Our RV trip to New Orleans happened to fall on the weekend before the big Mardi Gras weekend. The timing worked out really well as there were still amazing parades and floats and merriment without the complete chaos that would be the following weekend.
We stayed at Bayou Segnette State Park which is about 25 minutes from downtown. To get downtown, you can drive to a ferry, park there and take the ferry into downtown or just drive. We chose to drive down and are happy we did. One tip is you can use Premier Parking and reserve your downtown parking spot online. It worked out really well for us and parking was a lot cheaper that way.
We went downtown both Friday night and Saturday and had a lot of fun. On Friday, we watched a walking parade, walked around the French Quarter, had beignets then went to eat on Magazine Street. On Saturday it was all Mardi Gras all day. We were in a different area of town that we liked a lot better than the Bourbon Street area. We were off St. Charles and there were parades all day long.
After the afternoon parades, we happened to start talking to some couples that all went to College of Charleston. We were living in Charleston before RV life so we had a lot to talk about. They invited us to hang out at their tent and watch the evening parades with them, so we did. This was a lot of fun – it is all very family oriented and reminded us of a giant tailgate. One really cool thing is all of the kids have these seats up on ladders the parents have built for them so they can see the parades. Our new friends were telling us that children get more excited for Mardi Gras than they do Christmas. Such an interesting way to grow up!
With only one more parade to go, we walked to a restaurant (Superior Grille) our new friends told us to check out. They said it is a very New Orleans thing to do – to have dinner and watch the parades. It is situated right on the corner where the parades turn and was perfect. We had a ton of fun and the food was really good! After dinner we headed back to the campground.
The next day we decided we had seen all we needed to see in downtown New Orleans so we drove to a different area for brunch and visited Trader Joe’s to stock up for the week. After our grocery run, we headed back to Westwego where Bayou Segnette State Park is. Westwego also happens to have a seafood market, so we checked that out. We bought some shrimp for dinner that night and Austin ordered an alligator stick. I passed on the alligator stick, but he said it tasted like chicken!
This was our first Louisiana State Park and it was really nice. One amazing thing is the free laundry! It was quite competitive to get a machine, but it was definitely worth it to be able to leave with all clean clothes! Louisiana State Parks have trash cans scattered throughout the campground. This was also nice that we could just walk right outside and throw our trash out instead of having to walk to a dumpster. It’s the small things!
We had a lot of fun joining in on the Mardi Gras celebrations and exploring New Orleans. We are excited for the rest of our time in Louisiana!