Moving to New Orleans

Widely acclaimed for its vibrant culture, tantalizing cuisine, soul-stirring music, and a spirit that dances in the heart like nowhere else - that's New Orleans beckoning to you. Thinking of relocating? Our comprehensive New Orleans relocation guide promises to light your way, introducing you to the array of thrilling opportunities and charming idiosyncrasies of life in the "Big Easy". So, sit back, let the lilt of jazz seep into your veins, and let us help you start your journey towards making this mesmerizing Louisiana city your new home.

Moving to New Orleans, LA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to New Orleans

1. New Orleans is More Than Just Mardi Gras

Often solely associated with its raucous, booze-filled Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans is more than just a party destination. The city is a melting pot of diverse cultures, cuisines, music, and art. You'll be enthralled by the stunning French and Spanish Creole architecture, intrigued by its unique burial customs, and hypnotized by the blend of jazz, blues, and bounce music that flows from street corners. Living in New Orleans means being exposed to a rich and vibrant culture that springs from every nook, corner, and courtyard of the city.

2. Culinary Delight Awaits You

Foodies, plan your move accordingly. New Orleans is a food lover's paradise. Famed for its Creole and Cajun cuisines, a profound mix of French, African, American, and Spanish cooking techniques, this culinary capital will leave your taste buds dancing with joy. Don't miss out on popular dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, po' boys, and beignets. Oh, and the crawfish boils? They're a lifestyle, not just a meal - be prepared for these unforgettable community events.

3. The City is Celebratory

Life in New Orleans is an endless celebration. Apart from the well-known Mardi Gras, you will encounter hundreds of smaller festivals throughout the year. Celebrations are an integral part of the local culture, with events related to music, food, art, or just about any excuse to have a good time. Get ready to celebrate life in its grandest form.

4. Expect a Unique Take on the English Language

You better get ya yat accent ready, dawlin'! New Orleanians speak a charming and utterly unique dialect known as "Yat". It's a quirky blend of Southern American English, Creole influences, and Brooklyn-esque inflections that can leave the uninitiated a little confused. But don't worry, you'll find locals are more than happy to help you decode their cherished vernacular.

5. Be Aware of the Weather

Weather in New Orleans can be unpredictable. Although the city is known for its warm, tropical climate, it also endures severe weather conditions. Hurricanes are a real threat from June to November. Having a hurricane preparedness plan is crucial for anyone moving to the Big Easy.

6. Be Prepared for Ghost Tours and Vampires

Lastly, here's an aspect of New Orleans that many people might not be aware of - it's considered one of the most haunted cities in America. With its long history and abundance of ghost stories, paranormal enthusiasts will love living here. Legend has it, the French Quarter is home to vampires, and many buildings are known for their spectral residents. So, whether you're a thrill-seeker, ghost hunter, or just a fan of a good story, the city's supernatural side is something you'd love to explore.

In conclusion, moving to New Orleans can be exciting, enriching, and a tiny bit eerie. It's energetic, multi-cultural, food-obsessed, celebratory, spooky, and so much more. While at times it might seem overwhelming, the community spirit, charm, and vibrancy of the city make every moment in the Big Easy worthwhile. So, are you ready to laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll)?

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Pros and Cons of Living in New Orleans

Pros of Living in New Orleans

Vibrant Cultural Scene

New Orleans boasts a lively and distinct cultural scene unlike any other U.S. city. Known for its musical heritage, this city is the birthplace of Jazz and hosts various music festivals like Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest. There's also a unique blend of cultures that influences local cuisine, architecture, and customs, offering a rich, multicultural experience.

Delicious Cuisine

If you enjoy good food, you'll love New Orleans for its unique, flavorful and diverse cuisine. The city is renowned for its Cajun and Creole dishes, featuring specialties like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, and beignets. From five-star dining to food trucks, there's something for every foodie here.

Friendly and Welcoming Community

New Orleans residents are often regarded as some of the friendliest people in the United States. The city has a strong sense of community, and newcomers often feel warmly welcomed. This strong sense of camaraderie is especially evident during city-wide celebrations like Mardi Gras.

The Scenic Outdoors and Architecture

New Orleans offers beautiful outdoor spaces and distinctive architecture that's a blend of Spanish, French, and American styles. The city's historic neighborhoods, like the French Quarter and the Garden District, are famous for their charm and beauty, and there are numerous parks and bayous for outdoor activities too.

Active Nightlife

New Orleans is known for its dynamic and entertaining nightlife. The city is home to countless bars, clubs and music venues, particularly around Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Whether you prefer jazz clubs, dance parties, or laid-back bars, there's always something happening when the sun goes down.

Cons of Living in New Orleans

Weather and Natural Disasters

New Orleans has a subtropical climate, which means hot and humid summers. The city is also prone to natural disasters, such as hurricanes. While the city has significantly improved its disaster preparedness since Hurricane Katrina, it's still a factor to consider.

Crime Rate

Like any other major city, New Orleans does have issues with crime. While improvement and recovery efforts are ongoing, some areas of the city still struggle with higher crime rates. It's important to investigate and understand the safety of different neighborhoods when considering a move.

Limited Job Market

The job market in New Orleans can be challenging. While the city has opportunities in sectors such as healthcare, education, and tourism, overall job growth is somewhat limited compared to other major U.S cities. It's worthwhile to secure employment before moving.

Traffic and Infrastructure

Traffic congestion can be a significant issue in New Orleans, especially during peak commuting hours and festival times. Plus, the city's infrastructure, including roads and public transit, can be less reliable and more worn than in other cities, leading to frequent potholes and maintenance issues.

High State and Local Taxes

Louisiana, including New Orleans, is known for having some of the highest sales taxes in the country. Combined state and local taxes can add a significant amount to the cost of living, especially for people moving from states with lower tax rates.

Modern day picture of New Orleans, LA highlighting pros and cons of living in New Orleans, LA

Is New Orleans a Good Place to Live?

New Orleans, LA is a great place to live because of its rich history, unique culture, and world-renowned cuisine. Known for its vibrant music scene and colorful festivals like Mardi Gras, there's never a dull moment in the Crescent City. Moreover, with its warm, southern hospitality and diverse arts scene, New Orleans offers an unmatched living experience.

What Is New Orleans Famous For?

Mardi Gras

Known as the largest party and carnival in the United States, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a spectacle that attracts tourists and revelers from all corners of the world. With its colorful floats, brassy musical parades and merry masked crowds, the city becomes one big celebration in the weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday.

New Orleans Jazz

This city is literally the birthplace of Jazz music - there are pulsing notes of Jazz music in nearly every corner, from stunning performance spots to impromptu street performances. In April, the city hosts the world famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival celebrating the city's music and culture.


New Orleans is a gastronomical paradise, blending French, Spanish, West African, Native American, and Caribbean influences into a unique flavor you won't find anywhere else. From mouth-watering beignets and jambalaya to gumbo and po' boys, the city is a food lover's dream destination.

French Quarter

Often called the Crown Jewel of New Orleans, the French Quarter is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, colorful buildings, and iron lace balconies. Steeped in history and filled with music clubs, restaurants, and street performers, it hosts numerous festivals and is the core cultural hub of the city.

Capital building of New Orleans, LA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in New Orleans, LA is around 1.82%. This rate is relatively high compared to the national average, which is approximately 1.07%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in New Orleans in 2023 is 9.45%, which includes both state and local taxes. This rate ranks as one of the highest in the United States, surpassed only by several other locations predominantly in Louisiana.

Income Tax

Louisiana, including New Orleans, enforces a progressive income tax rate ranging from 2% to 6% as of 2023. This range is slightly below the national average of a top marginal rate around 7% among states with income tax.

Housing Market

The housing market in New Orleans, LA, presents a unique investment opportunity with a median home price of around $215,000, lower than the national average. However, homeowners' insurance rates tend to be higher due to the city's vulnerability to hurricanes. For renters, the average cost is about $1,100 per month, slightly less than the US average. With a relatively high rental yield, New Orleans can be appealing to property investors. Despite the city's ongoing recovery from hurricane damage, the home ownership rate remains robust at 55%, ranking above many other US metro areas. Economic and demographic growth factors also offer potential for property appreciation.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in New Orleans, LA, is currently lower than the national average. Housing is the biggest factor that makes living here affordable. While some expenses like transportation and groceries are in line with national averages, healthcare costs are slightly more expensive. Compared to other American cities of similar size and cultural significance, New Orleans offers a more cost-effective lifestyle, making it attractive, particularly for creatives and entrepreneurs who seek a thriving yet affordable city.

Weather & Natural Disasters

New Orleans, Louisiana enjoys a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, short winters. The city receives an average annual rainfall of 64 inches, making it one of the wettest urban areas in the United States. The weather can be unpredictable, with sudden thunderstorms being a common occurrence. Moreover, New Orleans lies in a region highly susceptible to hurricanes. Hurricane season occurs from June to November, and can bring widespread destruction as seen in 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Flooding represents another significant risk due to the city's below-sea-level elevation, necessitating a vast network of levees and pumps for protection. While New Orleans' unique weather patterns can pose challenges, they also contribute to the diverse ecosystems and vibrant culture that define this iconic city.

Typical weather in New Orleans, LA

Economy & Job Market

* Tourism and Hospitality Industry

* Oil and Gas Industry

* Maritime Industry

* Health Care and Medical Industry

* Education Industry

Famed for its vibrant music scene, delectable cuisine, and rich cultural life, New Orleans also bears a dynamic and diverse economy that struts to the rhythm of different beats. Traditionally, the city's economy was driven by the maritime industry due to its strategic location along the Mississippi River, creating an accessible trading port. Additionally, the city holds a special position in the oil and gas industry since it's literally sitting on large reserves of these resources. However, more recently, the 'Big Easy's' economy has grown to dance to more tunes with the booming tourism and hospitality industry following the throws of festivities such as Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest. Besides, as part of an effort to diversify the economy, New Orleans has welcomed increased investments in the healthcare and medical industry, as well as the education sector.

For those considering throwing their hat into the job market in the Crescent City, it's important to get groovy with the fact that the city is not only brimming with life but also pulsating with job opportunities. As per Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the city is relatively low, hovering around 4.3% as of July 2021, which is surely music to the ears of job seekers. Naturally, you might want to strut into the thriving industries - tourism and hospitality, oil and gas, or healthcare, which consistently offer a wealth of job opportunities. Given the city's ongoing efforts towards economic diversification, the education sector also promises a steady rhythm of job opportunities. So, if you're looking to move to New Orleans, remember, you're not just joining a city, but a lively, ever-dancing economic ensemble!

Traffic and Transportation

Cruising through vibrant New Orleans, LA, might remind you of the catchy tune, "Life is a Highway". With average commute times generally spanning 22 minutes, you can easily shimmy between the city's jazz-filled corners. NOLA's charm though, isn't limited to its drivable streets. The city's public transportation system is as lively as its Mardi Gras. You can catch a ride on the iconic streetcars of RTA, or snuggle inside a city bus. Either way, your ride is brimming with the enchanting Creole spirit! If you're jetting in or out of The Big Easy, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, located in nearby Kenner, is at your service. Whether you're tapping your feet to live jazz or tasting the exquisite Creole-Cajun fusion, New Orleans lays a tantalizing journey at your feet with its fun and efficient modes of transportation.

What is the traffic like in New Orleans, LA?

Best Neighborhoods in New Orleans

1. Garden District

Moving to New Orleans and not sure where to settle? Consider the Garden District, characterized by its Southern charm, beautiful gardens, and the iconic St. Charles Avenue lined with majestic live oaks. Antebellum mansions grace the leafy side streets, transporting you back in time. This neighborhood is a haven for lovers of architecture and history. Shopaholics will adore Magazine Street for its trendy boutiques and galleries, while foodies will find pleasure in a wide range of eateries; from upscale dining spots to cosy coffee shops and casual taverns. It truly is a perfect blend of urban living and old-world splendor!

2. Marigny

For the free-spirited, artsy types, Faubourg Marigny, usually referred to as just Marigny, is the place to be. Here, colorful Creole cottages snuggle up to edgy music clubs, lively bars, and eclectic restaurants. The heart of this neighborhood is Frenchmen Street, often considered the best place in the city to catch live music - whether you're into jazz, blues, or funk. Few neighborhoods celebrate New Orleans' cultural diversity better than Marigny, making it a vibrant place to call home.

3. Uptown

Uptown is another neighborhood that beautifully embodies New Orleans' historic charm. Known for the Audubon Park and the prestigious Tulane and Loyola universities, it's a quaint, family-friendly area with its own distinct flavor. Uptown is also home to the Zoo and several retail and dining spots on Maple and Oak Street, making it a fun destination for both residents and visitors. Settle here if you are looking for a laid-back, residential vibe with a hint of academia.

4. Bywater

Bywater is a hip and bohemian hood with a creative edge. Its vibrant street art, a thriving restaurant scene, edgy boutiques, and a variety of wine shops, make it a popular spot among young professionals and artists. It's also known for its well-preserved shotgun houses painted in a rainbow of bright shades. If you prefer life a bit off the beaten path, you might find yourself very comfortable in Bywater.

5. French Quarter

No list would be complete without mentioning the famous French Quarter. Known as the heart and soul of New Orleans, it's a buzzing hub of music, food, history, and parties. From the historic Bourbon Street with all its nightlife, to quieter, residential sections offering a daily dose of architectural beauty, there's much to love here. Keep in mind though, living in the French Quarter is not for everyone. While it's lively and fun, it's also the city's busiest tourist area.

In conclusion, New Orleans offers a neighborhood to suit every lifestyle and preference. Each offers a unique blend of history, culture, food, and music, making the city an amazing place to live. Whether you're a lover of historic homes, a fan of live music, or you prefer a quieter, family-oriented setting, there's a New Orleans neighborhood perfect for you. So which one feels like home to you?

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Things to Do

Congratulations on your decision to move to New Orleans! The Big Easy is a cultural hub renowned for its vibrant music scene, unique culinary staples and the legendary Mardi Gras celebration. Here's a list of seven top things you must do to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of NOLA, including a few hidden gems that locals treasure.

1. Explore the Audubon Nature Institute

The Audubon Nature Institute is a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. You can visit the Audubon Zoo, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center. Each one offers spectacular opportunities to discover and learn about the natural world in a fun and fascinating way.

2. Immerse in Jazz at Frenchmen Street

New Orleans is often hailed as the birthplace of jazz. Stroll down Frenchmen Street, the city's prime music hub, and enjoy the incredibly talented street performers. Don't forget to visit the popular Jazz clubs - the Spotted Cat Music Club, Blue Nile, or Maison where the soul of jazz is alive and kicking every night.

3. Tramp Through the Bywater District

For a slice of local life, journey on over to the Bywater District. From its vibrant murals and street art to the unique art community found at the Healing Center, there's truly something here for everyone. Check out Crescent Park for stunning riverside views and relax in a quiet but character-filled side of New Orleans.

4. Indulge in Creole Cuisine

No trip to New Orleans is complete without indulging in the city's traditional Creole dishes. From Jambalaya, Alligator Sausages, Crawfish Etouffee to the iconic Beignets and a cup of chicory coffee, there are countless local restaurants ready to satiate your taste buds.

5. Discover the Pharmacy Museum

Step back in time and explore the unique Pharmacy Museum, a lesser-known attraction in the city. Originally the apothecary of America's first licensed pharmacist, it now showcases an array of pharmaceutical artifacts and gives insight into healthcare practices from centuries past.

6. Soak in the Atmosphere at Jackson Square

Jackson Square is the heart of the French Quarter. Surrounded by historic buildings like the Saint Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, and the Presbytère, this iconic landmark is an artist's paradise full of painters, musicians and performers. Here, you can bask in the lively atmosphere that characterizes New Orleans.

7. Hunt for Hidden Doorways in Pirates Alley

Experience some of NOLA's cryptic past in Pirates Alley. This small, slightly spooky passage next to the Cabildo once served as a meeting spot for pirates and merchants. Spot a hidden doorway and it could be one of the purported secret entrances to the Louisiana Supreme Court in the 1800s. This place is not commonly known, you just might find more mystery than you'd think!

With these charming and unique experiences, you're sure to fall in love with New Orleans. So get ready to unpack and start your adventure in this wonderfully enchanting city. Getting to have these experiences every day is just one of the many perks of living in The Crescent City!

Things to do in New Orleans, LA?

Find Movers for Your New Orleans Relocation

Now that you're acquainted with the inviting charm of New Orleans, it's time to take the next step in your moving journey. Ensure a seamless transition into your new life in the Big Easy with help from Great Guys Moving. With an extensive network of licensed, insured, and highly reputable movers, you can easily get tailored moving quotes that fit your specific needs. There's no need to wade through endless options - all the best movers in your area are at your fingertips. Enjoy the security and simplicity of Great Guys Moving and embark on your New Orleans adventure. Request your free moving quote now!

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