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Best Locations to Celebrate Mardi Gras, Van Life Style


Carnival season is here! With Fat Tuesday – March 1st this year – still a few weeks away, there is plenty of time to join the celebration. The most amazing van destinations may depend on who you will be traveling with and how close to the action you want to be. The following eight locations have something for every type of Vanlifer.

Reminder: Check the local weather before you head out as spring weather can be unpredictable whether you head for New Orleans or Chicago. Toss in a backpack, shades, galoshes and a rain poncho, and then join the party. Be safe, and have a blast!

Stellar Mare RV Resort

When someone says, “Mardi Gras!”, most people automatically think of New Orleans. But, since 1875, Galveston, Texas has been celebrating the holiday with family-friendly games, parades, fireworks, balcony parties, and a wide selection of live entertainment from bands and singers with diverse sounds. When you park your van at Stellar Mare, you are surrounded by the fresh smell of the ocean and the tranquility of palm trees waving in the breeze. Parking spots are a short distance from the beach.

DATES: Mardi Gras, Galveston events are scheduled on weekends only, from February 18th – March 2nd in 2022. It is best to get tickets in advance, if possible.

Nearby activities and attractions include:

– Moody Gardens
– Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum
– Galveston Naval Museum

All About Relaxing RV Park

Mobile, Alabama carnival party-goers have been rocking the good times since the 18th century – 1703 to be exact. And, the city is considered the first Mardi Gras center in the United States. All About Relaxing RV Park offers quintessential Southern hospitality. From the immaculate pet-park to the sparkling water in the pool, every little detail has been taken care of. All you have to do is show up and relax.

If you choose to spend some van-time in the Yellowhammer state, check out the Mobile Carnival Museum while you’re there.

Popular nearby attractions within 30 miles of the park include:

– Dauphin Island Park & Beach
– The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
– Battleship Memorial Park

Emerald Trails Campground

Campers who temporarily set up house at Emerald Trails Campground find a relaxing vibe. Beautiful views of Lake Jewel and plenty of opportunities to get next to nature when you aren’t with the revelers in Chicago make this an ideal spot to truly get away from it all. Enjoy paddle boarding, biking, golfing and bird watching. The grounds are approximately 40 minutes from downtown Chicago, so keep that in mind when planning your Mardi Gras schedule.

On-site recreational facilities include:

– Basketball court
– Walking trails
– Swimming pool
– Recreational hall
– Pool table
– Playground

Acadian Oasis RV Park

For a lively, but not quite so risque and rowdy as the French Quarter, Lafayette, Louisiana is the place to be. Living the vanlife at Acadian Oasis RV Park means you are about half an hour from the French Quarter. But you’ll get a chance to experience the Mardi Gras Run and local Cajun and Creole delicacies. Large spaces afford more privacy than many parks, and you’ll have access to a private fishing pond and free WiFi with full hookups.

Nearby historic landmarks, museums & parks include:

– Acadiana Park Nature Station
– Acadian Cultural Center
– Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
– Vermilionville Historic Village
– Sky Zone Trampoline Park
– St. John Cathedral Oak

French Quarter RV Park

Located just a few blocks from the famous French Quarter, the French Quarter RV Park is conveniently located to everything – the rich culture and flavors of New Orleans, bike trails, a wide selection of culinary offerings, art, history – and, of course, the nightlife scene with a soul of its own. Parking your van close enough to the action to feel the rhythm of the city, yet far enough away to recharge after an exciting day is perhaps one of the best benefits of choosing this location. The park claims status as the “only luxury motor coach and RV park in the heart and soul of downtown New Orleans.”

Nearby historic landmarks, museums, and parks include: 

– New Canal Lighthouse
– New Orleans Museum of Art
– Degas House
– Lounge Vue House and Gardens
– Mardi Gras Fountain
– Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

3 Oaks & A Pine RV Park

If you’re looking for a secure, pet-friendly place to hook up your big rig (up to 80′), 3 Oaks & A Pine RV Park may be the perfect spot. Just a few minutes from the French Quarter by private car or a little longer by ride share, the park offers 24/7 security monitoring and a pass-code gated entrance. Some sites have WiFi access.

Check out the following resources for information on activities, dining, entertainment and shopping:

Parade schedules and routes
Mardi Gras music
– History and traditions
Local flavors
Magazine Street

CampFire Riverbend Tent Sites

For people who prefer non-traditional, off-grid road-tripping adventures, CampFire Riverbend Tent Sites will not disappoint. Don’t let the name fool you. They offer level parking surrounded by pristine woods, a river for swimming and plenty of fallen firewood for roasting your daily catch. Pack your kayak and enjoy a relaxing paddle. There are no hook ups or potable water on-site. Nearby stores have showers and stock necessities like food, ice and drinking water. Campers will have to do without WiFi or laundry facilities, but the scenery and tranquility are amazing!

For those who are trying to hit as many parks as they can along their journey, the following are nearby:

– Meaher State Park
– Big Lagoon State Park

Available on-site outdoor opportunities include:

– Hiking
– Fishing
– Boating
– Off-roading
– Birding
– Body surfing
– Tubing

Twelve Oaks RV Park

Well-located near restaurants, entertainment, shopping and casinos, Twelve Oaks RV Park is secluded in a quiet wooded area. The property has a charming, relaxed atmosphere. This camper option has spacious, concrete parking pads and full RV hook ups. There is also a modern club house that features an over-sized meeting room with fireplace and comfy furniture, and a large outdoor kitchen.

If you’re looking for an outdoor-focused day trip, visit one of the many parks near Lake Charles, such as:

– SPAR Water Park
– Israel LeFleur Park
– Lake Charles Beach Picnic Area
– Carlyss Park
– Calcasieu Point

If you’re planning a Mardi Gras trip this year, or it’s time for a van upgrade, visit My Rec Van. We have a wide selection of van and RV brands you can always trust to make that trip the best it can be, including Thor, Storyteller Overland and Phoenix USA RV. Let us know what your needs are, and we’ll help you explore options.