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New Orleans’ Distinctive Buildings

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The best Mardi Gras vacation rentals serve up a slice of history to go along with the convenience and Bourbon Street access they offer. New Orleans has a rich history that’s visible in many different ways. Notably, the city’s architecture is often delightfully antique, and visitors who want to get the full immersive experience should look out for certain features as they look for rentals.

Ornate Details

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Scrolled ironwork, Victorian balcony trim and other lovely little touches dominate classic New Orleans architecture. Scan listings for properties that include these exterior features to set the right tone for your vacation in Crescent City. Many homes with older facades are updated indoors, so you likely won’t be turned off by this old-school charm.

Shotgun Houses

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The shotgun house is the dominant single-family dwelling style of classic New Orleans architecture. These small cottages are ideal if you want to stay in a detached building that’s in the heart of the action and isn’t overwhelmingly large. Couples, single travelers and small families can all find comfortable lodgings in shotgun houses.

Porches

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Most New Orleans houses feature front porches with an awning or roof overhead. Though February is generally a cool time of year, it’s still nice to look for a porch during Mardi Gras. Rentals with a porch provide an ideal semi-private place to people watch; this is great when you want to feel like a part of the action without actually being in a crowd.

Bright Colors

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Mardi Gras is one of the most colorful public celebrations in the world, and there’s plenty of color in the buildings around New Orleans as well. The French Quarter actually tends to be a bit more subdued, with more brick buildings than painted wood, but there are some smaller houses off of main roads that can fit the rainbow bill.

Creole Townhouses

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Visitors who want to be as close to the action as possible should try to secure a Creole Townhouse rental in the French Quarter. Creole townhouses are the iconic building in this part of town, with businesses on the bottom and dwellings, complete with ironwork porches, on top. There’s no more authentic vantage point for a Mardi Gras parade.

Proximity to Bourbon Street

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Before booking a rental, look at the location of the property on a map and see how close it is to Bourbon Street. Families with children may want to make sure they’re at least a few blocks away from this landmark street — it’s not exactly a kid-friendly or quiet place to be, especially during Mardi Gras.

Availability

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Bourbon Street isn’t the only part of the French Quarter or New Orleans as a whole that offers plenty of things to see and do during Mardi Gras. You may find areas farther away more affordable and easier to book during Mardi Gras season. Neighborhoods such as Marigny and Treme are close to the French Quarter but less of a focal point.

Safety

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As a general rule of thumb, New Orleans as a whole takes on a party atmosphere during Mardi Gras, and the area surrounding Bourbon Street in particular is quite active. New Orleans Police recommend generally exercising common sense to a high degree at this time, and that means staying somewhere with a secured front door and other basic safety features.

Property History

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Those who are lucky enough to stay in the French Quarter are likely to find themselves lodged in a very old building for their Mardi Gras stay. Some rental listings will include historical details about the property, which can enhance the vacation and add a feeling of connection to the Big Easy’s storied past.