Moving New Orleans

Moving to New Orleans: Everything you need to know

new orleans cityscape

Moving to New Orleans, the city of Mardi Gras and the picturesque shotgun-style buildings is definitely exciting. It’s a smart move for young people who are pursuing a career in the tourism and entertainment industry or families who want to enjoy a quiet environment without giving up on kid-friendly entertainment options. The downtown area is known for its walkability, and you can also use the iconic ferries and city streetcars to reach other parts of the city.

City Overview

New Orleans has an average walkability score of 59. The French Quarter and the Central Business District and among the most walkable neighborhoods. There’s no need to get stuck in traffic, as everything is within walking distance in the downtown area. For the few destinations you can’t reach by foot, like the Garden District, you can always ride the historic streetcar.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) offers four streetcar lines with vintage-looking vehicles. The fares are pretty cheap, so you can reach all the most important historical landmarks in the city without breaking the bank. You'll need to have the exact fare ready or a pass.

NORTA also manages 40 bus routes across many neighborhoods. Most buses have bike racks to help with daily commutes or a leisurely weekend outing.

Lastly, if you really want to take a memorable trip across the city, there are two historic ferries. One connects Algiers Point to Canal Street, while the other connects Lower Algiers to Chalmette. The Algiers Point/Canal Street ferry operates every 30 minutes and only allows pedestrians. The Lower Algiers/Chalmette ferry operates every 15 minutes and welcomes both passengers and vehicles.

NOLA also has many taxi companies, and every one of them is identified by taxis of different colors.

You know the fondness for a city by the number of nicknames it as and New Orleans has many! The most famous is probably “Big Easy.” Some say that New Orleans has this nickname because of a popular 1910s dance hall named “Big Easy.” Other popular nicknames are “Crescent City,” “Birthplace of Jazz,” “Convention City,” “Northernmost Caribbean City,” and “Gumbo City.”

Locals refer to New Orleans as “N’awlins” or “Nerlins.” Less frequently, they call their hometown “City of a Million Dreams,” from Raymond Birke’s famous song, and “City that Care Forgot,” from a speech by Alfred S. Amer, founder of the St. Charles Hotel.

Real Estate Outlook

The downside of living in NOLA is that it’s one of the most expensive cities to rent a home. The average rental cost in the city is $1,192. The average size of apartments for rent is 886 sq. ft. The cheapest neighborhoods to rent a house are Village de l’Est and Lake Catherine.

If you're buying your home, New Orleans is filled with beautiful historical homes, most of which are in the popular shotgun style. The housing prices have decreased, especially in trendy neighborhoods like the French Quarter, the Garden District, and Marigny.

Keep in mind that shotgun-style homes tend to have little storage space, so you might want to consider installing a shed in your backyard or renting a storage unit to overcome the issue.

New Orleans Communities

There is a wide variety of different neighborhoods in New Orleans, and every one of them is a melting pot of cultures.

The French Quarter

french quarter new orleans
Image by llambrano from Pixabay

The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in the city and has a lively nightlife, with jazz clubs and cocktail bars. Famous for its raucous and over-the-top Mardi Gras celebrations, it also has some of the finest restaurants in New Orleans. It's also home to the French Market, where you can find local food and artisanal goods.

The Garden District

The Garden District is another one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Big Easy. The St. Charles trolley is a great way to explore the neighborhood while enjoying the beautiful architecture and gardens.


Located near the Mississippi River, Algiers has beautiful Victorian architecture. One of the oldest ferry lines in the city connects it to downtown, so residents can reach the trendiest entertainment spots easily.

Central Business District

In the Central Business District, you’ll find plenty of Creole restaurants and luxury boutiques. The Orpheum and Saenger theaters offer several entertainment options, including live music events and musicals.

Things to do

New Orleans offers thousands of recreational opportunities for all ages. The most notable is Mardi Gras, held in February, which attracts tourists from all around the world. Other than attending traditional parades, you can visit the Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum, which features vintage Mardi Gras costumes and made-in-France memorabilia. Also, the Louisiana State Museum holds an exhibition about Mardi Gras during the Carnival season

For New Orleanians, Carnival starts on Twelfth Night, on January 5. From this date onward, people start baking king cakes, which contain a tiny plastic baby. The person who finds the baby in their slice of cake will host the next king cake party. During parades, people like to catch the beads and trinkets thrown from the floats and to reuse them for their next Mardi Gras costume.

When the Carnival season finishes, don’t worry, there are still many things to do in NOLA. The areas that surround the city are famous for their swamps and plantations, and there are many tours to take. If you’d prefer a cultural tour, you can choose the National WWII Museum, which offers an immersive train car and submarine simulator experience. There are interactive exhibitions and even a documentary movie produced by Tom Hanks, available for an additional cost. Alternatively, you can visit the Saint Louis Cemetery, which includes three different Catholic cemeteries. To minimize vandalism, people can only access the three cemeteries through licensed guided tours.

Kids love Audubon Zoo, which offers a fun tour on a zoo train and a picnic pavilion. There are also an aquarium and an insectarium for kids and adults to enjoy. New Orleans city park is a pretty green area to relax during the weekends and it offers many amenities, such as putt putt courses, walking trails, and a dog park for your furry friends. You can also ride your kayak or boat, or have a picnic in the spacious dedicated areas. The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is another must-visit green area in Big Easy. The Barataria Preserve, a short drive away from NOLA, is the home of several wildlife species like alligators, turtles, and snakes. Inside the Jean Lafitte Preserve, you’ll also find the Chalmette Battlefield, which is the site where the famous battle of New Orleans between American and British troops happened on January 8, 1815.

Reasons to move there

new orleans jazz musician
Image by Kay Gregan from Pixabay

One of the main reasons why moving to New Orleans is a great idea is the friendliness of its people. Locals are so welcoming that making new friends is extremely easy. Secondly, there are interesting job opportunities in the city, especially the entertainment-focused areas like the French Quarter. New Orleans's entertainment and tourism industry provides over 80,000 jobs. The employment rate is pretty low: only 4.5% of residents don’t have a job. Among the largest employers in the city are Ochsner Health Systems and Tulane University.

The Crescent City has excellent schools. The city has 54 public schools, over 100 private schools, and 10 colleges. Twelve of them made it to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High School rankings. The stats say there is a teacher for every 14 students in the city.

Many people decide to move to Big Easy because of its pleasant tropical climate, with hot summers and very mild winters. The hurricane season starts in June and ends in November, but the chances of a dangerous storm such as Katrina, which destroyed the city in 2005, are very slim. The cost of living in New Orleans is 2% lower than the national average, which is one of the main reasons why the city attracts young professionals and families on a budget. Groceries are 3% cheaper in comparison with other cities in the US, but transportation fares and gas prices are 5% higher than the national average. After all, the experience of riding a historical streetcar or ferry can’t come on a budget, right? You’ll also be glad to know that healthcare bills in New Orleans are 10% lower than the national average.

If your brand-new shotgun-style home doesn’t have enough space for your belongings, don’t worry! We have a wide range of storage solutions to meet the needs of large families, students, retirees, and empty nesters. Our storage facilities in New Orleans have many amenities, such as quality packing supplies, dollies, and handcarts for an easy move-in experience. The units are clean and well-maintained for your peace of mind.

Most facilities in New Orleans have climate-controlled units that help to keep items in tip-top condition. With CubeSmart’s flexible leasing options, you won’t have to worry about a long-term contract. There are also online payment options for your convenience. We don’t require a credit card to reserve your unit.

Header image by David McCormack from Pixabay

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The Storage Queens

We know a thing or two about moving. Together, we share the best tips in organizing, storage, navigating your city, and more!

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