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visiting New Orleans over Mardis Gras


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My husband and I have an anniversary trip (10 years!) planned to Pensacola FL starting March 1 through March 8th. We selected Pensacola so we could add 3 new states to our caching map :) Our itinerary is very flexible but we would like to make it to New Orleans for Mardis Gras (the day before and the day after Fat Tuesday). We are going to spend the week driving the coast (Pensacola to New Orleans and back) doing the tourist thing, grabbing caches, including some of the "power trails". We don't need luxury accommodations but I am nervous about not booking hotel rooms in advance, especially the closer we get to New Orleans. I was looking for suggestions for somewhere to stay within driving distance of the fun. Or, maybe our best bet is to stay in the middle of the fun... I'm reading that public restrooms are few and far between, parking could be difficult and I want to actually be able to see the parade(s). I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg but maybe it is worth it to splurge this one time. Hopefully I didn't wait too long and the packages aren't all sold out :(

 

Geez, and I thought booking the airfare was stressful! Any travel agents out there?? Any suggestions from "the locals"? Thanks :)

 

Melissa (mcjeeper)

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Unless you are in your 20's, enjoy drinking to excess, and bare breasts on the street, you might want to consider staying out of the French Quarter and enjoying the parades along St. Charles and Canal St. and finding music in the Garden District and the CBD clubs along the river and in Uptown.

 

You certainly won't find any bargains there for that week as it's prime time for tourists. I've stayed at the Embassy Suites and Renaissance Arts for family events when my brother lived in NOLA. They are both comfortable and centrally located for easy walking to just about anywhere you want to be.

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Thank you! I booked the Andrew Jackson hotel for 2 nights. I found the best deal from the 4th-6th. Crazy expensive the night of the 4th but the night of the 5th is much cheaper so it balances out. One day of Mardis Gras should be plenty for us. We are not the excessive drinking/partying/let me see your boobies type but to say we weren't curious as to what goes on, would be a lie ;). Staying in the hub seems to be the easiest solution to transportation/parking issues. We'll probably wander the streets Tuesday and see a parade and try the virtual caches on Wednesday sans masses of people. Thursday we will probably go do the Hang'm High trail after we check out of the hotel.

 

Bear with me... there is a point to my post (besides to say thank you to those who responded here and in messages)... we will also probably do the Spanish trail either when we get to town or before we fly home. Plus, we will be caching from Pensacola to NOLA in random spots along the coast. I saw in many of the attributes my least favorite picture: Mr. Snake. To say I am afraid of snakes would be an understatement. I know they are more afraid of me and just be aware of your surroundings and all that typical stuff... BUT, is it likely we will come across a snake in FL/AL/MS/LA in March? Is it snake season all year long? No matter, I will probably be purchasing snake gaiters and wearing them when we are in grassy/wooded areas. I figure it is a wise investment in the long run because I can wear them at home to protect me from thorns/briars when caching in shorts in the summer months.

 

So, what's the likelihood that I am going to see a snake and it be of the poisonous variety? I've only ever seen black snakes "in the wild" and hope to never see or hear a rattler. Just typing that made my skin crawl lol.

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We are locals who grew up in the N.O. area, and we “love” Mardi Gras so much that we leave town every year! Have fun downtown, but don’t expect to “wander the streets” on MG—it should be pretty crowded, and you’ll see stuff you never expected to see!

 

Hang’m High is a great power trail, fast and easy, little to no traffic and easy pull off. We did it in the fall and didn’t see one snake.

 

We would also highly recommend caching in Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL. Great, paved trails through the beautiful wooded park, nice assortment of caches, wonderful views of the beach. Yes, we have seen a few snakes when caching there in the fall and spring, but no close encounter that was heart-stopping, or enough to not make us want to go back. (We were there again last weekend.)

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