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Living in New Orleans, Louisiana:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

13 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit New Orleans, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 13 people living in New Orleans what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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13 comments on “New Orleans”

New Orleans is alive with an unmatched culture that shows up in the food, events, and people. While a wonderful place to live in many ways, it is also a bit unkempt, and growing more expensive every day.

If you’re moving to New Orleans, you’ll find frustration and joie de vivre in equal measure. We are truly dangerous drivers so maybe count to five after the light turns green – that’s an actual thing here. Money pinned to a shirt means that it’s their birthday. King cake has a season, doberge cake is year round.

New Orleans always has free entertainment going on. So many festivals, concerts, parades, every weekend there is something to do. That’s why people never leave. One of the friendliest cities I have ever been to! Always have a New Orleanian to talk to!

If you’re moving to New Orleans, you’ll need to know that “Be nice, or leave” is more than a motto. Be ready to speak, and be spoken to, by folks in public. Buses are cheap, clean, friendly, and numerous, or bicycling, walking are good options. Outside of wealthy neighborhoods, the neighborhoods are mixed. The streets are in poor shape, but the city is a great place to live. It’s often HOT and it rains a LOT. Want to know your neighbors, and if you drive, prepare to watch for really impressive potholes. Corner stores are a thing. Grocery shopping is per area, the grocery stores are geared towards the neighborhoods they serve. Learn to cook at home, eat out once a week. There’s lots of medical available, as there are many teaching hospitals. Veterinary care is high. There are distinctive neighborhoods, known locally by their names. Prepare to walk, and if you are using walking aids, prepare to be accepted and assisted by neighbors, bus drivers, etc, as accessibility can be challenging but people do help if you ask, and they know to offer before doing. I love it here. I’m old, nonmelanated, and non wealthy. The younger folks work several jobs sometimes.

Someone moving to my beloved city of New Orleans should know the many attractions that comes along with it. New Orleans is home to some of the most credible and delicious foods that the world has to offer. Gumbo, crawfish, and beignets are just a few of the delicacies that the city has to offer. These foods paired with the multitude of festivities such as Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest makes New Orleans one of the most unique cities in the world.

I think the first hurdle one must face when moving to New Orleans is the persistent heat and humidity that lingers for more than half of the year. Many people are taken aback by the oppressive temperatures when they visit the city in summer and spring, so those who are intolerant to this sort of tropical heat should consider visiting in more temperate times of the year. Fortunately, every season has a variety of events and activities for visitors: festivals, shopping, live music, an active nightlife, and a myriad of restaurants to choose from will satisfy even the most high maintenance tourists.

Sydney, says: 2020

New Orleans is a lively city where residents enjoy live music, great food, and festivals year-round. While it’s easy to find a quiet spot throughout town, it’s important to know at any moment you find yourself watching a parade or “second line” pass you by! If you’re wary of crowds, this may not be the most comfortable place for you.

New Orleans may attract tourists from all over the globe during the Mardi Gras season, but the city can be a very different place during the rest of the year. It’s a melting pot for different people, cultures, and traditions, which can complicate the political scene and occasionally increase tension between city officials, local law enforcement, and the general population. That being said, if you can ignore the downsides, it will likely be one of the most fascinating and intriguing places you will ever live.

Priscilla, says: 2020

Traffic in New Orleans is typically not too bad compared to larger cities, where you could spend three or four hours commuting to work. However, while it is possible to travel from the Algiers neighborhood on the Westbank all the way Metairie in about 20 minutes in the middle of the day, during rush hour it can easily take twice that just crossing the bridge. For that reason, it is important to pick your neighborhood thoughtfully when moving to New Orleans. There is only one main bridge that you will take, so even though your favorite donut shop is technically five miles away, you can easily lose 45 minutes just driving one way if you don’t plan your route well and account for the bridge traffic.

Sydney, says: 2020

New Orleans is one of the most fun tourist cities in the United States. The city is known for it great Creole food, festivals, and parades causing millions of tourist a year to visit particularly during Mardi Gras season.

Thomas, says: 2020

New Orleans is a unique place that is not for everyone. Specifically, families will struggle with finding ample opportunities for child-friendly activities. However, adults will enjoy the robust dining experiences available within the city. That is not to say that there are no child-friendly choices, however inexpensive options are few and far between. Whereas most cities have free splash pads, extensive playgrounds, and other free activities, New Orleans offers mostly paid activities and run-down playgrounds. If you are a family with young children, consider strongly if this is the place for you.

Amanda, says: 2020

Many people see New Orleans as a dream city, and it is. But living here and visiting are two different things. While we have world-class restaurants, festivals attended by folks from around the world, and beautiful parks and museums, we also have high rates of poverty, subpar infrastructure and entrenched government dysfunction.

Maxine, says: 2020

Considering the city of New Orleans has such a distinct culture, when spending your vacation in New Orleans you should be opening to trying out foods. We take a enormous amount of pride in our cooking abilities. Many of the restaurants here serve home cooked food and when visiting you must visit at least one of them.

Danielle, says: 2020

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