Visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras is a vacation that appears on many travelers’ bucket list. If you plan to enjoy the festivities, you don’t also need to partake in the touristy vacation traps, like inflated hotel room prices and standard dining options. Instead, look for private house rentals in New Orleans that put you in the center of the action on Bourbon Street or in the French Quarter for your vacation.

CC BY 2.0/Eric Gross/Flickr

Step Back in Time

A visit to NOLA’s French Quarter puts you in the center of the city’s historic district. River views and immersive exhibits give you an insider’s look at some of the most gorgeous homes in the city. If you’re interested in a tour, you can find walking tours, food tours and even cocktail tours that expose you to the best that the city has to offer.

CC BY-ND 2.0/Loren Javier/Flickr

Enjoy the Warmth

While most of the rest of the country is freezing its way through deep winter, Mardi Gras in NOLA boasts warm temperatures to keep you comfortable as you get your party on. Pack your favorite shorts and sundresses, and prepare to enjoy cocktails outdoors.

CC BY 2.0/Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr

Party in Style

When you stay in a private house rental, you can bring the party back home with you. Houses along parade and celebration routes often feature balconies that put you right in the middle of the action without having to fight off the crowds. If the action is a little too much for you, retreat to your home’s secluded patio or garden to enjoy drinks with your travel companions and get a break from it all.

CC BY 2.0/Collision Conf/Flickr

Travel with a Group

If you’ve always dreamed of heading to Mardi Gras with a big group of family or friends, a NOLA vacation rental might be just what you need to make this the trip of your dreams. While apartments and townhomes might only sleep four to eight people, you can find larger rental properties that sleep 20 or more guests. With a kitchen, yard and living space of your own, everyone can celebrate in their own style without having to participate in every group expedition.

Make Your Own Dining Plans

New Orleans is known for its amazing food and drink options, and those who travel down for Mardi Gras are in for a real treat. But if you don’t want to eat every meal in a restaurant or are looking to save a little money, look for a vacation rental that offers a full-sized kitchen so you can enjoy simple meals at home and splurge on the ones you’re really excited about.