Map of New Orleans Louisiana Area
The Big Easy is an iconic southern city with vibrant music scenes, unique architecture, and Creole and Cajun cultural infusions (not to mention Mardi Gras). After the 2005 Katrina disaster set the city back for more than a decade, it’s back on the rise with a diverse range of job opportunities, an affordable cost of living, and so much to do and see.
Where is New Orleans located?
This Louisiana city is situated amidst the Mississippi River to the south and Lake Pontchartrain on the north, making it something of an island surrounded by wetlands. This has allowed local traditions to grow and evolve over the past centuries, developing a unique character all its own.
What is New Orleans’s climate?
Humid and subtropical New Orleans has mild, short winters and hot, humid summers with a monthly daily average temperature ranging from 53°F in mid-winder and 83°F in mid-summer. October is the driest month, while summer is the wettest. Hurricanes also pose a severe threat to the city due to its low elevation.
What is New Orleans known for?
There are so many unique places to explore in New Orleans, but its most characteristic feature is its live music. Jazz, blues, and funk are literally all around you. Just stroll through the neighborhoods, and you’re bound to see some of New Orleans’s finest street musicians or catch performances at the Maple Leaf Bar, Siberia Lounge, or Le Bon Temps Roule.
Southern comfort food also reigns supreme in this city, and you can find many excellent restaurants in any of the districts you choose to explore. From the Haute Creole cuisine served at the Commander’s Palace in the Garden District to the best fried chicken in the state in Tremé’s Willie Mae’s Scotch House, you’ll find it easy to get a taste of the city no matter where you go.
There is so much of note architecturally in New Orleans it’s impossible to summarize. You’ll find a little bit of everything: Victorian bungalows, Creole townhouses, Spanish Colonial, Greek Revival. Some notable places include the following:
- St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the United States.
- The Presbytère is a beautiful church in the French Quarter.
- Tour historical houses like Longue Vue House and Gardens or Pitot House.
- Simply strolling through neighborhoods like Tremé is a great way to see some diverse architecture.
It’s the one thing everyone knows about New Orleans. Mardi Gras is the season of Carnival, a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. The most popular time for celebrations is the weekend before Fat Tuesday, and they can certainly get rowdy, especially along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. But there are many family-friendly celebrations throughout the city.
Outside of Mardi Gras, there are tons of other festivals to attend in New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is ten days of some of the best Afro-Caribbean, Cajun, Bluegrass, and rap music in the South.
Museums, art galleries, cultural attractions, New Orleans has them all. From the National WWII Museum to the New Orleans Museum of Art, you’ll find plenty of interesting exhibits. But it’s to the New Orleans Jazz Museum that you should head to learn about the city’s most famous export. Learn about Dizzy Gillespie, George Lewis, and Louis Armstrong and see some of their original instruments.
Is New Orleans a good place to live?
New Orleans goes by many names: “America’s Most Interesting City,” “The Crescent City,” “The City that Care Forgot.” It’s a place offering a lifestyle worlds apart from the hustle found in other metro areas. It’s a city of neighborhoods, so regardless of your preferences and budget, there is likely a place that will suit you.
Hurricane Katrina decimated the region in 2005, but many indicators point to the fact that New Orleans is back on its feet. Those moving there are finding a diverse range of job opportunities in many industries ranging from healthcare, manufacturing, tourism, energy, and oil refining.
In addition, New Orleans’ cost of living is lower than the national average, making it one of the more affordable places to live in the Gulf Coast region.
What are the neighborhoods of New Orleans?
The districts of New Orleans are what make it unique. Although the city and its metro span roughly 350 square miles, it’s a diverse place with 13 famously individual districts, containing 72 separate neighborhoods between them. Choosing which one is best to visit or stay in depends on what you’re looking for, but they all have something to explore.
French Quarter: Known for its European architecture and Bourbon Street nightlife, the French Quarter is a historic district chock full of street performers and Royal Street antique shopping.
Uptown: Take a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar, a walking tour of classic revival mansions, shop on Magazine Street. Uptown is all about good eats and boutiques.
Tremé: This is the oldest African American neighborhood in the south, full of historic residences and eminently walkable. Multicultural landmarks festoon its streets lined with colorful creole cottages.
Arts & Warehouse District: Come here for the art galleries and museums, stay for the trendy restaurants. Walk around this trendy neighborhood and see the industrial renovated warehouses.
Marigny/Bywater: A vibrant arts scene, Marigny/Bywater contains some of the best live music in the city on Frenchmen Street. Don’t miss the St. Claude Arts District.
Downtown: Rooftop bars, upscale hotels, and sports events dominate the central business district of New Orleans.
Mid-City: Known for its above-ground cemeteries, museums, and sculpture gardens.
Algiers: Historical and full of Victorian cottages, Algiers is a quiet and walkable district with excellent skyline views.
Esplanade Ridge: With its oak-lined sidewalks and cozy restaurants, this is the place to go to see some of the best examples of 19th-century upper-class Creole architecture.
Lakeview: Plenty of waterfront activities, quaint dining, and family fun at City Park. If shopping is your thing, be sure to visit Harrison Avenue.
Gentilly: A truly multicultural community full of Vietnamese and Soul food. It’s also the location of the 9th ward and the world-renowned Jazz fest.
Metairie/Kenner: Home to the Saints training facility and New Orleans International Airport, Metairie/Kenner has great lakeside shopping.
Westbank: This is a residential area with a river view. Check out Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve and Barataria Preserve.