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Mardi Gras-ers

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Boston...
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Mardi Gras-ers

Hello!

First time to Mardi Gras Nola! I'm going with a group of people, all in their early 20's, all bright-eyed and thirsty.

Best recommendations for bars, parades, restaurants, activities where we'll fit in and have a great time?

Thanks!

Toronto, Ontario...
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1. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

If you're there on Monday the 3rd, we're having a Trip Advisor Meet and Greet at the Ice House Bar, inside the Hotel Provincial, at 2 pm. Your whole group is welcome! :) There, you can get first hand recs and knowledge from others who are there for the 1st time through the 40th, and some who LIVE in NOLA!

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

HI all

we will be first timers too - 40ish couple from UK. I think the meet up will depend on how badly hungover we are but I am going to try to remember.

WE've been to NOLA twice before and will stay a few days afterwards. All I really want to know is if we can get away with dressing up for more than Fat Tuesday? My husband has a kilt he is very keen to wear!

Mitchell, South...
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3. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

People costume every day down here. I've seen more than one kilt in the Quarter.

Bossier City, LA
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4. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

Lol, SoDakMac. Growing up in a Scottish family we pronounced "killed" as "kilt." So, "I've seen more than one kilt in the Quarter" could mean something quite different.

College Station...
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5. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

Sara, in and close to the French Quarter folks pretty regularly costume Friday (2/28) through Fat Tuesday, although the most elaborate costumes are typically reserved for Fat Tuesday. A kilt could be worn pretty much year round in the French Quarter without attracting all that much attention. Away from the French Quarter costumes are more confined to Fat Tuesday.

Nat, you need to narrow it down some for us. Entire books have been written on each of those subject areas. For an overview, including parade routes and detailed parade descriptions, and descriptions of many of the larger events, you might want to order a Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide, see:

http://www.mardigrasguide.com/store/

Where are you lodging (for location)? What types of restaurants (there are hundreds)? What kind of activities, music and bars (there are hundreds to select from)? Many in their early 20s hang out on Bourbon St. Although that should be on the program, be sure to explore the rest of the French Quarter; there are shops, restaurants and bars scattered throughout the French Quarter and adjoining areas.

Edited: 10 February 2014, 22:11
Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

music calendar www.offbeat.com and good food reviews at www.nomenu.com

San Gabriel...
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7. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

How long is that meet up? I land around 3pm. Guessing I will be checked in by 4 pm

Boston...
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8. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

Loopwhole, thanks for the questions. We're looking for:

Restaurants: GOOD FOOD. We're not interested in $$$ fancy restaurants, just GOOD FOOD and a decent atmosphere. Interested in catching some Cajun/Creole bites, or French Cuisine. I've been recommended of a few, like Cafe Du Monde (classic), Sobou, so restaurants like that. Just honestly, a restaurant that comes to mind where you had good food selection and a decent atmosphere.

Bars: Not looking to get completely hammered and reveal any body parts. But definitely, looking to have a good time. We're pretty casual bar go-ers, never turn down a classic dive bar, and love beer. Anything that again, comes to mind where you had a good beer selection, A GREAT TIME, and a good crowd.

Parades: The craziest, most "Mardi Gras in Naw'lins" parade there is.

Also, we're looking to explore in and around the French Quarter and the Central Business area.

San Gabriel...
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9. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

I'm looking to do all those things too Nat!!!

Hope we have great weather

College Station...
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10. Re: Mardi Gras-ers

Nat, the offerings at Cafe du Monde are pretty much limited to beignets (sugared fried pastry) and cafe au lait and other nonalcoholic beverages. Although it's a "must see", we find it to be a much better place for a late night (actually very early morning) snack than breakfast (when it can be very crowded).

SoBou is one of our faves. Many restaurants will have special hours and menus during the last four days of Carnival (3/1-3/4). While exploring keep your eyes open for restaurants of interest, and check out the hours and menus. Red Gravy is a medium scale Forum favorite. Deja Vu is a VERY casual 24/7 table service restaurant with full service bar (dive like); comes in handy at odd hours. Since your personal clock will be turned upside down anyway, you can avoid crowds be eating at odd hours. Stanley is a good fall back.

The cheapest regularly priced mixed drinks can be found at Chart Room, a plain ol' bar at the corner of Chartres St. and Bienville St.; about half locals and half tourists, most of the tourists there being frequent NOLA visitors. Other plain ol' bars with a local feel include Harry's Corner and Boondock Saint.

The most spectacular parades are the "super krewes" that roll Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, Endymion, Bacchus and Orpheus. But some of the "specialty" krewes are also quite enjoyable, such as Muses (all ladies krewe), D'Etat (satirical/political), Tucks (irreverent), Okeanos (all-around good daytime parade), Zulu (historically black), and Rex (very traditional).

Because they burn themselves out Monday night (early Tuesday morning), many miss what I consider the best part of Carnival, 9 AM through 2 PM on Fat Tuesday. Most of the really interesting stuff happens between 9 and 2, after that it's pretty much just a huge party spilling out into the streets, which starts winding down at sundown. I'd catch the beginning of Zulu, which is notorious for running late, around 9:30 or so, on Basin St. between Iberville St. and St. Louis St. Then I'd wonder the quarter enjoying the costumes and walking parades between about 10:30 and 11:30. Then I'd try to catch some of Rex around noon or so close to Magazine/Decatur/Canal streets. Then I'd wander down to the around St. Ann and Bourbon St. Around 2-3 o'clock it's time to find a comfortable bar to sit and hang out in, usually not right on but within several blocks of Bourbon St. When traveling from place to place avoid using Bourbon St. itself because it consumes so much time; instead try to use the cross streets and the parallel streets (Royal and Dauphine).