Occasions 365

New Orleans

Celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana is not a destination … it is an experience of a lifetime. Few cities are so saturated with diverse cultures, attractions, music and cuisine. New Orleans Mardi Gras is world-renowned, and the perfect time for a New Orleans vacation. The dates for Mardi Gras vary year to year, as it is always scheduled 47 days preceding Easter.

To take full advantage of everything New Orleans offers, it is best to understand the complex layout of the city. There are many one-way streets and narrow two-ways, and some areas have poor road quality. Most tourists find public transit (streetcar, bus or taxi) the easiest way to get around. New Orleans is divided into several districts, wards and outlying communities. Of course, the most well-known area of New Orleans is the French Quarter, but there are some other popular areas that worth checking out:

  • Central Business District (CBD)
  • Faubourg Marigny
  • Bywater
  • Mid-City
  • Uptown and the Garden District
  • Carrollton
  • Algiers
  • Lakefront

New Orleans Highlights

Tourist can easily spend a week in New Orleans and still not have seen all there is. The Audubon Zoo, the Museum of Art, the New Orleans Botanical Gardens, the Cabildo and Presbetere history museums and the Aquarium of the Americas are great family destinations. The St. Charles Avenue streetcar is the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the United States, and it allow visitors a panoramic view of many historic mansions and ornate architecture. Cruise down the Mississippi on a riverboat cruise, and enjoy live music and Creole cuisine. Casinos and cemeteries dot the city.

During Mardi Gras, the city will be teeming with festivals, balls, parades and parties for two weeks. Stroll down Bourbon Street to find one-of-a-kind shops, bars, eateries, bakeries, street entertainment, strip clubs and live music. The fearless can take a voodoo tour and learn about the ancient practices of the occult. Riverwalk Marketplace is a three-block haven of eateries, shopping and entertainment. Of course, these are just the icing on the cake when it comes to things to do in New Orleans.

New Orleans Hotels

Accommodations are sparse during Mardi Gras; without making a reservation months in advance, you will most likely find yourself without a room. Many rooms with a balcony over Bourbon Street are reserved over a year in advance. Lodging ranges from the super posh and expensive, to a New Orleans discount hotel.

New Orleans Dining

The hardest part about eating in a New Orleans restaurant is trying to narrow down what to order and how much of it to order. No trip to New Orleans would be complete without trying some of New Orleans' world-famous dishes like boiled crawfish, jambalaya, alligator on a stick, shrimp po-boy, gumbo, andouille sausage and white beans, crab cakes and etouffee. After dinner, head over to the Morning Call Coffee Stand for beignets, a deep-fried pastry covered in powdered sugar, and café au lait.

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