To celebrate Mardi Gras this year, three of my friends and I traveled to New Orleans for 5 days for an amazingly fun girls’ weekend! I hadn’t been to New Orleans since I was little, and I loved exploring the delicious food and unique culture of the city all while celebrating Mardi Gras. Here’s a little recap/rundown of the whirlwind trip:
We arrived Thursday afternoon and immediately dug into the wonderful food of New Orleans by enjoying a King Cake and some friend shrimp and oyster po’ boys.
After we checked into the hotel, we went out to the parade route. We enjoyed some hurricanes and watched a few parades, ending in the MUSES parade, which is known as the all women’s parade. It was so much fun and we made lots of new friends :)
I made friends with this adorable french bulldog en route to a little parade snack
During the parades, the people on the floats throw out beads, cups, stuffed animals, flasks, light up toys, and even more expensive items. We caught quite a few awesome things.
If you’re planning a trip to Mardi Gras, it’s definitely not the week to go on a diet. Although we were definitely eating a lot, we also stayed at the Double Tree on Canal, which was the perfect location for walking to all of the best parade spots, Bourbon Street, Canal, The Flea Market, and many others.
On Friday we walked through the French Market and square and saw tons of artists displaying their work and crafts. We had an amazing meal at The French Market Restaurant where we chowed down on fried crawfish tails, fried oysters, seafoodgumbo, and etouffe!
Once I had my fill of sweet tea and crawdaddies, we took a private tour of M.S. Rau Antiques and wandered around the touristy sites on Bourbon Street.
Friday night we had VIP tickets to sit in the stands for the Hermes parade. Stand tickets are a splurge but definitely worth it to avoid some of the more raucous crowds. We also had our fill of yummy pina coladas and daquiris at this parade.
Saturday we spent the day exploring the Flea Market where there were some amazing finds, and we stopped for beignets at Cafe Du Monde. We had VIP tickets for the stands again for the Endymion Parade, which is pretty much the most amazing. It has twice as many floats as the rest, costs over $2 million, featured one whole float longer than a football field, and was presided over by Kelly Clarkson! After the parade we had VIP access to 2 balcony bars on Bourbon Street, and later met up with old friends at Pat O’Brien’s. Sunday was spent eating and recovering and packing up to leave early yesterday morning. We also took a drive through the 9th ward to see some of the remaining effects of Hurricane Katrina, as well as a new area there called the Musician’s Village. Overall it was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to go back and explore all the things I didn’t have a chance to do this time. If you’re planning to visit New Orleans, these sites are a must and you won’t be disappointed!