New Orleans is home to numerous museums that explore a wide variety of histories and cultures, many of which are participating in Museum Month this August. Museum Month is a program where one museum membership gets you and a guest access to every participating museum for the entire month. History buffs in particular can make the most of Museum Month by visiting the museums listed below.
Recognized as Trip Advisor’s #2 museum in the nation and #2 museum in the world in 2017, The National WWII Museum is a world-class destination. Telling the story of American Experience in the war that changed the world, the museum has exhibits ranging from The D-Day Invasion of Normandy to The Arsenal of Democracy. Beyond All Boundaries, showing exclusively in The Solomon Victory Theater, is a 4D journey through the war. With several restaurants and a hotel on its campus, there’s so much to explore.
The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience covers the geographical area of 13 Southern states and 300 years of history focused on the culture of Southern Jews.
A favorite of adults and children alike, the museum offers dynamic interactive exhibits, multigenerational educational programming, research facilities, and engaging musical performances in the city where jazz was born.
This house museum was built by the late philanthropists Edith and Edgar Stern. The Classical Revival-style mansion is surrounded by eight acres of breathtakingly landscaped gardens designed by some of the finest outdoor architects of the early 20th century. Live music in the garden, as well as gardening classes and other special programming, are regularly offered.
Located in historically Black Tremé, the New Orleans African American Museum is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting the history, art, contributions, and culture of African Americans in New Orleans and the African diaspora. The museum features exhibits from Black artists and showcases Black-owned businesses at a monthly market.
New Orleans is home to several house museums, with Pitot House being one of, if not, the oldest. Built in 1799 on Bayou St. John, Pitot House was the home to New Orleans' first “American” Mayor and remains as one of the few West Indies-style houses remaining in Louisiana.
BK Historic House & Gardens is a historic home dating back to the 19th century complete with twin curved staircases, a Tuscan portico, and a brick-walled garden. Former residents include Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard and American author Frances Parkinson Keyes.
Gallier House, built in 1857 by f8amous architect James Gallier, Jr., is a Victorian townhouse with modern innovations and stunning decor. This house museum is known for its innovative and advanced-for-its-time architectural features including running hot and cold water.
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center, and publisher with exhibits ranging from sculptures to photographs of the French Quarter. View a 3D sculpture of the iconic Jackson Square, which includes a five-foot tall St. Louis Cathedral, plus the French Quarter galleries with over 300 artifacts, and more.
This restored French Quarter home built in 1831 includes a Federalist architectural façade, original operating open-hearth kitchen, a courtyard, and more. The Urban Enslavement Tour is currently offered. On this tour, visitors will learn about the experience of enslaved women, men, and children in urban settings and how they differentiate from that of rural plantations. Hear the stories of Catherine, Maria, and other individuals of African descent who were enslaved by the Hermann and Grima families and view the French Quarter property through the lens of enslavement.
Housed in the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist, this museum’s collection documents and illustrates the history of medicine during the 19th century. It’s one of the most interesting and unique museums New Orleans offers.
The Cabildo, once the seat of Spanish colonial city hall, showcases the rich history of Louisiana and its Spanish influence. The Cabildo offers tours inside the building, where visitors will find a variety of rare artifacts, documents, and images exploring historical events such as The Battle of New Orleans, the Louisiana Purchase, and more. The non-profit organization Friends of the Cabildo will also host two-hour general history tours, and walking tours throughout the building and the French Quarter, for guests that may want to learn more.
The Louisiana State Museum (also known as The Presbytere) was designed to match the Cabildo in 1791 and has since served as a reminder of Louisiana’s rich history and character. The museum was converted from commercial use as the residence of the Capuchin monks in 1834, when it became a courthouse. Following this change, in 1911, the Presbytere became a museum. With two permanent exhibits, Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana, and The Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond, the Presbytere showcases the history of resilience and celebration in the state.
The Tate Etienne Prevost (TEP) Center, located in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, is a renovated mixed-use facility housed in the historic McDonogh 19 Elementary School. It was purchased in 2020 by the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, Inc. and Alembix. The center promotes anti-racism and includes education, exhibition space, affordable housing for seniors, and hosts Undoing Racism workshops. Other experiences offered include TEP Talks (recounting untold stories from the Civil Rights Movement), Ringing the Bell workshops for educators, and TEP tours of the property.
Vue Orleans is a multi-level cultural experience, and a one-of-a-kind way to learn about the history of New Orleans. Visit one of the 360º observation decks for some views, stop by Story Café for the history of classic New Orleans cuisine, and step into the panoramic Vue Theater to hear from the ‘Soul Queen of New Orleans’, Irma Thomas. The integration of different art forms, from visual and performance arts to music and culinary exhibits is sure to captivate the whole family!
See the full list of participating museums here.