There is a lot to think about when planning a move to a new city. Where should I live? Where can I find the best child care? Will I need a car?
Not to worry. Our Southern hospitality doesn’t stop at the beignets. We’ve gathered plenty of resources to help you get acquainted with the city long before you have to book the moving truck.
My soul found its home in New Orleans.
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell
To rent or to buy? An Uptown studio on the Mardi Gras parade route or a three-bedroom house in Gentilly with a backyard? We can’t tell you which option is right for you, but we can tell you that just over half of New Orleans residents rent. And while large apartment complexes do exist here, most rental units are in small-scale structures – like double shotguns and townhouses. “Shotgun” homes, the most prevalent type of house in the city, have a long and narrow layout, with each room opening into the next. Perhaps you’d like a “camelback” shotgun, named after their rear-only second story that resembles a camel’s hump.
If owning a home is more your speed, we can tell you that the median sale price of New Orleans home is around $230,000 and the listing price per square foot is roughly $210. Our city is known all over the world for its magnificent architecture, which has Caribbean, French, and Spanish roots. With their brightly colored shutters, antique fireplaces, and soaring high ceilings, New Orleans homes can feel truly magical. Owning a piece of New Orleans is its own unique honor.
“What I miss about New Orleans: everything. I miss the feeling of a random hug on the street. I miss the warmth.”
— Hoda Kotb, television personality and former New Orleans news anchor
If you will be looking for a K-12 public school for your child, the first step is learning about our system’s city-wide school choice and unified enrollment.
City-wide public school choice: Unlike most traditional school districts, New Orleans public school students are not assigned to a school based on their residential address and the district’s geographic attendance boundaries. Students and families can apply to any public school in the city, regardless of their neighborhood or the school’s location.
Unified enrollment: Admissions, transfers, and readmissions for the vast majority of New Orleans public schools are centrally managed by the EnrollNOLA unified enrollment system. This system ensures that public school enrollment is equitable and transparent for all students and families. It also makes the school application process more convenient for families, as EnrollNOLA’s OneApp enables families to apply to all participating schools using one application. A small number of New Orleans schools – less than 10% – do not participate in EnrollNOLA and instead manage their enrollment process independently.
EnrollNOLA’s website includes a searchable directory of all New Orleans public schools, as well as the downloadable EnrollNOLA School Guide. The Louisiana Department of Education maintains a statewide School Finder website, a searchable directory of all public schools across Louisiana with extensive information about each school’s performance, academic and extra-curricular offerings, and more.
If you are interested in K-12 school options outside of public schools, the Louisiana Department of Education provides a list of non-public schools by parish (the term for counties in Louisiana). The vast majority of non-public schools in New Orleans are religious schools, with most under the umbrella of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The organization EdNavigator provides a guide to Catholic schools in New Orleans.
The Louisiana Department of Education’s website contains additional information and resources about all public and non-public school choice options across the state.
“Being a New Orleanian is dancing in the street without feeling self-conscious, greeting strangers…without a sense of threat and being at once dashing, warm, laid back and zesty.”
— Richard Campanella, Tulane University professor of geography
If you will be looking for a child care center or early learning program for your young child, there are a number of resources available to assist you. The Urban League of Louisiana and Agenda for Children both provide overviews of early care and education options in New Orleans and across the state. Agenda for Children also provides free child care referral services.
Before navigating further resources, it is helpful to to understand a few important distinctions across early care and education programs in Louisiana. First, an early care or education program may be fully private, or it may be partially or fully publicly funded. All publicly funded seats in New Orleans are dedicated to children from low-income families.
Second, an early care or education program may or may not be licensed and regulated by the Louisiana Department of Education depending on its size. Programs that serve seven or more children on a regular basis are regulated, and programs called “family child care homes” that serve less than seven students are not.
Licensed programs in New Orleans: The Urban League of Louisiana produces an in-depth downloadable guide each year with information and guidance related to state regulations, services for students with special needs, and more, as well as individual program profiles.
Licensed programs across Louisiana: The Louisiana Department of Education’s School Finder is a searchable directory, with individual profiles listing each program’s location, contact information, state performance profile, and more.
Publicly funded, licensed programs in New Orleans: As with our K-12 public school system, New Orleans has a coordinated or “unified” enrollment process for public early care and education programs across the city. This process is managed by EnrollNOLA, a division of the Orleans Parish School Board. EnrollNOLA’s website provides income eligibility guidelines, a searchable directory with profiles of public early education programs, enrollment instructions, and more.
“You can live in any city in America, but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you.”
– Chris Rose, former New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist
The most common commute for New Orleans residents is by car, with 77% driving to work either alone or with a carpool. 7% of residents commute by public transit, using the New Orleans RTA buses, streetcars, and ferries. 5% of New Orleanians walk to work and 3% commute by bike.
Outside of work, biking is an increasingly popular choice for both recreational transit and fitness purposes, thanks to New Orleans’ flat landscape and over 100 miles of on- and off-street bikeways. The city also has a bike share system called Blue Bikes which was launched in 2017.
Aside from biking, New Orleanians’ preferred mode of transportation is influenced by the neighborhood where they live. Some neighborhoods are compact and urban – like the Marigny and Warehouse District – and are thus more conducive to walking to nearby parks, restaurants, and stores. Other neighborhoods are less dense – like those along Lake Pontchartrain and in New Orleans East – and driving is more common.
Learn New Orleanians’ way of giving directions:
Riverside – closer to the Mississippi River
Lakeside – closer to Lake Pontchartrain
Downtown – a.k.a. down river; heading down the Mississippi towards the Gulf of Mexico
Uptown – a.k.a. up river; heading up the Mississippi towards Baton Rouge