New Orleans


About the New Orleans Region

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The New Orleans Directory covers the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. Charles, and St. John the Baptist and Tangipahoa. Since Hurricane Katrina, the footprint of New Orleans has changed. The Guide includes those businesses that serve seniors in the following areas: uptown, Metairie, Jefferson, Harahan, Kenner, Destrehan and LaPlace. Arabi, Chalmette, New Orleans East and Meraux were mostly devasted by the storm but as businesses return in these areas, they will be included. The west bank neighborhoods of Algiers, Gretna, Terrytown, Marrero, Harvey, Westwego and Bridge City continue to thrive as do those communities on the northshore: Slidell, Lacombe, Mandeville, Covington, and Madisonville, Hammond and Pontchatoula. More outlying areas will be included in later editions. The entire region offers a variety of senior housing options, senior services, and lifestyle options appealing to seniors and their families.

New Orleans is located on the coastal plain of the United States that incorporates the Mississippi Delta in the southeast corner of the state of Louisiana. Marshes, bayous, and lakes surround it. One of the largest inland salt-water lakes, called Lake Pontchartrain, borders New Orleans to the north. It boasts a 24-mile span bridge, the Causeway, which links New Orleans to the popular north shore communities of Mandeville, Covington, and Madisonville.

New Orleans Metro Area

The name New Orleans comes from French explorers Iberville and Bienville who named the city Nouvelle Orleans, after the Duke of Orleans. New Orleans nickname is the Crescent City. The city actually sits on a parcel of land that is below sea level. This topography has caused New Orleans to be adversely affected by floods and hurricanes in the past. Even before Hurricane Katrina, the surging waters of the Mississippi, the Industrial Canal and other canals in the Greater New Orleans area, and Lake Pontchartrain have been mitigated by a vast system of spillways, pumping stations and levees. The U.S.Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the construction and maintenance of these levees. The breaches in the levees and the system for maintaining it are currently under much debate.

New Orleans is a cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural diversity stemming from a heritage of immigrating Americans, French, Spanish, and French Acadians who became known as Cajuns. New Orleans is composed of many wonderful neighborhoods and surrounding towns that are in the process of rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana refers to its counties as parishes, given its rich Catholic heritage. Those that make up the Greater New Orleans area are Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington.

The culturally diverse population of New Orleans has brought with it many overlapping customs and celebrations that have become a part of the city's heritage. Such celebrations have led to the promotion of tourism for the area. Today the city's economy is strongly reliant on tourism. Due to the affects of Hurricane Katrina, tourism has dropped off considerably. As New Orleans continues its recovery, a hurricane does not keep Mardi Gras celebrations from being reinstated. This year Mardi Gras Carnival season officially began with the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany. This is also known as the King's Day or Twelfth night. This celebration is dated back five thousand years ago to various pagan celebrations and was made a Christian Holiday in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

New Orleans Climate

New Orleans has a semi-tropical climate. The coldest month is January with temperatures around 55 degrees. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures that range from 81 to 85 degrees with high humidity. Annual precipitation is around 63.5 inches per year. From July through October, tropical winds can bring high tides and heavy rains to the area. Seniors migrating to the area seem to enjoy the lack of snow and ice. The option of hot and humid New Orleans verses cold, wet and snow of the northern states seems to appeal to incoming seniors.

New Orleans Attractions:

Mardi Gras Festival
From the large convention center, legalized "gaming" (gambling is illegal) and historical points of interest, such as the French Quarter and the Garden District, the city offers locals and tourists many wonderful points of interests and local events. The most famous local celebration is Mardi Gras, which celebrates "the feast before the fast" of Ash Wednesday/Lent. Locals and tourists enjoy the party atmosphere that Mardi Gras brings to the city. Mardi Gras is so popular with the locals that most of the non-tourist based local businesses close to enjoy the celebration, and everyone participates in the Mardi Gras theme, Laissez les bon temps roulez or Let the Good Times Roll! For more information on Mardi Gras see Local links.

New Orleans Jazz festival
As New Orleans reinstates it's Mardi Gras carnival, it is also planning it's annual Jazz and Heritage Festival. One of the world's notable cultural events is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This years event dates are April 28th -30th and May 5th -7th, Plan now for New Orleans style Jazz and Entertainment. It is noted, that Tulane University is the new home for The New Orleans Jazz orchestra playing an integral part of New Orleans recovery efforts, by continuing to provide one of New Orleans cultural treasures. Probably the single most product that New Orleans exports is it music, from jazz to zydeco, one cannot visit New Orleans without experiencing this vital aspect of its culture as a whole. It is truly, what makes New Orleans the unique cultural center it is. The best time to experience the diversity of music that comes out of New Orleans is each spring at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival when every night club and other possible venue participates in live music concerts celebrating all music that has its roots in New Orleans. Moreover, let us not forget the food! Oysters, crayfish, catfish, andouille, etoufee', jambalaya, gumbo, bread pudding, is your mouth watering yet? Alternatively, if you are thirsty for one of the signature drinks such as hurricane, grenade, sazerac, or old-fashioned, you just have to experience it to get it...the food, the music, and the culture.

Grand Isle State Park
Grand Isle state park, part of Jefferson Parish is one of New Orleans favorite tourist's destinations. After suffering major devastation from hurricane Katrina's storm surge Grand Isle is reporting migrant species returning to their favorite fishing spots. These species are a boon to the local economy commonly known as tourists. Restaurants and hotels are beginning to open their doors again. The Butterfly dome will soon reopen as well. Special events include the Carnival Parade in February, The Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration, and The Taste of Grande Island Shrimp boil and silent auction both in April. For more details, see Local Links.

Additional Area Attractions:

Museums - Odyssey's Shipwreck Museum, The American Italian Museum, the Backstreet Museum, The National D-Day Museum, The Preservation Resource Center Museum, The Cabildo, The Historic New Orleans collection, The confederate Museum, the Tulane Museum of Natural History, The Pharmacy Museum.

Cultural Arts - The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Museum of Art, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Historic Homes -The Beauregard-Keyes House, The Edgar Degas House, Gallier House Hermann Grima House, and The Pitot House.

Outdoor - Sculpture Gardens, The Audubon Zoo, The New Orleans Historical Jazz Park, and Jazzland Louisiana's newest theme park.

Other Attractions of Interest-Harrah's New Orleans Casino, Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World, St. Louis Cathedral, and Riverwalk Marketplace.

New Orleans is a unique city with a celebration of life from the arts to history to excellent French and Cajun cuisine. As New Orleans continues its massive recovery from hurricane Katrina and as attractions continue to open, their doors we will update this site accordingly to keep our seniors informed.

New Orleans Region

Information about Parishes and their towns and cities are listed below.

Orleans Parish - and its larger communities of Algiers and 9th Ward along with its smaller districts of Bayou St John, Mid City, Gentilly, Lakeview, Lakefront, and New Orleans East. Orleans Parish is coextensive with New Orleans city. New Orleans central business district is known as "Uptown" and its famous central tourist district is known locally as the" French Quarter." Please refer to New Orleans Metro Area and Attractions listed above for more information.

Jefferson Parish - Its cities encompass Metairie, unincorporated Jefferson, Harahan, Kenner, Gretna, Terrytown, Harvey, Marrero, Westwego, and Bridge City. Jefferson Parish is located south of New Orleans, is noted as a sportsman's paradise. Jefferson Parish is abundant with recreational opportunities and nature watching. Along its waters area are extensive scenic wetlands hosting magnificent wildlife including alligators and hundreds of species of fish. Take a swamp tour and see the spectacular Cyprus trees, or if you are a bird enthusiast do not miss the bountiful opportunities of rare species of Louisiana's state bird the brown pelican. Along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain are the purple martins that return each year to their favorite nesting grounds. Jefferson Parish includes activities for fitness and leisure offering something for everyone. Experience a stay at a Victorian Bed and breakfast or take in a game at Zephyr Stadium. On the cultural side, absorb the variety of classical and contemporary entertainment at the Jefferson Performing Arts Society.

St Bernard Parish - Its larger cities are unincorporated Arabi, Chalmette, Meraux Versailles, and Violet. St. Bernard has many other smaller cites as well. Located east and adjacent to New Orleans, St Bernard Parish is encompassed by two thirds of it area of marshlands formed by the Mississippi River Delta. St Bernard Parish offers residents and visitors an abundance of recreational opportunities along with a high standard for living. Amenities in the area include all business services along with commercial establishments, low crime rates, and good schools for families.

St Tammany Parish - Its cities encompass Slidell, Lacombe, Mandeville, Covington, Madisonville, and Abita Springs. St Tammany's Parish, is the choice for many to call home. Residents include outdoor enthusiasts, gourmands, golfers, and lovers of the arts. Tammany's Parish is located on "the other side of the lake" from New Orleans connected by the Lake Pontchartrain causeway. This Parish boasts itself of cultural heritage, history and the arts creating a diverseness of community with a cultural identity. From its local legends and folklore, to outdoor fairs and festivals, livestock shows, seafood and crafts Tammany Parish offers something for everyone. Abita Springs and Mandeville are resort towns abounding in romance and history. Tammany's semi-tropical climate provides a great backdrop for outdoor air theatre's and music companies, which perform many month's of the year. If your looking for a cultural change of venue, Tammany's restaurants located in old plantation homes offer gourmet Creole and Cajun specialties.

St Charles Parish - and its city of Destrehan, is located along what is known as the German Coast or in the French the "Cote des Allemandes." West of New Orleans along forty miles of the Mississippi river, including both sides, is the St. Charles Parish. St Charles Parish offers a rural setting with all the big city conveniences.It is graced with pre-civil war manors and churches, while entwined with its mysterious bayous and swamps along the Mississippi. Attractions in the area include Bayou Gauche Airboat Tours, Big Al's Airboat Experiences, LaBranche Plantation dependency house, Ormond Plantation, and River Road Museum.

St John the Baptist Parish (St John) - and its city of La Place, is a located north west of New Orleans on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi river. Smaller cities include Reserve, Garyville, Mt Airy, Wallace, Lucy, and Edgard. St John the Baptist Parish offers a multifaceted Parish of developing suburbs, rural farmlands, business, and commercial settings along with exquisite natural landmarks. Rich fertile soils provided sustenance for early New Orleans populations. Today St John the Baptist Parish is a bedroom community for New Orleans offering tourists and residents a unique experience. The city of La Place is celebrated for its fine Andouille sausage and it Andouille Festival held in October. Smaller towns in the area create a unique destination for the Christmas season, with its Celebration of the Bonfires. Local residents set up teepee shaped fires along the shores of the Mississippi for a festive time together. Located along the River Road, is the historical San Francisco Plantation. Just across the river in the community of Wallace, is the Evergreen Plantation. See local links for hours and tours of these and many other local attractions including the St John Theatre and Cajun Swamp Tours.

Tangipahoa Parish - Hammond, the commercial hub for Tangipahoa Parish is located near the intersection of interstate highways 55 and 12. Over 20,000 residents of this area enjoy fine restaurants, several modern shopping centers and many beautiful parks for the entire family. Hammond is the home of Southeastern Louisiana University, which is the fastest growing University in the nation. Ponchatoula, the oldest incorporated city in the parish, is host to the popular Strawberry Festival every spring. The city derives its name from the Choctaw Indian language meaning "hair to hang" because of the abundance of Spanish moss on the trees surrounding the area. America's Antique City, Ponchatoula, is stocked with numerous art, antique and hand crafted items in the many restored old buildings in the downtown area. Other towns in Tangipahoa Parish include Amite, Kentwood, Independence, Roseland, Tangipahoa and Tickfaw.

Senior Services in the New Orleans, Louisiana Region

Senior Services in the New Orleans area include information for applying for medication through Medicare's prescription drug benefits program, health care, help with utility bills, dental care, support groups to help with recovery clean-up, meals, housing and financial aide.

New Orleans's unique culture, transportation system, cost of living, and size make it very appealing to seniors and families as a place to call home. There is a variety of senior housing in New Orleans ranging from independent retirement communities, continuum of care communities, assisted living, skilled nursing, Alzheimer's assisted and Alzheimer's skilled nursing. Additional senior support services include a wide choice of home health care, home medical services, professional senior services, 22 hospitals, and 2 major research centers. Use our Search Senior Services to learn more about the variety of senior housing and senior support services located in the New Orleans.

Visit Resources to learn more about the New Orleans, Louisiana region.