Museums in New Orleans are as diverse as New Orleans herself. With dozens of museums located throughout the city it should be easy to find one to suit your taste. In the French Quarter you will find the original and only voodoo museum, the Pharmacy museum and other museums such as the 1850 House, the Cabildo and Presbytere Museums at Jackson Square. If you are interested in hurricane Katrina then a visit to the Presbytere is a must. In the Warehouse district you will find a varied collection which includes the famous New Orleans World War II Museum, the Civil War museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art along with the awesome New Orleans Children’s museum. In City Park you will find the New Orleans Museum of Art the city’s oldest fine arts institution which contains a permanent collection with more than 40,000 objects. And don’t miss the Old U.S. Mint located on Esplanade Avenue.
New Orleans Museums
New Orleans National World War II Museum * Warehouse District
A visit to the New Orleans World War II Museum is a must, especially if you are a World War II enthusiast. The Museum honors the more than one million Americans who were part of World War II. It explains the American involvement in the war, what led the United States into World War II, and how the war was won. You will want to allow AT LEAST 3 hours for your visit.
The National World War II Museum host many activities and ongoing events. Check the museum’s Events page for dates and times.
Watch the movie The Road to Berlin follow in their Footsteps: Step into the sun-scorched deserts of North Africa. Trudge through the frozen forests of the Ardennes. Experience a new and immersive journey that puts you alongside the Greatest Generation as they march down America's challenging path to victory in WWII. This movie is definately worth the money.
The Museum is open seven days a week, 9am to 5pm, but closed on some holidays. You will want to check the National World War II Museums web site for details. The National World War II Museum is located in the New Orleans Central Business District on the corner of Andrew Higgins and Magazine Street. The St. Charles Street streetcar will take you within one block of the World War II Museum. The museum is one of the stops for the Hop on Hop off bus..
The Louisiana Civil War Museum * Warehouse District
The Louisiana Civil War Museum (Memorial Hall) contains the second largest collection of Confederate memorabilia in the United States and is the oldest continually operating museum in Louisiana. Memorial Hall is dedicated to the preservation of Civil War memorabilia, specifically related to the South and Louisiana. Memorial Hall contains thousands of Civil War artifacts on site. As many as one thousand of these items are on display at any one time. You will find battle flags, artifacts from the Confederate Infantry, Calvary, and Artillery. Memorial Hall is proud to display the personal artifacts of Confederate artilleryman, including many items from the famous Washington Artillery, the premier artillery unit of the Civil War. The Civil War Museum is located at 929 Camp Street which is right across the street from the WWII Museum and next door to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. All three are in the historic Warehouse District and just one block off of the St. Charles Street car line.
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art * Warehouse District
The Ogden Museum is home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern Art in the world. Here you will find the story of the South as told through its art, music and education programs. The Museum's holdings include Southern artworks from Washington, D.C. and 15 Southern states spanning the 18th-21st centuries, and include paintings, prints, watercolors, photographs, ceramics, sculpture, crafts and design. The Museum Store which is open during museum hours, is a destination in itself. The Ogden Museum is located at 925 Camp Street which is right across the street from the WWII Museum and next door to the Civil War Museum. All three are in the historic Warehouse District and just one block off of the St. Charles Street car line.
New Orleans Children's Museum * Warehouse District
The Louisiana Children's Museum is New Orleans' most playful place for children and families to discover just how fun learning can be! Pilot a tow boat down the Mighty Mississippi. Shop until you drop in the Little Sav-A-Center grocery store then anchor the news in the WWL-TV KidWatch Studio. The Louisiana Children's Museum is located at 420 Julia Street in the historic Warehouse District and their phone number is 504-523-1357.
The Cabildo Museum * French Quarter at Jackson Square
While you are exploring New Orleans museums I recommend that you visit the Cabildo Museum on Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Built in 1799 the Cabildo is the premier historical attraction in New Orleans and a great place to explore 200 years of Louisiana history, art and culture. The Cabildo was the site of the Louisiana Purchase ceremonies in 1803 and the room where the signing took place has been reproduced as it appeared on that day. The Cabildo’s three floors of exhibits are basically divided into the following chronological sections: Native Americans * Colonial Louisiana * The Louisiana Purchase * Territory to Statehood * The Battle of New Orleans * Antebellum Louisiana * The Civil War * Reconstruction. The Cabildo Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. 10 am - 4:30 pm. Closed all legal holidays. For more information about the New Orleans Cabildo museum call (504) 568-6968
The Presbytère Museum * French Quarter at Jackson Square
The Presbytère museum is an important historical building in New Orleans and is located in the French Quarter along Jackson Square, to the right of the St. Louis Cathedral. The Presbytère was designed in 1791 to match the Cabildo on the other side of St. Louis Cathedral. The second floor, however, was not completed until 1813. The building initially was used for commercial purposes until 1834 when it was used by the Louisiana Supreme Court. In 1847 the structure's mansard roof was added. In 1853, cathedral officials sold the Presbytère to the city and in 1908 the city sold it to the state. In 1911 it became part of the Louisiana State Museum.
The first floor exhibit at the Presbytère museum is “Living with hurricanes – Katrina & beyond”. This exhibit offers an unforgettable look at the power of hurricanes and covers the settling of New Orleans, hurricane Betsy in 1965, hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. For the hurricane Katrina portion of the exhibit there are several sections; during the storm with awesome video footage; rescue efforts; chaos after the storm; rebuilding New Orleans after the storm; and an interactive exhibit about the effects of coastal erosion on the Louisiana marsh and the Crescent City. For additional hurrican Katrina information and pictures visit my Hurricane Katrina page.
Upstairs at the Presbytère museum is a Mardi Gras exhibit. Elaborate costumes, colorful floats and many other items capture the fun and frivolity of the Mardi Gras celebration while presenting an authentic history of Carnival in New Orleans through the years.
For more information about the New Orleans Presbytère museum call (504) 568-6968
The 1850 House Museum * French Quarter at Jackson Square
The 1850 House is a historic house museum located in the Lower Pontalba Building along the side of Jackson Square in the French Quarter. The 1850 House was built between 1849 and 1851 by the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, the elegant townhouses flanking Jackson Square still serve their original purpose with private apartments above ground-floor shops. The 1850 House museum is the only Pontalba apartment open to the general public. The State Museum has furnished the apartment to the style and tastes of a prosperous merchant family in antebellum New Orleans, the museum is a showcase for furniture and decorative arts. The Museum gift shop, operated by the Friends of the Cabildo, is located in the 1850 House.
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum * French Quarter
Visit the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and take a step back into history. A time when pharmacist provided leeches for patients to treat high blood pressure, prescribed herbs, chemicals and voodoo powders or “gris-gris” potions to cure what ailed you. In 1823, Louis J. Dufilho, Jr., America’s first licensed pharmacist constructed his drug store at 514 Charters Street in the French Quarter. The botanical garden, that still exists, supplied medicinal herbs for Dufilho’s pharmacy practice. On the first floor you will see globes, Methods of Administration, Opium, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Voodoo Potions, Questionable Medical Practices, Surgical instruments, Patent Medicines, 1855 Soda Fountain, Prescriptions and Compounding. On the second floor you will see the Living Quarters, Seasonal and Special Exhibits, Dr. J. William Rosenthal's Spectacles Collection, Local Excavated Bottles, Physican's Study and Sick Room.
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum * French Quarter
The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is one of the most unique, and interesting, small museums in the country. Taking all the mysteries, the secrets, the history and folklore of rituals, zombies, of gris-gris, of Voodoo Queens and all that jazz, and putting it all in one place in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter. The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is a casual and curious experience intended to preserve the legacy of New Orleans’ Voodoo history and culture while education the entertaining those visiting the Crescent City. The Voodoo Museum has been a fixture in the French Quarter, and a “must thing to do” for visitors since 1972. As you explore New Orleans you will find the Historic Voodoo Museum at 724 Dumaine Street. The NEW ORLEANS HISTORIC VOODOO MUSEUM is the ORIGINAL and ONLY Voodoo Museum.
Historic New Orleans Collection Museum * French Quarter
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. The museum has both permanent and changing exhibitions. The museum shop features Louisiana books, prints, and specialty gift items. Located in the French Quarter the museum is housed in the Merieult House at 533 Royal Street which was built in 1792. Seven buildings and three courtyards make up the Royal Street complex. The Merieult House, Counting House, Maisonette, Williams Residence, Townhouse, Louis Adam House and the Creole Cottage. Each of the buildings has a story to tell—of architects and builders, owners and guests, devastating fires, and restorations and renovations.
New Orleans Museum of Art * Mid City
The New Orleans Museum of art, the city’s oldest fine arts institution, is located at 1 Collins Diboll Circle in the New Orleans City Park. You will need your own transportation to get there and once you are there I am sure that you will enjoy City Park and the museum. The Museum is home to a collection of more than 40,000 objects with a value of about $200 million. The collection consists of European paintings and sculpture form the 16th through 20th centruries; French and American art, photography, and glass; Asian, African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art. In addition, the Museum hosts a wide range of captivating special and traveling exhibitions. For more information, to view current or upcoming exhibitions, or to see a calendar or events for the Museum, visit the New Orleans museum of Art website. The New Orleans museum of Art is about 5 miles from the French Quarter. You can take the Canal Streetcar City Park/Museum streetcar to the museum; it is the last stop at the end of the North Carrollton Avenue spur line. When you get off the streetcar the museum is about a 5 minute walk.
New Orleans African American Museum * Historic Tremé Neighborhood
Located in Tremé, the oldest surviving black community in the United States, the New Orleans African American Museum is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting through education the history, art, and culture of African Americans in New Orleans and the African diaspora. Exhibits change regularly, so call ahead to find out what is on display. The Museum is housed in the beautiful Tremé Villa, 1418 Governor Nicholls St, considered by some to be one of the finest examples of a Creole villa in the city. Built in 1828-29, the home retains many of its original decorative details. There are five restored buildings to visit. Visitors enjoy both established and emerging artists' work in sculpture, painting and other artistic expressions. The mission of the New Orleans African American Museum is to preserve, interpret and promote the African American cultural heritage of New Orleans, with a particular emphasis on the Tremé community.
Old U.S. Mint Museum * 400 Esplanade Avenue
The Old U.S. Mint museum is a massive Greek revival structure that was built in 1835 and served as a U.S. Mint until 1909 and as a Confederate mint during the Civil War. The museum is the only mint to produce American and Confederate coinage. Minting began in 1838 and continued until Louisiana seceded from the Union in 1861. Afterwards, the mint was transferred to the Confederacy and used to mint Confederate coinage and house troops. After the Civil War, the mint resumed full operations and was the only southern mint to reopen after the war. In 1909, minting ceased and the building was used for a number of official purposes until it was transferred to the state in 1966. In 1981, the mint opened to the public as a State museum site.
On the ground floor of the museum exhibits feature historic coin-making equipment and rare gold and silver coins minted here.
The museums upper floors are devoted to Louisiana’s rich musical heritage and you will hear live music nearly every day and many evenings. Most events are free as part of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
For more information about the New Orleans Old U.S. Mint museum call (504) 568-6968