Buy one membership, get free entry to over a dozen museums for you and a guest throughout the month of August. This sweet, sweet deal is known as Museum Month, and we’ve created an itinerary for you to make the most of your membership in just four days. Categorized by neighborhood, we’ve included recommendations for food and drink in between as well. Make the most of Museum Month with our itinerary below.
Day One: Museums in the French Quarter
Start the day with beignets and coffee from Café du Monde before browsing The Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum, research center, and publisher with exhibits ranging from sculptures to photographs of the French Quarter. Take your time exploring the wealth of artifacts before walking to Hermann-Grima House. This restored French Quarter home built in 1831 includes a Federalist architectural façade, original operating open-hearth kitchen, a courtyard, and more. After hitting these two museums, head to Napoleon House for a lunch of muffulettas and Pimm’s cups.
After lunch, visit BK Historic House & Gardens, a historic home dating back to the 19th century complete with twin curved staircases, a Tuscan portico, and a brick-walled garden. Gallier House is close-by, and is known for its innovative and advanced-for-its-time architectural features including running hot and cold water.
Take a break from the walking by sitting in at a performance at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. You can count on catching live music Tuesdays-Fridays from 2-3 p.m. After your rest, head to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum to cap off your day and learn all about the history of medicine in the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist.
For dinner, sit in the courtyard of Broussard’s, enjoy casual Cuban cuisine at Manolito, or experience a taste of Africa at Bennachin.
Day Two: Museums in Downtown New Orleans
Today’s adventures take us to downtown New Orleans, specifically the Arts and Warehouse Districts, plus a little lagniappe. Start the day with breakfast at Mr. Wolf Espresso, a coffee bar and book shop within the Contemporary Arts Center, which we’ll be hitting up later. Our first museum of the day is The National WWII Museum, which you could really spend a whole day at. View the interactive exhibits, enjoy a 4D film experience in the Victory Solomon Theater Pavilion, and explore an array of vintage aircrafts and personnel carriers.
For lunch, head to Magazine Pizza for gourmet pizzas, pastas, salads, hot sandwiches, and cheesecake.
We recommend hitting Sazerac House next, a reservation-only, three-story museum dedicated to the history of the Sazerac cocktail. Enjoy interactive elements, the behind-the-scenes of a distillery, and free samples. End your day with a little art; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Contemporary Arts Center are right across the street from each other and full of interesting mixed media exhibits.
For dinner, the Warehouse District boasts several fantastic restaurants: there’s Sofía if you’re craving (more) Italian, Pêche for seafood lovers, Meril for American cuisine, and Cochon for Cajun delicacies.
Need a nightcap in the area? Check out the Baroness on Baronne or Commons Club at the Virgin Hotels New Orleans.
Day Three: Museums in Tremé/Mid-City/Esplanade Ridge
For day three, we’ll start in Tremé with breakfast at Backatown Coffee Parlour. The crawfish quiche is a delicious start to the day. Next, head to the nearby New Orleans African American Museum. Dedicated to showcasing Black art, the museum is home to rotating exhibits. Nearby is Backstreet Cultural Museum, a space dedicated to showcasing Mardi Gras Indian suits and other artifacts and memorabilia. Next, drive, bike, or take the bus down Esplanade Avenue for a visit to Pitot House. Built in 1799 by Spanish merchant and ship owner, Bartholome Bosque, during the Spanish Colonial Period, Pitot House has been a New Orleans landmark for centuries.
A brisk walk takes us to City Park, home to both the Louisiana Children’s Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Perfect for families, the Louisiana Children’s Museum offers interactive learning and play spaces dedicated to teaching children about the landscape of Louisiana. The New Orleans Museum of Art is one of the country’s leading art institutions, home to over 40,000 objects as well as traveling exhibits. Both museums have dining options for lunch: Acorn in the Children’s Museum and Café NOMA in the art museum.
End your day by exploring Longue Vue House & Gardens. This house museum was built by the late philanthropists Edith and Edgar Stern. The Classical Revival-style mansion is surrounded by eight acres of breathtakingly landscaped gardens designed by some of the finest outdoor architects of the early 20th century.
For dinner, enjoy Vietnamese fare with a New Orleans twist from MoPho or po-boys and pizza from Katie’s.
Day Four: Museums in Uptown New Orleans
For this last day of the Museum Month marathon, we’ll be starting downtown and heading Uptown. Start the day with breakfast at Bearcat, where you can get a Cajun gravy biscuit and other Southern dishes. Walk on over to the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, which explores the many ways that Jews in the American South influenced and were influenced by the distinct cultural heritage of their new homes.
Take a brisk walk to Ashé Cultural Arts Center which includes a gallery space and a performance space for regular programming. Nearby, Café Reconcile is a great place for an affordable New Orleans lunch on the weekdays; Peewee’s CrabCakes On the Go offers a little more decadence on the weekends.
By car, bus, bike, or streetcar, head further Uptown towards Tulane University. The Newcomb Art Museum is home to new exhibits quarterly, including photography collections, mixed media, and other art. Take the streetcar further down St. Charles Avenue for dinner around Carrollton Avenue or Oak Street, where you’ll find a bevy of options for a delicious meal, including 14 Parishes, Sukeban Izakaya, Ba Chi Canteen, and Brigtsen’s.