Photo courtesy of The National WWII Museum
National World War II Museum
Plan on spending the better part of a day at the National World War II Museum, even if you profess limited interest in history. This fine, sprawling museum—formerly the D-Day Museum—is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, and was established here because of the role the locally made Higgins landing craft played on D-day. Don’t expect the usual repository of static artifacts, like machine guns and airplanes—although you will find those on display. It’s more about gathering stories, from film and oral histories, and from all sides of the conflict. The museum was the idea of Stephen Ambrose, noted author of books about WWII, who wanted to share with the public the interviews that didn’t make it into his books. It’s grown massively since its humble beginnings, and does a remarkable job of capturing the era through both a microscope and wide-angle lens.
By Wayne Curtis, AFAR Local Expert
New Orleans prides itself on its history, and there’s much for travelers to explore of local, regional, and national past and culture. The award-winning National World War II Museum is a 15-minute walk from Windsor Court and creates a sweeping overview of “the war that changed the world” along with compelling personal accounts and archival information to honor those whose lives were impacted by the war. Two new exhibits opened in late 2015 with additional expansions planned in coming months as the museum continues to flourish. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is just steps away from the National World War II Museum and is home to the largest compilation of Southern art in the world, featuring pieces from 15 Southern states and Washington, D.C. Not only will visitors find a stunning and comprehensive collection of pieces depicting the American South, Ogden also features an After Hours live music series that hosts Southern artists for a concert and interview every Thursday in the museum’s atrium. Other notable museums include the New Orleans Museum of Art, Southern Food & Beverage Museum, and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Image courtesy of The National World War II Museum.
By Grace Montgomery, AFAR Contributor
Homage to The Greatest Generation
Tucked into the artsy, yet commercial Magazine Street neighborhood of NOLA lays humbling WWII exhibits. Historical artifacts of the Allied and Axis powers abound in every inch of this three-building museum that ensures all of its multi-generational visitors see, hear, and never forget the sacrifices - small and large scale - of those considered to be America's Greatest Generation.
Visit the National WWII Museum
In December 2014, the National World War II Museum opened its new pavilion and the exhibit The Road to Berlin. I was lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes look, and it was spectacular. It's a whirlwind of multimedia, expert (down to the most minute detail) staging, and real stories that give you a sense of the war, minus the glossy Hollywood polish. This museum is a destination in and of itself and a must-visit for anyone heading to New Orleans.
By Geraldine Campbell, AFAR Local Expert
Spend D-Day at the National WWII Museum
Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy back on June 6, 1944, and this museum continues to bring this decisive moment to life. Watch Beyond All Boundaries, a 4D film that takes viewers to the frontlines and the home front of WWII, produced and narrated by Tom Hanks with special effects that include vibrating seats and falling “snow.” Also be sure to visit the newest pavilion, Campaigns of Courage, a 32,000-square-foot campus that showcases how the war was won in two expansive permanent exhibitions: Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries and Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries.
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945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Sun - Sat 9am - 5pm