We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Mardi Gras birthday

Murfreesboro, TN
Level Contributor
1 post
15 reviews
Save Topic
Mardi Gras birthday

I am planning a trip for my husband's 50th birthday and he wants to visit NOLA during Carnival. He's never been (and it's been a few years since my last trip). We're planning on staying in the Quarter and walking or taking taxis to the parade route. Would love tips/suggestions from locals/experienced Carnival revellers!

Swamp Boat Adventure and Plantations...
717 reviews
from US$176.00*
Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise
949 reviews
from US$48.00*
New Orleans Swamp Tour by Boat
129 reviews
from US$56.00*
Special Offer
New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo, and...
455 reviews
from US$14.99*
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4,036 posts
83 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Mardi Gras birthday

Mardi Gras season lasts a few weeks, so are you planning on being in town during Mardi Gras day itself or for another time during that period?

If you're staying in the Quarter, then you're definitely within walking distance to the major parade routes (St. Charles and Canal St). As for tips, I think we'd be better able to help you plan if you give us some more specific questions or details (price range, dates, etc) for your trip.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
2,370 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Mardi Gras birthday

To give you some idea what the lead-up to Mardi Gras is like, here's a link to last year's parade schedule:


Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, and many of the best parades are scheduled for that final, climactic weekend. I usually fly into town the Friday before Mardi Gras, stay through Mardi Gras, and fly home the following Wednesday.

Not all parades are created equal, and you'll definitely want to pick and choose. Before your trip, have the forum recommend their favorites!

baltimore MD
Level Contributor
268 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Mardi Gras birthday

We spent my mother's 60th in nola during mardi gras friday-wednesday (first year after Katrina as a matter of fact) and had a great, great time. I had been to mardi gras before, first time for the rest of the family. My first recommendation would be to look into hotels in the quarter w/ a nice patio area to give you a nice 'home base' and somewhere to take a breather between parades/meals/trips around the quarter. feel free to message me w/ any questions, have fun!

Charleston, SC
Level Contributor
3,689 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Mardi Gras birthday

It definitely depends on the budget and whether or not you love crowds.

Some things people don't know - 1) many hotels have a 4 or 5 day minimum during Carival season. 2) Don't believe people if they say you CAN'T leave the city on Tuesday (it's just very hard but if you know the back roads and where the parade routes are, you can get around them) 3) The big parades don't go down Bourbon Street 4) I'd not spend all of my parade-watching time on Canal St, as most tourists would - go to St. Charles Ave in the "family" section to really see a parade (the ladders, the little children, the families, etc) 5) Walk to a parade route; taxis will likely just run up your money by sitting in traffic. 6) Find a place near a route that has a bathroom 7) eat jambalaya out of a styrofoam bowl on the street 8) If you can, catch a parade on Veteran's Blvd 9) Have a fantastic time! You will have memories that will last a lifetime!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
2,370 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Mardi Gras birthday

Great advice, CultureHound!

I second the suggestion to head uptown for parade watching. Uptown St. Charles Avenue is a lot more fun that Canal Street. The crowds on Canal are massive, and catching beads is impossible.

To see a parade from Uptown, start walking up from the Quarter at least 45 minutes before the parade is scheduled to ROLL (get parade schedules from newspapers and/or your hotel). If you wait much longer to start your walk, you may have trouble getting across the police barricades on Canal Street.

As Culture hound says, the further up St. Charles you go, the more you'll be in the company of real New Orleanians enjoying their families and friends. Although the celebration is citywide, Mardi Gras is particularly sweet outside the Quarter.

The mega night parades are beautiful. Try to catch at least a least one.

I love the Quarter and Marigny on Mardi Gras Day. It's packed, but the costumes are fantastic, there are great marching bands everywhere, and it's a wonderful day just to trust to serendipity and go with the flow.

6. Re: Mardi Gras birthday

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 01 October 2009, 07:17