Mardi Gras is almost here and that means its time for costumes, beads, and a lot of celebration! We're here to give you some great background on this enormous party and some glamping sites perfect to head away to if you want to be close to the action and have an unforgettable experience this year.
A brief history
Mardi Gras in the U.S. dates back to 1703, when the tradition was brought to what is now Mobile, Alabama, by French explorers sent by Louis XIV to defend the then territory of Louisiana in the New World. They held the first organized Mardi Gras celebration there in Louisiana, starting a tradition that endures to this day.
When the capital of the territory moved to Biloxi and, later to New Orleans, the traditions spread and stuck. While today Mardi Gras is celebrated primarily in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and parts of Texas, the spirit of the holiday has spread all over the U.S. and can be found just about everywhere.
When to celebrate
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and is the culmination of the celebration of Epiphany, or the holiday honoring the Magi, 12 days after Christmas. It occurs the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
Lent is a religious period marked with repentance, somberness, and giving up habits or pleasures to prepare for the dark Good Friday and subsequent happy Easter Sunday in the Christian tradition. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last day to party it up with food, drink, music, and dancing before Lent begins.
Local groups, known as Mystic Societies or Krewes, organize parades, masked balls, and parties that are super unique. With good food, dancing, costumes, and beads, this celebration is a must-see. In recent years, more Mardi Gras celebrations are discouraging single-use plastic and glitter (a harmful micro-plastic for marine life) in an effort to become more environmentally conscious.
Where to celebrate
If you're looking to get in on this legendary party, heading to Mobile, Alabama, or New Orleans, Louisiana, is a no-brainer, but if you want to make this trip something a little more unique, a glamping site nearby would be the perfect getaway! Look below for some sites that put you close enough to the celebrations, but far enough away so you can sneak away from the crowds when you're done for the night.
This tucked away tent has access to gorgeous beaches, a nature preserve, and great trails for hiking and biking. After heading into Mobile for the celebrations on Tuesday, enjoy a few more days on the gulf for a well-rounded vacation.
30 minutes outside of Mobile, you'll find this cottage on the coast of Mobile Bay, with everything you need for a comfortable stay. With everything from Wi-Fi, a king-size bed, and a screened-in porch, this accommodation is the perfect comfortable spot to settle into before donning your costumes and heading to the parade!
New Orleans, Louisiana:
This perfectly cozy A-frame cabin sits on an incredible private 53-acre lake, surrounded by gorgeous wildlife, marshes, ponds, and forests. Just a 40-minute drive into the city of New Orleans, this little nature getaway is perfect for couples looking to experience a little bit of everything in the bayou.
This massive lakeside rental will make you want to get every friend you know and head down to NOLA. Located on Lake Pontchartrain and 45 minutes away from this city, this 20-person accommodation will be the perfect place to host the whole gang for a relaxing get away before heading into the city for a very memorable Mardi Gras.