4 Must-See Museums in New Orleans and How to Visit
New Orleans’ vibrancy, history, and multicultural heritage are perhaps best encapsulated in its numerous museums and collections. With a culture that celebrates individuality and expression, the city offers much to take in. Here are some of our favorite must-see museums in the Big Easy.
National World War II Museum
For wartime history.
The city’s National WWII Museum tells the story of the American soldiers who fought in the war that changed the world. Considered one of the top museums in the United States, this collection re-creates moments from World War II through vintage propaganda, weapons, personal items, short documentaries, and some 7,500 oral histories from the men and women involved. Visitors can feel what it’s like to be inside a submarine, see a replica of a Higgins landing craft, and learn about the German Enigma machine.
Audubon Nature Institute
For several museums in one.
The Audubon Nature Institute comprises several museums in one. Explore the wild side of New Orleans with visits to the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and the Audubon Nature Center. Visit individual attractions à la carte or with a combo ticket for better value.
Mardi Gras World
For a behind-the-scenes look at Mardi Gras.
If you can’t make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, the next best thing is a visit to Mardi Gras World. This quintessentially New Orleans museum gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how the whimsical parade floats of the city’s biggest party are made. Sample king cake, see floats up close, and learn about the thousands of props and costumes that go into the annual celebration.
For historic artifacts.
A historic tour of the French Quarter wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Cabildo on Jackson Square, the Spanish colonial building where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. This Louisiana State Museum’s historic New Orleans collection recounts Louisiana history through artifacts like Napoleon’s death mask and a self-portrait of Julien Hudson.