December 31, 2008 1:51pm CST
I have been invited by an old friend of mine to come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in February. I have never been to New Orleans and will only be there for a long weekend. Have any of you ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Any suggestions on what to see, what to eat, etc?
• United States
1 Jan 09
I haven't been since before Katrina. It is really going to depend on what it is you want to see and do, what you enjoy. The truth is Mardi Gras is not my favorite time of year to go to the Big Easy; it is full of drunken tourists who don't act well. But if you go, well try to see the parades they are fun and the costumes are great. See Bourbon Street, even now I hear it is still wild. Stay off the side streets though! I have always loved Algiers (the other side of the river). Great food and great Zydeco music. Use to be that taxi drivers wouldn't cross the river after dark but I think that has changed now. Brennan's for Sunday Brunch is a can't miss. I believe they have opened back up since Katrina. This is a N'Orleans tradition and not to be beat in the heart of the French Quarter. You will likely need reservations to get in, make them now! The Garden District in daylight is lovely, the old homes are wonderful. The cemeteries are fascinating if you enjoy this type of history. I don't know how much damage the historical places took but I used to love to walk through some of them. The French Market is always fun but might be a bit to full at this time of year. Jackson Square is a must! Stop by Cafe du Monde while people watching on the Square, one of my favorite activities at anytime! Have your portrait done in pastels or your fortune read. Visit the Cathedral (beautiful), or just wander the park outside. There are also several beautiful old plantation houses and grounds outside of the city you can visit. Many museums, including The Jazz Museum. Finally if you love Jazz, not to be missed is Preservation Hall. Hope this gives you some ideas.