Metairie, Louisiana is the largest suburb of New Orleans, located in Jefferson Parish. It is not legally a city, but it is larger than most cities in the entire state. The original spelling of Metairie, which means 'tenant farm' in French, dates back to the 19th century when sharecropping was the main activity in the area. Over time, Metairie has shifted from being a primarily residential suburb to a mixed-use community with malls, office buildings, nightclubs and entertainment venues.
Old Metairie is the most prestigious area in Metairie today and was developed in the 1920s with off-road homes. If you're looking for a suburban lifestyle close to the city of New Orleans, Metairie may be the perfect fit. It was first colonized by the French in the late 18th century along an area known as Metairie Ridge, a natural dam formed by a swamp. An electric streetcar was installed along Metairie Road in the late 1910s, which opened up the area for further development.
Metairie has become a popular destination for tourists visiting New Orleans and has its own gems such as excellent Cajun food, jazz and nightlife. It connects to Covington, Mandeville and Madisonville on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The Lakeside Shopping Center, one of the largest and oldest malls in Louisiana, is located on Causeway Boulevard in the heart of Metairie. Many of Metairie's nightclubs are located in Fat City, which was planned and developed as the Metairie business district.