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Most Popular Spots in Louisiana to Retire

By    |   Thursday, 07 January 2016 10:44 PM

With its warm weather, graceful Southern charm, and rich multicultural heritage, Louisiana offers a potpourri of popular retirement spots.

Here are four popular and highly active places – New Orleans, Lake Charles, Natchitoches, and Thibodaux – that you might want to ponder when thinking about retirement in Louisiana.

1. New Orleans
You can find retirement spots in Louisiana that are cheaper, but New Orleans' cost of living is 3 percent below the national average. New Orleans hasn't recovered from Hurricane Katrina yet. Although the cleanup progresses, blighted areas can still be found, especially in the Ninth Ward. However, New Orleans remains a beautiful and uniquely splendorous city. Beyond all of the lively festivals and fabulous restaurants, the city features a fascinating mix or architecture, ranging from French-Creole-style brick buildings in the internationally renowned French Quarter, to brightly colored cottages in the Irish Channel, to stately Southern mansions in the Garden District. The median home cost is $178,500, according to MarketWatch.

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2. Lake Charles
Situated in southwest Louisiana, Lake Charles is another retirement fun spot. With one casino in place already and others on the way, this eclectic city also supports six dance companies, four community theaters, and a symphony orchestra. Lake Charles is also the home of three large museums: Imperial Calcasieu, emphasizing the region's arts and history, the self-explanatory Mardi Gras Museum, and the Historic City Hall art gallery. There are festivals galore, too, including a Christmas Boat Parade, according to the Louisiana Office of Tourism website.

3. Natchitoches
Located on the banks of the 36-mile-long Cane River, Natchitoches has a lengthy and intriguing history. Founded in 1714, it was the first permanent settlement within Louisiana Purchase territory. The city encompasses the Cane River National Heritage Area, which includes one of three National Historic Landmark districts in Louisiana. Replete with live oak and magnolia trees, the district combines beautiful weathered historical buildings with contemporary stores and eateries. Also within the Heritage Area is the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, made up of Oakland Plantation, a complete Creole plantation and the blacksmith shop and other outbuildings of Magnolia Plantation. A 1,500- to-1,600-square-foot three-bedroom house in Natchitoches can be purchased for around $95.000, according to the community's website.

4. Thibodaux
About 60 miles southwest of New Orleans is Thibodaux, the location of several original Southern plantations, including the E.D. White Historic Site, where a Louisiana governor lived during the pre-Civil War era. The Jean Lafitte Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux is a treasure trove of information about the area and its culture. The center provides daily walking tours, Monday night Cajun jam sessions, and canoe trips in the fall and spring, noted the Louisiana Office of Tourism website. Lake Charles, Natchitoches, and Thibodaux are all on Louisiana's list of 11 certified retirement communities, according to Louisiana Life.

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With its warm weather, graceful Southern charm, and rich multicultural heritage, Louisiana offers a potpourri of popular retirement spots.
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Thursday, 07 January 2016 10:44 PM
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