Five Historic Haunts in New Orleans

You don’t need to be a history buff to get swept up in the fascinating heritage of New Orleans, which will celebrate the big 3-0-0 in 2018. You’ll find acclaimed landmarks and hidden treasures across this soulful city, from live music haunts in the French Quarter to storied restaurants in the Garden District to museums in City Park. We’ve mapped out five can’t-miss local attractions for a getaway that showcases the best of old and new New Orleans.

1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA
This is the oldest and grandest art institute in a city that’s long captivated artists. The Neoclassical building sits amid the greenery of massive City Park (conveniently at the end of the Canal Streetcar Line). It’s an especially good destination for admirers of Edgar Degas, who spent an extended vacation in New Orleans visiting relatives in 1872; a number of his works are displayed here. Just outside the museum is the beautifully landscaped and well-curated five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which perfectly melds the old and new. Some 60 sculptures are arrayed amid reflecting lagoons and 200-year-old live oaks.
726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Preservation Hall occupies a worn Creole town house that was originally built as a home in the early 19th century, and that had evolved into an art gallery and performance space by 1961. (It was founded by a man of philanthropic bent who fretted that the great, aging New Orleans musicians no longer had a place to play.) It hasn’t changed much since the ‘60s—audiences cluster on benches or stand along the back wall to hear whomever is playing that night. Among the glories of New Orleans is traditional jazz, which is still very much alive here and never feels as if it belongs in a morgue—or even an intensive care unit. Check the schedule for upcoming acts, but don’t get hung up on specific performers; every night offers something worth stopping by for, and everyone leaves in a better mood than when they arrived.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure