When many people think Mardi Gras, they think New Orleans - after all, the Louisiana city has become famous around the world for its legendary Mardi Gras celebrations each winter. However, if you are looking to head south for the celebrations, you might want to consider Perdido Key vacation rentals for a family-friendly celebration season.

Mobile, Alabama is actually the birthplace of these carnival celebrations. The spirit from Mobile extends all the way to nearby cities on the Gulf Coast, including Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key. 

The background of Mobile's Mardi Gras

Mobile, Alabama, was the birthplace of Mardi Gras, which means celebrations in the area will likely be the highlight of any Gulf shores vacation.The Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile is the oldest in the nation. Some accounts date it back to 1703, but its well-known start was in 1850, when Michael Krafft and some friends did not want their New Year's Eve dinner party to end. They raided a local hardware store, took up rakes, hoes and cowbells, and proceeded to wake the entire town. They later formed the Cowbellion de Rakin Society, which was one of the first of Mobile's many mystic organizations. Since then, the revelry has grown in this Gulf Coast city, and today's celebrations, determined by the date of Easter, take over the city.

Celebrating in Perdido Key

Although not in Alabama, nearby Perdido Key shares plenty of Mobile's Mardi Gras spirit. The gorgeous Florida beach town, just barely east of the Alabama/Florida state line, usually starts its celebrations in February with the Perdido Key Mardi Gras Festival. Live music, local vendors, fireworks and plenty of Cajun cooking (including a cook-off!) make this event a can't-miss for families. Festivities will continue throughout the season on the coast of Alabama and Florida, so be sure to bring your beads and Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold and green when you pack for your family vacation in a 3-bedroom Perdido Key property.