New Orleans is known for being unlike any other city in the US, both culturally and aesthetically. With its heavy French influences, it has a far less ‘structured’ appearance than some US cities, giving it a great character. Lively and exciting, the city has a fantastic buzz and a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, making it a great city to settle in.
On moving to New Orleans, expats may find the city is very easy to navigate on foot, and there are also some excellent transportation links to get around town. Expats living in the city will also get the chance to experience its famous Streetcars, which were featured in the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire. Thanks to its mostly flat land, it is also an excellent city for cycling.
New Orleans is famous internationally for its likeable, welcoming and friendly people, who go out of their way to help. There is a great sense of community in the city and residents are more than happy to help newcomers settle in – ask them about their city and for directions and you’re sure to get an enthusiastic and welcoming response.
New Orleans is described as having a ‘humid subtropical’ climate involving mild winters, which are relatively short, and particularly hot and humid summer periods. Temperatures can dip over the winter months, although instances of snow and freezing temperatures are rare, with the lowest ever recorded temperature being 6°F (-14°C), way back in 1899. While the summers bring with them the warmest months, they also tend to bring the wettest weather, and the driest days of the year tend to occur during the fall, particularly in October.
One thing that concerns expats moving to New Orleans is the threat of hurricanes, especially after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It is worth noting, however, that incidents of severe hurricanes are extremely rare, and it is their sensationalism and prevalence in the international media that makes them appear more common than they truly are. Today, the city’s hurricane defenses are better than ever.
Overall, those living in New Orleans can enjoy a warm climate throughout the year, making it a great choice for expats wishing to enjoy a pleasant climate.
With a number of excellent transport routes, it is not only easy to get around New Orleans itself, but also to travel to other neighboring cities in Louisiana, nearby states, and international destinations.
Louisiana is a relatively small state, especially in comparison to its neighbor, Texas. This means that traveling around the state is easy by bus, car and rail, providing plenty of opportunities for expats moving to New Orleans to explore other parts of Louisiana. Many major roads pass through Louisiana and New Orleans, including the US 61 (which begins in Minnesota and ends in the city), providing a clear cut path to the north of the country. The US 90 (which begins in nearby Florida) also passes through the city, while the US 11 connects New Orleans all the way to the US-Canada border.
New Orleans is home to its own airport; the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport provides travel from the city to a number of destinations, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Miami, Cancun in Mexico, Toronto in Canada, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Rail travel is provided by Amtrak and lines go to places such as New York City, Chicago, Orlando and Los Angeles; it is therefore possible to travel to both coasts of the US easily by rail, with many journeys crossing the Mississippi River.