New Orleans is a city rich in history, sights, and sounds unlike any other experience you’ve encountered elsewhere. This place is anything but typical, and you’ll love every last moment of food, fun, and festivals during your time in the Big Easy. Check out our 10-point guide to get to know the city better and
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New Orleans is a city rich in history, sights, and sounds unlike any other experience you’ve encountered elsewhere. This place is anything but typical, and you’ll love every last moment of food, fun, and festivals during your time in the Big Easy. Check out our 10-point guide to get to know the city better and learn more about living in New Orleans.
1. Dining out is a New Orleans love language
Welcome to foodie heaven. If you’re making the move for this reason alone, no one will blame you. Where the gold standard of Southern homestyle cooking meets French, African, Spanish, Italian, German, and Indigenous food traditions, you’re sure to find your perfect bite.
Vegan & vegetarian food in NOLA
Credits: Max Well New Orleans
Whether you need a break from the deep-fried favorites or follow a strictly plant-based diet, finding meatless, healthy food in New Orleans is pretty uncomplicated these days. View top picks for vegan and vegetarian dining and their respective neighborhoods:
Max Well New Orleans — Max Well is a highly rated plant-based cafe located Uptown on Magazine Street. Lunch and dinner are served seven days a week, and the innovative daytime menu features salads, nutrient-rich power bowls (with hot food!), cold-pressed juices, and more.
Seed — Seed re-emerged on Prytania Street in January 2020, now open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Artfully crafted, New Orleans-inspired dishes include BBQ carrots and grits, smoked mushroom and celery gumbo, veggie po’boys and tacos, and a variety of plant-based bar snacks.
There’s no better place to enjoy a plate of fresh catch and unforgettably delicious cocktails. Savor world-famous seafood at the following:
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar — Situated in the historic Uptown neighborhood on Saint Charles Avenue, Superior Seafood is beloved for its upscale atmosphere, authentic Creole dishes, and a happy hour featuring 50-cent raw oysters.
Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House — Get your fill of raw, chargrilled, or fried oysters at any of the four Mr. Ed’s locations in the New Orleans metro area. You’ll find a wide variety of Louisiana seafood classics and keep this spot in your back pocket for a late-night dining option.
Luke — After a long afternoon soaking in the highly walkable Central Business District, you won’t regret popping into the Luke, a Creole-inspired Brasserie with fresh seafood and affordable large plates.
2. It’s easy to get lost in NOLA nightlife
You’ll quickly learn that live shows in New Orleans are pretty cheap, with a large number of the performers playing their instruments as they walk the streets of the city. These mobile concerts are pretty common and it’s not usual to be surprised with one before you start your morning commute—though the music doesn’t stop there. Here are a few hotspots for music, vibrant crowds, and plenty of late-night dancing.
Tipitina’s — Nominated Best Music Venue of The South 2022 by Garden & Gun, Tipitina’s is a beloved neighborhood joint on the corner of Napoleon Avenue and Tchoupitoulas Street. It’s one of the best-known clubs in New Orleans and originally opened as a dedicated venue for R&B pianist Professor Longhair in 1977. Here you’ll enjoy affordable drinks and experience a live show like a local.D.B.A. — After moving to New Orleans, you’ll soon discover there’s more fun to be had off of Bourbon, specifically on Frenchmen Street! Here you’ll find an array of eclectic clubs buzzing with live music and diverse crowds, including d.b.a. Brimming with hundreds of craft beer options on draft and must-see live music acts including Treme Brass Band, Little Freddie King, and Secret Six Jazz Band, this is a great spotPreservation Hall — Experience a night out like a true New Orleanian at a Preservation Hall show, which hosts five shows a night and is just a 3-minute walk from the historic St. Louis Cathedral.
3. New Orleans has a subtropical climate
Get ready to crank the A/C up, as hot and humid weather in New Orleans lingers from the crack of dawn until sundown. The rainy season—June through August—averages over 60 inches of rainfall annually. It’s also not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a day, as some dates in late winter can feature 40° mornings and steamy afternoons.
4. You’ll live in one of America’s oldest cities
New Orleans has a way of making you forget you’re in the United States, and especially with all the architectural quirks you’ll find in many of the old houses throughout the city. Architecture styles you’ll find in New Orleans include the following:
Creole cottagesShotgun and double shotgun homesGreek Revival homesItalianate-style homes
5. New Orleans takes ‘dog-friendly’ to a whole new level
You and your four-legged housemate will be welcomed with open arms no matter where you live in the city. There are plenty of dog parks and walking paths accessible from most neighborhoods, most notably NOLA City Bark and Wisner Dog Run. Your pooch can also tag along with you to hang out at patio bars and outdoor dining spots. Magazine Street is a preferred walking path for daytime strolls and is lined with shops that gladly leave out water bowls to keep local pups hydrated.
6. Everyone is welcome here
New Orleans is a vibrant blend of culture, lifestyles, music, and history. A proud sanctuary city and a known safe space for all visitors, the city’s tourism office enthusiastically welcomes LBGTQ visitors. The gayNOLA smartphone app is a useful tool for exploring the New Orleans queer community and offers a visitors’ guide for each season.
7. Best-kept New Orleans secrets
Embrace your new life as a New Orleanian by checking out the events kept hidden from the tourists:
Midsummer Mardi Gras — It’s actually what the name states, and happens every August on Oak Street. Champagne Stroll — a springtime favorite for avid sippers and shoppers, this event returns to Magazine Street every year in early May.White Linen Night — Celebrate a centuries-old New Orleans tradition with one of the largest social events of the year pretty much no one outside of the city knows about. This is an annual celebration of fine art and live music featuring all-white attire.
8. Getting around The Crescent City
It’s pretty easy to get around New Orleans without a car. The New Orleans streetcar is a historic favorite for getting around the city, and runs along 5 routes. The streetcar fare is $1.25 one way, and all-day passes are $3. It’s pretty easy to get around on foot, but there’s also a bus system operated by the city’s transit authority, NORTA.
9. Outdoor adventures in New Orleans
Once you get over the hot and humid weather, nothing will keep you from exploring the great outdoors in the New Orleans area! Venture out on your own or check out some of the great attractions the city has to offer:
Swamp and Mississippi River boat toursWalking toursDowntown carriage ridesBike rentals
10. Mardi Gras is a marathon, not a sprint
If you didn’t know already, Fat Tuesday is just the tip of the iceberg. Mardi Gras is actually a months-long celebration, beginning officially on January 6. This is definitely an event you’ll want to prepare for, so here are a few key survival tips for your first Mardi Gras in New Orleans:
Stock up on water and snacks for the parade route—never show up hungry.Wear rain boots! Things can get pretty messy out there, and you won’t want to wear open-toed shoesIf you plan to venture outside of the house during Mardi Gras season, plan to travel around the parades.
Once you settle down in New Orleans, you’ll never want to know what it’s like to miss this magical city. Prepare to call New Orleans home by browsing our selection of condos, houses, and apartments for rent.
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