© Photo by The Flash List
Mardi Gras Galveston is a collection of great parties, parades, and events which are easily navigated with just a little forethought.
Make reservations for hotel rooms early and don't assume you'll be able to walk up and book a room.
Events at Mardi Gras Galveston take place primarily in two areas - the Seawall (which runs along the outer edge of the island, and The Strand (the 'downtown' area near the cruise ship ports). Although both areas provide hotels within walking distance to festivities, the Seawall is much larger and geared more toward restaurant offerings and a portion of the parades, whereas The Strand (also called the Uptown Entertainment District) houses more of the parties, live music concerts, vendor booths, and scheduled events.
For us, hopping around the island through traffic turned out to be a breeze, and parking was never a problem; but be sure to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get from one place to another.
First of all, definitely take beads with you! Both tossing and catching are fun, but also make a point to find some balance between the time you spend at balcony parties and the time you spend down on the street. Each offer a completely different perspective of the Mardi Gras experience, and it's great to have the best of both worlds. Trade off between indoor and outdoor events as well; and if you're staying for any length of time, plan to give yourself a little down time since, again, the weekend can get quite loud and hectic. There are plenty of quiet, out-of-the-way spots to grab some coffee or lunch, and you can always hit the beach for a stroll or take a short afternoon nap.
Women from non-coastal regions of the country should know that travel to Galveston may produce a condition that we at The Flash List have dubbed 'mermaid hair' ... it's that slightly frizzy look with those gentle but uncontrollable waves that on most days you try to overcome with a set of hot rollers or a flat iron. Be aware that these methods don't work so well in this region of such high humidity. So plan accordingly by packing the appropriate beauty products and hair accessories (or just say 'what the heck' and rock the mermaid hair ... which, if you play it right, can be quite sexy anyway).
Walking on the Wild Side
Yes, it's Galveston; and yes, it's Texas; but keep in mind that it's also February and it can get a little chilly!
Feel free to dress in your best Mardi Gras costume or your purple/green/gold accessories, and don't forget to bring maybe a hat and/or sunglasses. But also think about dressing in layers or keeping a jacket in the car, and definitely wear some comfortable walking shoes - you'll probably be on your feet most of the day.
Most of all, just let the good times roll as you enjoy Mardi Gras Galveston. It's definitely worth the trip!
How to Get the Beads
Given the right place and time at Mardi Gras, you will certainly be sure to find some guy standing atop a balcony slowing waving around a sparkling set of beads waiting for the right girl who will display her, ahem, 'assets' in exchange for them. However, that's not typical everywhere; and it's definitely not the only way to load up on the treasured jewels. Read our article How to Mardi Gras for great tips for collecting plenty of beads (while staying clothed, if that's what you rather desire).
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