Are you ready to learn about some of the best places to live in Louisiana? Maybe you’re planning a move or you’re just curious what it’s like to live in the Pelican State.
Look no further–as a local, I’m about to tell you about 23 different towns and cities all over the state that deserve more than a passing glance.
If you’d like to know about the best places to live in Louisiana, read on!
Table of Contents
- 23 Best Places to Live in Louisiana
- FAQs About Where to Live in Louisiana
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!
23 Best Places to Live in Louisiana
An old-world city with modern amenities and also the largest city in Louisiana.
If you love city life and want to be in a bustling metropolis, New Orleans might be the right place for you. It is the biggest city on this list (and the most populous city in the entire state of Louisiana).
The population as of 2022 exceeded 4.5 million. The median house price in New Orleans ($255,000) is significantly above the average for the state. Renting is also expensive, with the average rent exceeding $1,000 per month.
If you are looking for gorgeous European architecture, a modern lifestyle, New Orleans’ famed nightlife, and amazing food, New Orleans might be up your alley. You will find yourself surrounded by festivals, Mardi Gras parades, and second-line jazz parades down the street. No matter what you enjoy, there are plenty of activities to do in New Orleans.
An eclectic capital city with university energy and business appeal.
Baton Rouge is Louisiana’s eclectic capital city. Some of the city has a straight-laced business tone to it, other parts simmer with university energy, and there are some funky countercultural neighborhoods if you seek them out. Baton Rouge is a great place for young professionals and families alike.
Baton Rouge has excellent racial diversity, with a nearly 50/50 split between black and white residents. The median home value is just over $190,000. On average, monthly rent costs $937.
There are many fun things to do in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is full of museums, a historic downtown, lovely parks, and a levee bike trail following the Mississippi River. The city has a strong arts and culture scene. There are also some of the state’s best major healthcare facilities.
👉 Did you know that counties in Louisiana are called “parishes?”
The unofficial capital of “Cajun Country” with phenomenal food and music.
Lafayette is the biggest city in Cajun Country (Acadiana) in southwest Louisiana. Lafayette is the hub city for the area. That said, the population clocks in at just under 122,000 people. Despite being the largest town in the region and one of the best cities in the state, Lafayette feels much smaller than New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or Monroe.
Lafayette has a relatively well-educated population, with almost 40% of Lafayette residents possessing a Bachelor’s degree. It’s a university town that also caters to families and visitors. There’s a cool music scene, several amazing museums, and fantastic Cajun cuisine.
Lafayette is also situated in the beautiful Atchafalaya Basin, known for its scenic value, swamp tours, hunting, and fishing. It has several famous festivals, including the giant (and free) Festival International de Louisiane held in downtown Lafayette every spring. Cajun culture remains strong and there are opportunities for French speakers or anyone who enjoys dancing the two-step.
✈️ Travel Tip: Although Lafayette does have a small airport, check out the Baton Rouge airport 90 minutes away for flights that are usually cheaper.
One of the first settled towns in the state, famous for its history and meat pies.
Natchitoches sits somewhere between a city and a town (its population is 17,000) and also in between North and South Louisiana. It’s a vibrant community known for its meat pies and large Christmas festival. Natchitoches is one of the oldest settlements in the state and has a well-preserved, brick-lined, riverfront historic district.
It’s also a town you’re likely to mispronounce if you’ve never heard it before, so I’ll help you out. It’s pronounced Nack-uh-dish.
Natchitoches is a college town that’s home to Northwestern University. The average rental cost in Natchitoches is very affordable, coming in below $700 per month. Natchitoches ties with Monroe for the second shortest average commute time on this list, at just under 17 minutes.
A modern city with great access to nature and trails suitable for backpacking.
One of Alexandria’s selling points is its proximity to Kisatchie National Forest, a vast wilderness area with lakes, hiking, and campgrounds. The forest contains some of the only trails suitable for backpacking in the state.
Alexandria residents can enjoy a lower cost of living than in most cities country-wide and even state-wide. Monthly rent in Alexandria is less than the state’s average, and the median home value is $157,000. On average, residents have a commute to work that’s less than 20 minutes.
The city has several museums and parks (like the Alexandria Zoological Park), a university (Louisiana State University at Alexandria), and excellent healthcare.
One of the biggest cities in northern Louisiana with no shortage of family fun.
Monroe is one of the bigger cities in North Louisiana (though with its population of less than 50,000 people, it’s considerably smaller than Shreveport). Monroe is within driving distance of the amazing nature and vacation spots in nearby Arkansas. It is located on the Ouachita River and has a sister city (West Monroe) on the other side.
The cost of renting in Monroe is quite inexpensive at just over $700 per month on average. The median home value is just under $150,000. Monroe ties with Natchitoches for the second shortest average commute time on this list, coming in at just under 17 minutes.
In addition to a children’s museum and military museum, Monroe is home to the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens. This property is not only a gorgeous mansion but also the once-home of the first man to bottle Coca-Cola.
Bustling sister cities with lots of culture and excitement.
Shreveport and Bossier City are sister cities often referred to in tandem (the Greater Shreveport Metro Area). They are the largest cities in North Louisiana and some of the best cities in the state to live in.
Residents of Shreveport enjoy a relatively low cost of living, inexpensive rent, and a short commute of less than 20 minutes on average. There are ample entertainment options like waterfront casinos for the adults and a petting zoo for the kids.
One of the town’s historical attractions is the Municipal Auditorium, which hosted a famous radio show like the Grand Ole Opry back in the day.
👉 Fun Fact: The Greater Shreveport Metropolitan Area is roughly the size of the state of Delaware.
A Baton Rouge suburb with charm and a high quality of life.
Zachary ranks high on racial diversity with an almost even split between the percentage of white and black residents. Zachary is significantly more expensive to buy a house in than neighboring Baton Rouge. The median house cost is $226,000, while the median in Baton Rouge is $191,000. Median rent is the highest on this list, with the average rental costing $1,330 per month.
Zachary has the third-most-educated population on this list, with almost 40% of residents possessing Bachelor’s degrees. It has one of the most respected public school systems in Louisiana. Zachary has the second-lowest population per square mile, giving its residents a little taste of the country in the suburbs.
A suburb on Lake Pontchartrain with easy access to both New Orleans and the Gulf Shore.
Slidell lies right across the Lake Pontchartrain “twin spans” bridge from New Orleans, placing it in Louisiana’s Northshore area. This gives Slidell residents pretty quick access to the big city while avoiding some of the costs and crime associated with the Big Easy. However, the city is less racially diverse and there are fewer trendy options for things to do around town.
Slidell has a revitalized downtown area with several bars (some of which host events like pub trivia and bingo), an old-fashioned-style ice cream shop, and antique stores.
Although buying a house in Slidell is slightly more affordable than the state’s median house price, renting in Slidell is more expensive than average. The median rental cost per month is $1,200.
A close-knit town with a vibrant university culture and historic downtown.
Ruston is another college town on this list, home to Louisiana Tech. It is located in northern Louisiana. Ruston is located near the borders of both Arkansas and Texas, serving as a great starting point for quick vacations to these other states.
Monthly rent in Ruston is less than the state’s average. Ruston has the second most-educated population on this list (behind Mandeville), with almost 50% of the residents possessing a Bachelor’s degree. Ruston also has the shortest commute time on the list, with residents commuting only 14 minutes to work on average.
A charming city across the river from New Orleans with the highest walkability rating in the state.
Located just across the river from New Orleans in the area known as the “West Bank,” Gretna is the second-largest city in Jefferson Parish (with a population of 17,100). Gretna has the highest WalkScore of any town or city in Louisiana.
Gretna has the second-highest Latino population on this list (behind Kenner), with 20% of Gretna’s population identifying as Latino. The median house price in Gretna ($205,000) is significantly above the average for the state. However, average rental costs are just barely below the state average.
A city with some of the easiest access to New Orleans but with a culture and community of its own.
Although it’s right next to New Orleans and could easily be mistaken for a mere suburb, Metairie is in fact its own city. Metairie has its own Central Business District, malls, and Mardi Gras Parades. It is the fourth largest city on this list. Metairie is quieter than New Orleans and has a somewhat suburban feel.
While Metairie offers proximity to New Orleans with a quieter atmosphere, it is not one of the cheaper options on this list. Metairie has the second-highest median house price on this list (behind Mandeville). The median house value is just over $260,000.
Renting is also expensive, with the average rent exceeding $1,000 per month. The city is also less diverse than nearby New Orleans.
A sleepy suburb near New Orleans and the Louis Armstrong Airport.
Kenner is also near New Orleans and is the largest city in Jefferson Parish (with a population of 64,000). It is part of the New Orleans metropolitan area. Kenner has the highest percentage of Asian residents of any town on this list. However, the Asian population is still less than 5%. Kenner also has the highest percentage of Latino residents at nearly 25%.
Kenner is the home of New Orleans International Airport. The downtown district is known as Rivertown. There you’ll find a planetarium, historic theater, and even Heritage Park, built to look like a turn-of-the-19th-century village.
A charming and historic town with Cajun culture and phenomenal natural beauty.
Ville Platte is one of the most northern towns in Cajun Country, located in central Louisiana. Ville Platte is notable for the diversity of both its residents and its cultural influences. It is also the “Swamp Pop Capital” of the world.
There are strong Cajun and Creole roots and the town was founded by a member of Napoleon’s army. The town also has a strong Choctaw heritage, exemplified by its famous meat-smoking industry taken from Choctaw tradition. Ville Platte is 66% African American.
Ville Platte is the smallest city on this list, with a 2022 population of just over 6,000. It also has the lowest median house price by far, at just over $60,000. The median rental cost is just over $600 per month.
A tight-knit and resilient community with quick access to Baton Rouge.
Baker is a suburb of Baton Rouge with affordable housing, a predominantly black community, and extremely safe neighborhoods.
Baker is significantly more affordable to buy a house in than nearby Baton Rouge or Zachary. It has the fourth-lowest median house price on this list at $130,000. Baker hosts the Baker Buffalo Festival annually in the fall to support local schools.
“Sportsman’s Paradise” on the banks of the Atchafalaya River.
The slogan of Morgan City is “right in the middle of everywhere.” As a city on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, Morgan City is also a great location for anyone who loves fishing, hunting, or the outdoors.
While communities along the Mississippi River have been sinking due to sea level rise and soil compaction, the Atchafalaya River is actually growing more stable over time. This makes a property investment safer here than in the Mississippi Delta area.
Monthly rent in Morgan City is less than the state’s average. On average, residents have a commute to work that’s less than 20 minutes.
A family-friendly Northshore town with great parks and safe neighborhoods across the Causeway bridge from New Orleans.
Mandeville is one of the most prosperous towns on the Northshore, and you can tell just by looking at it. From its multiple well-kept parks to its lakefront walkway to its recreational sports complexes, it’s clear how much effort has been put into Mandeville’s aesthetics and upkeep.
However, Mandeville has the lowest racial diversity of any city on this list, with an overwhelmingly white population. It also has the highest median house value at over $300,000. Median rent is the second-highest on this list (behind Zachary), with the average rental costing $1,219 per month.
Mandeville tops this list for the education level of its residents. Over 50% have a bachelor’s degree.
That said, there’s no shortage of things to do in Mandeville, such as hiking at Fontainebleau State Park or having a picnic on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
🚗 Fun Fact: The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest continuous bridge over water in the world!
Rural country charm with the amenities of a bigger city.
In certain ways, Covington feels a little like Mandeville (and in fact is next to Mandeville on the Northshore), but its vibe is a little more rustic and slightly less manicured. Covington has a quaint and walkable downtown, several feed stores that also hold local community events, and the small but gorgeous Bogue Falaya Park.
For anyone who loves being on the water, the Bogue Falaya is immensely enjoyable to paddle. There’s a boat launch at Bogue Falaya Park and rentals from a boardwalk behind the locally-loved restaurant the Chimes. Covington also has a large used bookstore that draws visitors from surrounding towns.
The median house price in Covington ($258,000) is significantly above the average for the state. Renting is also expensive, with the average rent exceeding $1,000 per month.
A family-friendly location near Lafayette experiencing rapid growth and a thriving community.
Youngsville is a thriving town in Lafayette Parish that has nearly doubled in size (to 17,000 residents) in the last ten years. From 1990 to 2005, it was the fastest-growing town in Louisiana.
It has the highest median household income of any city on this list at a staggering $101,000. It also has the lowest percentage of people in poverty on this list, tying with Zachary (both are at 5.9%). Youngsville has the feel of a rural city due to the surrounding agriculture, especially sugarcane.
The median cost of a home in Youngsville is a hefty $227,000. And with an 83% white population, Youngsville scores pretty low in racial diversity.
Home to charming dining establishments, a quaint downtown, and a lively weekly Farmer’s Market.
Abita Springs is a charming, small town known for its local farmer’s market and its history as a spa destination. It is located on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain between Mandeville and Slidell. The town center has a historic train depot, the strange and esoteric Abita Mystery House, and a brewpub with frequent live music.
If you’re looking for quiet small town life, Abita Springs’s population below 3,000 might be up your alley. It is also the home of the famous Abita Beer. There is still a spigot in the center of town that draws water from the springs for which the town is named.
The “Boudin Capital” of Acadiana, with a historic city hall and delicious food.
Scott is a quiet little town located in Lafayette Parish in southwestern Louisiana. It prides itself on being where the “Wild West Begins.” That’s because, in the early 20th century, Scott was the location where train fares switched from eastern to western. In 1902, a wild west-style saloon was also built in Scott.
Scott is the “Boudin Capital of the World,” usurping the title from nearby Broussard. Boudin is a type of Cajun sausage.
Scott is the second-smallest city on this list with a population of about 8,400 in 2022. It also has the lowest population per square mile. Scott ranks low on racial diversity, with an overwhelmingly white population.
Scott has the third-most affordable median house price at $125,500. The monthly rent in Scott is less than the state’s average.
A small town with a rich history, particularly from the Civil War.
Minden is located just east of Shreveport and Bossier City and is named after a German city of the same name. It is a welcoming community and cozy little city that is also home to a campus of Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College.
Minden has the best of both access to the city and access to nature. It is close to the city limits of Shreveport/Bossier City but also has great access to scenic locations such as Lake Bistineau.
Minden ranks high on racial diversity with an almost even split between the percentage of white and black residents. Minden also has the second-lowest median house price at just over $100,000. The monthly rent in Minden is less than the state’s average.
A gateway to the scenic Creole Nature Trail.
Sulphur is located in the very southwestern part of the state. Job opportunities are largely related to the Gulf’s booming petroleum industry.
Sulphur is located near several great natural attractions such as Calcasieu Lake and Sam Houston Jones State Park. It is near the Texas line and also the casinos in Lake Charles, which serve as fun adult entertainment centers.
Sulphur ranks low on racial diversity, with an overwhelmingly white population. Sulphur residents enjoy a short commute, with the average commute time under 20 minutes.
FAQs About Where to Live in Louisiana
What’s the best area to live in Louisiana?
What’s the best parish to live in Louisiana?
Where is the cheapest place to live in Louisiana?
I hope after reading this article, you’ve learned about lots of great places to live in Louisiana. Once you’re here, make sure to start exploring. Check out all these awesome places to visit in Louisiana.
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps ...
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?