OFB 50 States Project: Louisiana

50 States Project: Louisiana

In The OFB 50 States Project, you the readers spill the beans about your state: the good, the bad, and the delicious. And thus provide “forever place” seekers (like yours truly) a useful resource in their search. We’d love to hear about your state! To be a part of this project, click here to fill out the form!

The Facts

Low State Taxes Ranking:  4Low Cost of Living Ranking:  17

State Economy Ranking:  36
Average Temperatures (Baton Rouge):

  • Winter:  62°
  • Spring:  78°
  • Summer:  91°
  • Fall:  81°

The Nickname


The Short of It

The state of Louisiana is brought to you by the following awesome OFB readers:
1) Anesha W.  //  2) Emily J. // 3) Aimee // 4) Katelyn

What food best represents Louisiana?

  • Crawfish 1
  • Gumbo 2
  • Seafood, gumbo, jambalaya… Louisiana is ALL ABOUT FOOD! 3
  • Gumbo, Jambalya, Seafood — anything spicy! 4

What song best represents Louisiana?

  • Jamablaya on the Bayou – Hank Williams 1
  • Callin’ Baton Rouge – Garth Brooks 2, 4
  • State song is “You Are My Sunshine.” We are known for our music as much as we are known for our food! I love walking through the French Quarter to listen to the street musicians playing on the corners. 3
  • Louisiana Saturday Night 4

How does LA refer to a carbonated beverage drink?

  • Coke 1, 2, 3, 4

If you could take a friend to one place in LA, where would it be?

  • To any nearby lake for fishing, water skiing, and going for a float 1
  • Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge! 2, 4
  • Saturday night game in Death Valley… LSU football!! 3

110113.50states_laplaceLouisiana Swamp Lily Pad (photo by NOAA Photo Library)

The Long of It

Biggest misconception about LA?

  • That we’re all coon-asses [Cajun] or rednecks. 1
  • That we all hunt alligators! 2
  • That everyone is uneducated/drunk/poor/or like the people on Swamp People or Duck Dynasty… There are a variety of people in Louisiana. We all like to have FUN, but there are many versions of FUN here. 3
  • We all hunt alligators and have a swamp in our backyard! 4

Best aspect about living in LA?

  • Southern hospitality 1
  • The culture and the history 2
  • People are friendly. We love to have a good time & enjoy sharing our culture and food with visitors. Mardi Gras is also awesome! The Thibodaux/Houma area has many Mardi Gras parades, but a MUCH more family friendly atmosphere than New Orleans. 3
  • The culture of the people and the surroundings. We are a friendly state with lots of history, culture and great food! 4

Worst aspect about living in LA?

  • The summer heat is comparable to HELL. 1
  • Education system is going through some stuff. Poverty also looks very different here than in other states. 2
  • Hurricanes …but at least we get a warning that they’re coming. Not like sudden earthquakes! 3
  • The less-than-active population 4

Summarize your feelings about Louisiana in five words.

  • There’s no place like home. 1
  • I can’t live anywhere else! 2
  • Let the good times roll!!!!! 3
  • Exciting, unique, fun, Southern, historic 4

Our Freaking Take

Despite growing up in Alabama, I’ve never done more than just drive through parts of Lousiana. I know, sad. My cross country team in high school went to New Orleans each year, but my strict parents never allowed me to join in the fun. And so Johnny actually knows more about Louisiana than I do. He spent a few days in New Orleans on a business trip and came back raving about the airboat tour he went on with his company. To this day, he still ranks it as one of the most incredible wildlife experiences he’s ever had. And so, if for nothing else, I’d love to visit Louisiana just for that. And admittedly, I’ll be cheering on the LSU Tigers next Saturday just to annoy my parents, who are huge Alabama fans!

How did these answers line up with your perception of Louisiana? Have your thoughts on the state changed after reading this? Could you see it fitting your forever-place bill? 

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  • Reply Ray Ray November 1, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Love Louisiana!! My husband’s family is from there and it’s a great state 🙂

    Also, I’m itching to see Tennessee pop up!!

  • Reply Alice @ Earning My Two Cents November 1, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I actually moved to Louisiana earlier this year from my hometown of Washington, DC. I am not a native (and people here ask me where I’m from because apparently I have an accent), but I agree with much of what was said here. Coming from a very highly educated area, there is a much less educated population here in Louisiana (vs. DC where such a high % of the population have Master’s degrees). Also, the point about people being less than active (aka fat) is true, as is the fact that the state is generally poor and rural (and poor here doesn’t look like poor in DC. It’s shacks and trailers on rural country roads rather than projects in the inner city). But the southern hospitality and culture are something awesome to behold, plus the food is amazing! People here are very nice indeed but its been a huge culture shock. Also, football here is a religion. High school football is televised on Friday, all of Baton Rouge shuts down on LSU home games on Saturday, and Sunday we cheer on the Saints.

  • Reply Jodi T. November 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I’ve always wanted to visit Louisiana! Now I’m craving gumbo… for breakfast. :/

  • Reply Brian November 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I do love their wonderful food. Now I feel like I have to go to Papa Roux for dinner (he was a Katrina transplant who opened up shop here and decided to stay).

    I don’t think I could it could be my forever place. I don’t do well with humidity and heat and in fact have enough trouble with the summers up here from time to time.

  • Reply Meghan November 1, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    You grew up in Bama – how did I miss that? I grew up there as well, and moved out west at 16.

    I’m not a huge fan of Louisiana because outside of the New Orleans / Baton Rouge area, it’s is a lot like parts of Alabama and Mississippi.

    But Roll Tide anyway!

  • Reply kelly@thehungryegghead November 2, 2013 at 1:38 am

    I loved New Orleans. Especially Cafe Du Monde’s beignets!

    Of course I also love crayfish, gumbo, and po’boys. New Orleans is one of the best foodie cities I have ever visited.

  • Reply Betsy @ Consumerfu.com November 3, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I have only driven through Louisiana but I’ve eaten plenty of food from the state. I just hope to eat it while in the state some day! My family loves it when I make gumbo…look forward to finding out just how close my recipe is to the real thing.

  • Reply sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com November 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    after living in tallahassee for a few years, i could never see myself living anywhere but within the boston area. i’m a new england girl

  • Reply Kathryn November 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I am an East Coast girl who fell in love with a boy from Louisiana. We were living in northern VA and decided we needed something new. After shopping around, we chose Baton Rouge. We lasted 6 months (and he is an LSU alum). I loved Baton Rouge and would move back if it weren’t for the job issue. I am a teacher and the public schools there defied anything I could have imagined. Plus, I was making 30 grand less a year. Between the two of us we were making about 50 grand a year less and neither of us were happy in our work.
    Louisiana is great, but it is a different world. One thing I have learned about moves. It is okay to admit you can love a place but can’t live there at that specific time in your life. Good luck. By the way – I love northern Virginia!

  • Reply Samantha December 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    As a South Louisiana native ( I’m one of those stereotypes who know nothing about anywhere above I-10 or West of the Mississippi River), I’ve missed home ever since I left.
    The best thing about the area I grew up is the hospitality. I know that this word gets overused and I worry that it may lose its meaning when used to describe Louisiana.
    People are friendly here. And I don’t just mean that people say “Hello!” Strangers invite you inside. People aren’t afraid of each other here. Strangers (most) will go completely out of their way to help you out in any way possible, and that’s a beautiful thing.
    Don’t refuse food. God forbid, don’t refuse food down here. being hungry is irrelevant.

    Someone else said it right, too-poverty does look different here. Most of the people here are blue collar workers -iron workers, plant workers (of the industrial sort), mechanics, carpenters, welders, etc. But on the pus side, everyone is helping each other out and using street cred to get by. It’s a joy of a place to be.

    New Orleans gets a bad rep a lot of the time, but as a single woman in her young 20’s who walked around New Orleans in the early morning hours on several occasions in a short dress with nothing but keys and a few bucks, I can tell you that you just have to know where to go, where not to go, and how to act. It’s a wonderful city. The ambiance is just the most relaxing, soothing, and musical thing you could ever want to experience.

    I’m completely in love with this place, so I may be biased, but here are the major drawbacks that I see in the more metropolitan areas of South Louisiana:
    – Drunk Driving
    -You have to be half-amphibian to breathe during the summer ( don’t worry, you’ll evolve to grow gills after a few years…)
    -drug usage (I’m sure that goes for anywhere where poverty is present, but I’ve either seen a tremendous growth since I was a kid, or I was just completely naïve)
    -commercialization of LSU (is anyone else as over it as I am?!)
    Things that are wonderful:
    -not just the food, the family traditions that go along with it
    -neighbors, and friends abound everywhere and anywhere
    -low cost of living
    -High skills jobs, but not a lot of highly skilled workers

    Maybe it’s one of the places you really have to visit to get a taste of how great this place really is, but everywhere else I’ve ever gone fails in comparison. if you hated NYC, like I did, maybe this should be on your map of places to visit. You’ll never EVER have a FedEx man make you cry. Look up the concept of “Lagniappe.” After growing up with that, NYC got crossed off my list completely. I just couldn’t live there. Not to say that customers are pretentious in Louisiana, by any means, we just like to be nice to each other. “I help your business grow, you give me a small gift to make me want to come back.” And it works wonderfully.

    I just found your blog today and I’m in love with it. Thank you for sharing all of your experiences!

    (new wife to a retired military man, female head of a Brady Bunch to 8 kids under the age of 7, slave to college loans amounting to $30k)

    • Reply Johnny December 24, 2013 at 12:15 am

      Thanks so much for your comment, Samantha! And thanks for your awesome input on LA. No better way to learn about other places than those who claim them as home.

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