“The air smelled like Bayou Teche when it's spring and the fish are spawning among the water hyacinths and the frogs are throbbing in the cattails and the flooded cypress.” (- James Lee Burke, "Creole Belle")
Sitting on the banks of Bayou Teche in southern Louisiana is the town of New Iberia, a historic town that is immensely proud of its culture past and present. New Iberia boasts plenty of unique attractions for the tourist as well as the person on the move. New Iberia is also a city on the rise in Louisiana, seeing great community growth over the last decade.
Moving to New Iberia
New Iberia is not serviced by any major public transportation system, so a car is necessary for getting in, out, and about. While the downtown area is walkable, and you might be able to make it without a vehicle if you find a rental property there.
Like much of Louisiana, New Iberia is in a sub-tropical climate, with plenty of rain and humidity throughout the year. On the bright side, you can leave your winter parkas in storage.
As one of the major developing cities in Louisiana, you’ll need to start your search for apartments in New Iberia long before you intend on moving in. Rental properties are rare to begin with, and are grabbed up very quick, especially in desirable neighborhoods.
New Iberia’s Neighborhoods
New Iberia boasts a number of unique neighborhoods with rental properties ranging from apartments to full-sized houses. Finding the right neighborhood for you will be important, as some of them have quirks that may be an issue for some movers, such as vast open farmlands.
Sumerall: Mostly farm and swampland, Sumerall contains some of the biggest attractions in New Iberia, encompassing Avery Island and Jungle Gardens.
Lydia: Car dependent but with more room, Lydia encompasses much of the southern part of New Iberia. Many of the houses in this neighborhood are newer.
City Center: Tightly packed and fairly walkable, the city center hosts plenty of small restaurants and shops that showcase the local culture. Most of the buildings are mid-century, and this is usually the easiest part of the city to find rental homes.
Brannon: Brannon ranges from closely packed units on the east side to expansive farms on the west half.
Gajan: One of the newest neighborhoods, many owned and rental houses are under two decades old. Close to both hospitals, and with space between houses, Gajan is quickly becoming one of the more popular neighborhoods in New Iberia.
Living in New Iberia
The Cajun culture is a massive part of New Iberia’s way of life. With the city being the home of Tabasco sauce, there’s a good bit of spice thrown in to everything –it’s the home of the World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off and the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival. Other major festivals include the Louisiana Sugar Can Festival and BunkFest, officially known as the Bunk Johnson/New Iberia Jazz, Arts & Heritage Festival. For those interested in history, New Iberia is also home to Shadows-on-the-Teche, a historic residence nearly two centuries old.
Much of New Iberia is quite walkable, with plenty of little shops and restaurants serving up local flavor in the downtown area. New Iberia also brings in farmers and artisans from the local area for weekly and monthly markets such as the Teche Farmer’s Market and the New Iberia Creole Market, both of which provide plenty of opportunity to grab local produce and locally produced crafts and foods.
New Iberia is a great city for the arts as well, with a Community Band and a Performing Arts League that put on shows year-round. Avery Island is also a major attraction, the home to many tourist destinations including the Jungle Gardens, which is a massive botanical garden and bird sanctuary. Avery Island is the home of Tabasco sauce, as well as the home of the oldest salt mine in North America.