NEW ORLEANS WILL Embrace its Multitude of Museums

New Orleans has more than 45 museums within its borders, underscoring its dedication to arts and culture. While locals are certainly aware of the larger museums like NOMA and the National World War II Museum, they may not know about the plethora of fascinating museums studded throughout nearly every neighborhood in the city. Check out some worthwhile museums, sorted by neighborhood, below.

French Quarter

The Cabildo stands as one of the most important historical sites in the city and, arguably, the country. Beyond its role as the seat of the Spanish government until the Louisiana Purchase, the Cabildo also served as the Louisiana State Supreme Court, where it tried landmark cases like Plessy vs. Ferguson. The Historic New Orleans Collection on Royal Street focuses specifically on New Orleans history, and the Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans highlights the more than 200-year history of the Irish in the area.


The Cabildo in the French Quarter once served as the Louisiana Supreme Court. Today, the space is a museum brimming with state and city history. (Photo courtesy Wally Gobetz on Flickr)

Uptown/Garden District

While many of the historic homes in the area may seem like museums in and of themselves, this picturesque neighborhood features several museums as well. Tulane is home the Amistad Research Center, which houses the country’s largest collection of Civil Rights-era manuscripts. The university also hosts a special collections museum and the Newcomb Art Gallery. The Audubon Zoo covers 58 acres of Uptown and is a literally a living museum – visitors have seen animals and plant life at the zoo continually since 1884.  

Central City

This up-and-coming area is home to the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, part of Tulane University that features the work of emerging artists. The center’s mission is to promote African, Caribbean, and African-American art through different mediums, including visual and performance art. Central City is also home to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. This nonprofit museum prides itself on celebrating the food, drink, and culture of the South.


The New Canal Lighthouse lets visitors take a guided tour of the museum or simply explore the waterfront.


New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park is in this corner of the city, sure, but plenty of other treasures are worth visiting as well. Longue Vue House & Gardens is a National Historic Landmark nestled on eight acres of meticulous gardens, and it’s also one of the venues for Prospect.3. The New Orleans Botanical Garden offers a peaceful outlet to enjoy nature and admire the more than 2,000 plant varieties on site. 

Take a closer look at all of the city’s museums, each able to succeed thanks to the constant flow of tourists and the continued support of locals.