American Nomad Blog
About this blog
American Nomad covers the best of U.S. travel—from vacation deals to festivals, weekend getaways, travel tips, and more. A seasoned traveler and Moon author, Laura is the perfect guide to help discover new gems when traveling domestically.
- A Southern Girl's Wintertime Adventure in Yellowstone
- One Novelist's Odyssey Across America
- Gearing up for a Family Camping Trip
- Mint Juleps and More at Oak Alley Plantation
- Avoiding Identity Theft While on Vacation
- Money-Saving Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
- Fashion, Fun, and Convenience for the Modern Traveler
- In Search of Irish Museums Across America
- The Inspiring Journey of a Solo Kayaker
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 2
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 1
- Experiencing Yosemite with YExplore
- Two Travel Contests Worth Mentioning
- A Word About the TSA's No-No List
- A Reader's Advice About Airport Security
Mardi Gras Beyond the Big Easy
Over the weekend, I was strolling through the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles when I noticed purple, green, and gold decorations on many of the food stalls – in obvious celebration of the current Mardi Gras season, which was honored throughout the weekend with Cajun music, face painting, kid-friendly parades, and a costume contest – and which culminates today with Fat Tuesday. It reminded me, of course, that while there's no substitute for experiencing Mardi Gras in New Orleans, plenty of American cities offer carnivalesque festivities of their own. In fact, of the domestic destinations covered by me and my fellow Moon authors – specifically those explored in the helpful author Q&A's that I mentioned last month – several will feature a bit of Mardi Gras madness tonight.
If you're not far from the Florida Keys, for instance, head south to Key West, where you'll encounter the appropriately named Fat Tuesday Key West (305 Duval St., Key West, Florida, 305/296-9373), a popular Spring Break destination that should be hopping well into the night. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, you'll find the Glitz & Gluttony Fat Tuesday Bash at McFadden's Sports Saloon (1330 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri, 816/471-1330) in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Here, you'll be treated to $3 hurricanes, live music from 8 to 11 p.m., a dance party upstairs at the Shark Bar (1340 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri, 816/442-8140), and “giveaways for the most beaded swagster and best crawfish eater.”
For those in the Phoenix area, a lively Mardi Gras bash will take place at Fat Tuesday Tempe (680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, Arizona, 480/967-3917), where partygoers can savor live music, New Orleans-style libations, and boiled crawfish until the wee hours. Farther north, revelers in Denver can head to Jax Fish House (1539 17th St., Denver, Colorado, 303/292-5767), which is offering live music from 5 to 8 p.m., oyster and hurricane specials, and a pan-seared redfish dish with andouille rice, crawfish gravy, and sweet corn hush puppies. Yum!
Of course, these are just a few of the offerings available tonight. So, where will you be spending Mardi Gras? If not in New Orleans, then consider planning a trip down south next season. To learn more about Mardi Gras, consult this comprehensive website or pick up a copy of Andrew Collins' Moon New Orleans. In the meantime, Happy Mardi Gras, everyone, and laissez les bons temps rouler!
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Disclosure: While I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and Moon travel guides is my unbiased reflection of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Photo © 2011 Daniel Martone / Text © 2011 Laura Martone