There’s no doubt that Louisiana has a unique brand of beauty and culture. Southern hospitality is evident in every corner, as well as delicious Creole and Cajun food. Whether you want to explore the swamplands or enjoy live jazz at your local bar, there’s always something unique to do in The Boot. We’ve put together this list of the best places to live in Louisiana to help you decide which city will best suit your needs.
Let’s just get this out of the way, New Orleans is awesome! There’s a reason millions of tourists make their way to Louisiana’s largest city each year. As a matter of fact, it’s consistently named one of the best cities to visit in the world.
But, New Orleans isn’t just Mardi Gras and the French Quarter. The Crescent City has so much more to offer. Not just for visitors, but for residents too.
New Orleans is home to a rich cultural scene and offers residents the opportunity to enjoy opera, symphonies and museums throughout the year. You can spend sunny days at the Audubon Zoo, take your dog for a run through New Orleans City Park, and picnic on the shores by Lake Pontchartrain.
For those who are interested in the supernatural history of New Orleans, there are many tours that allow dogs to accompany you. New Orleans offers entertainment as well as all the usual urban amenities.
There are over 70 neighborhoods in New Orleans. Are you looking for nightlife right outside of your front door? The French Quarter of Faubourg Marigny might be for you. Maybe peaceful, upscale living under the cover of some of the world’s oldest oak trees is more your thing. You’ll love the Garden District and Black Pearl neighborhoods.
There are 31 hospitals and 86 schools, so families can have a wide range of options for their children’s medical care.
If you prefer the suburban lifestyle, check out Metairie or Gretna. Both offer quiet and convenience, and are just minutes from the city.
Louisiana’s second largest city also happens to be the state capital. And, like most Louisiana cities, it’s brimming with culture and history.
While not quite the party hub of New Orleans, we assure you that should you move to Baton Rouge, you won’t be bored. The city is home to several art galleries and museums waiting for you to explore.
While you’ll find all the Louisiana culinary options you can think of, Baton Rouge is also home to some of the state’s best barbecue. If you’re a dog lover, then great news! There are over 100 restaurants in town that allow you to bring your pup along with you.
Baton Rouge offers plenty of sunny day fun too. From water parks to community pools at some of the city’s several parks, there are several ways to cool off during those hot and humid Louisiana summer months.
Of course, you can’t talk about Baton Rouge without mentioning Louisiana State University. Not only is it Louisiana’s largest university by enrollment, LSU is also home to the Fighting Tigers football team. These 4 time national champions play their home games at Tigers Stadium, the 8th largest stadium in the world by capacity.
The neighborhoods of Baton Rouge are a reflection of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the city. Spanish Town is home to the state capitol building and the city’s largest Mardi Gras celebration. Mid-City is quickly regaining its popularity due to its urban revitalization efforts.
Popular suburbs of Baton Rouge include Prairieville and Greenwell Springs.
Located less than 60 miles south of New Orleans, Houma boasts bayou culture wherever you go.
The city’s uniqueness is due in large part to people that have called it home throughout its rich history. French, Spanish, Native, and African culture have all helped mold Houma into the place it is today.
Perfect for those who love the outdoors, Houma is surrounded by nature. Whether it’s fishing you’re looking for, or a walk along a nature trail, Houma has it.
Downtown Houma offers tours, great Cajun food, and plenty of museums. It’s included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Bayou Cane and Gray are a couple of the more popular suburbs of Houma.
Located in northeast Louisiana, Monroe is a small city with a big heart.
The city of Monroe in northern Louisiana is home to many museums. These include museums that focus on art, aviation and military, as well as English gardens.
The Monroe Symphony Orchestra offers a unique opportunity to experience culture live. The University of Louisiana Monroe adds a youthful vibe to the city and houses a natural history museum.
Monroe receives an average of 55 inches of rainfall per year. However, you can still take advantage of the 213 sunny days by visiting the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo.
The Monroe suburb of West Monroe is known for producing some of the best high school football teams in the country.
Lafayette, with its more than 126,000 inhabitants, is Louisiana’s fourth largest city. It also has many attractions and other amenities.
You will find charming shops, excellent food, and art galleries in Downtown Lafayette. There is also a summer concert series, as well as an annual world music festival.
Lafayette is Cajun Country at its finest. Not only will you find some of the best food the state has to offer, but live entertainment is everywhere.
The Ragin’ Cajuns of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offer the opportunity to catch great college sports year-round. While their football team has seen some success in recent years, baseball and softball are where ULL athletics really shine.
There are healthcare facilities in and around Lafayette. The city itself has a branch of the highly ranked Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, and the popular suburb of Youngsville is home to a luxury rehabilitation facility.
Other popular suburbs of Lafayette include, “The Crawfish Capital of the World”, Breaux Bridge, and Broussard.
Alexandria, a vibrant community in central Louisiana is located along the South Bank of the Red River. The beautiful riverside views of Alexandria make it a great place to visit museums and performing arts centers.
You can also visit Alexandria Zoological Park and shop at the many shopping centers. Or, you can browse the farmer’s market.
There’s also plenty to do in Alexandria’s downtown. From authentic Irish pubs and great restaurants, to beautiful, historic hotels. You won’t even have to leave town for an event filled romantic weekend.
Just across the river you’ll find the neighboring city of Pineville, Alexandria’s most popular suburb.
Lake Charles, a vibrant city in southwest Louisiana, is full of culture and activity.
You can enjoy the sunny days in the city by swimming at North Beach, or picnicking at Prien Lake Park. Visit local museums and galleries, or enjoy the several casinos and resorts the city has to offer.
There are many parks and restaurants that will welcome your pet. You’ll also find great community events like music festivals and fishing tournaments.
The city is surrounded by several suburbs. Westlake is a principal city in the metropolitan area, and Holly Beach is a popular place to both live and visit.
Last but certainly not least on this list, the Shreveport–Bossier City metro area can be found in northwestern Louisiana near the Texas-Louisiana border. In fact, it’s less than a 3 hour drive to Dallas.
Look no further if you are looking for a great place to call home. Shreveport-Bossier City, the third-largest metro area in Louisiana, is home to museums, riverboat and land based casinos, and family entertainment centers.
Shreveport is also home to some of the state’s most unique architecture. The city has the largest collection of modernist homes in the Southern United States.
Check out Benton and Blanchard if it’s the suburban life you’re looking for.
No matter what you’re looking for out of a city, Louisiana is sure to have one that meets your needs. From thriving nightlife and history, to some of the nation’s best cuisine and culture, the city’s of Louisiana are as unique as the state itself.