New Orleans has wide variety of neighborhoods that are as culturally rich and diverse as the city itself, from the incomparable French Quarter to traditional suburbs, these neighborhoods form the framework for what is the city's unique way of life and contribute in a large degree to why living here is so special.
French Quarter~ Also known as the Vieux Carre´ (Fr- Old Quarter) the French Quarter is New Orleans best known and most historic neighborhood and is considered to be the architectural crown of the city as well as its heart. Following the great fire of 1794, most of the old colonial French architecture was destroyed. The Spanish, who were at the time in charge of the Louisiana Territories and New Orleans, rebuilt the city according to the popular styles of the time. To prevent future devastating fires, the Spanish rebuilt using brick, stucco and masonry facades with firewalls incorporated into the common walls of adjoining buildings. Many of the new buildings were adorned with the graceful and delicate wrought iron galleries and balconies that have become one of the defining hallmarks of New Orleans architecture. The end result is that the French Quarter had a decidedly colonial Spanish architectural flavor in addition to its colonial French influence. Architectural types include Creole cottage, Creole Townhouse, American townhouse and shotgun singles, doubles and camelbacks in a variety of sizes and styles. Major attractions are Bourbon Street, French Market, St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, antique shops and art galleries along Royal Street, the cemeteries on Rampart Street, and the Moon Walk at the Mississippi River. There are several fine museums devoted to documenting Louisiana history including the Louisiana State Museum, Historic New Orleans Collection and the old U. S. Mint. The French Quarter continues to be a vibrant residential neighborhood and single family homes, doubles and larger homes and buildings divided into apartments all co-exist together in the area. Many of the individual apartment units have converted to condominium ownership, and the growth of this area in recent years has increased the opportunity to own real estate in the French Quarter.
CBD/Warehouse District ~The Central Business District (CBD), or downtown New Orleans, is located next to the French Quarter, and contains many of the businesses and services typical of inner-city urban areas. A large number of the city’s hotels and restaurants are located here and support the large tourist and convention industries. Notable landmarks include the Superdome, Convention Center, LSU and Tulane medical schools and hospitals and Harrah’s casino. Museums include the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, National World War II Museum, Confederate Memorial Hall, Children’s Museum, and the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). Residential life consists of apartments and condominium developments as historic conversions of older buildings and new construction. The number of new condominium developments either planned or under construction promises to increase residential real estate growth in the area in the future.
Garden District ~ The Garden District features a large collection of well-preserved, architecturally significant antebellum mansions. This area originally settled by wealthy Americans who came to New Orleans following the Louisiana Purchase to make their fortunes. Unaccustomed to the native French, Spanish and Creole culture, these newcomers built their new neighborhoods on the uptown or “American” side of Canal Street on what was originally plantation land. Originally these lovely homes were built only one or two per block, with each home being surrounded by lovely gardens, from which the neighborhood owes its name. As time went on and the area grew, land surrounding these homes were parceled and sold off as smaller residential lots. As a result, many of these mansions are now surrounded by late Victorian homes, and while the grounds and foliage are still beautiful, the name “Garden District” is now mostly in reference to its past.
Uptown ~ Uptown encompasses a large swath of New Orleans and comprises many neighborhoods. Historically, Uptown is a direction, meaning everything from Canal Street going upriver to the Jefferson Parish line and from the river to Claiborne Avenue. Uptown began as a collection of small towns directly upriver from the city, which ran along the higher ground of the river's natural levees. Today many different neighborhoods comprise all that is uptown including the Upper and Lower Garden District, Irish Channel, Jefferson, Lafayette, Carrollton, Audubon and University sections. Major streets include Tchoupitoulas which runs along the river between the neighborhood and the many wharves of the Port of New Orleans; Magazine Street, known for its abundance of specialty antique and retail establishments; and St. Charles Avenue, with its collection of stately mansions. Attractions include the historic St. Charles Streetcar line, Audubon Zoo and Park, Audubon Golf Course, shopping along Magazine Street, Commander's Palace Restaurant, Lafayette Cemetery and the historic architecture of the area. Generally speaking, Uptown fared very well for Hurricane Katrina, and the section lying between the river and St. Charles Avenue did not flood. Already a desirable place to live before the storm, this advantage makes it an even more attractive location today.
Midcity ~ Midcity is a very diverse area in terms of ethnicity, income levels, and ages. It has a wealth of good restaurants, schools, churches, shopping centers, and commercial development. The American Can Company has been renovated for residential and commercial use.
Lakefront / Metairie ~ Some of the finest subdivisions in Jefferson Parish are found along the Jefferson Lakefront between Causeway and Williams Boulevards and from West Esplanade Avenue to Lake Pontchartrain. Residential development in this area started in the 1970s and home construction is still continuing. Most homes are new and of brick construction in various styles.
Lakewood South ~ A small, secluded subdivision located in Orleans Parish, Lakewood South is centrally located near the interstate making other areas of the city easily accessible. This exclusive, tree-shaded neighborhood is adjacent to Old Metairie and is the home of many New Orleans natives. Dating from the 1960s, homes in this area are predominantly brick and have great executive appeal.
Lakefront / Orleans Parish ~ Facing Lake Pontchartrain, the Lakefront was originally a resort area containing parks, bandstands, pavilions, and fishing camps. A 5.5 mile, 2,000 acre land fill project called the Lakefront Improvement Project began in 1926 and provided the land on which many subdivisions exist today. These subdivisions began developing shortly after the project was completed and greatly altered the area’s profile. Single family brick homes now dominate the Lakefront, which includes Lake Vista, which opened in 1936, Lakeshore in 1951, Lake Terrace in 1953 and Lake Oaks in 1964. A small section of the Lakefront called West End retains some of its old flavor and is the home of many of the city’s best seafood establishments. City Park, located nearby, is one of the nation’s largest parks with 5,500 acres. Offering several 18-hole golf courses, tennis courts and riding stables, the park is also the home of the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum. As you might expect, the Lakefront is the pleasure boating center of New Orleans. Scores of boating facilities exist, including the Southern Yacht Club, which date from the 1840s ad is the second oldest yacht club in the country. In addition, several of the new condominium developments in the area provide owners with private boat slips.
New Orleans East ~ New Orleans East is a very well planned part of the city with many subdivisions, many of them interspersed with lakes built by developers. It includes all areas of Orleans Parish east of the Industrial Canal. Most of the construction dates from the early 1960's forward with slab-on-grade construction consisting primarily of single-family ranch homes. Although the area is within the New Orleans city limits, it has a decidedly modern and suburban feeling and look. It is home to Lakefront Airport and the Louisiana Science and Nature Center located in Joe Brown Memorial Park and Fort Pike State Commemorative Area. Interstates 10, 510 and U.S. Highway 90 run are major metro area highways that run through the area, providing convenient access to the many neighborhoods that line them. The fishing villages of the Rigolets, Irish Bayou and Lake Catherine are located here along the extreme eastern boundaries of Orleans Parish lending a rural look to these particular sections of the "East".
Old Metairie ~ Although this land remained farm and cattle country throughout the 19th century, Old Metairie was the first area of Jefferson parish to be settled. Residential development began in the 1920s and 30s, particularly in the area near the Metairie Country Club located on Woodvine Street. This section, which includes Naussau Drive, Northline, Pelham, Iona and Vincent Avenue, is comprised of palatial homes on large grounds and is considered the most prestigious area of Old Metairie. All of Old Metairie, however, is viewed as a highly desirable place in which to live. The style, size and construction of the homes in this area vary greatly and must be seen to be appreciated. A special touch is added in the spring when the azaleas and dogwoods are in bloom. Like everywhere else in New Orleans, restaurants are within easy driving distance of the area. Two of the city’s largest shopping centers, Lakeview and Clearview, are nearby. If you work in the Central Business District, traffic on the Interstate can pose a problem but residents overlook this for the advantages of living in family oriented neighborhoods with good public schools. The area also offers a bicycle and jogging trail which runs alongside the lake.
City Park / Faubourg St. John ~ The Bayou St. John neighborhood is an area that is actually composed of parts of two other sections in New Orleans, the Esplanade Ridge and Parkview. The neighborhood has imposing homes, as well as needing-renovation bungalows at affordable prices. A strong neighborhood association, great architecture and an area rich in history are just some of the area's strong points. Some highlights include several plantation style houses on Moss Street and the New Orleans Museum of Art, as well as easy access to the Interstate, the French Quarter and the Central Business District.
Chateau Estates / Kenner ~ Developed in the mid-1970s, this is an area popular with local New Orleanians as well as people moving in from out of town. The subdivision is located in the city of Kenner in Jefferson Parish off Williams Boulevard in the vicinity of New Orleans International Airport. Those seeking large, newer style homes with fairly large lots will look here. Chateau Estates has its own private country club, which offers golf, tennis and swimming. There are good public schools in the area as well as fine shopping centers. Also, the St. Jude Hospital complex is nearby. Many people prefer this area for its spaciousness and family neighborhoods.
Harahan / River Ridge ~ This area, conveniently located near the New Orleans International Airport, has recently seen significant development. Several new subdivisions have opened since the early 1970s. Most are located not far from the Colonial Country Club, which offers tennis, swimming and an 18-hole golf course. The style and construction of homes vary, but generally one can expect a good size lot with lots of trees. Unlike some areas where trees were cleared prior to construction, most home sites here have been place so as to retain existing trees as much as possible. For the person desiring a more rural atmosphere, Harahan and River Ridge may be the place to look.
Westbank - Orleans / Jefferson Parishes ~The West Bank of New Orleans began its true residential development with the opening of the Greater New Orleans Bridge on April 15, 1958. It rapidly became an important suburban area of metropolitan New Orleans. Most of the West Bank falls within the parish lines of Jefferson, although a portion, specifically areas 48 and 49, is located in Orleans Parish. Timberlane, Stonebridge, Park Timbers and Tall Timbers are four of the most desirable subdivisions on the West Bank. Most homes are new construction and their styles vary significantly. There are several fine public and private schools on the West Bank. Oakwood Shopping Center and other malls provide excellent shopping opportunities. Quality restaurants abound, including LeRuth’s, which is considered one of the city’s best.
St. Bernard Parish ~St. Bernard Parish, nestled along the Mississippi River's edge just south of New Orleans is primarily a suburb of the city. Known for its clannish family atmosphere where generations of families live either on the same block or within close proximity to one another, "the Parish" as the locals refer to it, also benefits from a very low crime rate and affordable middle-income housing opportunities. The fishing villages of lower St. Bernard are home to a large fleet of commercial and recreational fisherman. The area includes major industrial sites that provide much of the employment and economic activities for the residents. Chalmette National Battlefield and Cemetery along with the historic antebellum mansion located on its grounds was the scene of the Battle of New Orleans in America's War of 1812 with Britain.
English Turn Community / Lower Coast Algiers ~ English Turn, a Jack Nicklaus community, is located on the West Bank and opened in the mid-1980s. It consists of 630 acres divided into large home sites and luxury homes. This incredible residential development consists of an 18-hole tournament golf course, clubhouse with social dining and sporting amenities, lakes, lagoons, woods and landscapes vistas. English Turn affords the choice of selecting a custom residence or a home site on which to design your own home. It is located within 30 minutes of the Central Business District and the French Quarter.
The Northshore ~ St. Tammany Parish, located across Lake Pontchartrain from both Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, became a desirable residential community for the New Orleans area with the opening of the Lake Pontchartrain Toll Causeway in 1956. The Causeway’s length of 24 miles makes it the longest continuous bridge in the world. Originally a two-lane bridge, a second two-lane span was added in 1969 to accommodate the residential growth of St. Tammany. Traffic on the Causeway usually flows smoothly, so for those looking for a more rural atmosphere, living “across the Lake” can be quite attractive. Most homes date from the early 1960s and construction ranges from brick to frame. Several popular subdivisions are built around country clubs that offer golf, tennis and swimming facilities. Three of the most popular clubs are the Covington Country Club, Tchefuncte Country Club and Beau Chene. Because of the area’s development, several fine restaurants are now located here and there is a continual increase in the number of retail shopping centers.