Famous across the world for its vibrant Mardi Gras celebrations, jazz music, soulful cuisine, and laid-back vibe, Louisiana makes a great place to live. New Orleans is the biggest name (and some say the biggest attraction), but there’s no shortage of other characterful little towns, cities and suburbs ready to duke it out for the title of the Bayou State’s most desirable destination. If you’re considering making a move, don’t do anything until you’ve read up on the 20 very best places to live in Louisiana.
20. Lakeshore - Lake Vista
For those looking to raise their family in a safe, peaceful community, the beautiful neighborhood of Lakeshore - Lake Vista makes a great choice. Top ranking schools combine with an outstandingly low crime rate, abundant local amenities, scenic parks, a median income expectation of $114,028, and a lakeside setting to make for an incredibly desirable destination. High properties do, as you’d expect, come with the territory: expect to spend around $471,174 on a family home.
Touro may only have 2,870 residents to its name, but it’s got no shortage of attractions. In reward for the $556,636 you’ll need to lay down to get a property in this highly desirable neighborhood of New Orleans, you’ll get safe, quiet streets, the expectation of a $67,213 median income, friendly, highly educated neighbors, a low crime rate, and access to some of the best schools in the district.
Set in the New Orleans metropolitan area, Metairie is a large, diverse community of over 140,000 residents. As you’d expect of such a sizable population, the city is overflowing with all the bars, restaurants, nightspots, and recreational venues needed to keep even the most hard-core thrill seeker happy. Its year-round schedule of events fosters a great sense of community spirit, with the highlight, of course, being Mardi Gras, a more family-friendly (but no less diverting) alternative to its New Orleans equivalent. As Livability notes, the city is also home to a richly vibrant restaurant scene and the popular Lakeside Shopping Center – a great place to spend the day (not to mention the sizable incomes the residents of this prosperous city enjoy).
With a population of just 5000, Inniswold may be small, but it’s packing a mighty punch. As the Crazy Tourist notes, residents can expect the dual luxury of a great quality of life (supported by the suburb range of local schools and lower than average crime rate) and a fabulous range of amenities (which cover both mom and pop stores and chains). Housing comes in at the slightly higher than average (but still very reasonable) price of $210,600, while the robust job market supports a good standard of income. All in all, a very attractive destination indeed.
If you’re looking longingly at the real estate listings for Shenandoah, you’re not the only one. While the cost of living in this East Baton Rouge Parish is slightly higher than the national average, its list of benefits more than compensate. As Area Vibes notes, crime is all of 42% lower than the national average (giving residents a just 1 in 63 chance of becoming a victim); at $86,511, the median household income is 56% higher than the national average; income per capita is 46% higher than the national average; at a paltry 3%, unemployment is 40% lower than the US average; while the high school graduation rate of 94% is 13% higher than the US average (test scores, meanwhile, are 53% higher than the US average). With stats like that, it’s unsurprising so many people are prepared to put down 30% more on a property than they would in other parts of the US.
Not many places manage to combine extremely affordable housing (we’re talking $226,600 for a good-sized, 3-bedroom house) with the kind of super attractive benefits Destrehan comes with. Along with an $88,783 median income, residents can expect a supremely low crime rate, an excellent range of schools, a fabulous community education program, a thriving job market, and a safe, peaceful environment located within just 15 miles of the big city attractions of New Orleans.
14. Irish Channel
The welcoming little neighborhood of Irish Channel scores well across the board– the median income is decent at $56,224, the schools score highly, the crime rate is one of New Orleans’s lowest, it's close to downtown and the highway (as well as within walking distance of a great range of bars and shops), and there’s character oozing from every corner.
For the superb price of $178,700, you could bag yourself a property in the extremely affordable, extremely attractive neighborhood of Elmwood. Crime is too low to even warrant a mention, while the superb range of amenities and recreational venues would serve a population 4 times its current size of 5,037. Schools, as you’d expect, are all suitably top drawer, while the safe, characterful streets and easy commute into New Orleans make it as equally attractive to millennials as it is to families.
12. City Park
While you may have to pay slightly over the national average for a home in City Park ($389,004 compared to $184,700), the benefits of doing so more than justify the investment. The community is diverse, safe and welcoming, while the above-average schools make it a particularly appealing proposition to families. The job market is strong, and the abundance of amenities and recreational possibilities on offer guarantee more than enough by way of entertainment.
11. Marlyville – Fontainbleau
If you have $373,565 lying around gathering dust in your bank account, you may want to put it to good use by investing in a property in the superbly desirable neighborhood of Marlyville – Fontainbleau. Crime is on the low side, while poverty and unemployment rates are similarly attractive. Schools are excellent, while the job market is doing well enough for itself to support the robust median income of $62,328. Amenities are abundant, but if for any reason you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for on your doorstep, the neighborhood’s close proximity to the heart of Baton Rouge means you won’t have too much trouble finding it.
Few places manage to combine affordable housing with big incomes, but Prairieville does it with style. Residents of the charming community can expect a superbly healthy median income of $98,130 for the comparatively tiny property price of $222,000. If you need any more convincing as to why this Baton Rouge suburb ranks as such a highly desirable place to live, just check out the rave reviews on Niche. “Great location not too far from Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Close to many popular stores and restaurants. Great safe schools, communities and quality of life. Place for great child development and productivity. Jobs are available and families can grow,” enthuses one resident, while another comments, “I love Prairieville, it is a lovely little town with everything you need. Fast food to nice restaurants, corner stores to malls, Prairieville is big enough to cover everything without becoming overwhelming, and it's growing every day!”
IF you fancy earning $20k more than the national average, then consider Audubon, a New Orleans neighborhood where the schools are first-rate, the population is as welcoming as it is diverse, the low employment level is equaled only by the low poverty level, the amenities are plentiful, the job market is booming, and the property is so desirable, residents can happily charge $634,353 for a single-family home and still have buyers lining up around the corner.
8. East Riverside
If you want to live in an area that has access to some of the best schools in New Orleans, where residents can expect the distinctly above average median income of $61,995, where all the amenities, recreational venues, and services you could ever need are right on your very doorstep, and were your neighbors offer a warm welcome, then you may want to consider East Riverside. That said, you may need to start saving if you do: at $319,631 for a single-family home, property isn’t exactly cheap.
7. Lower Garden District
As you’d expect of one of the best neighborhoods to live in New Orleans, property comes at a premium. If, however, you can stretch to the $418,154 needed to buy a home in Lower Garden District, you’re unlikely to find yourself disappointed. The neighborhood’s population of 6,092 is well served by an excellent array of parks, locally-owned shops, restaurants, and bars, while the low crime rate, great schools, and thriving economy make it as equally an attractive proposition to families as to single millennials. Factor in a median household income of $66,484, and you can fully understand the appeal of this desirable little enclave.
6. Oak Hills Place
In terms of desirability, Oak Hills Place has it in spades. The low crime rate (50% lower than the US average, by the last count), high median household income (51% higher than average), exceptional schools (the graduation rate of 98% is 18% higher than the US average), and bountiful supply of amenities combine to make this attractive suburb one of Baton Rouge’s best.
5. South Baton Rouge
A low crime rate, top rating schools, a fabulous range of amenities, and a job market that’s strong enough to support the above-average median income of $84,371 combine to make South Baton Rouge a force to be reckoned with. The best thing? All these great features come with property prices that stand at a very affordable median of $275,298.
If you can stretch to the $481,684 it takes to purchase a property in the highly desirable neighborhood of Uptown, then count yourself lucky. The quaint architecture is worth the price tag alone: combine that with the outstanding range of boutiques, eateries and bars on Magazine Street and Saint Charles, the top-rated schools serving the area, the healthy job market (not to mention equally healthy median income of $71,779), low crime rate, and relaxed, easy-going vibe, and you can understand why Uptown is such a huge draw for those looking for a taste of the good life.
3. Garden District
Property in Garden District may come with the slightly daunting price tag of $754,844 for a three-bedroom home, but considering the outstanding range of benefits that come with living in this popular little neighborhood, it’s one few will quibble over. As well as offering a clutch of high-ranking schools (Benjamin Franklin High School, Lusher Charter School, and Haynes Academy School for Advanced Studies all score top marks for test scores and graduation rates), the community is served well by a bevy of amenities, a thriving economy, and great transportation links into the heart of New Orleans. The extraordinarily high median income of $175,218 doesn’t exactly harm matters, either.
If you’re expecting property prices in Louisiana’s second-best place to live to be through the roof, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. A three-bedroom family home can be had for the eminently reasonable price of $210,700, while a rental property can be snapped up for just $804 per month. For that small price, you get a list of benefits a mile long: job opportunities abound (and, judging by the median income of $94,444, most pay incredibly well), schools are above average, the small town, friendly vibe contrasts with a great clutch of amenities and leisure opportunities, while the low crime rate contributes to safe, walkable streets.
1. Lake Terrace & Oaks
If you want to experience the best that Louisiana has to offer, head on down to Lake Terrace & Oaks. While the housing may be well above the national average at $384,977, you’re unlikely to hear too many complaints about the cost of living when you consider the perks of living in this great little New Orleans neighborhood. 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.
Written by Dana Hanson
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