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Post-Mardi Gras Travel: Saintly New Orleans

Travel Tips | Rayme Gorniak | February 14, 2024

Mardi Gras is over and the beads, streamers and beer bottles are now the only reminder of the fun. (Apart from that hangover, of course.) Luckily, there is a cure for guilty partiers: Ash Wednesday! Think of Ash Wednesday as the ultimate walk of shame that everyone is doing together (well, at least Catholics are). It’s a day to trade in those glittering beads for a smudge of ash on your forehead, signaling the universe that you’re on a spiritual post-Mardi Gras detox—or at least you can pretend to be for a day.

So, what better way to redeem yourself from all those sinful Mardi Gras shenanigans and kick off the Lenten holiday than a detox to cleanse that glittery soul of yours. But let’s be real, we’re still in New Orleans, so let’s just focus on self-improvement, N’awlins style: church, fried food and spa treatments.

Post-Mardi Gras Detox for the Fabulous and Weary

Sanctuary Serenity

Repent in true New Orleans fashion at one of the city’s only LGBT-affirmative churches, the Metropolitan Community Church Of New Orleans. We doubt anyone celebrating Mardi Gras will make it to a Wednesday service. The clergy must know it, too—MCCs services are on Sundays. According to their website, you are encouraged to dress as you are and to be who you are—just remember to take off those beads before you kneel at the altar.

Crispy Farewell

If going to church after a week of hedonism seems just plain wrong, try our Plan B: fried food. Since red meat is a Lenten no-no, try one of New Orleans’ famous fried seafood po-boys. The sandwich usually consists of some form of fried seafood on French bread and is typically topped (or “dressed” as locals call it) with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayonnaise. You can ask any New Orleanian where to get the best po-boy in the city and almost everyone will tell you to go to a different place. We like Parkway Tavern—if for no other reason than this is where Beyonce ordered her po-boy when she was in town on tour.

Tranquil Rejuvenation

Scrub away your Mardi Gras sins and get your Zen on at any range of rejuvenating day spas, some housed in luxury hotels, others locally owned in neighborhoods from Uptown along Magazine Street to Mid-City and the French Quarter. In a city known for weighing in on the side of excess, a day of pampering can be a lifesaver. We recommend Serenity In The Marigny, located right outside the French Quarter, the spa offers rejuvenating services such as facials, waxing, massages and nail treatments.

So, after the excitement of Mardi Gras festivities, a post-Mardi Gras detox in New Orleans is the perfect opportunity to find some peace, indulge in delicious fried food, and rejuvenate at tranquil spas. Take a moment to cleanse your soul and embark on a journey of self-improvement, N’awlins style. Let the good times roll! Happy Lent!

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