Mardi Gras comes but once a year, so don’t miss out on America’s best party holiday.
These are some of these most amazing celebrations all across the country, from the quintessential Mardi Gras experience in New Orleans to an even older Fat Tuesday party in Mobile, Alabama.
Everyone should attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans at least once in their life. It’s worth it to see the sheer spectacle, the entire town turning out, the way the holiday grips the entire city in one giant party. Watch a parade, catch a throw, dress to the nines, devour king cake, and dance the night away.
The party in Mobile, Alabama, is actually the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S. While the city doesn’t get as much press for its version, the holiday dates back to 1703 there. The celebration includes parades, floats and copious Moon Pies, aka it’s a great time in a less hyped, more authentic environment than its Big Easy cousin.
St. Louis has French roots just like Nola, and the Mardi Gras party rivals the famous one in New Orleans. The festivities go on for a month, with especially large shindigs on the Saturday preceding Mardi Gras and on Fat Tuesday. Everything goes down in the Soulard district downtown.
If you’re looking to celebrate on the West Coast, head to San Diego, which hosts the Pacific’s largest Mardi Gras party. The Gaslamp Quarter explodes with revelers and live music which take over the streets along with the usual glitzy parade. This is one party not to be missed.
Texans don’t hold back on Mardi Gras in Galveston. There are dozens of concerts, parades all over the city, and masked balls where locals and visitors light up the night.
New Orleans isn’t the only town in LA to mark Fat Tuesday. Just two hours away from the Big Easy, another Louisiana town, Lafayette, holds its own party for multiple weeks in February. The celebration is equally legit and historic, but it comes without the hefty price tag of a peak-season visit to New Orleans.