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Best Local History & Culture in New Orleans

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The National World War II Museum is made up of four sections, each containing a different exhibit. A variety of artifacts, testimonies and documents, particularly those chronicling the World War II period, are on display here. There is a permanent exhibit, as well as temporary exhibits and electronic exhibits, all of which transport visitors back to that time in history.

Historic New Orleans Collection was established in 1966 by General and Mrs. L Kemper Williams. The history and culture represent New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana with regional, national and even international influences through a collaboration of historic supporting materials. The Louisiana History Galleries are housed in historic Merieult House that has stood since 1792.

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is a repository of many of the things that make this area of the United States great. Fine art, architecture, folk art and artifacts of the bygone Southern era can be found here. You also find unique exhibitions, such as Looking Back, Looking Forward, Becoming Ida Kohlmeyer, Walter Anderson and Friends, Clementine Hunter and Melrose, the Treme Storytelling Quilt Project, and The Jazz.

In a city that celebrates like no other, the Backstreet Cultural Museum gives visitors the opportunity to explore the unique history and cultural significance of distinctively New Orleans' traditions that tourists rarely get to see. Intricate displays offer visitors insight into Jazz Funerals, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs. Housed in a former Funeral Home in the Treme neighborhood, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the United States, the Backstreet Cultural Museum showcases these rich New Orleans traditions with the city's largest collection of hand-made, vibrantly colored beaded and feathered Mardi Gras Indian Costumes as well as an impressive library of memorabilia, still photos, and video footage of Jazz Funerals, Second-line Parades, and backstreet Mardi Gras Celebrations.

The Presbytere, built in 1790, was originally called the "Ecclesiastical House." It served as a courthouse and a commercial business before becoming one of five buildings in the French Quarter that make up the Louisiana State Museum. Exhibits focus on paintings, furniture, pottery, clothing and every kind of craft or relic imaginable, as long as it illustrates Louisiana's culture and colorful past.

This Greek Revival mansion is home to original English and American antiques and eight acres of formal gardens and decorative fountains. Although florals vary with the seasons, visitors can count on a spectacular display year-round. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Longue Vue House & Gardens features ever-changing exhibits. A gift shop sells horticulture and decorative items, children's gifts and reproductions from the Longue Vue Collection.

This structure was built between 1795-1799 to house the city council when New Orleans was a possession of Spain. Today, the Cabildo is the flagship of the Louisiana State Museum. Interactive exhibits illustrate the history of Louisiana from European explorations to the post Civil War Reconstruction era. This stunning museum is located on Jackson Square near the St. Louis Cathedral. Group tours are available. The museum is closed on legal holidays.

Louisiana's Civil War Museum at Confederate Memorial Hall was established in 1899, when most of the artifacts were donated. Here, you can view a broad spectrum of items from the Civil War, including uniforms, weapons, ammunition, medical equipment, battle flags, and currency. Also on exhibit are the personal effects belonging to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and part of Robert E. Lee's silver camp service.

This Greek Revival building was first used as a U.S. and Confederate Mint in 1835 and produced money for the Federal Government until 1909. Throughout its existence it has served many purposes, including minting money and housing soldiers for the Confederate Government during the Civil War. Today, the Old U.S. Mint is home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum, with many exhibits as well as important historical archives. The mint also houses two gift shops, the Coin Vault and Louisiana Music Factory, which sell unique items. Own one of these as a remembrance of your visit!

New Orleans residents love their food, so it's no surprise that New Orleans is home to a museum dedicated to its role in the South's culture. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (also known as SoFAB) was designed to bring discovery, understanding, and celebration of the culinary culture of New Orleans and the South through a series of exhibits. Hands-on and interactive exhibits include rotating presentations of photographs and materials on a variety of culinary-related topics, videos about Southern restaurants and restaurateurs, and an ongoing collection of menus from southern restaurants, past and present. In addition to exhibits, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum will host tastings, speakers, and demonstrations, all in an effort to further the understanding of this region's unique culinary culture.

If the name "New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum" does not spook you, look inside and mind your step. The museum features are walking tours featuring voodoo artifacts and sacred objects related to the dark art realm. Get your facts right here about this mystical dark arts and learn everything you wanted to know about this spiritual practice and its history in the Crescent City. The museum also offers guided tours of the St. Louis cemetery and other local tourist attractions.

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