Things to do in New Orleans: Before a recent trip to NOLA for which I did extensive research, I had no idea there were so many interesting museums. The history of this city is expansive and globally significant. Here are a few places I loved visiting.
This former government building is now a museum, and it holds a variety of fantastic exhibits. Located in Jackson Square, it’s easy to get to. And you wouldn’t want to miss Napoleon’s Death Mask–once lost and found in a random place–and exhibits on life in New Orleans from the first European settlements through several wars. You’ll see Fats Domino’s piano recovered from the remains of Hurricane Katrina. You’ll learn about things like Yellow Fever, the reason for the city’s historically progressive, liberal political bent, the significance of leeches, and much, much more. It’s pretty cool.
Hermann Grima House
This house, built in 1831, is perfectly restored to show what life was like at that time and during the Civil War. Visit to learn the incredible stories of the generations who lived here during such a tumultuous time in American history, in a city that was newly part of the country and held unusually progressive ideals. There were hidden fortunes and secret rooms. You can purchase a forty five minute tour, narrated by a knowledgable and friendly guide.
This home is also beautifully restored to the way it looked when people lived here in the mid-1800s. And it’s also located in Jackson Square–easy to find. It offers a cool, interesting glimpse of how people used to live.
Old U.S. Mint
Visit this iconic New Orleans establishment to view and learn about the process of minting coins. Plus, it’s the only mint in the United States to ever make both Confederate and U.S coins at the same time. There are rare coins framed on the walls and fascinating historical tales of lost treasure and escaped prisoners. (The building was a prison after it was a mint.) There’s enough here to delight any history buff for several hours. Plus, it’s at the edge of the French Quarter, leading into Marigny and Frenchman Street, where there are plenty of great places to have lunch.
If you visit any of these places, comment and let me know what you think! And if you’re curious for more, see my other posts on New Orleans.
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