History and Heritage in Louisiana
Peek back across the centuries, as you walk under lavish ironwork and through the lush courtyard gardens of a meticulously-restored French Quarter hotel. Touch history with a stroll and a tour of a plantation where the ways of the past are recreated. Let nature's mysteries astound and amaze with a boat ride through a cypress studded bayou. Here, in Louisiana, magic, myth and lore come alive everyday.
New Orleans Museum of Art
Established in 1911, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is the city's oldest art museum. Originally, it was funded by Isaac Delgado, a wealthy sugar trader, and the building itself was designed in part by the former Chief Engineer of New Orleans Benjamin Morgan Harrod. Today, NOMA has over 40,000 artefacts in its permanent collection, including important examples of 18th and 19th century American furniture. In addition to the permanent collection constantly on show, the museum runs many special exhibitions.
Regional Military Museum in Houma, Louisiana
Louisiana has two new military museums: the Regional Military Museum in Houma and the William R. Atteridge Civil War Battleship Museum in Natchitoches. Talk to veterans at the Regional Military museum and hear firsthand accounts of military service. Vehicles on display include an M-38 Jeep from the Korean conflict and a World War II motorcycle with sidecar, and some of the weapons are fired during live-fire demonstrations. Model airplanes hang from the ceiling, and mannequins are dressed in uniforms.
William R Atteridge Civil War Battleship Museum in Natchitoches, Louisiana
The William R Atteridge Civil War Battleship Museum, in an 1860s Old Steamboat House, showcases more than 100 Civil War battleship models that represent the lifelong work of William Atteridge, one of the nation's prominent handcrafters.
Up for a Ghost Hunt in Louisiana?
These are a small sampling of the stories emanating from the historic homes, buildings and cemeteries throughout Louisiana. Nearly every old house claims at least one ghostly presence. In Baton Rouge, meet Sarah Morgan, the ghost of the Old State Capitol during The Ghost of the Castle theatrical presentation. A ghost named Mary has walked out on stage at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville is considered one of the most haunted homes in the country.
World War II Museum, New Orleans
Since its opening day on D-Day, 6th June 2000, nearly two-million visitors have toured the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. A must-see for history lovers and all patriots, it has been designated by the US Congress as the country's official World War II Museum. Powerful images and extraordinary artifacts bring to life the American Spirit, the courage, teamwork and sacrifice of the young men and women who fought in the war and changed the world. From the 1930s prelude to war, to the Normandy Invasion and the battles of the Pacific Islands, visitors trace America's role in the war and on the Home Front. Visit nationalww2museum.org for further information.
New Orleans Plantation Country
Along the winding, picturesque Great River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is New Orleans Plantation Country, featuring nine historic plantations waiting for you to discover them. Maybe you'll visit Oak Alley Plantation (pictured above) with it's alley of 300-year-old oak trees or take a tour at Houmas House Plantation & Gardens including their lavish gift shop. Visit neworleansplantationcountry.com or view the Visitor Guide.
Five Places to Time Travel in Louisiana
Visit these timeless locations to experience a Louisiana of yesterday:
Destrehan Plantation (Destreham, Louisiana) - Watch costumed interpreters lead tours of the main house and demonstrate trades and crafts in the oldest documented plantation home in the Lower Mississippi River Valley.
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Powwow (Marksville, Louisiana) - Experience Native American traditions and cultures that began more than 20,000 years ago. Tribal members, dressed in colourful regalia, dance and sing to the beat of drums, while crafts and Native American food are also featured.
Preservation Hall (New Orleans, Louisiana) - Listen to the sounds of traditional New Orleans jazz played by both veteran and younger musicians. Live music is featured nightly inside this 1750s French Quarter building dedicated to preserving traditional jazz.
Biedenharn Museum & Gardens (Monroe, Louisiana) - Experience the early 20th century home of Joseph A. Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola. Travel back to 1894 in the Coca-Cola Museum's replica soda fountain, where a soda jerk serves up the Biedenharn story.
Vermilionville (Lafayette, Louisiana) - Walk through a late-1700s-to-1800s village while interacting with Acadians and Creoles "living" in the Attakapas region of the new Louisiana Territory. This living history museum sprawls across 23 acres filled with costumed artisans and musicians.
Why not take a look at our Louisiana Road Trips and Trails suggestions - these tours are packed with history and culture! Or please do get in touch if you need any help planning your Louisiana trip; our State experts are on hand to help you out.