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Visit THESE Museums in New Orleans Louisiana

Why, hello there, museum lover. Perhaps, museums aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nola. I mean, it’s a boozy city with rich food, a sordid past and a plethora of haunted spaces, right? However, did you know that New Orleans has some great museums to check out? Actually, one of the best museums I’ve ever visited is in New Orleans. Many of these museums will give you a portal into the past, present, culture, characteristics and more of the Crescent City. So, depending on what you’re interested in, you can decide which of these museums in New Orleans, Louisiana you’ll check out while in town.

Alright, if you love yourself a libation, you’ll really enjoy this museum. However, even if you don’t drink, you can still enjoy learning about the origins and history of Sazerac. Besides, it holds a strong cultural context in the Big Easy.

A display of various tinctures at one of the best museums in New Orleans Louisiana, the Sazerac House
A display of various tinctures (a single spice or herb preserved in alcohol)
A mat that says The Sazerac House with a cup sitting on it
Sample after watching an awesome cocktail demonstration!
Gold frame around a Sazerac cocktail picture
Sazerac cocktail history

Basically, the museum is very interactive, provides lots of history and fun facts. Perhaps, for many, their favorite part will be the demonstrations and the samples? Along the way, there are bartenders whom make and share samples of a featured Sazerac cocktail.

Sazerac House

101 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Self guided tour cost: free

sazerachouse.com

New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

Think someone put a hex on you? Need to get your mojo back? Want to keep the bad juju away? Well, I can’t guarantee that will happen by you visiting here. Nevertheless, I can say that I wrote down two wishes at the alter in the museum and left a monetary ‘offering.’ Basically, least one of them has come true, and the other is halfway to fruition. Hey, a fifty percent conversion rate of ‘wishes coming true’ ain’t too shabby, right?

Sign hanging over green doorway saying, 'New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum'
Entrance of New Orleans historic voodoo museum
A black wall with real Voodoo dolls pinned to them
Real, live, actual Voodoo dolls
Several artifacts sitting in front of a sign that explains Juju, Hex and Mojo
A bit about juju, hex and mojo

The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is housed in a tiny space in the French Quarter. Albeit, a small museum, it’s packed with fascinating artifacts and information. Moreover, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is honestly one of my favorite museums because of how thoughtful each portion of it is. Embodying a home grown feel, many of the object labels appear computer typed on regular 8×11 paper and framed. However, that’s what makes the place feel genuine, and you connected to it. This is certainly one of the most unique museums in New Orleans, Louisiana.

New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

724 Dumaine Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Self guided tour cost: $8 per person

voodoomuseum.com

1850 House Museum

This is great for those whom enjoy history, architecture, interior design, stories or perhaps just loves watching or reading a good period piece. Additionally, the 1850 House is a state owned museum and the house is actually registered with the National Register of Historic Places.

A dramatic winding staircase at the 1850 house
Dramatic winding stairwell at the 1850’s house
A bedroom in the 1850 house
Bedroom in 1850’s house
A beautiful vintage bed frame in the 1850 house
Obsessed wit this bed frame!

The 1850 house depicts a fully furnished Antebellum row house from the period. The museum also prides itself on its expansive gift shoppe, which, I myself, spent quite a bit of time in (and no, it wasn’t just because it was scorching outside and the shoppe is nicely air conditioned). I bought a few books in the gift shoppe, knowing darn well I could’ve bought them cheaper online, but I wanted to support the museum. You’re welcome state of Louisiana.

Tip: just a heads up, as the house is a registered historic landmark, it cannot be modified, and as such, it is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.

1850 House Museum and Gift Shop

523 St Ann Street New Orleans, LA 70116

Located inside the lower Pontalba building

Cost: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, students and military

louisianastatemuseum.org

New Orleans Jazz Museum

I absolutely love jazz music, and guess what? New Orleans is the birthplace of it. Needless to say, jazz is at the epicenter of New Orleans culture and history. Therefore, if you’re a jazz lover or simply curious and love to learn, the New Orleans Jazz Museum might be worth a visit for you.

Exterior of the New Orleans Jazz museum
Exterior of the New Orleans Jazz Museum
Wilbert Tilman's Sousaphone
Wlibert Tillman’s Sousaphone, a gift from the New Orleans Jazz Club
A beautiful oil painting of a man playing a trumpet
Beautiful oil painting on display

There is so much on display – from treasured instruments of the greats, to newspaper clippings and story after story about jazz’s roots in New Orleans. There is also artwork on display intermittently through the museum. The exhibition is housed in the former New Orleans mint, which was a fully operating US Mint from 1838 – 1909. So, you can learn a bit about that as well!

New Orleans Jazz Museum

400 Esplanade Avenue New Orleans, LA 70116

Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, students and military

nolajazzmuseum.org

Mardi Gras World

Is there anything truly more synonymous with New Orleans than Mardi Gras? If you’ve never experienced Mardi Gras in Nola, or perhaps never plan to, but are still interested in learning more about it, this is the place to do that! Mardi Gras World is friendly to all types of travelers, all ages and families. In fact, I think anyone can enjoy this museum. It’s one of the most distinctive museums in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A colorful jester hanging over an entrance sign to Mardi Gras world
Entrance to Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras world
An array of colorful paints in open white jars
All of the creative supplies – paints, brushes, primers are all out in the open
An unpainted float, consisting of a mans face with eyes closed and carrots coming out of his head
A float that has been created, but not painted yet

Upon arrival, you’ll encounter a large warehouse like structure, with a giant Mardi Gras mask and imposing “entrance” sign over the front door. You’re greeted with beads and King cake, emblematic of the annual celebratory festival. I mean, how can a place go wrong leading with dessert?

You’ll watch an educational video, tour the showroom of floats and see many a creation in progress. There’s a plethora of fun photo ops, appealing to all ages. Since this is one of the more expensive museums in town, you will probably need a moderate to high interest level in seeing the interworking of the floats, parade and all things Mardi Gras. They offer hour long tours, every 30 minutes and they close early (4:00pm), so plan accordingly!

Tip: Mardi Gras World is a bit far away from all the walkable attractions, but never fear – they offer complimentary shuttle service to the museum! There are ten pickup spots throughout the city, so just head to one of them and call them to come and swoop you up. Mardi Gras World shuttle service: (504)361.7821

Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World

1380 Port of New Orleans Place New Orleans, LA 70130

Cost: $22 per person

mardigrasworld.com

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Of this lineup, this is the only museum I have not personally visited. Surely, it’s not by choice or for lack of trying. Both of my most recent New Orleans visits – one in summer and one in spring – the New Orleans Pharmacy museum was closed. Indeed… I couldn’t believe it. Thus, this exhibition still remains on my museum bucket list. Meanwhile, I hope you do visit for me.

Sign that says Historical Pharmacy Museum hanging over its entrance
Entrance to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Displays of antiquities in the storefront window of the historical Pharmacy museum, one of the best museums in New Orleans, Louisiana
Some of the antiquities in the storefront window
A balcony covered in hanging Mardi Gras beads
A random balcony next to the Pharmacy Museum adorned with Mardi Gras beads

The New Orleans Pharmacy museum is located in a historical landmark. An impressive collection of artifacts are housed in a early 1800’s classic Creole townhouse in the French quarter. The townhouse is a former apothecary and residence of the very first licensed pharmacist in the USA. The apothecary was in full operation until 1855. Now, you can view a collection of over 18,400 historical antiquities, many of them pharmaceutical or medical in nature.

Guided tours are limited: offered Thursday through Saturday from 10:00am – 11:00am only.

Tip: you can also rent out this space for your wedding, business or special private event.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

514 Chartres Street New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Cost: Self guided tour – $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, students and military

pharmacymuseum.org

The National WWII Museum

Last, but most certainly not least, the National WWII Museum. Possibly the most impressive, elaborate and moving museum I’ve ever been to. While this museum is not necessarily relevant to New Orleans culture specifically, it is very relevant to US and world history.

WWII Museum, why New Orleans?

If you’re curious why the WWII museum is in New Orleans, don’t worry. I wondered the same thing. Although it may seem out of place, there is actually a couple solid reasons why the WWII museum calls Nola home. Firstly, the man who was one of the driving forces behind the effort to build the museum, historian Stephan Ambrose, called New Orleans home. Secondly, Higgins Industries, whom supplied more than 20,000 boats to the US during WWII was also based in New Orleans. In fact, according to the museum, General Eisenhower said years later that, “Higgins won the war for us.”

An airplane hanging in an airplane hanger exhibit
Several of the exhibits
A hand holding a dog tag up in front of an exhibit at the WWII museum
When you arrive, you’re issued a ‘dog tag.’ You’ll follow a veterans journey through WWII
A wall caption reading 'united but unequal' at the WWII museum
Many of the museum labels are etched or painted right on the walls

Markedly, the WWII exhibit is more than a museum. It’s a full production. An experience. You could easily spend an entire day here. Especially, if you’re someone who likes to dive deep in museum exhibits. So make sure you set aside enough time. Obviously, you may not have an entire day of your trip to spare. The good news is, you can explore as much or as little of the museum as you’d like. Even spending almost a day here, we didn’t quite get to everything. Surprisingly, even if you aren’t a war history buff, you’ll likely be blown away by this museum. Perhaps… even moved to tears.

Tip: when you visit, I recommend purchasing a package that includes the Beyond all Boundaries 4D experience, as it is incredible. Besides having several packages to choose from, you can add on various guided tours to suit your preferences and budget.

The National WWII Museum

945 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70130

Cost: $25 – $60+ per person, all active, retired and veteran military are free

nationalww2museum.org

Have you been to any of these museums? Overall, which are you most interest in? Let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, have a question? Ask away!

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Travel Tips & Resources to Help You Plan an Epic Trip!

Going – I’ve subscribed to Going (formerly, beloved, Scott’s Cheap Flights) for awhile now and it’s an amazing resource for finding… did you guess cheap flights? Yes, you can set your preferences from airports to flight class and get destination deals right to your inbox. It’s fab! I use the Premium paid version, but they have a FREE version too. So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get Going!

Booking.com – the majority, if not almost all of my stays are booked on Booking.com. It’s a reliable site to book and manage your reservations. It’s a great way to find boutique stays and unique accommodations at the best rates! You can also easily communicate with your accommodation through the app.

Expedia – If I am looking for a flight to a specific destination for specific dates, I find myself booking many flights on Expedia. It’s user friendly and straight forward. I often find the most cost effective rates, while earning points for every flight I book (in tandem with the points I receive from the credit cards I pay with).

Viator – most of the activities, tours and excursions I book for my trips are booked through Viator. Whether you’re seeking a guide for the day, a group tour, a cooking class, Viator has you covered!

Get Your Guide – this is another great marketplace to find tours, excursions and activities to book for your upcoming trip.

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