The Mini Rough Guide to New Orleans, 1st Edition (Rough Guides (Mini))

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9781858284408: The Mini Rough Guide to New Orleans, 1st Edition (Rough Guides (Mini))

A pocket guide to the city of New Orleans, this reference includes informed reviews of the best places to stay and eat for every budget; presents lively accounts of all the sights; and provides insider tips on Mardi Gras, Jazzfest and the other festivals.

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When to visit

New Orleans has a subtropical climate, with warm temperatures, high humidity and heavy rainfall. Thanks to its busy convention calendar, heavy weekend tourist traffic and a seemingly endless stream of festivals, the city stays pretty full year round, but the peak tourist seasons are Mardi Gras - which starts on Twelfth Night and builds up in intensity until Mardi Gras itself, the day before Ash Wednesday - and JazzFest, which spreads across a fortnight at the end of April and the start of May. Both, along with the increasingly popular French Quarter festival, occur in spring, which is a pleasant, sunny time to visit. However, the humidity is already building up by then, and JazzFest especially can be plagued by heavy rain.

The torpid months between May and September, when the blistering heat and intense humidity prove debilitating in the extreme, count as off-season; prices may be lower and crowds thinner at this time, but for good reason. From May to November the city is at risk from the hurricanes that sweep through the Gulf of Mexico. Even if it doesn't get a direct hit, New Orleans can be seriously affected by a tropical storm hitting land anywhere along the coast.

Climate-wise, fall is one of the best times to visit: October especially tends to be sunny, warm and relatively dry, though the nights can be chilly. Even in winter the days never get too cold; the nights, however, are another matter, cursed by the bone-bitingly damp air that creeps in from the river.

Plagued by heavy pollination, humidity and pollution, New Orleans is a year-round nightmare for allergy sufferers, and can bring on miserable symptoms even for those who have never experienced them before. Bring your own medication, or stock up when you arrive.

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