Best Places To Live In Louisiana: Top 5 Cities Most Recommended By Experts

Louisiana is famous for its jazz, Cajun and Creole cuisine, and, of course, Mardi Gras festivals, but did you know the state is named after King Louis XIV of France? The U.S. purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million. And instead of counties, the state is made up of parishes. If you’re interested in moving to the Pelican State, we’ve compiled a list of the five best places to live in Louisiana, according to 12 experts.

Single and ready to mingle? You might be happy to note that the state is home to one of the highest populations of single men and women in the nation. With plenty of places to eat, drink and be merry, it’s no wonder! Louisiana residents claim to tolerate spicy foods better than most, so get ready to spice up your (love) life! Plus, New Orleans ranks as one of the friendliest places to live in the U.S. Dating scene, here you come!

Jobs — and potential vacations from those jobs — abound in Louisiana. The Port of New Orleans is investing in the creation of a premier container shipping terminal known as the Louisiana International Terminal. Due to the sharp increase in volume of shipping containers arriving in and out of the port in the last decade, this new terminal is slated to open in Violet, Louisiana, in 2028. Once complete, it will have a capacity of 1.2 million containers and will provide thousands of jobs and opportunities for local businesses. And when you’re ready for a break from your new job, the Port also makes a convenient jumping-off point for popular cruise lines including Carnival, Norwegian, Disney and Royal Caribbean, ready to take you away on a relaxing getaway!

Moving to a new state can be intimidating. Which area is right for you? Getting familiar with your options is key to choosing the right new home sweet home. Get to know the top five best places to live in Louisiana with our list below. Don’t see your favorite city? Let us know in the comments!

The List: Best Places to Live in Louisiana, According To Experts

1. New Orleans

No list of best places to live in Louisiana would be complete without mention of New Orleans, a city praised by most sources. About this vibrant and convivial locale, Touropia says, “As one of the top tourist destinations in the United States, much has been written about New Orleans’ famed nightlife and voodoo culture. But what elevates the Big Easy as a place to live in is the local community, the artistic flair, great public parks, and excellent universities. New Orleans has a population of almost 400,000 people, making it the largest and most populous city in Louisiana. Importantly, newcomers won’t have a hard time fitting in. A part of this is because of the transient nature of New Orleans. But also because of its welcoming community, where everyone can be who they want to be.”

Extra Space Storage recommends the Business District of New Orleans, writing, “Residents can enjoy sleek bars and elevated Creole eateries, excellent shopping, performing arts venues, and many other things to do just a short walk from their front door. In addition to being highly walkable, this affordable NOLA neighborhood is also extremely bike-friendly, so getting around is easy! The Central Business District is popular among singles and young professionals not only because of its many fun activities and budget-friendly apartments and condos, but also because the neighborhood is a major hub for jobs in New Orleans.”

Money Inc. touts Lake Terrace & Oaks: “Thanks to a booming job market, residents can expect the very robust median income of $116,979, while students can expect to enjoy an outstanding education at any one of the excellent schools servicing the district. Amenities are plentiful, while the excellent transportation links mean you can get anywhere you want in New Orleans without a bother.”

building in New Orleans
A building in downtown NOLA (Photo by Aya Salman on Unsplash)

2. Baton Rouge

If you don’t want to be in the heart of a lively tourist site, but you’d still like to enjoy the benefits of urban life, Baton Rouge may be your match! “Baton Rouge, the ever-expanding capital of Louisiana, increasingly absorbs the flavor of New Orleans without adopting the bustle of a tourist spot. Warm year-round and located right off the Mississippi River, the metro area moves at a suburban pace while offering the opportunities of a flourishing cultural hub,” says U.S. News.

The Crazy Tourist emphasizes its economic strength: “The city is a major centre for the medical, industrial, shipping, research, and petrochemical industries, and the technology industry is flourishing and seeing rapid growth. If you work in one of these areas you won’t have a busy commute to work each day living in Baton Rouge. Of course, there are many other job opportunities as well. The economy is booming in Baton Rouge. Not only has the city been placed in the top ten destinations around the US to start a new business, but it has also been named as one of the top ten places overall for young adults. Not to blow its own trumpet too loudly, Baton Rouge has also been listed as one of North America’s top twenty cities when it comes to economic strength.”

Only in Your State says it’s also one of the best places to be a student, writing, “With many of the top elementary, middle, and high schools in the state as well as the premier university of Louisiana, LSU, Baton Rouge offers a unique place to grow and learn for students from around the nation. Plus, the incredible sports culture, vibrant bar scene, and small-town feel of the city give college students here the full scope of the American university experience.”

tiger statue
Louisiana State University’s mascot (Photo by Jessica Tan on Unsplash)

3. Lafayette

Lafayette is a buzzing center of the oil and gas industry. “Located along the Vermilion River is Lafayette, nicknamed ‘The Hub City’ because it serves all of southwestern Louisiana. Lafayette has one university and three colleges, and a pair of major health care facilities serves residents. The city has a revitalized downtown, and Lafayette is home to a National Guard headquarters,” says Livability.

This southern Louisiana city also boasts a thriving arts and culture scene. NewHomeSource writes, “Downtown Lafayette is home to art galleries, charming retail experiences, and excellent eats. In fact, you’ll find top-notch Cajun and Creole cuisine plus other restaurants all throughout the city, and 57 restaurants welcome dogs! Lafayette residents can expect an average of 62 inches of rain per year, so be prepared for soggy conditions at times; if you’re rained out, spend your time at one of the museums or entertainment centers throughout the city. During the 217 sunny days, you can enjoy community activities like the Festival International de Louisiane and Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.”

Trip101 adds, “Home to great food, good music, and vibrant culture, it’s for good reason that the city has been named ‘the happiest city in America.’ People come here for the quality of life and stay for the dining and entertainment options and the general laid-back atmosphere.”

boat in a marsh
Lafayette’s marshes (Photo by Nicole Herrero on Unsplash)

4. Thibodaux

If quiet small-town life is what you’re looking for, you could do much worse than this charming spot with its pleasant shopping and dining. CreditDonkey writes, “This quiet little town is home to some 15,000 residents, many of whom work in the Gulf’s booming petroleum industry. Downtown Thibodaux is where you’ll find the local farmer’s market, along with shops, art galleries and restaurants like Fremin’s, which prepares its signature dishes with a blend of Creole and Italian flavors.”

Only in Your State lists Thibodaux as the small town with the best economy. “Recently named by as one of the fastest growing small metropolitan areas in the country, the greater Houma/Thibodaux area has seen tremendous job, income, and population growth in the past decade.”

And if you’re looking for love? HomeSnacks names it the third-best city in Louisiana for singles, writing, “If you live in Louisiana, there’s a pretty good chance there are a lot of singles in your area. The Pelican State ranks in the top 10 when it comes to number of people over the age of 18 who aren’t married, or in a serious relationship. That’s great news for people looking for their match.”

green water in Louisiana
A mossy bayou in Thibodaux (Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash)

5. Mandeville

Chamber of Commerce praises this industrious lakefront town, perfect for fishing, cycling, shopping and dining. “Mandeville, a cozy little city in St. Tammany Parish, is Louisiana’s best city to live in. Mandeville is separated from New Orleans by Lake Pontchartrain, and shares much of the character and musical legacy of its larger neighbor while avoiding the crime and hedonism. In 2013, Mandeville won an eCity award due its forward-thinking small businesses aptly using internet marketing to attract consumers.”

CreditDonkey adds, “A combination of higher median incomes and an average commute of under 26 minutes attract plenty of professionals, while families appreciate the great schools and favorable crime rate. The Broken Egg Cafe is a local favorite among the breakfast crowd, and a visit to La Provence is a must if you’re having dinner on the Northshore. One of Mandeville’s most famous landmarks is the Seven Sisters Oak, the largest Southern live oak tree in the country.”

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