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Louisiana Museums & exhibitions

Our most recommended Louisiana Museums & exhibitions

New Orleans: Laura Creole Plantation Guided Tour

1. New Orleans: Laura Creole Plantation Guided Tour

Experience the disappearing world of Creole Louisiana on a 75-minute guided tour of the Laura Plantation main house, gardens and slave quarters. Located on the West bank of the Mississippi in the heart of Plantation Country – the main house dates from 1805 and has been restored to the time when it functioned as both a family home and the office for the sugar plantation. Visit the raised basement and galleries, men's and women's parlors, service rooms and common rooms. Walk through the 200-year-old sugar plantation homestead, including 3 gardens: Jardin Français, the kitchen potager & BananaLand grove. Continue the tour on the grounds with 12 buildings on the National Register, including animal barns, overseers' cottages and the 1829 Maison de Reprise. Hear intimate stories about four generations of free and enslaved members of the Creole families who lived here. Gleaned from handwritten memoirs and archival documents from the United States and France, each story told in the 1805 Maison Principale, on the grounds, and in the original 1840s slave cabins is a true, personal account of the women, children and men who spent their lives on this sugar farm. Spend time touring the onsite museum exhibit on your own after your tour ends. When Laura Plantation opened to the public in 1994, it became the first historic attraction in Louisiana to include stories of enslaved Africans as part of the tour. Today the permanent exhibit "From the Big House to the Quarters: Slavery on Laura Plantation" is dedicated to telling the authentic story of the enslaved community of this Créole farm.

New Orleans: Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

2. New Orleans: Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Discover Mardi Gras magic on a self-guided tour of Mardi Gras World, where artists and craftsmen have designed and built the oldest and biggest parade floats and attractions for each Mardi Gras season in New Orleans since 1947. Begin your tour by receiving your ticket in form of a bead necklace and watch a film which gives an overview of the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the role Mardi Gras World plays in it to this day. Then, enjoy a slice of the traditional Mardi Gras cake, King Cake, before your self-guided tour leads you through the float den. Explore where Mardi Gras World artists work year-round to build spectacular, one-of-a-kind floats and props, with over 500 floats built and decorated each year. See how the various themed elements are created from scratch or are adapted from elements created for previous themes — from sculpting the elements, to finishing and painting them. There is even an electronic robot that can carve 3-D sculptures. Take photos with some of the finished pieces from various themes over the years, then tour the floats themselves. Get up closer to the floats than is possible during Mardi Gras parades, and find out how these amazing pieces come to life each year. See floats in various stages of completion as they prepare for the upcoming Mardi Gras as much as a whole year before. At the end of the tour, stay and take more pictures with any of the floats if you like. For your convenience, a complimentary shuttle service is provided from stops in Downtown; just call the number provided on your voucher for your nearest stop and to arrange pickup.

New Orleans: Combo Cocktail and Food History Tour

3. New Orleans: Combo Cocktail and Food History Tour

Begin your walking tour at the award-winning Red Fish Grill in the French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans. Begin with alligator sausage and seafood gumbo, with freshly-baked French bread and homemade butter as you learn a bit about the colonial period of Louisiana’s history. Move four blocks down and enter Pepper Palace to discuss the Cajun influence and sample an unlimited variety of hot sauces, BBQ sauces, Buffalo Wings sauces, salsas, dry rubs, and more. Receive a free bottle of Louisiana-style hot sauce when shopping there.  Afterward, visit Leah’s Pralines, a 3rd generation family-owned candy store. Sample traditional pralines and their unique Bacon Pecan Brittle. Then, visit the iconic Napoleon House restaurant for two of their specialties — muffuletta sandwiches and a refreshing Pimm’s Cup cocktail. Arrive at the award-winning Dickie Brennan’s Tableau to sip your next cocktail: the French 75, a combo of fresh lemon, brandy or gin, and bubbles. After Tableau, visit the Creole Cookery for their slow-cooked red beans and rice. From there you pass through famous Jackson Square towards Café du Monde, then along the French Market area, ultimately landing at the James Beard Award-nominated Cane & Table. Sample their unique curry pork skins and a classic daiquiri.

New Orleans: Tremé African American & Creole History Tour

4. New Orleans: Tremé African American & Creole History Tour

Take a guided walking tour of Tremé, the birthplace of New Orleans jazz and the center of the city’s Creole culture. Your licensed guide, a local historian, will tell you about this vibrant neighborhood’s African-American history and the rise of the civil rights movement. As you explore this area, you’ll visit St. Augustine Church, The Tomb of the Unknown Slave, and the only laundromat that made its way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Jelly Roll Morton, Alphonse Picou, and Trombone Shorty are just some of the New Orleans jazz greats who were born here. Along the way you’ll see locations from the set of the HBO series Tremé and learn about the city’s modern brass band tradition. Today this neighborhood is still home to musicians as well as artists and craftsmen who contribute to the development of the ongoing neighborhood story.

New Orleans: Cocktails & Brunch Crawl in the French Quarter

5. New Orleans: Cocktails & Brunch Crawl in the French Quarter

Let your guide share their passion for food with you on this walking tour of the French Quarter in New Orleans. Enjoy several iconic dishes and drinks during the tour. Take a stroll by the Mississippi River Levee and Jackson Square. Admire the balconies in the French Quarter. Meet your guide at Bon's New Orleans Street Food and take your taste buds on an adventure. Experience the depth and complexity of local spices as you try a Creole and Cajun brunch sampler. Start your day off right with a traditional hurricane cocktail in hand.  Snap pictures of Instagram-worthy dishes that will leave your friends drooling. Soak in the vibe of the French Quarter as you walk past jazz clubs and vividly painted buildings with intricate cast-iron balconies.  View the natural beauty of the grand Mississippi river. See the stately Spanish Colonial style of Saint Louis Cathedral from Jackson Square. While on tour try many iconic dishes such as beignets, calas, boudin, frog legs, alligator, duck jambalaya and more. 

New Orleans: 2-Hour City Sightseeing Bus Tour

6. New Orleans: 2-Hour City Sightseeing Bus Tour

Journey through 3 centuries of history, legend, and romance as you experience New Orleans, “the city that care forgot.” This is an exclusive 2.25-hour guided tour led by a professional guide. Marvel at stories of voodoo and piracy on Bayou St. John. These are waters that were used by Jean Lafitte and his notorious band of pirates. Travel through historic neighborhoods such as Treme and Faubourg Marigny. Visit one of New Orleans' historic cemeteries and learn about the unique above-ground burial system. Afterward, follow the path of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, the oldest continuously operating passenger railway system in the world (until the service was disrupted by Hurricane Katrina). Travel to the world-famous Garden District, where you will see the homes of former Kings and Queens of Mardi Gras. View Tulane and Loyola Universities across from Audubon Park, home to one of the top 5 zoos in the nation, The Audubon Zoo.  Stop in New Orleans City Park for a relaxing stroll and the opportunity to visit the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

New Orleans: The National WWII Museum Ticket

7. New Orleans: The National WWII Museum Ticket

Designated by Congress as the official WWII museum of the United States, the National WWII Museum is located in downtown New Orleans, where 5 soaring pavilions house historical exhibits, on-site restoration work, a period dinner theater, and restaurants. Purchase your timed tickets in advance to secure your desired entry or movie time. Housed in 5 buildings, the museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. The Louisiana Memorial Pavilion features the “D-Day Invasion of Normandy” exhibit and an exhibit telling the story of the war experienced on the Home Front.  The "Campaigns of Courage" area features the “Road to Tokyo” exhibit, which retraces the grueling trail from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo. It also houses the “Road to Berlin” exhibit, recreating actual battle settings and villages as America campaigned to defeat the Axis powers. A two-hour guided tour of these two exhibits, led by an expert docent, is also available to book as an option. The U.S. Freedom Pavilion features actual WW2 airplanes restored to their wartime glory, including the B-17E Flying Fortress, as well as wartime tanks and trucks. Liberation Pavilion, which opens in 2022, will explore the closing months of the war and immediate postwar years, concluding with an explanation of links to our lives today.  In the Solomon Victory Theatre, you will be able to see, hear and feel the epic story of World War II in the exclusive 4D experience “Beyond All Boundaries”, narrated by Tom Hanks. This movie experience requires the purchase of the option which includes the 4-D film.

New Orleans: 2.5-Hour City & Cemetery Tour by Bus

8. New Orleans: 2.5-Hour City & Cemetery Tour by Bus

There’s so much to see, so much history to soak in. You’re probably worried you won’t have time to see it all. That’s where this tour can help. For two hours, you will go on an air-conditioned ride throughout some of the most famous neighborhoods in New Orleans. You will see the landmarks you don’t want to miss, as your guide shares stories you’ll love to hear. You will go from the Treme to the Garden District, the 9th Ward to the back streets of The French Quarter. Your guide will tell you where the best crawfish are, or where to get the coldest beer. t’s your guide's mission to make sure that when you step off the bus you’re in love with this great city as well. Come experience the best two hours of your vacation today.

New Orleans: Houmas House Plantation Tour

9. New Orleans: Houmas House Plantation Tour

Visiting the Houmas House Estate is more than just a house tour. It's a fully immersive experience educating guests on the architecture, the culture, and the agriculture of this Louisiana Plantation and how the Mississippi River shaped the southern United States. Here you will get a glimpse into the life on a sugarcane plantation in the 1800s. Located on the lower Mississippi River, just an hour drive from New Orleans, the mansion has been beautifully restored to the antebellum era, reflecting the wealth this sugarcane farm boasted in the 1880s. A guided mansion tour, led by costumed guides, walks you through the 250-year history, showing the architectural evolution of this manor house and how it became a grand estate. Rare and period artwork and artifacts are displayed and used to explain plantation life. You can also take a self-guided tour of the expansive gardens, which is an adventure in itself. Water features, secret gardens, sculptures, and magnificent Live Oak trees are a photographer's dream. Plenty of sitting nooks and shaded area are available to rest and enjoy the scenery. For movie lovers, Houmas House was the location for the 1964 psychological thriller “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” starring Betty Davis and Olivia de Havilland. It was deemed the scariest movie of its time and was also famous for the fact that Joan Crawford was originally cast opposite Betty Davis, but left the movie, much to the delight of her costar. Also, most recently, it was the setting for a few scenes in the 2019 award-winning movie “The Green Book”. Those are just a few of the many movies and TV shows filmed at Houmas House. For those interested in ghosts, Houmas House and Gardens is the site of two very serious, inexplicable events: one precipitated by nature, the other by the very unnatural.

Louisiana: Laura, Oak Alley, or Whitney Plantation Tours

10. Louisiana: Laura, Oak Alley, or Whitney Plantation Tours

Choose to visit the Laura Creole Plantation and see The Maison Principale (Big House), The French Jardin, The Plantation Kitchen Garden, The Banana Grove, and the original 1840s Slave Cabins where The Legendary Tales of Compair Lapin (known in English as Br’er Rabbit) were first recorded. Take time to browse through local arts, crafts, and souvenirs in the historic gift shop. Visit the new museum exhibit and learn about the daily lives of free and enslaved people on the sugar plantation. Take the option to explore the Oak Alley Antebellum Plantation, named after the avenue of 28 giant oaks which leads up to the house. Step inside to gracious interiors that echo the romance of another era, where gleaming hardwood floors and shimmering chandeliers reflect both streams of sunlight, and the venerable history of this magnificent home. Discover the story of those who were enslaved on this sugar plantation from approximately 1835 to the end of the Civil War. See The Confederate Commanding Officer’s Tent exhibit and The Sugar Cane Theater which tells the story of sugar's impact on the people of Oak Alley, through video and exhibit. Or take the opportunity to explore the Whitney Museum Plantation, a site of memory, with the focus on lives of the slaves and their legacies. Experience the world of an 1830's sugar plantation through the eyes of the enslaved people who lived and worked here. Enjoy a 90-minute walking tour and gain a unique perspective on the lives of the enslaved people, learning their stories through the real oral histories recorded by the Federal Writers Project during the Depression. See the earliest and best preserved raised Creole cottage in Louisiana, all built by slaves. Admire the original structures and authentic representations nestled in a working sugar cane field.

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What people are saying about Louisiana

Book early! Take the first tour of the day! If possible. Kids are fresh and fed.. I had 3 little girls, a 16 year old 6 ft grandson , my adult daughter the tour guide was fun, well informed, she even made it so interesting for children to understand . Told us even about Christmas traditions as she grew up .. It just made it so personal and interesting to all of of us.. she explained Katrina Hurricane and what it did to the 9th Ward and City, Cemeteries and burials. history about the Spanish and French. Take little bottles of water. we did this trip on 12/29/22. We were excited because we were there for the Sugar Bowl .. We were all dressed in Purple for K-State University .. had no problem keep a eye on the children.. I highly recommend dress your kids and you all in the same color visiting a large city like New Orleans or any vacation. You can see your family at all times.. This tour is the Best, Clean, Restful way to see this city… Everyone with the Tour was Great!!!!

I found the Museum to be complete when presenting WWII’s history. Easy to follow sections, all the video available of actual reporters and soldiers explaining their experience made it more valuable. Take your time for there are many details you don’t want to miss.

Our guide, Jade I think, was a great guy who told us a lot about the history of French Quarter, took us to great places and wd truly enjoyed the time with him.

Stella, our tour guide, was amazing and had great stories and anecdotes.

Nice laid back tour. With interesting facts about Mardi Gras