10 Best Museums to Explore History and Culture in New Orleans


New Orleans is a city-wide museum, rich in art collections and historic homes reflecting its tumultuous past and Spanish, French, African and American heritage. From world-class art to quirky pocket museums housing important cultural treasures and the nation's only national tribute to the heroes and battles of World War II, New Orleans is ripe for discovering the past.

Of course a sense of place also plays a strong role in the city's cultural landscape. The new Southern Museum of Food and Beverage in Central City places the visitor in a world of the foodways and dishes particular to the American South and New Orleans in particular.  At the Ogden, Southern artists are in the spotlight, whether they work in pottery, glass or oils.

And all museums in New Orleans aren't only about the past. The city's vibrant arts culture is always in flux, on view along developing arts corridors on Oretha Castle Haley and St. Claude Avenue as well as at the Contemporary Arts Center, a repository of visual as well as performance art that runs the spectrum from drag cabaret to dance and music.

An open and curious mind can find much to stimulate in this city that drips with history, culture and artistic verve.

New Orleans Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of NewOrleansOnline.com


Located in City Park, the neo-classical, Beaux Arts-style New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents an impressive collection spanning the 15th-20th centuries. A great escape from the hectic pace of life in the Big Easy, strolling through NOMA...  Read More



Hands on learning equals hands on fun at this spunky children's museum, where children are encouraged to discover a world of wonder throughout 30,000 sq. ft. of learn-by-doing exhibits. Head upstairs where role-playing rules, at the...  Read More



Louisiana's Civil War Museum, formerly known as the Confederate Museum, is one of the largest repositories of Confederacy-related artifacts and memorabilia in the United States. Housed in a stone Romanesque-style building, this is the oldest...  Read More

New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History


Located in Treme, 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 communities of African Americans...  Read More



A most intriguing New Orleans attraction, the Historic Voodoo Museum is surrounded with its fair share of lore, intrigue and notoriety. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this unusual museum's flexible hours and affordable admission...  Read More

Louisiana State Museum-Cabildo
Photo courtesy of NewOrleansOnline.com


Located in Jackson Square adjacent to the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo was built by the Spanish government between 1795 and 1799 to house offices of the town council. It is here where the history-making transfer papers for the Louisiana...  Read More

Historic New Orleans Collection
Photo courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection


A must for lovers of the city and for history buffs, the Historic New Orleans Collection connects the dots in more than three centuries of New Orleans lore. A museum, research center and publisher, the collection was founded in 1966 to preserve...  Read More

Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum


Take a stroll down Mardi Gras memory lane at this colorfully festive museum. Located above Arnaud's Restaurant, the free Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum - named for the daughter of Count Arnaud, the restaurant's originator, has about...  Read More

Southern Food and Beverage Museum
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono


Come to this long awaited museum along Central City's Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and find a cavernous new 16,000-square-foot space with an ambitious mission. The museum is home to a spiffy exhibition kitchen, a second location of...  Read More



Originally named the National D-Day Museum, and located in New Orleans because the flat bottomed Higgins boats used in the invasion were made here, this museum is a must see for every history buff. Besides extensive and interactive exhibits on...  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth