The National WWII Museum#4 in Best Things To Do in New Orleans
You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy The National WWII Musuem, according to recent travelers. Having opened June 6, 2000 (the 56th anniversary of D-Day), the museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and educational films documenting all aspects of the war, from D-Day to the war in the Pacific to the Holocaust. The brainchild of Stephen Ambrose – a best-selling author and consultant on the film "Saving Private Ryan" – the museum also features oral recantations of civilians' and soldiers' experiences throughout the early 1940s. The museum offers a unique educational experience, though recent travelers cautioned that some of the displays may be too disturbing for children. Past visitors said you can't leave without watching the "Beyond All Boundaries" 4-D movie, narrated by the film's executive producer, Tom Hanks.
Located on Magazine Street in the Warehouse District, the National World War II museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission costs $27 for adults and $17.50 for students and children ages 5 to 12. World War II veterans receive free admission. Keep in mind, entry to the Victory Theater and certain exhibits costs extra. The museum recommends setting aside at least three hours to see all of the exhibits, though recent visitors said you'll need much more than that to fully appreciate all of the texts, artifacts and testimonials on display here. If you don't have the chance to see everything in one day, you can return the next day with your ticket and only pay an additional $6. If you choose to drive, you'll find a paid parking lot on Magazine Street, across from the theater. There are also several paid parking lots scattered throughout the neighborhood. If you prefer to take the bus, you can hop on the No. 11, 100 or 114, which all stop at Magazine and Poeyfarre streets (in front of the museum). To learn more, visit the museum's website.
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#1 Frenchmen Street
If you want an authentic New Orleans experience more removed from the touristy areas of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, head to the lively Frenchmen Street. A popular spot for locals, Frenchmen Street is a four-block stretch of live music, bars, restaurants, night clubs and art galleries. Here, not only will you find fewer crowds (albeit not by much), but you'll also encounter cheaper eats and drinks, and better music – it's kind of like Bourbon Street's hipper, trendier cousin. If you don't consider yourself a night owl, the Palace Market (open daily 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.) is a shopping haven where locals sell homemade art and jewelry.
Recent visitors agreed that a trip to New Orleans isn't complete without stopping by Frenchmen Street. Some even suggest skipping the more crowded and touristy Bourbon Street and instead meandering along Frenchmen Street where you'll find live music, specifically jazz, and great bars. Travelers and locals alike love The Spotted Cat, Three Muses and d.b.a thanks to their extensive beverage selections, fun atmospheres and, of course, talented musicians. "Frenchmen Street is what Bourbon Street used to be ... it's about four blocks of more laid-back, old-style jazz clubs. Nothing fancy to them, very local with great music. A much more laid-back area to stroll from bar to bar and listen to music," said Isabelle Van Bockel, a concierge at the JW Marriott New Orleans for 10 years.
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