How to Enjoy Mardi Gras in New Orleans

By Stephanie Manley

Did you ever want to go to New Orleans and want to enjoy Mardis Gras? Did you know that Mardi Gras is really a family friendly festival?

Mardi Gras beads - photo by Ashleigh Whitby

Mardi Gras is a wonderful way to enjoy New Orleans. You can enjoy delicious food, Mardi Gras parades, and take in the sites in New Orleans. Mardis Gras is definitely an experience that you want to enjoy at least once in your life.

New Orleans is a fabulous place to enjoy southern cooking. Seafood is a prominent flavor you will enjoy in the south. Very few places in the South offer so many wonderful restaurants in such a small place. Many of the parades are in the French Quarter, and you will find many nice restaurants in the area. Emerill’s, Brennan’s, and Copelands are just a few of the nicer dining establishments. If you want to drive a little ways you may want to consider Pascal Manale’s for some of the best BBQ shrimp you will ever have. Sandwhiches such as PoBoys, which are stuffed full of seafood are a must have in the area.

Consider taking a tour to see more of New Orleans. There are many bus and walking tours that are available. There are tours on cemeteries, ‘voo doo’-palaces, and of Southern mansions that are easy to book. This is a great way to spend the day, and take in the sites in the area. Tours tend to give out so much more information than just visiting the area on your own.

Finally the Mardi Gras parades shouldn’t be missed.

Travel Trip Vacation Tip

Mardi Gras Day in 2008 is FEB 5.
Carnival Season begins on JAN 6 (King’s Day) & ends on Mardi Gras Day. The main parades start about two weeks before Mardi Gras Day. Plan to be in New Orleans BEFORE Mardi Gras Day to see more of the festival. Biggest free show in the US.
Festival days: SAT, JAN 19
FRI-SUN, JAN 25-27

New Orleans in motion - photo by Christian Sommer
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The parades are very well controlled, and patrolled by police. There is no flashing for beads, or any other activities that are not family friendly on the official parade routes. You should get to the parade early to get a good place to watch the parade. The streets infuse with people, and if you want to be up close you need to make sure you steak out your spot. Bring a chair if you can, you will see several parades in a row from your same spot. There are breaks in between the parades, and it is difficult to stand all day. Bring something to put your beads in. Beads and other goodies are thrown in a great abundance from the parade.

Mardi Gras is a wonderful festival that can be enjoyed by everyone. Many people travel to New Orleans from all over to enjoy the area and to celebrate Mardi Gras. The food is wonderful, and should not be missed when you are in the area. Consider making a trip to Mardi Gras at least once in your lifetime.

About the Author

Stephanie writes many more articles at
She is also the editor for CopyKat recipes – you have tried it in the restaurant, now make it at home.

Written by J. Lee

A seasoned world traveller, J. Lee writes about his weekend trips away, travel for work, and his many Europe vacations.

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