There is so much to do down in NOLA during the Mardi Gras season. But don’t worry about feeling overwhelmed just remember to keep your itinerary simple and flexible, as the city does get busy. This may mean changing up your list of things to do. Make sure to do some research and figure what are the top attractions that you want to see. Also, consider who you’re traveling with to attend Mardi Gras. If you’re traveling with children it’s a good idea to stay away from big party spots. If you’re traveling with friends or as a couple consider going bar-hopping along St. Charles Ave while watching the parades. Locals in the area know how to do Mardi Gras best. Here is a short guide on how to experience Mardi Gras 2020 like a local.
Familiarize Yourself With The City
First, get the lay of the land around New Orleans by checking out the public transportation system. Many hotels will have maps available with attractions and streetcar schedules. Most information can also be easily found on Google Maps etc. Is can be difficult to find parking during Mardi Gras, so many visitors opt to walk or bike around the city because of the crowds. Ride-sharing companies such as Uber are available in the city, this is a great option if you need to get around late at night.
Dress The Part
Next, you’ll need to dress the part. Don’t be afraid to wear crazy costumes and masks. There are plenty of costume shops that will provide you with the essentials. If you’re not feeling like wearing a full costume at least dress in the traditional Mardi Gras colors purple, green, and gold.
Where To Watch The Mardi Gras Parades
When you’re attending Mardi Gras it’s a must to go and watch at least one parade. Most locals stay away from the super touristy areas and head for St. Charles Avenue between Napoleon and Canal Street. This is where you’ll find lots of families staking out a spot to watch the parades, so it’s a little less crazy then the area around Bourbon Street. Along St. Charles Avenue there’re plenty of bars to stop in and grab some food and drinks. If you’re lucky you might be able to find available outdoor seating to watch the parades. Pro Tip: Download WDSU’s mobile app to your smartphone and track all the best parade routes.
Don’t Break The Law
Finally, make sure to respect the city of New Orleans. Unless you feel like paying a hefty fine or spending a night in jail. This doesn’t mean you can’t party hard, just be mindful of the local laws. Contrary to popular belief it’s not customary to flash your bare chest when asking for Mardi Gras beads. Also, be aware of the open container laws. It’s legal to drink on the street, however, your drink must be in a plastic cup.