New Orleans Museum of Art#9 in Best Things To Do in New Orleans
Since opening in 1911, the New Orleans Museum of Art (known simply as "NOMA") has assembled more than 40,000 works of art – an impressive compilation considering the museum opened with only nine pieces. NOMA's vast collection ranges from early Asian works to European masterpieces from the 16th to 20th centuries. While here, be sure to stroll through the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden – located adjacent to the museum in City Park. Among the park's Spanish-moss covered live oaks, you'll find 64 sculptures designed by artists from around the world.
Many recent visitors said this museum is a must-see for any art lover, and a great indoor attraction during the city's high heat and humidity. Past travelers commented on the small size of the museum, but others noted that its size allows you to see all of the exhibits in just one visit and say not to miss the sculpture garden.
Situated at the southern end of City Park (near the main entrance), NOMA welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays; and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The Canal Streetcar offers the closest stop at the foot of Lelong Drive (steps from the museum's entrance). The No. 91 bus also stops at Lelong Drive. While entry to the sculpture garden alone is free, admission to the museum is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 7 to 17. The museum also offers free admission on Wednesdays for residents of Louisiana. For more information, check out NOMA'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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