Moving to New Orleans? Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know before going.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
There are few cities in the United States with as much history, charm, and diversity as New Orleans. The New Orleans Saints play here, and the jazz scene is off the chain. If you’re moving to New Orleans, though, you might want to know more about this lovely city. To help, we’ve put together this article with everything you need to know! If you’re making the big move to the Big Easy, read on to find out what makes our city shine!
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Moving to New Orleans: More Than the French Quarter
Most visitors to New Orleans have heard about her crown jewel, the French quarter. If you’re moving to New Orleans, some of our favorites include:
- Bywater. Small, quaint, and boasting some fantastic architecture.
- Freret Corridor. One of the younger NOLA neighborhoods, this one is always jumping.
- Faubourg Marigny. Mere blocks from Bourbon Street and as eclectic as they come.
- Gentilly. Quiet, suburban, and only minutes from downtown NOLA.
- Garden District. Like its name suggests, simply beautiful.
Moving to New Orleans: No Public Schools
Many people don’t know that New Orleans is the first major American city without any traditional schools. That’s right, all of the schools here are charter schools. The last year that they had a public school was the 2018/2019 school year. Since then, the last public school, McDonough 35 Senior High, has converted to a charter school.
In exchange for a state or district contract, they’re allowed to choose their curriculum, calendar, and staff. They must also meet financial and academic standards every year. Most receive the five-year contract after passing an initial three years of review. Although some remain skeptical, education reform advocates claim success in NOLA. They say higher test scores and graduation rates are proof charter schools are working. True or not, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re moving to New Orleans.
Moving to New Orleans: Food Galore!
Fabulous food and New Orleans go together like black beans and rice! New Orleans has a whole menu full of food traditional to the area. Even better, since Katrina, we’ve seen over 1400 restaurants open! New or old, though, they cook up some of the most well-known goodies on the planet.
- Gumbo, the dish some people say is its food group.
- Beignets, those sinfully delicious squares of delightful fried dough.
- Jambalaya, the closest thing to the perfect dish.
- Red beans and rice. Does it get any more New Orleans than this dish?
- Bananas Foster, one of the most decadent desserts you’ve ever tasted.
- Po-Boys. Heaven between two slices of bread.
The Cost of Living in New Orleans Is Affordable
One of the nicest bits of news when moving to NOLA is that the city is affordable. (More affordable by far than, say, New York or Los Angeles.) Overall we rate a 96.3/100, which is reasonable if not super cheap. One of the big reasons why the cost of living is lower here is housing costs. While we’re higher than Louisiana overall (62.1/100), we’re still a very affordable 77.2/100. That’s more than 20 points less than the national average, which will give your monthly budget a big break.
Even better, of the seven significant costs, New Orleans is only higher than the national average on one. That would be transportation costs, which rate a 132.5/100. The median price of a home, at $178,500, is also quite a bit lower than the national average. (The median home cost nationally is $231,200.)
The Humidity in New Orleans Can be Stifling Hot
As a deep south state, Louisiana gets some excellent weather overall, and moving to New Orleans especially. In the summer, the heat and humidity here are often oppressive. June, July, August, and September get the bulk of the heat, with temps in the 90’s most days. Snow? That’s a 4-letter word here, and something NOLA seldom sees. (We rarely see the temperature drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit!)
There are Many Green Spaces in The Big Easy
Many folks think that people in New Orleans drink and party every day, but the opposite is true. We like to have a good time, sure, but we’re as hard-working as any other American city. We also enjoy spending time in nature and, with our abundance of parks and green spaces, it’s easy-peasy. That includes City park, a 1300 acre park renowned for its magnificent oak trees. Audubon Park and Cresent Park are no slouches either, and the latter offers spectacular skyline views of the city.
Public Transportation is Decent and Cheap in New Orleans
The bad news about New Orleans and Louisiana? Our state is the second most expensive in the United States for car insurance. The good news, though, is that we have cheap public transportation that’s pretty dependable. You can catch a Regional Transit Authority bus for a measly $1.25 and ride it all over the metro area! Don’t like public transport? No problem, the terrain here is so flat it makes biking a breeze. NOLA today has over 100 miles of bike lanes, also making it much safer to ride here.
New Orleans’ Economy is Expanding Quickly
Moving to New Orleans means being in a highly diverse economy, with hospitality as the #1 driver. Behind that are oil and gas, healthcare, international trade, and maritime. Speaking of healthcare, we offer the $1.1 billion University Medical Center, which opened in 2015. Indeed, approximately 60% of the largest employers here are in the medical industry. Still, hospitality is the strongest, providing jobs to over 87,000 New Orleans residents.
And that’s it for this article! We hope you enjoyed it and learned a lot about our favorite city!