Mature man with backpack standing on mountain against sky during wonderful sunrise
Your Guide To Visiting New Orleans During Mardi Gras
While you may correlate New Orleans' Mardi Gras with "Girls Gone Wild" and women flashing their goods for beads, this is somewhat of a myth — it's actually illegal and locals look down on it. Although alcohol is very present during the holiday, especially with New Orleans being an open-container city, be mindful that arrests are made for public drunkenness.
How To Conduct Yourself
The epicenter of the action (and the crowds) is in the French Quarter, but booking a balcony room in hotels like Bourbon Orleans Hotel or the Henry Howard Hotel is pricey and sells out quickly. Easier on the budget, the artistic and eclectic Bywater District and Faubourg Marigny neighborhood are great options, as are the Garden and Lower Garden Districts.
Where To Stay In NOLA
Plan for clothing that will keep you cool during the day and warm during the night, and note that flamboyant attire and costumes are very welcome during Mardi Gras, and are a great way to join in on the festivities. Fanny packs, sunscreen, and a portable charger are essentials, and you may want to bring a cooler for your beverages.
What To Pack
While Bourbon Street and the French Quarter are most popular, the Treme neighborhood hosts the Northside Skull and Bone Gang skeleton procession on the morning of Mardi Gras. The Marigny neighborhood’s costume parade shows how flamboyant their DIY projects can get and visitors can even join in making their own garb for the celebration.
Which Neighborhoods To Visit
The celebration of Carnival always starts on January 6th no matter what day Mardi Gras lands on, and the opening act — the Joan of Arc Parade — is an impressive one. Krewes in New Orleans exist solely for Carnival, with celebrity comedians, actors, and football stars as Kings leading the celebrations.
The Carnival Parades