Slidell is a Amtrak stop about 25 miles ne of New Orleans. We have visited and hung out in Slidell many, many times. The food is A plus, the culture is great, and the people are similar to the ones in Terrytown ((some of the best, most special people on the planet with some lowlife.) The cost of living is not cheap. The insurance costs in LA are incredible. Southern Louisiana has some of the most beautiful skies at times, and some of the most intense rain storms (including destructive hurricanes.) Great eating is a way of life in Slidell. In addition to our favorite chains: Piccadilly, Cici's, and Shoneys, there are some local restaurants like Sicily's and Times Grill that offer food unlike anywhere else. There is salt water shoreline along Lake Pontchartrain, and a state park, Fountainbleau with its' own nice beach about 18 miles west. Slidell is ethnically diverse, but contains a smaller black population than Terrytown (30 miles SW.) Catholics and Baptists make up the two largest groups. For familes, straight couples, and retirees, Slidell should definately be considered. Slidell, like most of LA is religiously active, and offers four Catholic Churches. One of the nicest is Saint Margaret Mary off Robert Road on the north side of town. The "high" crime rate is probably a little lower than Terrytown. The "low" cost of living is also another misconception because of high auto and homeowners.