New Orleans may be the most well-known spot to carouse in the streets celebrating Fat Tuesday, sipping hurricanes and having that last hurrah before Lenten observations, but it’s not the only place to have a good time in the Mardi Gras spirit!
If you love the celebration but aren’t up for the crowds and “No Vacancy” signs, Global Discovery Vacations has highlighted some lesser known but no less fun spots to vacation during the Mardi-Party season.
You may not know that Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding Gulf Shore area take their Mardi Gras celebrations seriously (in a totally fun way). Mobile is home to the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S., a celebration that started 15 years before New Orleans was even founded.
With mild temps in the 60s and 70s, the Gulf Shore is a great place to vacation in January, February and March. The festivities start early – a month and a half before Mardi Gras itself. One of the first events on the Mardi Gras calendar is the Krewe De La Dauphine Mardi Gras Parade, featuring a festival of glowing floats. Parades and special events continue throughout January and February in and around the Gulf Shore area, with 50 events over 20 days currently on the calendar.
“Fat Tuesday” is so named for the practices of drinking, debauchery and eating rich, unhealthy foods – sound familiar? Las Vegas is one city that knows how to “laissez les bons temps rouler.”
On the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, you can get your Mardi Gras on at the Charleston Heights Arts Center – Cajun buffet, ballroom dancing and live music included.
In the days leading up to Fat Tuesday, Emeril Lagasse’s Las Vegas restaurants know how to do Mardi Gras properly. If you’re looking for serious New Orleans cuisine, Emeril’s Delmonico Steakhouse, Table 10 or New Orleans Fish House should be first stops for dishes such as his famous barbecue shrimp, traditional New Orleans gumbo and po’ boy sandwiches.
San Diego’s famed Gaslamp Mardi Gras celebration in the historic Gas Lamp Quarter is one of the most beloved nightlife street parties. The Gaslamp Mardi Gras extravaganza hcelebrates the nightlife party styles of some of the country’s hottest cities. DJs, dancers, acrobats and other performers make for a memorable party full of things to see and do.
Take the best traditions of The Big Easy, an amazing concert line-up, and all the excitement of Universal Studios, and you’ve got one of the biggest parties in Florida. Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is sixteen nights of music, sizzling Cajun and Creole cuisine, and beads by the handful. Each night features one of the big music names live in concert, a dazzling parade, street performers, and more.
Don’t forget your King Cake! Even if you’re not in New Orleans, enjoy a delicious slice of Mardi Gras tradition anywhere you go when you have one of these top King Cake bakeries ship one your way. Favorites bakeries include: Manny Randazzo, Gambino’s, and Haydel’s.
Regardless of where your Global Discovery Vacations travels take you, it’s not hard to find the spirit and revelry of Mardi Gras!
Have you celebrated Mardi Gras outside New Orleans? Tell us about your favorite places!