A Deeper Look: 5 Lesser Known New Orleans Museums

There’s something for everyone in New Orleans. From grand art galleries to offbeat museums, the city is full of incredible institutions to pique your interest.

With New Orleans Museum Month returning for the month of August, you can explore Crescent City like never before. Special deals and events are happening all month long, and while there are plenty of big name exhibits to see on your trip, we thought we’d showcase some of our favorite lesser-known New Orleans museums.

If you’re looking for a unique sight to see on your trip to NOLA, these hidden gem museums deserve a spot on your itinerary. And they’re all easy to visit when you stay at Bienville House!

 New Canal Lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain.

Enjoy a magnificent view of Lake Pontchartrain while you tour the New Canal Lighthouse. (Photo by Mark, via Flickr)

New Canal Lighthouse

A trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Lake Pontchartrain, and a tour of the New Canal Lighthouse gives you the best view in town. First built in 1839, the lighthouse was inundated by the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A replica of the original lighthouse was then constructed and opened in 2013.

Tours of the lighthouse are available Monday through Saturday, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Southern Food and Beverage Museum

New Orleans is a foodie paradise. You can easily spend all day dining on our delicious Southern dishes. But if you want a peak behind the cuisine, head to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

This tucked away spot features exhibits dedicated to Southern foodways. You can learn the stories behind New Orleans’ most iconic eats, and can even treat yourself to cooking demonstrations, lectures, and tastings. There are tons of special events for you to enjoy.

More interested in the beverage side of things? The Museum of the American Cocktail’s New Orleans Collection and La Galerie de l’Absinthe are also housed inside of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and admission to each is included in your ticket price.

Le Musee de f.p.c. offers guided tours of their incredible collection. (Photo courtesy of neworleansonline.com)

Le Musee de f.p.c.

Le Musee de f.p.c. is one of the country’s few attractions dedicated to preserving the culture of free people of color. Often abbreviated f.p.c., free people of color is the term used to refer to Black people who were born free of slavery or freed prior to the Civil War, and New Orleans was home to one of the oldest and largest populations in America. Le Musee de f.p.c. celebrates the vibrant heritage of the city’s Black community with a collection that includes paintings, photos, sculptures, and insightful personal stories. Open Tuesday through Sunday for guided tours, this treasured museum on Esplanade Avenue is well worth the trip.

Ashé Cultural Arts Center

At the heart of the revitalization of the historically-significant Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard corridor is the Ashé Cultural Arts Center. The 6,600-square-foot space showcases visual arts exhibits by influential African-American artists. The center also serves as a performance art venue for theater, dance, music, spoken word, and more. The exhibits and Ashé’s Diaspora Boutique are open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Beauregard-Keyes House Courtyard

There have been many famous residents of the Beauregard-Keyes House in the French Quarter. Take a tour to learn all about the building’s fascinating history. (Photo by Louisiana Travel, via Flickr)

Beauregard Keyes House

The Beauregard-Keyes House was built in 1826 and stands as one of the finest examples of local Creole architecture. A number of famous and influential people have called the building home over the years, from Civil War generals to Mafia foes. Today, anyone can take a tour of the historic grounds during the visiting hours: Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The 45-minute tours begin on the hour, and reservations are not required to take the tour.

A Great Time to Stay at Bienville House

Every August, museums around the city participate in New Orleans Museum Month, which gives you full access to tons of amazing exhibits for the price of a single membership. It’s the perfect time to become a member of any of NOLA’s fantastic institutions. And when you book your stay at Bienville House Hotel, you’re moments away from a full month’s worth of history, art, and culture!

August in New Orleans also means COOLinary Restaurant Month. Come take advantage of great deals on dining all over the Crescent City. And be sure to grab a bite at Criollo Restaurant inside our sister hotel, Hotel Monteleone, for a fantastic Creole meal for a great prix fixe price.

With so many incredible events happening in New Orleans in August, you can’t go wrong with a NOLA getaway. Go ahead – book a last minute summer vacation today!