The Best Mardi Gras Parades

The best parade is the one you’re at.  You can’t be everywhere in New Orleans at once.  All of Mardi Gras is a parade.  The best Mardi Gras parades are free.  Mardi Gras is the biggest and bestest free show on earth.  The whole city celebrates it, every man, woman, and child.

You may wonder why I’m not illustrating this article with pictures of the best Mardi Gras parades.  It’s because I don’t have any.  The camera can’t do Mardi Gras justice.  Mardi Gras in New Orleans has to be experienced first-hand and in-the-round to be appreciated for the magical time of year that it is.

A Mardi Gras of the mind
You can imagine Mardi Gras any day of the year. The best parade is the one you’re at.

Some people say the best Mardi Gras parades happen four weekends before Mardi Gras Day.  There is an argument to be made there.  Other people love the parades the third weekend before Mardi Gras Day.  They’re not my favorites but I know a lot of people who are in them and love them.


This may sound redundant but some people say the best Mardi Gras parades happen the weekend before Mardi Gras weekend.

After that second Sunday before Mardi Gras Day, we have to take a break, so, there are no parades that Monday or Tuesday.  Then—-that Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, there are three or four parades a day, and good ones, too.  Then, it’s Lundi Gras, which has it’s own parades and traditions.  Then, it’s Mardi Gras Day.  Some people say the best Mardi Gras parades happen on Mardi Gras Day.

I know when the best Mardi Gras parades don’t happen.  They don’t happen on Lundi Gras Day.   Please do not email me to set me straight that Lundi Gras is a part of Mardi Gras.  I know, I know.  I was holding a king cake baby when I said it.  With live in a city with sometimes baffling traditions.


Here’s a video of your humble narrator.  He seems to know what he’s talking about:

If you can’t trust a guy in a red hat, who can you trust?

Look, it’s not my vacation.  Every part of Mardi Gras season has its captivating charms.  Every magical Mardi Gras moment is fodder for good memories, or, in my case, confabulations.  You know where to stay when you get here.  We only have five suites so book in advance.  We tend to fill up early.  La Belle Esplanade has been ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans since April 2014.  We’ve also been ranked the #2 small hotel in the United States and #16 in the world.  You can stay at a lot worse places.

You never know what you’ll find when you turn a corner in New Orleans but you’ll always know where to find the best Mardi Gras parades.  It will be the parade where you’re at.

You never know what you’ll find in New Orleans

The above photo is what the mantle in Les Saintes Suite used to look like.  We don’t even a Les Saintes Suite anymore.  It’s been renovated and turned into Les Pêches Suite.

Sunday, November 3, 2019:  I’ve got a real story to tell about what happened to me this afternoon.  It’s gonna be a wowza, a genuine NOLA-palooza.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, Frau Schmitt, who is the better half of this operation, and I, your humble narrator, wish you a great New Orleans day today wherever you may happen to find yourself.  Make sure to read our sister blog to keep your self in a New Orleans state of mind.  Cheers!

2019 Travelers' Choice
The people have spoken, awarding La Belle Esplanade within the top five small hotels in the United States, as we all as #1 in New Orleans.