New Orleans is a well-known city around the world. Unique in its fusion of a number of different cultures, influences, and lifestyles in one relatively small city, just the words “New Orleans” draw to mind good food, good music, and good times, even for people who have never been there. However, New Orleans’ culture can also be found in its surrounding neighborhoods with as much vibrancy and liveliness. In the case of Metairie, it can offer all of the excitement of New Orleans with a more suburban feel.
Technically a suburb of New Orleans with no mayor and no city taxes, Metairie was established in 1718 and has seen all of the historical and cultural changes that the city of New Orleans has seen. Because of this, it boasts a unique fusion of Spanish, French, Creole and Cajun cultures and languages – in fact, the word “Metairie” is actually French for “tenant farm.”
Today, Metairie has developed into a rich and exciting district with numerous activities to do on any given day, such as extensive shopping possibilities. Conventional and modern shopping include Lakeside Shopping Center in the heart of Metairie, which offers hundreds of retailers, including Café Du Monde, the same famous beignet shop found in the French Quarter. For more personal shopping, Old Metairie, the historic area of the suburb, boasts boutiques, family-owned restaurants, and specialty stores that have been within families for generations.
And, of course, everyone knows that New Orleans is known for its food. Luckily, Metairie packs powerful flavor into the menus of some of its most famous and well-known restaurants such as Drago’s, Deanie’s, and R & O’s, all offering an extensive menu of seafood, burgers, and po-boys, all without crossing into Orleans Parish.
What’s unique about Metairie is that there is never a lack of things to do. Festival life is alive and well throughout the year. During Mardi Gras season, parades roll right down Veterans Boulevard. It features family-oriented festivals such as Pet Fest or Family Gras and countless art festivals that thousands of people attend throughout the year.
There’s no question about whether Metairie boasts the same culture and pride as New Orleans. Its history of musical and cultural richness permeates not only its street names, but also its citizens. While New Orleans is teeming with energy and parties, Metairie can bring the best of both worlds. It is generally more subdued, but is within mere miles of the French Quarter and all of New Orleans’ famous attractions.