From Brian Adee, bartender, Loa from Mardi Gras Survival Guide Slideshow

Mardi Gras Survival Guide Slideshow

Courtesy of Steve Yamada
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From Steve Yamada, bartender at the Hotel Modern

Go Uptown. "Aside from a more relaxed and 'family-friendly' vibe, catching parades Uptown also allows you to check out some of the spots in that area," says Yamada. In other words, escape from the French Quarter. "I especially like being around Napoleon and St. Charles because that puts me within walking distance of Freret Street and all of the great restaurants and bars such as Cure and the High Hat Cafe."

Make reservations now! "The population of the city will nearly triple during Mardi Gras," points out Yamada. "If there are restaurants or bars that you have to go to while you're here, make your reservations now, or else plan on eating a lot of Popeyes." It’s true: Don’t count on walking into hot spots like Cochon during the festivities.