It’s easy to get sidelined in New Orleans simply by eating and drinking, perhaps the city’s greatest cultural pastime. But the Big Easy is also home to a number of impressive museums worth venturing to post-gumbo, and there’s no greater incentive to do so than during New Orleans Museum Month, when for all of August members of any participating institution get to hit as many of the others as they like (while reveling in air conditioning to boot) for free. Infrequent visitors may not want to splurge on a yearly membership—although it’s still a great value for making the rounds of 16 different one-of-a-kind museums—but a trip planned during one of the steamiest months in the city still begs for a little indoor time. How inspiring it is, then, to while away the day at places like the National WWII Museum for the new interactive, multi-media permanent exhibition, The Arsenal of Democracy, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art to take in the expansive Louisiana Contemporary Presented by the Helis Foundation (August 5-October 15). Reflective of New Orleans’s quirky, magical aura are a number of offbeat, shouldn’t-miss haunts, too, like the one-time apothecary, New Orleans Pharmacy Museum; the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint—home of Satchmo SummerFest (August 4)—where an exciting new exhibition, Women of Note (opening August 3) investigates the impact of local female jazz greats; and the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, delving into the cultures that comprise New Orleans’s rich culinary heritage.
Photos Courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau