New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is a diverse, welcoming, and rapidly expanding city, with a comfortable climate, and a rich culture that thrives on music, entertainment, and cuisine.
New Orleans is the 49th largest city in the U.S. with over 395,000 residents. In fact, over 1 million people live in the New Orleans metro region, accounting for approximately a quarter of the state's population. Recent college graduates represent a growing portion of the city's population, with approximately 1 in 3 New Orleans residents in their 20s or 30s, and residents are racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse. Tourism, healthcare, and education are the city's main economic drivers, and New Orleans has 14 colleges and universities, including Tulane University, the LSU Health Science Center, the University of New Orleans, Loyola University of New Orleans, and Xavier University at New Orleans.
New Orleans is subtropical with an average temperature of nearly 70 degrees. Winters are mild and rarely approach freezing, with the last noteworthy snowfall in 2008. The average temperature is 53 degrees in January, and 83 degrees in July and August. The summer months are the wettest, with hurricane risk peaking in August, and October is the driest.
Mardi Gras is a family-friendly season of parades
in January and February celebrated by most New Orleans residents, including students and faculty, many of whom participate in the parades themselves. Some of the more novel parades include Chewbacchus (Sci-Fi/Weird), Barkus (costumed dogs), Muses (decorated shoes), and Krewe du Vieux (many in psychology)
Sports and Activities
There are many sports to watch and enjoy year-round, including professional football and basketball and minor league baseball and soccer. There are several popular community leagues for playing soccer, softball, kickball, basketball, ultimate, dodgeball, volleyball, and cornhole. Yoga is popular. Running is a breeze on St. Charles Ave., and there are numerous running events annually. There is also a growing community of bicyclists. Some of the world's best sandy beaches are 1.5-3 hours away.
Music, Arts, and Other Entertainment
There are also many cultural events to enjoy; see the annual Festival Calendar
or Daily Events Calendar
New Orleans is known for its cuisine, with over 1,400 restaurants
, and many culinary festivals
and renowned chefs
. Cajun, French, Italian, and African cuisine are particularly popular.
Some traditional favorites
include gumbo, jambalaya, andouille, crawfish étouffée, shrimp creole, muffuletta and po-boy sandwiches, red beans and rice, oysters rockefeller, bread pudding, bananas foster, beignets, and creole pralines.