NOLA Museums

It seems as if there is a museum about every theme in New Orleans. Most of which are focused on the city, its history, culture, and unique staff you can only find in New Orleans as the Voodoo Museum, the various Mardi Gras museums, and many more. Strolling around the streets of New Orleans is a fun and great way to absorb the vibe of the city, but to really get to know the city and other aspects of its history, it is highly recommended to visit some of its wonderful museums.

Founded in 1906, the Louisiana State Museum is a National Historic Landmark that collects and preserves artworks and artifacts that reflect Louisiana’s history, culture, and legacy. The museum has thirteen properties located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Natchitoches, and Patterson.
In New Orleans, the museum holds three main buildings – The Cabildo, The Presbytère, and The 1850 House.

All are open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM – 4:30 PM
For more information, check the museum’s website.

The Cabildo was built in 1799 under Spanish rule and became one of the city’s most significant buildings as it was the site of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase transfers. Today it has three floors of changing exhibits, displaying items related to Louisiana’s history and cultural heritage, such as paintings, artifacts, and documents.

For more information, check the museum’s website.

Originally named “Casa Curial,” the building was designed in 1791 as a house for the local clergy. The museum hosts two permanent exhibits:
“Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana” explores the origins, and traditions of the famous festival, with its costumes, floats, and rituals.
“The Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” focuses on the destructive event, the aftermath, and recovery.

For more information, check the museum’s website.

A 19th-century house museum that depicts the life of a middle-class family in the antebellum era. The house is fully furnished, presenting periodical artifacts, including a dressing table, Old Paris porcelain, New Orleans silver, and paintings by French artists who settled in the city at the time.

For more information, check the museum’s website.



This is one of the nation’s largest museums that preserves and exhibits the story of the American experience in WWII, the soldiers who fought the war, and the people who supported it from home.
The exhibitions include multimedia experiences, a collection of artifacts, and personal oral documentation that will connect the visitor to the story of the war that changed the world.

Open daily, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
For more information, check the museum’s website.

This free museum showcases permanent and rotating exhibits about New Orleans and the regional history. THNOC was founded by Leila Williams and General L. Kemper, philanthropists from New Orleans. It offers guided tours such as Architecture and Courtyard Tours in Royal street, as well as Portage Bike Roll. Check the schedule for other special events.

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Sunday, 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
For more information, check the museum’s website.

Visiting in the Old Ursuline Convent Museum is like traveling back in time to the mid-18th century when the Ursuline nuns lived here, operated a convent, an orphanage, and a school for girls.
Nowadays, there are permanent and rotating exhibitions mainly about the history of New Orleans, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Ursuline sisters’ stories.

Open Monday-Friday 10 AM – 4 PM, Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM
Read more about the museum here or visit the official museum’s website.

A celebration of Mardi Gras’ history and traditions. The exhibits showcase costumes and memorabilia from the private collection of the owner, Carl Mack, including original costumes from Cajun Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras Indians, Carnival Ball Royalty, and Gay Carnival Krewes.
The visitors are encouraged to dress up and experience the whimsy festival.

Open daily 10 AM – 5 PM with guided tours at 11 AM & 3 PM.
For more information, check the museum’s website.



Mardi Gras World is celebrating Mardi Gras all year long. A guided tour will reveal the behind the scenes look at Blaine Kern’s workshop – the world’s largest float designing facility. The tour includes an overview of the festival’s history, its parades, traditions, and music, as well as an opportunity to try on authentic costumes and a rare glimpse of the designing and construction process of the famous Mardi Gras floats.

Open seven days a week, 9 AM – 5:30 PM. There is a free shuttle service provided by the museum.
For more information, check the museum’s website.

Located inside Arnaud’s restaurant, the small museum is showcasing Mardi Gras queen customs, as well as other vintage items related to the festival, which were in use by the Wells’ women over the years.

Open when the restaurant is open – Monday-Saturday 6-10 PM and Sunday 10 AM – 2 PM. Free admission.
For more information, check the museum’s website.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
514 Chartres Street New Orleans, LA 70130.

 

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At the original location of one of the first pharmacies of the US is a museum dedicated to the rich history of pharma and health care through the story and contribution of Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. – the first licensed pharmacist in the US.

Covering 200 years of pharma history, from the 19th century to this day, the museum showcases authentic items, devices, and documentations, including apothecary jars, perfumes, and cosmetics Voodoo potions, surgical instruments, prosthetic devices, old wheelchairs, soda fountain, questionable medical practices, as well as a recreated sick room and pharmacist’s work area.

Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM with guided tours at 1 PM.
For more information, check the museum’s website.



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A small museum devoted to preserving the history, culture, and legacy of New Orleans’ Voodoo, exploring the legends and mysteries of the spiritual practice and how it shaped the city. On display are original voodoo artifacts, such as relics, sculptures, talismans, taxidermies, wooden masks, voodoo dolls, and a kneeling bench that belonged to Maria Laveau, the famous voodoo priestess.

Open daily 10 AM – 6 PM.
For more information, check the museum’s website.

Founded in 2004 by Elizabeth Williams in a mission to delve into the connection between food and culture and to explore the roots of Southern culinary heritage throughout the centuries. The museum showcases all aspects of foods and drinks in the south, including recipes, cultural traditions, and food as a common ground for a community. The exhibits present a menu collection from Southern restaurants, a kitchen demonstration as well as a display of every Southern state.
There are occasional special events like lectures, special exhibits, demonstrations, and tasting events.

Open Wednesday-Monday, 11 AM – 5:30 PM.
For more information, check the museum’s website.

An unusual museum that showcases different facets of death. The graphic exhibit is showcasing macabre items, such as coffins, body bags, mortician apparatuses, shrunken heads, photos of crime scenes and car accidents, videos of autopsies as well as the Thanatron – Dr. Kevorkian’s suicide device. Also, there are personal memorabilia of serial killers, including Manson family photos, paintings by John Wayne Gacy, and letters written by various serial killers.
Co-founded by Cathee Shultz in 1995.

No age restriction, but the museum is recommended only for mature audiences. Open daily 10 AM – 7 PM.
For more information, check the museum’s website.



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