What to See and Where to Be: Mardi Gras 2018


It’s no surprise Mardi Gras is considered one of New Orleans’ biggest claims to fame. It’s a celebration of culture and history that brings people of all backgrounds together for a long, loud festival of food, music, and high-spirits.

Mardi Gras is a celebration that spanns about 2 weeks, with the largest celebration day being Fat Tuesday. The date of Fat Tuesday changes slightly each year. This year, it falls on February 13th.

Mardi Gras originated in medieval Europe as a celebration of indulgence before lent. It was rooted in Rome and Venice, and moved its way to the French Bourbons.

It arrived in New Orleans around 1699 with French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur De Bienville, and quickly became an American tradition.

Since then, Mardi Gras has been celebrated every year without fail, and has only gotten bigger — last year, 1.2 million people lined the streets of New Orleans to join the joviality. And not even Hurricane Katrina stopped New Orleans from celebrating their rich culture.

If you’ve never experienced Mardi Gras for yourself, make this your year to cross this iconic celebration off your bucket list. Read on for your guide about where to be and what to see at Mardi Gras 2018.

Where to Buy Tickets

Mardi Gras is celebrated in many ways, but the main attractions are the colorful parades of musicians and performers.

Most attendees prefer to show up the Saturday before Mardi Gras (February 13th), and stay until February 14th.

Tickets to the parades are typically free, with the option to optimize your experience by buying assigned seating.

Bringing the whole family? Try out Familygras, a free 2-day long family friendly Mardi Gras celebration with parades, live music and other attractions sure to wow the whole family.

Find an Authentic Food Experience

To get the full cultural New Orleans experience, try one of these infamous local restaurants with authentic Louisiana eats:


This critically-acclaimed restaurant is tucked into the French Quarter section of Louisiana off Bourbon Street. It was established in 1905, and has been a hit ever since.

They serve traditional New Orleans food with a special kick of their own, like duck crepes with homemade Boursin cheese.

Pro tip: If you’re traveling with a group, try a private dining room for extra privacy.

Upperline Restaurant

Upperline makes it a goal to provide a genuine Creole experience for their guests with both classic dishes and new inspirations.

The dress code is dressy-upscale-casual, so leave the baseball cap and sneakers behind for a suit jacket and snappy shoes.

Jamila’s Cafe

Enjoy a welcoming environment with recipes drawn from over 3000 years of Arab, Berber, French, Italian and Spanish flavor inspirations.

Be sure to make a reservation, as this pristine little spot is a popular visitor attraction.

Where to Stay

You’ll need a good rest to keep up with all the excitement. Rest well with luxurious, private and convenient lodgings in or near the French Quarter District.

Hotel Le Marais

Hotel Le Marais is a chic French Boutique hotel that’s both elegant and comfortable.

Enjoy plush amenities such as a complimentary welcome cocktail, a heated saltwater pool, and breakfast served daily.

Soniat House

Are you a fan of the classics? If so, Soniat House could be your hotel of choice when you arrive for the festivities.

With exposed brick and quaint wrought iron balconies overlooking a beautiful courtyard, you’ll feel like you travelled through time for a week of classic hospitality.

The Roosevelt New Orleans

Get fine dining and luxury accommodations in one place at The Roosevelt. This upscale hotel’s in-house restaurant, the Sazarec, serves classic Creole dishes and signature cocktails.

If you crave rejuvenation, schedule some time to spend at the spa that offers over 10 different rooms and relaxing services.

Other New Orleans Activities

After the last of the bead necklaces are thrown and the last jazz song is played, stay out your week and experience some of New Orleans’ many other cultural attractions.

Swamp Boat Tour

If you’re an adventure junkie, this attraction’s for you. Gear up for an in-depth tour of Louisiana’s natural landscape — alligators and all — on the Airboat Adventures Swamp Tour.

This tour takes you deep into the swamplands to explore the depths of Louisiana swamp life. Don’t forget a camera!

Mississippi River Dinner Jazz Cuisine

All aboard the Creole Queen! Enjoy a night of glamour and romance as you float along the Mississippi river to the tunes of traditional New Orleans jazz.

You and your partner can indulge in delicious cuisine and retire to your own private dining room after dancing the night away.

Audubon Nature Institute

Take a break from the buzz of the city while learning about the world around you at the Audubon Nature Institute. This massive place of exploration has a zoo, aquarium, nature center, even a place to golf.

How to Get There

No need to wait until arriving in New Orleans to begin the celebration! Your Mardi Gras adventure can begin as soon as you set foot on your private flight.

Not only is flying via private jet  timely, safe, and flexible, but you can kick back with your cocktail knowing you’ll have no airport hassle to deal with upon arrival. Land safely on the most convenient private airstrip in New Orleans and head straight to your hotel.

Let us know you’re ready to celebrate Fat Tuesday in style, and we’ll find a rate, jet, and time suited specifically to your needs.

And to top it all off, you can head to Mardi Gras with pride knowing your choice in transportation will benefit the community>

Mountain Aviation

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