Historic New Orleans Collection
Anyone interested in the city’s complex and vivid past—and if you’re still breathing, that should include you—would do well to make a stop at the Historic New Orleans
Collection. This is a private entity with a public purpose: It was founded to both preserve French Quarter buildings and to amass and display some of the key documents and artifacts covering the city’s three centuries of history. The collection is housed in the impressive Merieult House, which dates back to 1792 and which underwent a Greek Revival makeover in the 1830s. Self-guided tours of the Williams Gallery downstairs and the Louisiana History Galleries upstairs are free; be sure to check out their exhibits on Louisiana's culture and legacy.