New Orleans is widely famous for Mardi Gras, due to the city's deep roots in French colonial settlement by the explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. Before Bienville established New Orleans in 1718, Bienville actually celebrated the first American Mardi Gras in Fort Louis de la Mobile in 1703. It wasn't until the 1730s that Bienville brought Mardi Gras celebrations to NOLA, without the parades and carnivals celebrated today. Louisiana's governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, introduced sophisticated society balls in 1740 that helped inspire modern day celebrations. Today, NOLA is referred to one of the U.S.' most unique urban centers, and a cultural mecca that tops travelers' bucket-lists around the world.
But what about the people of NOLA? Although it may feel bigger during it's city-wide festivals, New Orleans is comprised of 343,829 people, with a median age of37. And while rent prices may skyrocket during Mardi Gras, home prices are relatively reasonable, albeit increasing. The average list price in 2015 was $298,241, a 38.19 percent rise year-over-year. Number of homes for sale increased slightly year-over-year by 3.78 percent, from 952 to 988 listings, allowing buyers more wiggle room in their searches. As is evident in the bustling downtown scene and number of visitors each year, Trulia gives NOLA a 6 out of 6 rank for arts, nightlife, restaurants and cafes throughout the city.