freezing.
What to Pack for Summer in New Orleans (June, July, August): Summer in New Orleans can get very hot. You’ll want to wear lightweight, or moisture wicking fabrics during this time. Moisture wicking fabrics are specially designed to remove moisture from the surface of your skin, helping you avoid discomfort from the heat. They’re mostly used in active wear, which is great for casual sightseeing around the city. Dresses will work well during this time, as will shorts and skirts. Avoid wearing woollen tops or jeans during this time. Watch out for nasty weather reports in August. Summer will see temperatures in the 80s and 90s F / 30-38 C.
What to pack for Fall in New Orleans (September, October, November): The heat of summer that the city is known for in the has finally passed and it’s now a lot more comfortable outside. You’ll want to invest in a pair of shoes with good grip if you plan on doing any walking around the city because sidewalks aren’t always paved and there can be puddles from rainstorms. It can still be a little steamy, especially in September, so you’ll want to bring cooler clothing, but pack a warmer jacket when visiting in November. Note: September is hurricane season so keep an eye on the weather reports before your visit. Temperatures around 61-80F /16-26C.
What to pack for Winter in New Orleans (December, January, February): Hurricane season has past and the weather is a bit more agreeable, although colder. Winter is not as cold as it is in other parts of the US, but it still warrants warmer clothing. Time to bring out those cute boots that have been languishing in your wardrobe. Coats, boots, tights and layers will be your friend during winter. Temperatures will be in the 60s to mid 70s F / 15-23C.
What to Wear in New Orleans in Winter?
How to dress for New Orleans in Winter
- 1- 2 pair of warm boots: I personally would pick ankle boots as they’re my obsession but you could also wear something mid calf or knee high. Keep your toes warm and stylish as it doesn’t get too cold here. If you’re only here for the weekend, one will do you fine.
- 1 pair of sneakers (optional): I don’t often bring sneakers but if you plan to be doing more walking and think your boots might not be too comfortable, switch one of the boots for sneakers.
- 1-2 x Jacket/coats: If space is tight take one, for longer stays consider two.
- 1-2 Cardigans: Perfect to wear under your coat on colder days
- 1 x pair of gloves. Again, its not going to be too cold here but you might want one pair if you don’t handle winters well.
- 2-3 x socks: A must if you’re bringing sneakers, a maybe for boots.
- Tops/ Shirts x 2-3: This really depends on how long you’re visiting for. I suspect most people are visiting on a weekend or long weekend so 2-3 tops would be perfect.
- 1-3 pants: For a weekend trip where you don’t have a lot of space you could easily wear the same pear of jeans for both days.
- Sleepwear: Should be warm and comfortable as it will get colder at night.
- 1 x Scarf
- 2-4 pairs of underwear.
- 2-3 bras
- 1-2 pairs of leggings or stockings: can wear under dresses or under pants if you’re finding the weather too cold.
- 1 x Woollen hat
- Swimwear x 1: If your hotel has a spa
- Nights out: If you’re visiting NOLA for the nightlife I’d recommend packing an additional outfit for each night. If you’re packing light try and mix it up with your day wear – eg: wear the same jeans but pack a dressier top.
What to Pack for New Orleans in Winter: Other Items
- Any prescription medication required
- Phone charger
- Your camera
- Camera battery and charger – I recommend carrying two batteries incase one dies mid sightseeing.
- Portable battery charger, incase your phone dies on the streets
- 8 or 16GB memory card.
Makeup & Toiletries
- Travel sized versions of your toiletries (shampoo /conditioner, toothpast, moisturiser) would work well, but check if your hotel already provides these.
- Toothbrush (check if your hotel provides toothpaste)
- Your normal makeup, or just the basics.
- 2 bank cards – incase something happens to one of them
- Your passport or other photo ID
- If you’re staying in a dorm bring a lock, but a lock for your suitcase in a hotel room wouldn’t hurt either.
I’ve always used World Nomads so that’s the company I recommend. I found them relatively easy to deal with when I had my Go Pro stolen so I know they will actually follow through on their coverage. If you’re already living in America check your options as your bank may already provide the coverage you need. You can get a quote for World Nomads travel insurance below.
Packing list for New Orleans in Winter: Safety and Health
As in most areas of America, it’s best to avoid walking alone at night and if possible always take precautions when out with valuables. To ensure you don’t encounter any trouble, make sure you ask your hotel receptionist for any areas to avoid. Be careful when out drinking, again as you likely would back home. Keep an eye on your drinks and your friends.
Health wise, there isn’t anything particularly unusual to look out for. Check if your insurance coverage covers you in different states if you’re American, and in general its easy to access medication at chemists for all travelers, US natives or not.