Whether you're looking for an early spring break or just love yourself a festive celebration, Mardi Gras is a great excuse to travel. The widely celebrated holiday is most well known for its massive celebration every year in New Orleans, Louisiana, but what you might not know is that it's actually celebrated all over the world in both similar and different ways. And while it's always certainly a great time to visit New Orleans, you can still get in on that Mardi Gras spirit in other cities.
Communities across the world have parades, public festivals and parties with all of the decorations and costumes you'd expect to see in New Orleans. What's more, each city puts their own flare on the celebration to make it special to not only keep their residents entertained, but to become an attraction that will bring in new visitors who might be looking for a Mardi Gras celebration, without the hassle of going to New Orleans.
If you've always wanted to have a bangin' Mardi Gras trip but don't know where to go to find the fun, here are a few suggestions you might want to consider. If you start looking for tickets now, you might be able to score a great deal:
New Orleans, Louisiana
The most obvious choice, New Orleans is definitely the Mardi Gras hub of the country. Get in on the old school tradition in the place where the celebration first started.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
New Orleans isn't the only city in Louisiana that celebrates Mardi Gras. Baton Rouge has the state's second-oldest parade and attracts people of all ages, including dog lovers with a special dog parade.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles holds the second largest Mardi Gras event and is well known for their over-the-top costumes and decorations.
New York City, New York
New York City knows how to throw a party. For a whole week, the city will host parties, special musical performances, and culinary themes that will fulfill anyone looking to get their Mardi Gras fix.
St. Louis, Missouri
If you've ever wanted to be part of a cajun food cook-off or watch one of the longest dog parades in the country, you'll definitely want to head to St. Louis for Mardi Gras this year.
Universal Studios goes all out for Mardi Gras. They have cajun-style everything: food, music, dancing, entertainment. Go on some rides and then get festive.
Enjoy classic cajun food while watching some of your favorite country stars perform in various musical festivals around the city. This is the perfect place to go if you want to have a festival experience.
San Diego, California
San Diego's Gaslamp Mardi Gras celebration is relatively new but already a big attraction for the city. Including a traditional masquerade parade, a booze and food festival and endless opportunities to party, this warm beach-side destination is perfect for a mid-winter getaway.
The city of Nice, France transforms into a seriously thematic Carnival celebration once a year. If you're looking for the perfect excuse to travel to France, this is definitely it.
Quebec City, Canada
The Quebec Winter Carnival is one of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations in the world. Enjoy winter sports, competitions, music, festivities, and lots of entertainment.
Visit the city that's the oldest host of Mardi Gras in American history, Mobile has been celebrating Carnival since the 1700s! Talk about history, you'll get a seriously enriching experience here.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
International kings of festivities, Rio de Janeiro holds the world's biggest Carnival celebration, attracting over two million people a year to their city. There's music, there's parades, there's food venders and specialty cocktails, it's basically the biggest party in the world — there's nothing low key about it.