Bus travel to New Orleans is full of fun and adventure year-round, but Mardi Gras takes the experience up a notch. If you’re ready to celebrate the Carnival season, there are a few activities you won’t want to miss. Here are three ways to make the most of your Mardi Gras bus trip.
1. Party Like a Local
In the lead-up to Fat Tuesday, the social calendar in New Orleans is packed. Yet, to truly enjoy the celebration like a local, you need to join the city’s parade and ball scene.
Beginning in January and ending on Fat Tuesday, there is a nearly endless number of parades in the lead-up to Mardi Gras. Each one is thrown by an organization (known as a krewe) and offers a unique theme. Assuming you’re only in town in the week going into Mardi Gras, there are a few parade options you won’t want to miss.
First off, the Krewe of Rex parade in Uptown New Orleans is a crowd pleaser and local favorite. This event occurs on Fat Tuesday after the Krewe of Zulu — another fantastic option — and is followed by two other krewe presentations in the area. If you’re around on Monday evening, catch the Proteus and Orpheus parades in Uptown before hitting other events.
Just about everyone’s heard of the Carnival’s parades, but Mardi Gras balls are just as important to the celebration. Paying homage to the region’s French heritage, these social events are in stark contrast to the casual parade affairs. Traditional balls are hosted by social clubs and krewes, located indoors, and require formal-yet-festive attire. The majority of them also have a firm invitation-only policy, but thankfully, the balls hosted by the krewes are open to the public.
If you’re interested in a black-tie affair, grab a ticket to the Krewe of Orpheus’ Orpheuscapade. The ball features food, drinks, dancing, and an extravagant indoor float parade. For a more casual event, book a spot at the Krewe of Endymion’s Extravaganza. The ball is hosted at the Superdome and boasts some of the nation’s biggest musical acts.
2. Enjoy NOLA Cuisine
Part of the Mardi Gras experience is enjoying New Orleans’ rich culture. One of the best ways to accomplish this feat is tasting the local cuisine, which differs from every other destination in the country.
While it’s become a bit of a tourist hot-spot, Cafe Beignet is still a must-stop on every trip to The Big Easy. Enjoy a rich cup of Joe and plate of delicious beignets on the patio while taking in the sites of Bourbon Street and listening to live jazz music.
Mardi Gras is a time for indulgence, and no eatery does this better than Brennan’s Restaurant. Since 1946, the restaurant has served delectable dishes rooted in Creole flavor. Today, they offer a mix of both traditional and modern for a totally unique dining experience. Go big with their three-course menu of salad, fish amandine or roasted pheasant, and bread pudding.
For over 175 years, Antoine’s Restaurant has served up award-winning French-Creole favorites. They offer lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sundays. Regardless of when you visit, be sure to try some of the many dishes that put the eatery on the map. Oysters Rockefeller is a classic, as are Egg Sardou and Pommes de Terre Soufflés.
3. Take a Deep Dive Into History
The Carnival season is rooted in tradition, so it’s only right to include some historical sights on your Mardi Gras bus trip. There are a variety of methods to accomplish this activity, but two of the most efficient and enjoyable options involve the French Quarter and the city’s haunted history.
French Quarter Exploration
Dating back to 1718, the French Quarter is one of the most historic districts in the city. If you want to see the heart of New Orleans, schedule a tour of this area on foot or by bicycle. Points of interest include the French Market, Ursuline Convent, and the Quadroon Ballroom.
If you prefer a non-traditional look into the city’s history, opt for a haunted tour. There are multiple guided options available, including theatrical variations, but you also can create a self-guided tour with a little research. Some of the most popular locations on NOLA ghost tours include the LaLaurie Mansion, St. Louis Cathedral, and the French Opera House.
Score Impressive Deals on Your Mardi Gras Bus Trip
Mardi Gras is an unforgettable experience, and with BusTickets.com, you can enjoy the celebration without breaking the bank. Our bus ticket ordering platform allows you to compare prices all in one place, ensuring you choose the best rates every time. Don’t miss the party — book your Mardi Gras bus trip today.