clock menu more-arrow no yes
New Orleans holds several museums dedicated to the history of its unique culture.
Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans/Wikimedia Commons

New Orleans history: Mardi Gras, homes, lifestyle, and exhibits

15 places to visit in the city

View as Map
New Orleans holds several museums dedicated to the history of its unique culture.
| Photo by Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans/Wikimedia Commons

So, you want to learn more about New Orleans? There is no better place to start than in the city itself.

New Orleans is a living and breathing history book. For starters, the city has several intact 19th-century homes . Many of these are historic designs native to New Orleans, such as the shotgun and Creole cottage.

But beyond its unique architecture, the city holds a vast history of its residents. In fact, several museums have dedicated exhibits that document lifestyles of New Orleanians dating as far back as the 17th century. From the humble developments of the Lower 9th Ward, to the elaborate artwork created in New Orleans during Carnival, every corner of the city has a story to tell.

We’ve created a growing list of several museums, sites, and exhibits to see to learn more about the culture of the city. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there is something for everybody to see.

Read More

1. 1850 House

Copy Link
523 Saint Ann St
New Orleans, LA
(800) 568-6968
Visit Website

Maintained by the Louisiana State Museum, and furnished with antiques, this historic home encapsulates the lifestyle of the upper-middle class in 19th-century New Orleans.

2. Pitot House

Copy Link
1440 Moss St
New Orleans, LA

Restored in the 1960s by the Louisiana Landmarks Society, this Bayou St John country home was owned by a plethora of affluent and renowned New Orleanians, including the first mayor of New Orleans James Pitot. Now the headquarters of the Louisiana Landmarks Society, residents can tour the home and view its preserved antiques from as early as the mid-1800s.

3. House of Broel

Copy Link
2220 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130

Known for being built and remodeled during both the Antebellum and High Victorian periods, this mansion preserves the lifestyle of a family of tobacco entrepreneurs. It has a grand ballroom, ornate chandeliers, and an operational gasolier.

A post shared by Erin Arceri (@erinarceri) on

4. Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum

Copy Link
1235 Deslonde St
New Orleans, LA

This museum, held in part of a shotgun house, chronicles the evolution of the Lower 9th Ward district from the 19th century to post-Katrina across five exhibits, including video testimonies from Lower 9th Ward residents on how Hurricane Katrina impacted their lives, communities, and relationships.

A post shared by RL Bumpers (@rlbumpers) on

5. Le Musée de F.P.C.

Copy Link
2336 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA
(504) 233-0384
Visit Website

Right on Esplanade Avenue, this Greek Revival house museum displays art and written history of free people of color in New Orleans as early as 1722.

A post shared by Speak (@speaksalon) on

6. New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

Copy Link
724 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA

If you’re interested in the story of Marie Laveau and other renowned voodooist, then check out this museum. The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum holds several pieces of art and relics that are representative of the Voodoo culture in the city. The officials at the museum operate a Voodoo-centric cemetery tour, as well.

7. New Orleans Museum of Art

Copy Link
1 Collins C. Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA

The New Orleans Museum art, which claims the title of “the city’s oldest fine are institution,” has over 40,000 art objects on display, many from New Orleans-based artist .

Just outside of the museum is it’s 5-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden that has over 60 sculptures. Right now it’s undergoing a massive expansion that will add 22 sculptures, a new gallery, amphitheater and stage, pedestrian bridges, walkways, and an outdoor classroom.

8. The Presbytère

Copy Link
751 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

This museum has a selection of permanent exhibits about New Orleans, including an installation on life in New Orleans after hurricanes Betsy and Katrina.

Until December 30 of 2018, The Presbytère will host an exhibit of the development of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and a separate installation on the history of women in Mardi Gras.

9. The Cabildo

Copy Link
701 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130

This state museums has two permanent exhibits that explore the development of New Orleans. You’ll find a documentation of the Battle of New Orleans, and a three-story exhibit dedicated to the contributions of several diverse groups to the evolution of the city.

10. Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World

Copy Link
1380 Port of New Orleans Pl
New Orleans, LA
(504) 362-8211
Visit Website

If you’re looking for an all-in-one place to experience Mardi Gras anytime of the year, check out Mardi Gras World and its broad selection of costumes, artifacts, and floats.

11. House of Dance and Feathers

Copy Link
Tupelo Street
New Orleans, LA

This house museum holds a vast collection of Mardi Gras Indian books, costumes, and photos. Open by appointment, the tour guide, Ronald W. Lewis, has dedicated his life—and part of his home—to documenting the cultural phenomenon.

A post shared by Megan (@lindymegan) on

12. Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture

Copy Link
1010 Conti St
New Orleans, LA 70112

This museum highlights the development, craftsmanship, and importance of costuming during Carnival season. The exhibits, which pull from an extensive collection of Carl Mack, displays costumes related to Kings and Queens, Mardi Gras Indian, Social Aid and Pleasure Club members, and other costuming groups in New Orleans.

13. Backstreet Cultural Museum

Copy Link
1116 Henriette Delille St
New Orleans, LA

Located in the heart of Tremé, this museum holds exhibits that traces the development of second lines, jazz funerals, Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Dolls, Skull and Bones Gangs, and other black contributions to the New Orleans.

A post shared by @mghmghmghm on

14. Treme's Petit Jazz Museum

Copy Link
1500 Governor Nicholls St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 715-0332
Visit Website

This cozy house museum, curated by Tremé native Alvin Jackson, follows the historical narrative of the interconnectivity of jazz music, especially as it relates to Tremé. Particularly, Jackson demonstrates the evolution of Jazz from its West African, Caribbean, Creole, and European roots to the present day phenomenon. He also has a selection of rare signed documents, original jazz recordings, and rare photographs.

15. Levee Exhibit Hall and Garden

Copy Link
5000 Warrington Dr
New Orleans, LA 70122
(504) 722-8172
Visit Website

Located in Gentilly, and operated by levees.org, this 100-foot-long covered walkway houses six exhibits on the levee breaches that occurred during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While the installation sits near the London Avenue Canal, the displays depict impact across the Greater New Orleans area, and all of the information is vetted by experts. You’ll also find artifacts reclaimed from homes devastated by the storm.

A post shared by ICOCHARITY (@icocharity) on

1. 1850 House

523 Saint Ann St, New Orleans, LA

Maintained by the Louisiana State Museum, and furnished with antiques, this historic home encapsulates the lifestyle of the upper-middle class in 19th-century New Orleans.

523 Saint Ann St
New Orleans, LA

2. Pitot House

1440 Moss St, New Orleans, LA

Restored in the 1960s by the Louisiana Landmarks Society, this Bayou St John country home was owned by a plethora of affluent and renowned New Orleanians, including the first mayor of New Orleans James Pitot. Now the headquarters of the Louisiana Landmarks Society, residents can tour the home and view its preserved antiques from as early as the mid-1800s.

1440 Moss St
New Orleans, LA

3. House of Broel

2220 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Known for being built and remodeled during both the Antebellum and High Victorian periods, this mansion preserves the lifestyle of a family of tobacco entrepreneurs. It has a grand ballroom, ornate chandeliers, and an operational gasolier.

2220 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130

4. Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum

1235 Deslonde St, New Orleans, LA

This museum, held in part of a shotgun house, chronicles the evolution of the Lower 9th Ward district from the 19th century to post-Katrina across five exhibits, including video testimonies from Lower 9th Ward residents on how Hurricane Katrina impacted their lives, communities, and relationships.

1235 Deslonde St
New Orleans, LA

5. Le Musée de F.P.C.

2336 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA

Right on Esplanade Avenue, this Greek Revival house museum displays art and written history of free people of color in New Orleans as early as 1722.

2336 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA

6. New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

724 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA

If you’re interested in the story of Marie Laveau and other renowned voodooist, then check out this museum. The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum holds several pieces of art and relics that are representative of the Voodoo culture in the city. The officials at the museum operate a Voodoo-centric cemetery tour, as well.

724 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA

7. New Orleans Museum of Art

1 Collins C. Diboll Circle, New Orleans, LA

The New Orleans Museum art, which claims the title of “the city’s oldest fine are institution,” has over 40,000 art objects on display, many from New Orleans-based artist .

Just outside of the museum is it’s 5-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden that has over 60 sculptures. Right now it’s undergoing a massive expansion that will add 22 sculptures, a new gallery, amphitheater and stage, pedestrian bridges, walkways, and an outdoor classroom.

1 Collins C. Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA

8. The Presbytère

751 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116

This museum has a selection of permanent exhibits about New Orleans, including an installation on life in New Orleans after hurricanes Betsy and Katrina.

Until December 30 of 2018, The Presbytère will host an exhibit of the development of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and a separate installation on the history of women in Mardi Gras.

751 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

9. The Cabildo

701 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This state museums has two permanent exhibits that explore the development of New Orleans. You’ll find a documentation of the Battle of New Orleans, and a three-story exhibit dedicated to the contributions of several diverse groups to the evolution of the city.

701 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130

10. Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA

If you’re looking for an all-in-one place to experience Mardi Gras anytime of the year, check out Mardi Gras World and its broad selection of costumes, artifacts, and floats.

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl
New Orleans, LA

11. House of Dance and Feathers

Tupelo Street, New Orleans, LA

This house museum holds a vast collection of Mardi Gras Indian books, costumes, and photos. Open by appointment, the tour guide, Ronald W. Lewis, has dedicated his life—and part of his home—to documenting the cultural phenomenon.

Tupelo Street
New Orleans, LA

12. Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture

1010 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112

This museum highlights the development, craftsmanship, and importance of costuming during Carnival season. The exhibits, which pull from an extensive collection of Carl Mack, displays costumes related to Kings and Queens, Mardi Gras Indian, Social Aid and Pleasure Club members, and other costuming groups in New Orleans.

1010 Conti St
New Orleans, LA 70112

13. Backstreet Cultural Museum

1116 Henriette Delille St, New Orleans, LA

Located in the heart of Tremé, this museum holds exhibits that traces the development of second lines, jazz funerals, Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Dolls, Skull and Bones Gangs, and other black contributions to the New Orleans.

1116 Henriette Delille St
New Orleans, LA

14. Treme's Petit Jazz Museum

1500 Governor Nicholls St, New Orleans, LA 70116

This cozy house museum, curated by Tremé native Alvin Jackson, follows the historical narrative of the interconnectivity of jazz music, especially as it relates to Tremé. Particularly, Jackson demonstrates the evolution of Jazz from its West African, Caribbean, Creole, and European roots to the present day phenomenon. He also has a selection of rare signed documents, original jazz recordings, and rare photographs.

1500 Governor Nicholls St
New Orleans, LA 70116

15. Levee Exhibit Hall and Garden

5000 Warrington Dr, New Orleans, LA 70122

Located in Gentilly, and operated by levees.org, this 100-foot-long covered walkway houses six exhibits on the levee breaches that occurred during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While the installation sits near the London Avenue Canal, the displays depict impact across the Greater New Orleans area, and all of the information is vetted by experts. You’ll also find artifacts reclaimed from homes devastated by the storm.

5000 Warrington Dr
New Orleans, LA 70122

Related Maps