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Must-See Museums in New Orleans

Must-See Museums in New Orleans

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

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.

Whitney Plantation

Just outside the city sits the Creole-style Whitney Plantation, home to the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. A guided tour of this somber collection reveals what daily life was like for the men and women enslaved on the plantations of the South. You can combine a visit to the museum with a tour of nearby St. Joseph Plantation, a working sugar plantation and filming site of12 Years a Slave.

Audubon Nature Institute

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

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.

Cabildo Museum

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.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Small-Group Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery and St. Joseph Plantation Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Small-Group Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

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42
Delve into the history of slavery and the plantations of Louisiana on this small-group tour from New Orleans. Drive past Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River to the Whitney Plantation’s Louisiana Museum of Slavery. Learn about the lives of the enslaved people who worked there and on plantations throughout the South during a tour of the museum and restored buildings. Next, head to the Creole-style St Joseph Plantation for a tour of the working sugar plantation where the movie ’12 Years A Slave’ was filmed.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$128.00
From
$128.00

New Orleans Super Saver: City Tour and Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruise
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

New Orleans Super Saver: City Tour and Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruise

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371
See the best of New Orleans by land and water on this combo city tour and riverboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi! The Steamboat NATCHEZ is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same authentic riverboat experience of a leisurely, two-hour cruise on the mighty Mississippi, enjoying traditional live jazz, craft cocktails and all the beautiful New Orleans sites. On your city tour, enjoy a guided coach trip through the French Quarter, Garden District, and Jackson Square, where you’ll witness the city’s cultural history and diverse colonial heritage.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$78.00
From
$78.00

New Orleans City and Cemetery Bus Tour

New Orleans City and Cemetery Bus Tour

star-4.5
177
Relax and absorb the rich history of New Orleans from your window seat aboard our air-conditioned buses. This 2.5-hour, small-group tour will pick you up at your hotel and visit many of the most historic neighborhoods including Treme, The French Quarter, The Warehouse and Garden Districts, Faubourg St John and Marigny. Stop in one of the world-famous St Louis cemeteries for a sobering and spooky sidebar and escape the group for some solo adventuring before you return to the bus.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

The National WWII Museum Campus Pass Ticket New Orleans

The National WWII Museum Campus Pass Ticket New Orleans

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893
Witness a different side of New Orleans’s history on a visit to the dynamic National WWII Museum. While away the hours exploring wartime artifacts and discovering fascinating facts and histories at this world-class museum — considered one of the top museums in the nation!
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.81
From
$30.81

New Orleans Small-Group City, Cemetery, and Estate Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

New Orleans Small-Group City, Cemetery, and Estate Tour

star-4.5
68
Discover New Orleans’ vibrant history through its dynamic history on this sightseeing tour. Enjoy a small group van ride through the city, viewing the diverse architectural wonders of the French Quarter, the Garden District, Esplanade Avenue, and Bayou St John. You’ll disembark for small-group walking tours of the St. Louis Cemetery No 3, City Park, and the Longue Vue House and Gardens—a masterpiece of architectural and horticultural history.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$96.00
From
$96.00

City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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Discover historic New Orleans in an open‐top double‐decker bus on this hop‐on hop‐off sightseeing tour. With either your 1‐or 3-day ticket, design a personal itinerary with several stops, including the French Market, Jackson Square, and the Garden District, plus available walking tours, depending on the option you buy. Enjoy unobstructed views and fun onboard commentary as you soak up ‘The Big Easy’.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$39.00
From
$39.00

New Orleans Historical and Haunted Walking Tour

New Orleans Historical and Haunted Walking Tour

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6
See the historical sights of New Orleans on a 2-hour walking tour with a guide who tells you about the city's haunted and occult side. Hear tales about ghosts, voodoo, and vampires as you explore the French Quarter, stopping at bars along the tour route to purchase drinks, if you wish (own expense). Select your preferred departure time when booking.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
From
$35.00
From
$35.00