New Orleans
Art & Museums

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Our most recommended New Orleans Art & Museums

New Orleans: The National WWII Museum Ticket

1. 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.

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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.

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New Orleans: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions

3. New Orleans: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions

No other New Orleans sightseeing package can compare to the incredible choice, convenience, and value of the Go City pass. Your New Orleans All-Inclusive Pass includes admission to a variety of the most popular New Orleans city attractions, New Orleans French Quarter attractions, and surrounding Louisiana attractions. When you visit each location with your All-Inclusive Pass, the admission has already been taken care of. You simply follow the instructions in the guide and present your Go City pass to enter. You don’t have to wait and pay over and over again. The low price of the New Orleans All-Inclusive Pass includes savings off of the admission fees you’d pay if you purchased your New Orleans attraction tickets individually at each location. Activities, attractions, and tours included with the New Orleans All-Inclusive Pass: • Paddlewheeler Creole Queen • Adventures in New Orleans Bus Tour • The National WWII Museum • Haunted History Tours • Ultimate Swamp Adventures • Mardi Gras World • St. Louis number 1 Cemetery Tour by French Quarter Phantoms • Ghost & Vampire Combo Tour by French Quarter Phantoms • Cooking Demonstration Class/New Orleans School of Cooking • Saints and Sinners by French Quarter Phantoms • Cajun Pride Swamp Tours • Garden District Tour by French Quarter Phantoms • Treme Tour by French Quarter Phantoms • Longue Vue House and Gardens • Edgar Degas House • San Francisco Plantation • Southern Food and Beverage Museum • The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old US Mint • 1850 House/Louisiana State Museum • Cabildo/The Louisiana State Museum• New Orleans Pharmacy Museum • Louisiana Children’s Museum • Presbytere/The Louisiana State Museum

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2-Hour French Quarter and Cemetery Tour

4. 2-Hour French Quarter and Cemetery Tour

This is on the top of the list of things to do in New Orleans! Meeting in the French Quarter, you will learn of history from long ago, as well as the many types of architecture and how immigrants influenced history, paint colors, and the architecture! Although this is the oldest cemetery in operation in New Orleans, your guide will disclose the first burial grounds in the city and another cemetery, which was in use before St. Louis #1. You will hear of burial customs, not commonly used in the United States. Prepare yourself!  The architecture in the cemetery is amazing! There are many different types of architecture, as well as burials in this cemetery.  See the massive Society tombs (the Italian, the French, the Batalion of Artillery, the Spanish, the Portuguese and many more!), the tomb of Homer Plessy, Bernard Marigny (the richest, youngest person to live in the city of New Orleans, the also brought the game of craps to America!), and the Protestant section (in a Catholic cemetery). You will be intrigued by the history and burial practices in this City of the Dead! A 10 minute break for refreshments (not included in tour price) at the old train station, now a welcome center, will prepare you for continuing in the French Quarter in the last hour of your tour. Time permitting, your guide may take you through the center with history of the train station as well as Katrina information. You will visit Armstrong Park, formerly known as Congo Square, where Voodoo rituals took place in days gone by. Sometimes you may hear the drumming from a Voodoo practitioner! Thursdays you may participate in the Farmer's Market, by locals. You will next explore more French Quarter stories and the site of Marie Laveau's home, where she raised her children and practiced her Voodoo!  Onward to Jackson Square! You are now on the original ground where the city of New Orleans began! St. Louis Cathedral history is a must, as it is the oldest continuously operating Catholic cathedral in the United States! After finishing the tour make sure to visit for mass or the free tour of this amazingly beautiful cathedral. The history of the flanking buildings on Jackson Square carry wonderful, surprising stories of the Baronnes Pontalba and Spanish rule. These include the Cabildo, the Presbytere and the Pontalba Apartment buildings. Andrew Jackson sits boldly on his horse in the middle of Jackson Square, which was dedicated to him in 1851.

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New Orleans: French Quarter Secrets and Bourbon Street Tour

5. New Orleans: French Quarter Secrets and Bourbon Street Tour

Your tour begins on Bourbon Street where you’ll meet your local expert guide. Set off to learn how this area developed from a seedy slum into one of the preeminent pleasure districts in the United States. You will also swing into a bar to learn about (and enjoy too if you wish) one of the many cocktails created in the French Quarter, before pausing on Royal Street to see some of the best street musicians in America and learn about the creation of Jazz music. From there, your guide will take you to Jackson Square where you’ll see landmark buildings like the Pontalba apartments (the oldest continually-occupied apartments in America), the St. Louis Cathedral, and the Cabildo (where the Louisiana Purchase was signed). You will then step inside the Presbytere for a guided tour of the interior, including exhibits on Mardi Gras and Hurricane Katrina. You can’t visit New Orleans without a close encounter with the supernatural, so your next stop is one of the most haunted buildings in the city, where you will take a tour of its interior which includes the infamous seance room. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, this is an experience not to be missed. After swinging through the old French Market and stopping at the best spot to take pictures of Jackson Square, you'll head down to the riverfront to watch the steamboats go up and down the mighty Mississippi River.

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New Orleans: Garden District Tour with Elms Mansion Access

6. New Orleans: Garden District Tour with Elms Mansion Access

Immerse yourself in the opulence of the Old South in this tour of New Orleans’ prettiest neighborhood with an expert local guide. Your historic Garden District tour begins on a sweet note with a behind-the-scenes visit to an old praline-makers shop. Here you will learn how New Orleans’ most famous confection was brought to the city from Europe, and will even be able to taste one hot out of the copper pots. Next, you’ll hop onto a street car with all-inclusive tickets and zip down St. Charles Avenue, en-route to the Garden District. This area of grand mansions and wide, tree-lined streets is home to some of the best-preserved, pre-Civil-War mansions in America, as well as a slew of celebrity homes. Your guide will introduce you to the history of the area, as you see the grand mansions built by wealthy plantation-owners and now owned by famous people such as Beyonce and Sandra Bullock. Along the way, you’ll stop off at one of America’s most unique graveyards, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. You’ll also learn about the practical difficulties of running a cemetery below sea level. For the highlight of the tour, you will step inside the Elms Mansion, a 150-year-old Italianate home that is one of the most impressive in the city. As you tour the opulent rooms, you will learn about the businessmen and plantation owners who built these stately residences, and the wealthy world that they created in New Orleans before the Civil War. Your tour ends in the mansion’s beautiful garden, with an ice cold glass of lemonade or sweet tea in the shade of the largest magnolia tree in the south.

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New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation Tour

7. New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation Tour

Upon arrival, guests will enter through the Destrehan Plantation store and gift shop, and exit through the back door onto the grounds, where they will meet a personal interpreter to begin the tour. The interpreter will educate guests with stories about the people who lived on the plantation, both free and enslaved. There will also be an opportunity to gaze upon an original document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and to learn the significance of the document in terms of how it relates to Louisiana History. After the house tour, guests can view a folk-life demonstration and self-explore the dependency buildings, such as a slave cabin with an enslavement registry, an overseer's cabin showcasing the 1811 Slave Revolt and Rost Home Colony exhibits, an outdoor kitchen, a washroom, a trapper's cabin and the Legacy Room displaying original documents and artefacts from the family members.

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New Orleans: Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture Tour

8. New Orleans: Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture Tour

The guided tour lasts about 45 minutes with unlimited access to the costume closet and unique gift shop. Your tour guide will bring the Mardi Gras traditions and costumes to life. Costumes take a year to build and you will see the details and stunning display of what makes Mardi Gras so special. With hundreds of costumes on display, you will get a wonderful glimpse into the pageantry of the Kings and Queens, the original walking tours and how they came about, as well as some of the more unique costumes. You will not be disappointed by the craftsmanship, artistry, and history behind all the costumes. 

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New Orleans: Bywater District Food, Beer, and History Tour

9. New Orleans: Bywater District Food, Beer, and History Tour

The Bywater arts and food scenes are the main draws to this revitalized neighborhood post-Katrina. Eat and drink your way through this bohemian area while taking in historic sites, street art, and colorful architecture. Discover the new, innovative direction of local cuisine, including Vietnamese and German fusion. Check out cool street art and visit the site that launched a historic Supreme Court civil rights case.  This is a tour for beer and meat lovers (wine options also available). Visit two microbreweries and a German biergarten. Taste sausage plates, beignet bites, beer-braised pork, a New Orleans twist on Schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels, and craft beers. 

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New Orleans: Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. New Orleans: Self-Guided Audio Tour

See the sights of New Orleans at your own pace and according to your schedule on a self-guided walking tour. Download an audio guide onto your MP3 player and get a fully detailed map to help you explore. This exciting cultural audio tour of the vibrant city of New Orleans will show you how it has evolved and will take you on a colorful journey where you will learn about the famous Mardi Gras celebrations at the Germaine Wells Mardi Gras Museum. You will also learn about the devastating effects on the city after the 2011 disaster of Hurricane Katrina at the Superdome. Then, see the National World War II Museum, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, Aquarium of the Americas, St. Louis Cathedral with Jackson Square, Lalaurie Mansion, Backstreet Cultural Museum, and the Louisiana Civil War Museum. Also embark on a comprehensive tour of the French quarter which contained in this walking tour of New Orleans to ensure that you do not miss out on any of its exciting history.

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Other Sightseeing Options in New Orleans

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What people are saying about New Orleans

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 11 reviews

We loved thr museum! The exhibits are terrific and extensive. They are easy to access and very interesting. The museum itself is easy to navigate and the docents are warm, caring and very helpful. We intend to return to absorb all we missed on this visit. The museum is a gem!!!

Easy to plan with all attractions listed with descriptions, times, cost of what it would have been, easy booking. Tour guides are personable and knowledgeable.

Very interesting and informative museum. You need several days to go through the entire museum. Loved the exhibit of the airplanes hanging from ceiling.

This is a terrific museum. But there is lots to read and listen to, so allow at least 4 hours.

I enjoyed learning about history that was properly documented