New Orleans Overview
The largest metro area in all of Louisiana and a truly unique city known the world over for its cuisine, culture and oh-so-famous Mardi Gras, New Orleans is a destination that simply must be experienced to be believed. Combining French and Creole-inspired architecture, open-faced balcony terraces and omnipresent jazz music filling the air, New Orleans' particular brand of magic has been charming residents for centuries making living in apartments in New Orleans the bees knees.
New Orleans History
Named for the Duke of Orleans of the 1700's, New Orleans came to true prominence in the 1800's due to its proximity to the mighty Mississippi River. By 1860 the city boasted upwards of 160,000 residents, representing a true melting pot of diverse French, Spanish and African American cultures. As late as the early 1900's, nearly half the city's population still engaged in French as a primary language. Tourism proved to be a steady economic flow for New Orleans, and the annual Mardis Gras festival has bloomed into a worldwide phenomenon. While always prone to flooding (the city's famous raised cemeteries are as functional as they are strangely beautiful), the landing of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was catastrophic. Federal levees failed, entire neighborhoods were destroyed, and upwards of 30,000 residents fled the city, never to return. Rebuilding efforts still continue to this day, although the spirit of New Orleans and its people is a tough one to dampen and the city has grown in leaps and bounds since the destruction of Katrina.
New Orleans Weather
As one might expect by a southern city surrounded with water, New Orleans can be extremely humid during the long, hot summers. Almost 65 inches of rainfall per year is commonplace, and flooding can be common. Winters tend to be mild and short, with freezes possible but uncommon. Snow is a rarity as well, but has been known to occur, and the spring and fall tend to be brief bookends to the lengthy summer months.
Getting Around New Orleans
Many residents own cars in the city, although parking on the sometimes old and narrow streets can be a bit of a nightmare. New Orleans is home to the oldest continuously operating street car line in America, and city buses also traverse the city. Bicycling is wildly popular in New Orleans, and many tourist opt to rent bikes or simply walk if they are primarily site seeing in the historic French Quarter. The city is also home to a major airport as well as an Amtrak line.
Commuting in New Orleans
I-10 and Interstate 610 are both the primary highways that lead in and out of New Orleans, with I-10 providing motorists with a truly unique elevated view of the water for a number of miles. The Crescent City Connection and the Twin Span Bridge are both among the city's most famous elevated connection points. Traffic can be heavy in New Orleans, and road construction seems to be a constant. Many residents rely upon the streetcars and buses for the majority of their commute, often walking to work from a bus stop rather than dealing with the expense and headache associated with driving.
New Orleans Media
The Advocate' is the current primary daily newspaper in New Orleans, with 'The Gambit' also chiming in on arts and entertainment coverage weekly. WWOZ broadcasts radio programming truly representative of the city, ranging in format from brass band jazz to Zydeco, gospel to bluegrass. A large number of network affiliate television stations reach New Orleans, including WDSU and WVUE. WTUL is also a college radio format station, broadcasting a diverse mix of rock, goth and hip-hop.
Louisiana boasts a truly unique charm, and there is no denying that New Orleans is its central hub. From the amazing cuisine to the rarely-shy populace, New Orleans has a distinct character that simply cannot be replicated. Flush with romantic ambiance, eye-popping architecture, historic pubs, world-class eateries and more crawfish than you can shake a stick at, New Orleans is a unique treasure known coast-to-coast. With a plethora of available New Orleans apartments ready and waiting for you, this city is a prime locale.
New Orleans Landmarks
If history is your game, then New Orleans is the place for you. The French Quarter is teeming with world-famous structures on just about every block, many dating back over a hundred years or more. The New Orleans African American Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon, and the Chalmette Cemetery is a peaceful and serene place of contemplation for many. Cafe du Monde is a culinary institution, known for their beignets and conversationalists, while Bourbon Street acts as the epicenter of all thing Mardi Gras. The New Orleans Historic National Park is also well worth a visit.
Things to do in New Orleans
The National World War II Museum is a great way to spend a day, complete with an interactive 4D film series narrated by Tom Hanks. Take a tour of the Saint Louis Cemetery and pay homage amongst the above-ground tombs, or take a steamboat ride aboard the Natchez. Ghost tours lead the pack when it comes to walking guide fun, and residents can delight in the local zoo, aquarium or botanical gardens. A number of surrounding swamps offer air boat tours, complete with alligator wrangling, and the House of Voodoo is an amazing site to behold.
New Orleans Festivals
Mardi Gras is the mother of all New Orleans festivals, although other music-centric fests have come into their own in recent years including Voodoo Experience and the long-running Jazz and Heritage Festival. The Tennessee Williams Literary Festival is also a large draw, as are a an increasing number food festivals.
New Orleans Vacation spots
New Orleans offers so much in the way of local excitement it may be tough to make a case for leaving, but short drives can yield great vacation spots. Head to Houston or Austin, Texas for some BBQ and world-class nightclubs, drive to Baton Rouge for a change of scenery, or head along the coast to the quaint scenic charm and fishing of Gulf Port, MS.
Where to move in New Orleans
New Orleans is not a giant city, but it can sure feel that way given the diversity of the numerous neighborhoods. The French Quarter is the most famous and thus also tourist-laden, while Rampart Street and Canal boast their own charm. Distinctive houses can be found across Bayou St. John and Algiers as well. Wherever you end up, one thing is for certain - you will undeniably be in New Orleans. So find your new home among the many wonderful options of New Orleans apartments for rent at ApartmentHomeLiving.com today!