Greater New Orleans Region

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Most people know that New Orleans is one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Its music, food and hospitality make it a No. 1 destination for visitors year after year. But you might not realize that New Orleans is more than a fun place to visit; it’s also a great place to live. Each of its many neighborhoods has a unique flavor, and it’s not unusual to find families with three generations living close by one another. And if you yearn for a more laid-back lifestyle, you’re just a short drive from such charming small towns as Hammond, Ponchatoula and Abita Springs.

You’ll never run out of things to see and do in New Orleans –– here are a few highlights of life in the Big Easy.

Good Taste –– With its crispy French bread, coffee and chicory, fresh seafood and plentiful produce, New Orleans cuisine deserves the many accolades it has earned. And the fine dining isn’t limited to the city’s white-table restaurants; almost every neighborhood has its own poor boy and plate lunch café. New Orleanians were cooking and eating local food long before the movement caught on, but the city’s mix of people means you can easily find ethnic restaurants and grocery stores.

So Much To See and Do –– New Orleans boasts vibrant symphony, ballet and theater scenes, plus interesting venues such as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the National World War II Museum. Universities and colleges provide lots of educational opportunities as well as lectures and sports events. For relaxing, you can’t beat strolling along the Mississippi River levees, enjoying coffee and beignets at Café du Monde, wandering through the French Quarter or riding the streetcar to see Uptown’s gracious mansions. Shoppers will love Magazine Street, with its miles of trendy boutiques. Gamblers can try their luck at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino or several riverboat casinos. Sports aficionados can take in the New Orleans Saints or a Hornets basketball game or try their luck at the New Orleans Fair Grounds racetrack.

Outdoor Life –– Even though it’s a major city, with all the hotels, restaurants and shops you expect, New Orleans is also a premier spot for outdoor living. Its mild winters mean you can be outdoors year-round. Enjoy a sail on Lake Pontchartrain, play 18 holes at one of the area’s lush golf courses or take a walk at Audubon Park. A drive across the Causeway to St. Tammany Parish takes you to many smaller communities where you can berry-pick, ride horses, picnic or bike along the Tammany Trace.

Neighborhoods With Flavor –– Residents of the Greater New Orleans region have an abundance of neighborhoods from which to choose. The downtown area offers modern loft living while other parts of the city have lovingly restored older homes. Just a few minutes from the city, you’ll find suburbs in all price ranges, and those who choose assisted living or town homes can also take their pick. People in New Orleans are friendly, and newcomers are quick to feel at home. Those yearning for a more rural atmosphere often locate on the Northshore, where they can enjoy a slower pace of life while staying close to the big-city amenities of New Orleans. Over the years, the city’s medical institutions have spread their reach, so those who choose to live in the suburbs or in neighboring towns still have quick access to medical care.

Celebrate –– You’ll find lots of occasions to have a good time in New Orleans. Mardi Gras, with its parades and parties, is perhaps the city’s best-known festival. Music-lovers never miss the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Essence Festival and the French Quarter Festival. Both St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day are marked with parades, and such events as the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and the Creole Tomato Festival celebrate local foods.

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