Looking for some fun quotes about New Orleans? Well, look no further, as I’ve compiled this amazing list of New Orleans Quotes and NOLA captions perfect for that next Instagram post!
This buzzing, vibrant city attracts visitors from all over the world. New Orleans welcomes everyone with open arms at all times of the day (and night). Throughout the year the city hosts loads of cultural and music festivals including the well-loved Mardi Gras.
Not only is New Orleans known for its bustling nightlife but it’s also filled with folklore and urban legends. New Orleans is largely considered one of the most haunted and spookiest cities in America. Offering the perfect atmosphere for fans of voodoo, vampires, and cemeteries.
Whether you’re in the ‘Big Easy’ for two days, attending a festival, or planning an extended stay, the city will stay with you forever. Here’s a collection of the best New Orleans quotes, sayings, and lyrics for locals, visitors, and aspiring travelers.
The Best Short New Orleans Quotes
Here’s a quick selection of my personal favorite NOLA quotes that are short, sweet, and so very beautiful! All of these would actually make perfect New Orleans Instagram Captions, and will be using a few of these during my next trip!
1) “There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better.” – Bob Dylan
2) “You can live in any city in America, but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you.” – Chris Rose
3) “New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” – Mark Twain
4) “I think of New Orleans as a gift from heaven for a writer,” – James Lee
5) “New Orleans has a real spirit. It’s the most authentic of all American cities.” – Brad Pitt
6) “New Orleans is my essence, my soul, my muse…” – Henry Connick Jr.
7) “New Orleans is like a big musical gumbo. The sound I have is from being in the city my whole life.” – Trombone Shorty
8) “Ain’t no place like New Orleans. It’s one of a kind.” – Aaron Neville
9) “New Orleans is like the bad-kid island in ‘Pinocchio.’” – Jonah Hill
10) “You don’t need a guidebook to see New Orleans – just a good pair of shoes.” – James Carville
11) “You’ll never know what heaven means until you’ve been down to New Orleans” – Elvis Presley
12) “There is no place on Earth even remotely like New Orleans. Don’t even try to compare it to anywhere else.” – Anthony Bourdain
Famous Quotes about New Orleans
Many writers, singers, and musicians have drawn inspiration from the magnificent Louisiana city. From the likes of Bob Dylan to Tennessee Williams, here are some of the most famous sayings about New Orleans.
13) “In other places culture comes down from on high. In New Orleans, it bubbles up from the streets.” – Ellis Marsalis
14) “When a lot of people are calling it a night at 2 AM, New Orleans is coming alive.” – Mannie Fresh
15) “I’ve been all over the world. I love New York, I love Paris, San Francisco, so many places. But there’s no place like New Orleans. It’s got the best food. It’s got the best music. It’s got the best people. It’s got the most fun stuff to do.” – Harry Connick Jr.
16) “Everybody here has a story. New Orleans was always a place where people talked too much even if they had nothing to say.” – Chris Rose
17) “New Orleans makes it possible to go to Europe without ever leaving the United States.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
18) “I’m not sure, but I’m almost positive, that all music came from New Orleans.” – Ernie K-Doe
19) “Every time I close my eyes blowing that trumpet of mine, I look right into the heart of good old New Orleans. It has given me something to live for.” – Louis Armstrong
20) “The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds – the cemeteries – and they’re a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep.” – Bob Dylan
21) “How did you fall in love with New Orleans? At once, madly. Sometimes, I think it was predestined”- Andrei Codrescu
22) “There are only two things: love, all sorts of love, with pretty girls, and the music of New Orleans or Duke Ellington. Everything else ought to go, because everything else is ugly. ” – Boris Vian
23) “You find as a writer that there are certain spots on the planet where you write better than others, and I believe in that. And New Orleans is one of them.” – Jimmy Buffett
24) “There’s a difference between the blues of the New Orleans guys and anyone else, but I can’t figure out the name of it. It’s a different chord, and they all make it.” – Jimmy Rushing
25) “When you go to New Orleans, you’re not just going to a city, you’re going to an entire culture.” – James Carville
26) “Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour–but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands – and who knows what to do with it?” – Tennessee Williams
27) “If I could put my finger on it, I’d bottle it and sell it. I came down here originally in 1972 with some drunken fraternity guys and had never seen anything like it — the climate, the smells. It’s the cradle of music; it just flipped me. Someone suggested that there’s an incomplete part of our chromosomes that gets repaired or found when we hit New Orleans. Some of us just belong here.” – John Goodman
28) “Music is part of the big three. New Orleans is food, architecture and music. Everyone in New Orleans is a musician or has a relative who’s a musician, whether they are professional or amateur.” – Jack Stewart
29) “Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.” – John Kennedy Toole
30) “Madame Lily Devalier always asked “Where are you?” in a way that insinuated that there were only two places on earth one could be: New Orleans and somewhere ridiculous.” – Tom Robbins
31) “I returned to New Orleans, and as soon as I smelled the air, I knew I was home. It was rich, almost sweet, like the scent of jasmine and roses around our old courtyard. I walked the streets, savoring that long lost perfume.” – Anne Rice
32) “New Orleans was like that. A live-and-let-live attitude was ingrained into the fabric of the city; no one cared who you were or what you looked like – you had a place, and everyone respected that.” – Laura Lane McNeal
New Orleans Instagram Captions
New Orleans has loads of picturesque locations perfect for Instagram such as the lively Bourbon Street. Here are a couple of New Orleans inspired Instagram captions.
33) “I’d rather be in New Orleans.”
34) “Find me on Bourbon Street.”
35) “Getting lost in the French Quarter.”
36) “Feed your soul in New Orleans”
37) “Life is better in New Orleans.”
38) “Woke up in New Orleans.”
39) “Left my heart in New Orleans.”
40) “Beads and bling: It’s a Mardi Gras thing.”
41) “We don’t hide crazy, we parade it down the street.”
42) “Bayou babe.”
43) “Cajun cutie.”
44) “Got a little cajun in my soul.”
Funny New Orleans Quotes
Some of the folks in New Orleans have a bit of a dark sense of humor. The general consensus seems to be that anything goes in the “Big Easy” and whatever happens, will stay with you for a lifetime.
45) “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” – Tennessee Williams
46) “New Orleans is just a doggone fun place to be.” – Archie Manning
47) “What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in New Orleans, goes home with you.” – Laurell K. Hamilton
48) “The only way he could truly stick out in New Orleans was if he were walking down the street on fire.” – Hunter Murphy
49) “If there was no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free people dying of boredom.” – Chris Rose
50) “In New Orleans, we celebrate everything. It’s probably the only place you’ll see people dancing in a funeral home.” – Trombone Shorty
51) “It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not since the United States until he has seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans.” – Mark Twain
52) “If you’re open to it, New Orleans will teach you about yourself, but if you want to hide from who you really are, the city will help you do that, too.” – Laurell K. Hamilton
53) “She is a New Orleans girl and New Orleans girls never live anywhere else and even if they do, they always come back. That’s just the way it is. This is where she belongs. End of discussion.” – Chris Rose
54) “Even the sidewalks in New Orleans had personality.” – Hunter Murphy
New Orleans Quotes from Books
The Louisiana city has featured in many novels including Anne Rice’s Interview With A Vampire. Here is a collection of bookish sayings about New Orleans.
55) “…as bad as it is here, it’s better than being somewhere else.” – Chris Rose
56) “But during all these years I had a vague but persistent desire to return to New Orleans. I never forgot New Orleans. And when we were in tropical places and places of those flowers and trees that grow in Louisiana, I would think of it acutely and I would feel for my home the only glimmer of desire I felt for anything outside my endless pursuit of art.” – Anne Rice
57) “You knows dat in New Orleans is not morning ’til dee sun come up.” – Tom Robbins
58) “I love New Orleans physically. I love the trees and the balmy air and the beautiful days.” – Anne Rice
59) “If I had to live in a city I think I would prefer New Orleans to any other – both Southern and Catholic and with indications that the Devil’s existence is freely recognized.” – Flannery O’Connor
60) “If New Orleans is not fully in the mainstream of culture, neither is it fully in the mainstream of time. Lacking a well-defined present, it lives somewhere between its past and its future, as if uncertain whether to advance or to retreat. Perhaps it is its perpetual ambivalence that is its secret charm. Somewhere between Preservation Hall and the Superdome, between voodoo and cybernetics, New Orleans listens eagerly to the seductive promises of the future but keeps at least one foot firmly planted in its history, and in the end, conforms, like an artist, not to the world but to its own inner being – ever mindful of its personal style.” – Tom Robbins
61) “New Orleans is unlike any city in America. Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture – even the local superstitions. It’s a sensory experience on all levels and there’s a story lurking around every corner.” – Ruta Sepetys
62) “New Orleans is a place that actually resembles no other city on the face of the earth, yet it recalls vague memories of a hundred cities.” – Lafcadio Hearn
63) “But if there were monsters and magic anywhere in this country, they would be here in New Orleans. New Orleans was an ancient doppelgänger city that grew in some other America that never really existed.” – Jade Chang
64) “New Orleans’ rebellious and free-spirited personality is nothing if not resilient. And so the disruptive energies of the place- its vibrancy and eccentricity, its defiance and nonconformity, and yes, its violence and depravity- are likely to live on.” – Gary Krist
65) “New Orleans is a city you must visit when you’re young and foolish but return to when you’re wiser and still searching for your dreams.” – Edward Lee
66) “Those who have not lived in New Orleans have missed an incredible, glorious, vital city–a place with an energy unlike anywhere else in the world, a majority-African American city where resistance to white supremacy has cultivated and supported a generous, subversive, and unique culture of vivid beauty. From jazz, blues, and hip-hop to second lines, Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, and the citywide tradition of red beans and rice on Monday nights, New Orleans is a place of art and music and food and traditions and sexuality and liberation.” – Jordan Flaherty
Song Lyrics About New Orleans
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and has an incredibly lively music scene. Plenty of musicians have found inspiration in this city (and have sung about it). Below are some song lyrics about NOLA.
67) “You know and I know…there ain’t no city like N.O.” – Free Agents Brass Band
68) “Wishin’ I were a freight train, oh, just a-chooglin’ on down to New Orleans” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
69) “Oh I love the way they play and sing down in the land of the voodoo Queen.” – Ronnie Milsap
70) “You wanna do some livin’ before you die. Do it down in New Orleans.” – Dr. John
71) “There is a house down in New Orleans. They call the rising sun. And it’s been the ruin of many poor girl. And me, oh God, I’m one.” – Bob Dylan
72) “Down south in New Orleans, the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen.” – The Band
73) “I fell in love down in New Orleans.” – Beautiful Creatures
74) “I wanna get a room in New Orleans. I wanna sing in the streets of the French Quarter. I wanna dress up, I wanna wear beads. I wanna wear feathers.” – Stevie Nicks
75) “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? I miss it, each night and day.” – Louis Armstrong
76) “Well, I wish I was in New Orleans. I can see it in my dreams.” – Scarlett Johansson
77) “This time I’m walkin’ to New Orleans. I’m walkin’ to New Orleans” – Fats Domino
New Orleans Quotes from Celebrities
There are a lot of celebrities, journalists, and sports stars who have fallen in love with New Orleans over the years. The likes of Brad Pitt, Blake Lively, Lenny Kravitz, and Drew Brees of the Saints have all been quoted expressing their affections for the city.
78) “Louisiana has got a very specific warmth and humidity and richness of light.” – Christopher Heyerdahl
79) “There’s certain things in life that I love. One is architecture. And music, culture, food, people. New Orleans has all of that.” – Lenny Kravitz
80) “In America, I would say New York and New Orleans are the two most interesting food towns. In New Orleans, they don’t have a bad deli. There’s no mediocrity accepted.” – Mario Batali
81) “The trap of growing up in New Orleans: you’re often preoccupied with what’s been lost while clinging to a grand, cobbled present.” – Anne Gisleson
82) “What’s New Orleans without music? And what’s music without dancing?” – Ellen DeGeneres
83) “New Orleans is awake all night, and every night is a party.” – Kodi Smit-McPhee
84) “People don’t live in New Orleans because it’s easy. They live here because they are incapable of living anywhere else in just the same way.” – Ian McNulty
85) “New Orleans is like a giant flashing yellow light. Proceed with caution … but proceed.” – Matthew McConaughey
86) “In America, there might be better gastronomic destinations than New Orleans, but there is no place more uniquely wonderful.” – Anthony Bourdain
87) “I’ve lived in N.Y. and L.A. for many years, but I still gravitate to New Orleans – it’s so unique and so European. There’s nothing else like it in the country. It has its own music, its own food, its own style and its own way of life.” – Bryan Batt
88) “If you love New Orleans, she’ll love you back.” – Drew Brees
89) “If I had grown up in any place but New Orleans, I don’t think my career would have taken off. I wouldn’t have heard the music that was around this town. There was so much going on when I was a kid.” – Pete Fountain
90) “There is something about New Orleans that embodies passion; I’ve never seen that before. There’s something tangible about the essence of the city. You can taste and smell it.” – Blake Lively
91) “Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue in New Orleans on Mardi Gras = bad idea!”- Nikki Sixx
92) “Few people go to New Orleans because it’s a ‘normal’ city- or a ‘perfect’ or a ‘safe’ one. They go because it’s crazy, borderline dysfunctional, permissive, shabby, alcoholic and crazy- because it looks like nowhere else” – Anthony Bourdain
93) “Everything in New Orleans is a good idea.” — Bob Dylan
94) “I was struck by the ancient, pagan feel of the place. New Orleans doesn’t feel like any other American city I’ve been to. It has an atmosphere like Rome or Istanbul, a sense of the veil being very thin between this world and the world of the fictional and the dead. It is an eerie, haunted, and beautiful place – as any port should be.” – Craig Ferguson
95) “You get a taste here in New Orleans that you don’t get anywhere else in the country.” – Regis Philbin
New Orleans Quotes from Movies
There are plenty of exciting movies and tv series set in New Orleans. Such as fan favorites like NCIS: New Orleans, The Originals, A Streetcar Named Desire, and even Disney’s The Princess and The Frog. Here are a few NOLA quotes from movies and tv series to get you excited about visiting the city.
96) “A New Orleans summer drowns in thick, dank stillness.” – A Love Song for Bobby Long
97) “Dreams do come true in New Orleans!” – The Princess and the Frog
98) “Anything’s possible. Just try it for a week. Come to New Orleans.” – Interview With A Vampire
99) “New Orleans, a real fine place to be.” – Maverick
100) “New Orleans is certainly not a place where a person needs to feel the pain of separation for long.”- This Property is Condemned
New Orleans is in the South of Louisiana, on the Mississippi River. The state is home to a variety of cultures including the Creole and the Cajun. Here are a couple of quotes about NOLA’s diverse home state.
101) “To be engaged in some small way in the revival of one of the great cities of the world is to live a meaningful existence by default. I’m not going to lay down in words the lure of this place. Every great writer in the land, from Faulkner to Twain to Rice to Ford, has tried to do it and fallen short. It is impossible to capture the essence, tolerance, and spirit of south Louisiana in words and to try is to roll down a road of clichés, bouncing over beignets and beads and brass bands and it just is what it is. We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t. It is home.” – Chris Rose
102) “Everyone in the South has no time for reading because they are all too busy writing.” – William Faulkner
103) “It’s better to be here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio.” – Lafcadio Hearn
Did I Miss Any Famous New Orleans Quotes?
There is so much to say about New Orleans that will get you itching to visit. The city is filled with fascinating people and stories as well as incredible facts. From the world-class music to the vibrant nightlife, NOLA should definitely be on your bucket list.
If there are any sayings or quotes that you think should be added to this list, let me know. I’d love to hear more about this incredible city.
Looking for some more travel inspiration?
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