Mardi Gras parades happen at night on weekdays and all day long on weekends, but most parades are over by 9 p.m., depending on where you “catch the parade.” After the parades, New Orleans keeps the Mardi Gras momentum going in the clubs, bars and music venues spread across the city from Uptown to the French Quarter and the Marigny to Mid-City.
For non-stop nightlife, Bourbon Street is at the center of it all in the French Quarter – think of it as a year-round Mardi Gras. If you’re traveling to the Big Easy to experience it, choose a New Orleans hotel on or near Bourbon Street, like the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel or the Inn On Bourbon Hotel. For the quintessential New Orleans experience, stay at Hotel Monteleone just off Bourbon on Royal Street.
There are dozens of hotels in the French Quarter that capture the historic charm of the city. The Dauphine Orleans, the Chateau Dupre Hotel, Hotel Ste. Marie, and the Maison Dupuy all showcase a distinct New Orleans aesthetic and the graceful southern hospitality the city is known for. Most people don’t realize how compact and easy-to-walk the French Quarter is – most destinations are within five or 10 minutes walking distance of these hotels, and you can explore everything the French Quarter has to offer on foot, or in one of the horse-drawn carriages or new pedi cabs traversing the cobblestone streets.
If you’re heading to your French Quarter hotel in the wee hours, you’ll have no problem finding a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants open 24 hours a day, including Déjà Vu on Dauphine Street, Clover Grill on Bourbon Street, and of course, the world-famous Cafe Du Monde.
Looking for an authentic New Orleans music experience? Just across Esplanade Avenue from the French Quarter, Frenchmen Street in the Marigny is lined with legendary clubs like Snug Harbor, Blue Nile, Maison, and The Spotted Cat. The Melrose Mansion on Esplanade Avenue, and the Hotel Provincial and Le Richelieu on Chartres Street are ideally located just a few short blocks from the Frenchmen Street music scene.
If you want a hotel in New Orleans near Convention Center, the nearby Warehouse/Arts District is filled with great restaurants, bars and music venues. Head to the Howlin’ Wolf or the Rusty Nail for great local music. Lee Circle is turning into a new hotspot with the grand opening of the boutique Hotel Modern and the renovation and re-opening of local music dive the Circle Bar. The Downtown/Warehouse District is also home to award-winning New Orleans restaurants including Emeril’s, Cochon, and celebrity chef John Besh’s Restaurant August. New Orleans hotels you’ll want to check out in the Warehouse/Arts District range from the luxury Windsor Court Hotel to the sleek, modern W Hotel on Poydras. Budget-friendly options include the Best Western Plus St. Christopher Hotel, the Cotton Exchange Hotel and Comfort Inn and Suites Downtown New Orleans.
Uptown and the Garden District are known for the beautiful homes and live oaks draped along St. Charles Avenue, but there are also great local bars, music venues, and restaurants to explore in these neighborhoods when you’re in town for Mardi Gras. Some of the best restaurants in the city are located Uptown, including Lilette, La Petite Grocery, and Coquette. The legendary music club and bar Tipitina’s is located on the corner of Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas, and several blocks up Napoleon on Magazine Street, you’ll find a diverse range of local dive bars, including Ms. Mae’s and Le Bon Temps Roule, a neighborhood bar showcasing mind-blowing New Orleans musicians during Carnival season. Venture to the end of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line as it turns up Carrollton Avenue and you’ll catch Grammy award-winning Rebirth Brass Band’s standing Tuesday gig at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street, or Thursday zydeco night at Rock-n-Bowl, just a few more stops up the streetcar line on Carrollton.
If you’re in New Orleans for Mardi Gras parades, choose a hotel on St. Charles Avenue (a major parade route), including the Avenue Plaza Resort Hotel, the Clarion Grand Boutique Hotel or the Maison St. Charles Quality Inn & Suites. One block off of St. Charles on Prytania, you’ll find the Queen Anne Hotel and the Prytania Oaks Hotel. All of these hotels offer instant access to the parades, along with easy access to the bars and music clubs in the Garden District and Uptown. There’s no shortage of fun to be had in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Book your New Orleans hotels soon in the right neighborhood to experience the best in New Orleans nightlife.