Mardi Gras Museums Offer a Colorful Taste of Carnival

Museums dedicated to the history and ritual of Carnival are open for visits year-round. Here are some suggested stops.

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Visit Mardi Gras World to see past Mardi Gras' amazing floats and costumes.

So you've planned a visit to Louisiana but it doesn't coincide with the dates of Mardi Gras? Well, too bad you'll miss the state's signature celebration, but you can still get a taste of the color and pageantry that accompany this spectacular annual extravaganza.

In New Orleans— home of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in North America—don't miss Mardi Gras World. This huge warehouse along the Mississippi River welcomes visitors for tours of the giant floats, figurines, costumes and Carnival decor used in the parades and balls of the city's most famous Mardi Gras krewes. Take your time, the scenes are breathtaking.

While you're in New Orleans, stop by Arnaud's restaurant in the French Quarter, where you can not only enjoy a fine meal in an elegant atmosphere, but also take a free stroll through the Germaine Wells Mardi Gras Museum on the second floor. The display showcases beautiful gowns and memorabilia worn by "royalty" in past Carnival events.

A must-stop in southern Louisiana in Lake Charles is the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, which is currently repairing hurricane damage and will reopen to the public in the Spring of 2021. Filled with spectacular costumes, animated characters and video displays, it's perfect for a family visit any time of year.

In north Louisiana, you'll want to plan a stop at the Krewe of Gemini Museum in Bossier City. The museum offers an upclose view of over a decade of Mardi Gras history in Northwest Louisiana. You're sure to be amazed by the glamour of the intricate costumes on display.

Learn more about Mardi Gras traditions.