September in New Orleans marks the beginning of the city's slow descent out of the intense humidity and heat of the summer into a more temperate and bearable Autumn. Students head back to school and the beginning of football season brings out the Saints fans. Hotel prices are still quite low, though not as low as they are in July and August, so if you don’t mind spending some of the more sweltering parts of the days indoors, September is a relaxing month to visit New Orleans with a lot of opportunity for entertainment.
September is the height of hurricane season, which stretches from June 1 to November 30, so if you choose to plan a trip during this month, make sure you're staying on top of the weather reports in the week or two leading up to your trip. Travel insurance is probably a good idea, in case you need to cancel, because hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin have been extremely destructive in and around New Orleans in the past.
New Orleans Weather in September
- Average high: 87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius)
- Average low: 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).
It only rains 4 inches in September, which is dryer than the summer months that typically receive between 5 and 6 inches.
What to Pack
Light and summery clothes should make up the bulk of your wardrobe, but it can get cool at night, and when you go indoors the air-conditioning is usually on full blast. It's a good idea to keep a light jacket or wrap on hand, especially if you'll be going out at night.
On average it rains about 10 out of 30 days in September, so you should pack a rain jacket and umbrella. If you hope to dine out at one of the higher-end restaurants in town, check to see if they have a dress code first, so you know whether or not you need to pack your dress shoes or tie.
September Events in New Orleans
In 2020, many of the September events in and around New Orleans may be canceled, postponed, or altered, so be sure to check the official websites of the organizers for the latest details.
- Southern Decadence: Sometimes referred to as “gay Mardi Gras” (though Mardi Gras itself is perfectly gay-friendly), this enormous gay pride celebration turns the French Quarter into a giant, festive street party. Parades, live music, drag shows, and plenty more adults-only fun take place over the course of Labor Day weekend each year. This festival was canceled in 2020.
- Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival: This small city in Central Louisiana, a four-hour drive from New Orleans, was the first French settlement in the Louisiana territory and is known for a lot of things, but the most delicious among these are its tasty, spicy meat pies. This festival celebrates the local delicacy with music, drink, and other entertainment at the Natchitoches Parish Fairgrounds. This event has been postponed until 2021.
- New Orleans Burlesque Festival: Burlesque has long been a wildly popular form of entertainment in New Orleans, combining tantalizing dances with bawdy humor, costumes, and elegant music. The local burlesque scene invites troupes and individual performers from around the world to take part in this annual event, which includes several shows and pageants throughout the weekend. The festival has been officially canceled for 2020.
- NOLA on Tap Beer Fest: Taste more than 400 beers at this one-day event that brings together Louisiana’s brewing scene with national microbrews and specialty beer producers. Live music and other entertainment are also on the roster. The whole shebang is a fundraiser for the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). This event has not been rescheduled for 2020.
- Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival in Bogalusa: The Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival takes place in the small town of Bogalusa, which sits on the Louisiana–Mississippi border about 75 miles north of New Orleans. It’s home to this impressive blues festival, which brings national touring artists with Louisiana artists. This festival was canceled in 2020.
- The Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival in Opelousas: With some of the best local musicians specializing in the French-Creole music, this event is a unique, Louisiana bucket-list experience. Opelousas is approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive from New Orleans. In 2020, the Zydeco Festival moved online for a virtual event on September 5.
September Travel Tips
- Before you book, ask your hotel if they offer any kind of hurricane guarantee. If so, you may be able to get a refund in case there is a storm or reschedule your trip at a later date.
- For a local experience, head to one of the city's best sports bars like Porch and Patio Wine and Beer Garden during a Saints football game to join in on the excitement.
- If you like museums, check out their websites before your trip to see what special exhibitions may be on during your visit.