With dozens of museums, attractions and sights to see, you’ll never grow bored in New Orleans. But it’s often those who travel off the beaten path that discover our hidden gems. Go behind-the-scenes of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, explore the sounds of an unlikely music venue or travel back in time to learn about apothecaries from centuries past. Take the road less traveled and visit these off the beaten path museums and attractions in New Orleans.
Studio BE is the brainchild of artist Brandan “B-mike” Odums. The visual art housed in this 35,000 sq. ft. warehouse depicts the stories of revolutionaries, heroes and everyday New Orleanians. Visit Studio BE to see their latest exhibit, “Radical Freedom Dream,” which was inspired by youth in response to the nation’s civil unrest.
Among the most innovative and one-of-a-kind experiences in New Orleans lies the Music Box Village. The space serves as both a stage for musicians and an instrument within itself. The whimsical nature of the Village is reflected in its design, where visitors can test different sounds or sit back and enjoy a performance from local artists.
The Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum promotes community through remembering the past, sharing stories of the present and planning for the future. Visit to explore the neighborhood’s history, which includes its past as a colony for escaped slaves and its devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This small but mighty museum is well worth everyone’s time when exploring New Orleans.
Located on the beautiful New Orleans Lakefront, the New Canal Lighthouse sits at the edge of Lake Pontchartrain offering a sweeping view of the lake. Dating back to the 1830s, the lighthouse has since been restored to tell the story of the city’s coastal waters. Take a tour of the museum, then relax and watch the sun set on a perfect day in New Orleans.
One of the latest attractions to hit the streets of New Orleans is Stumpy’s, a hatchet-throwing venue in the Central Business District of downtown. Try your hand at 10 axe-throwing pits and experience why the hatchet-throwing craze has taken off across the nation.
Stepping into the Backstreet Cultural Museum takes you straight to the heart and soul of New Orleans. Flanked with hand-sewn Mardi Gras Indian costumes of every color, the museum was the dream of the late Sylvester “Hawk” Francis. The museum chronicles the history of Black New Orleanians in life and death, from the great Mardi Gras Indian tradition to social aid & pleasure clubs to the tradition of a jazz funeral. Located in the historically Black Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Backstreet is off the beaten path but well worth the visit.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is an inside look at early medicine and voodoo potions circa-1800s. This two-story French Quarter museum showcases apothecary bottles (some with their original ingredients) and puts you in the mindset of what it was like to be America’s first licensed pharmacist.
Ever wanted to soar high across the sky in beautiful City Park? With the high ropes at LOOP Nola, you’ll hone your problem solving and teamwork skills while navigating a challenging course. Those who would prefer to stay on the ground can rent a canoe through LOOP Nola for a peaceful kayak through the hidden lagoons of City Park. The ropes course can be booked by group, and individuals can plan a visit on General Public Days.
One of the newest attractions that New Orleans has to offer is JAMNOLA, a permanent pop-up celebrating the music, art and culture of the city brought to life by 20+ local artists. Exhibits include films on Mardi Gras traditions, murals representing the faces of New Orleans, a life-size interactive crawfish boil pot, a wall of rotating second line umbrellas, a touch-free sensory sound exhibit and more. Each room provides a different unique photo opportunity, like taking a bite out of a larger-than-life po-boy mural or posing in front of digital headdresses.