9 Top Things To Do In New Orleans During Mardi Gras

There's more to NOLA than Bourbon Street - where to get the best king cake, crawfish boil, and all-you-can-eat brunch to cure that hangover.
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Map of New Orleans

Illustrated map by Walking Man Studios

So you’re in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, what else is there to do besides partying it up on Bourbon Street? Last year The Simple Sol and I visited New Orleans the week before Mardi Gras to explore this vibrant, historic city filled with jazz music, colorful walls, and authentic Louisiana cuisine.

SEE ALSO: Where To Eat, Stay & Shop In New Orleans

We partnered up with Maggie Convert – local NOLA native and resident, and illustrator of Walking Man Studios who created this beautiful map of New Orleans documenting our trip. You can buy the map on her Etsy!. Maggie was so kind to show us around and illustrate our trip in this map featuring the best of NOLA to help other tourists (and locals) find the best places to visit when in town!

 

9 Top Things To Do In New Orleans During Mardi Gras

1. EAT KING CAKE

If you’re in NOLA for Mardi Gras, king cake is mandatory. Feed your sweet tooth with king cake macarons from Salon by Sucré, king cake donuts at District Donuts, Babka king cakes at Petite Amelie, Valrhona caramelized milk chocolate and espresso king cake at Willa Jean, and “Mardi Foie” kingcake dish at Kingfish. For old-fashioned king cake, visit Cochon Butcher, Shake Sugary, La Boulangerie, ManhattanJack, Tartine, and of course, Manny Randazzo.

 

Cafe du Monde

2. BEIGNETS & CAFE AU LAIT AT CAFE DU MONDE

Café Du Monde is an essential stop in New Orleans for heavenly beignets and pipping hot cafe au lait. It’s been open since 1862 as the original French Market coffee stand. The Decatur St. location serves cafe au lait and beignets 24 hours daily if you’re hungry after bar hopping at 3am.

*Multiple locations, cafedumonde.com

 

Hurricanes at Pat O'Briens

3. SIP HURRICANES AT PAT O’BRIENS

When in New Orleans, drink up on hurricanes. You can even get these boozy fruit bombs to-go in a Pat O’Briens souvenir cup.

718 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116, patobriens.com

 

Biking In New Orleans

4. GO BIKING IN THE GARDEN DISTRICT

Get away from downtown New Orleans and bike through New Orleans’ beautiful historic Garden District.

Garden District, neworleanscvb.com/visit/neighborhoods/garden-district/

 

Crawfish Boil In New Orleans

5. TWO WORDS: CRAWFISH BOIL

Mardi Gras is also conveniently crawfish season in New Orleans (early March through mid-June is peak season) so get yourself a plate of hot and spicy mudbugs. Crawfish bowl spots include Bevi Seafood Co., Mid-City Yacht Club, Cajun Seafood, and Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar. Check out Eater New Orlean’s Where To Eat Crawfish in New Orleans Right Now.

 

Court of Two Sisters

6. ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT BRUNCH AT COURT OF TWO SISTERS

Brunch is served every day at Court of Two Sisters with live jazz in the courtyard. You can try all of the iconic dishes of New Orleans for only $29: turtle soup, creole jambalaya, veal grillades and gravy, shrimp etouffee, and bananas foster.

613 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, courtoftwosisters.com

 

District Donuts

7. DONUTS AT DISTRICT DONUTS

The best donuts I’ve ever had. Pillows of sweet goodness from the heavens. I’d say try every flavor because I did.

2209 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, donutsandsliders.com

 

Ride A Streetcar on St. Charles Avenue

8. RIDE A STREETCAR ON ST. CHARLES AVENUE

All aboard NOLA’s streetcars to experience New Orleans’ past on the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world! These streetcars have been in operation since 1835 with the original mahogany seats, brass fittings, and exposed ceiling light bulbs. Each ride is only $1.25.

 

Cochon Butcher

9. GET LUNCH & DINNER AT LOCAL RESTAURANTS

NOLA is home to a lot of great restaurants like Cochon Butcher, Willa Jean Bakery, Pêche Seafood Grill, Sylvain, and Drago’s in Metairie. For more traditional New Orleans fare, try Galatoire’s and Commander’s Palace.

 

RELATED:

New Orleans City Guide – Where To Eat, Stay & Shop In French Quarter