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History Museums

New Orleans History Museums

New Orleans reflects its deep historical roots in almost every aspect of the city, and a carriage ride through the picturesque French Quarter isn’t the only way to revisit its glory. For the best rides through history, visit one of these New Orleans institutions, each celebrating eminent events, lessons and experiences of days gone by that have shaped not only the city, but America as we know it today.

New Orleans History Museums
American Italian Cultural Center
537 S. Peters St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 522-7294

Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Research Facility

Description: The American Italian Cultural Center in the heart of downtown New Orleans is a repository of priceless information and memorabilia celebrating the contributions of the sons and daughters of Italy to the city’s cultural life.
Amistad Research Center
6823 St. Charles Ave., Tilton Memorial Hall,Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 [Map It]
(504) 862-3222

Neighborhood: Uptown/Garden District
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Research Facility

Description: Located on the beautiful campus of Tulane University in uptown New Orleans, the Amistad Research Center houses the country's largest collection of manuscripts about African Americans, race relations and civil rights. This center is the focal point of research by historians, nonfiction authors, novelists and those pursuing information about their family's history.
The Cabildo
701 Chartres St., Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA 70116 [Map It]
(504) 568-6968, (800) 568-6968

Neighborhood: French Quarter
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Historic Site, Historic Building

Description: The Cabildo is one of the most historically significant buildings in America. Built between 1795 and 1799 to replace a structure that burned in the 1794 fire, the Cabildo served as the seat of government in New Orleans during the Spanish colonial period and is the location where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803.
Fort Pike
27100 Chef Menteur Hwy., New Orleans, LA 70129 [Map It]
(504) 662-5703, (888) 662-5703

Neighborhood: Gentilly/New Orleans East/Chalmette
Attraction Type/s: Museum

Description: A State Historic Site within the Louisiana States Park System, Fort Pike is one of the best-preserved of a chain of early 19th century coastal fortifications along the Gulf of Mexico between Pensacola, Florida and Barataria Bay, Louisiana.
Historic New Orleans Collection
533 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 523-4662

Neighborhood: French Quarter
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Historic Home, Research Facility

Description: Founded in 1966 by General L. Kemper Williams and his wife Leila, the Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC) has a mission of preserving the French Quarter and New Orleans history. Its Royal Street Complex features seven architectural treasures.
Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans
933 Conti St., New Orleans, LA 70112 [Map It]
(504) 302-1382

Neighborhood: French Quarter
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Cultural Center


Located on a historic French Quarter property the Irish Cultural Museum explores the over 200 year history of the Irish in New Orleans. The compelling saga is told through interactive kiosks, exhibits, genealogy resources and an award-winning documentary. Cultural events are scheduled throughout the year.

The museum is also home to St. Patrick's Coffee House, a coffee and whiskey bar.

Museum admission is FREE and open to the public.

Louisiana National Guard Museum at Jackson Barracks
(504) 278-8664

Attraction Type/s: Museum
Louisiana's Civil War Museum
929 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 523-4522

Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center
Attraction Type/s: Museum

Description: Louisiana’s Civil War Museum is one of the largest repositories of Confederacy-related artifacts and memorabilia in the United States, in addition to being the oldest continuously operating museum in Louisiana. The Louisiana Historical Association built the museum in 1891, and its exterior sandstone construction and cathedral-like appearance stand out in contrast to its more recent surroundings on the edge of New Orleans’ Warehouse Arts District.
The National World War II Museum
945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 528-1944

Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center
Attraction Type/s: Museum

Description: The country's official World War II Museum lets you experience America's role in the war and on the Home Front - from the 1930s prelude to war, to the Normandy Invasion and the battles of the Pacific Islands. At The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, see how technological innovations aided the Allies. Then, with Beyond All Boundaries - a multi-sensory cinematic feature from producer Tom Hanks, playing at the 4D Solomon Victory Theater - feel and experience what soldiers at the front experienced. New pavilions are under construction and anticipate opening in the near future. Archives- including oral histories of WWII veterans- are available for scholarly research by reservation. Through extraordinary artifacts and exhibits, get ready to discover the courage, teamwork and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation.
The New Canal Lighthouse
8001 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, LA 70124 [Map It]
(504) 282-2134

Neighborhood: Lakefront/Lakeview
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Historic Building

Description: This famous NOLA landmark, first built in 1839, was rebuilt by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and is the fourth lighthouse on the site. Take a guided tour of the museum, visit the gift shop and hear about the history of a light, a lake and a coast. Or just take a cool stroll along the lake! Even cooler - the lighthouse beacon shines every night, to aid mariners as they navigate the basin!
The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
916 North Peters St., French Market, New Orleans, LA 70116 [Map It]
(504) 589-4806

Neighborhood: French Quarter
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Theatre (Performance)

Description: New Orleans is universally considered to be the birthplace of the uniquely American brand of music known as Jazz. The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park was created in 1994 to commemorate this memorable musical legacy. The park’s purpose is to preserve information, resources, and sites related to the beginnings and progressions of jazz in New Orleans.
Old U.S. Mint
400 Esplanade St., New Orleans, LA 70116 [Map It]
(504) 568-6968, (800) 568-6968

Neighborhood: French Quarter
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Historic Building, Research Facility

Description: Built in 1835, the Old U.S. Mint is the only building in America to have served both as a United States and a Confederate Mint. President Andrew Jackson advocated the Mint’s establishment in order to help finance development of the nation’s western frontier.Today's visitor finds a number of stunning permanent exhibits in the Old U.S. Mint including displays of coins that were minted there through 1909 and the stamping presses used to produce them. On the Mint's upper level, the “New Orleans Jazz” exhibit features instruments played by significant jazz musicians, original sheet music, and other memorabilia chronicling the history of jazz from its humble beginnings on the streets of New Orleans. Live "Jazz at the Old Mint performances are staged frequently in the museums's theater.
Pharmacy Museum
514 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 565-8027

Neighborhood: French Quarter
Attraction Type/s: Museum

Description: Louis Joseph Dufilho, Jr. of New Orleans became America’s first licensed pharmacist. Today, Dufilho’s 1823 apothecary shop on Chartres Street in the French Quarter houses what is widely believed to be the largest and most diverse pharmaceutical collection in a single location in the United States, containing old patent medicines, books, and pharmaceutical equipment dating back as far as the early 1800s.
Preservation Resource Center
923 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 581-7032

Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center
Attraction Type/s: Museum, Historic Home

Description: Dedicated to preserving the historic and unique architectural character of New Orleans’ neighborhoods, the PRC has been in the forefront of preservation efforts throughout its thirty-plus years of existence. Visitors can learn the difference between a Creole cottage and a double gallery Garden District mansion, or between a standard shotgun house and a camelback. The center features both permanent and rotating exhibits on New Orleans architecture and historic neighborhoods.
(504) 528-1944

Neighborhood: Gentilly/New Orleans East/Chalmette
Attraction Type/s: Educational Institution, Other Attraction, Boat/Yacht Charter, Historic Site

Description: The most recent addition to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans is the PT-305, a patrol-torpedo boat that served the US Navy in European waters from 1944 to the end of the war. Climb aboard living history for a deck tour or a ride on Lake Pontchartrain.
Southern Food and Beverage Museum
1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70113 [Map It]
(504) 569-0405

Neighborhood: Uptown/Garden District
Attraction Type/s: Museum
Tulane Museum of Natural History
3705 Main St., Bldg. A-3, F. Edward Hebert Riverside Research Center, Belle Chasse, LA 70037 [Map It]
(504) 394-1711

Neighborhood: Algiers/Westbank
Attraction Type/s: Museum

Description: Located in Belle Chasse, just outside the official city limits of New Orleans, the Tulane Museum of Natural History is a private, non-profit research museum which houses extensive collections of amphibians, invertebrates, fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and fossils, most of which are or were native species to the region. The Tulane Natural History Museum is not officially open to the public, but individual appointments for scholarly researchers and writers can be made, as well as arrangements for school tours of the facility.
Williams Research Center
410 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 598-7171

Neighborhood: French Quarter
Attraction Type/s: Historic Building, Research Facility

Description: The Williams Research Center, also known as The Historic New Orleans Collection, is a research facility and museum dedicated to the preservation of New Orleans and Louisiana culture through historic documents, books, and photographs. The research center opened in 1996 and serves as the Collection’s primary public research facility. Inside, you can find original documents, manuscripts, and photographs, as well as over 35,000 library items, which contribute to the rich culture of the city.
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