New Orleans Museums and Galleries
Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
1 Collins Diboll Cir., City Park
One of our favorite New Orleans experiences has nothing to do with eating or drinking. This enchanting five-acre garden is perfect for a wander around ponds and magnolia and live oak trees. There are also sixty-four sculptures by artists like Henry Moore and Kenneth Snelson. Originally intended as an offshoot of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the garden is an attraction all on its own. Come in the early morning or hazy late afternoon to see these wonders come alive when the light is most reflective.
Longue Vue House & Gardens
7 Bamboo Rd., Mid-City
Compared to most landmarks in the city, the Stein family’s Longue Vue estate is fairly new as it was built in the early 1940’s—but it's still very cool. Within the main building you’ll find a well-preserved collection of antique furniture and a slew of modern art treasures, including ones by Kandinsky and Picasso. Though the eight acres of sprawling gardens were almost entirely ruined by hurricane Katrina, they were lovingly replanted according to the original landscaper’s plans, and now play host to daily visitors, educational programs, and a summer camp for little ones.
New Orleans Museum of Art
One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park
When it was established in 1911, there were nine works of art on display. Now, in addition to a 40,000-piece-strong permanent collection, including works by Picasso, Sargent, and Magritte, there’s a world-class sculpture garden and an impressive calendar of special exhibitions. On Fridays, visitors are invited to stick around past closing for movie screening, poetry slams, and lectures.
World War II Museum
945 Magazine St., Warehouse District
Even if you have little to no interest in military history, don’t miss this moving tribute set in a massive industrial space in uptown New Orleans. The interactive exhibits are unlike anything you’ve seen in traditional museums and the multimedia experiences are as engrossing as they are educational. The on-site restaurant—a retro-themed soda shop—is surprisingly good.