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A Louisiana Plantation

13 Museums & Sites to Explore in Louisiana

From the reaches of Plantation Country to the festive atmosphere of Greater New Orleans, find any and all of these exemplary museums in Louisiana. Enlighten yourself to the early days of Louisiana history, checkout some agricultural history, or experience the best of American art. Visit and stay in cities like New Orleans, Alexandria, or Baton Rouge – make sure you plan for tours of these museums.

1. Louisiana History museum

Head to the charming center of Alexandria and browse more than fifty museum exhibits which detail Louisiana's illustrious past, from Native Americans to present day, at the Louisiana History Museum. Housed in the impressive 1907 Alexandria Public Library building, visitors explore various topics from Famous Figures in Louisiana to the World War I Camp Beauregard Army Camp.

Don't forget to visit the Alexandria Genealogical Library, one of the state's largest genealogical collections, located just upstairs. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll through downtown and the scenic Red River.

2. Louisiana state capitol building

A historic symbol of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Capitol Building stands tall above Baton Rouge. Built in 1932, this 450-foot and 34-story building offers sweeping views of the city, the rest of the plantation region, and the Mississippi River. At the bottom of the building, explore unique exhibits detailing the history of former governor Huey Long and admire the Capitol's Art Deco style indoor and outdoor architecture.

Don't forget to drop by both chambers of the Louisiana legislature when not in session.

3. cajun music hall of fame and museum

Located right in the center of Eunice, the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum honors the music genre's best and most famous. See hallowed Cajun musical instruments, famous records, and framed photographs of Cajun music legends.

Alongside the Hall of Fame, guests are free to visit the surrounding Eunice Museum and the Eunice Depot Museum. For a taste of the arts, don't miss a performance at the Savoy Music Center or the Liberty Center for the Performing Arts.

Louisiana State Capitol

The State Capitol

4. Arlington plantation house

Built in 1861, this Franklin plantation houses an authentic display of pre-Civil War Southern culture and extravaganza. Take a tour of this Greek Revival plantation and see period artifacts and furnishings on hand at this house added to the National Register of Historic Places.  

Afterwards, stroll through the grounds that represent the best of Louisiana's natural beauty. Find peace among majestic live oak and cypress trees and be sure to explore seven acres of cultivated fountains and gardens full of magnolia and pecan trees.

5. biedenharn museum and gardens

Established in 1914, the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens preserves the history of Joseph Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola. Visit this Monroe and Northern Louisiana landmark and take note of the antiques and furnishings from Biedenharn's period. Outside, the museum offers charming English gardens among blooming flowers and a Wagnerian Fountain. 

Don't forget to see notable Coca-Cola products at the Coke Museum next door. The museum displays an authentic Coca-Cola 5 cent vending machine, a Model T delivery truck, and a host of memorabilia.

6. northeast Louisiana children's museum

Located along the banks of the Ouachita River in Monroe, the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum is a great place to take the whole family. Let the kids explore hands-on exhibits like the Health Hall, Bubbleworks, and the Earth Balloon.

Special events at the museum include the chance to throw children's birthday parties and celebrate seasonal holidays, like Halloween and Christmas.

7. natchitoches historic district

A landmark city of Louisiana's history, Natchitoches features several interesting exhibits and historical sites at the Natchitoches Historic District. Visit over fifty historical buildings, including ancient churches, a hardware store, old-fashioned public square, and the oldest cemetery west of the Mississippi.

Afterwards, pay tribute to other facets of Louisiana's history with a visit to famed institutions like the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.

Louisiana Children's Museum

Children's Museum

8. audubon aquarium

Make your New Orleans visit a kid-friendly one with a trip to the Audubon Aquarium and learn all how about life in the waters of the Americas. Enjoy numerous exhibits which detail the animals and marine life found throughout aquatic regions in North and South America. 

Enjoy seeing up close a Caribbean reef aquatic tunnel, an Amazon exhibit full of exotic animal specimens, and the Mississippi River gallery, which covers life from the river's varied ecosytems.

9. national wwii museum

Designated as the official World War II Museum in the country, the National WWII Museum offers exhibits and showings of famous battles and events, including the D-Day invasion. 

Explore Louisiana's role in the development of World War II troops and don't miss real artifacts that were used in battle and in combat training, including a Sherman tank, Divebomber, B-17, and Higgins Landing Craft.

10. Southern Food and Beverage Museum

A highlight of New Orleans's famed culinary scene, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum includes exhibits, videos, and oral history collections of famed recipes and traditions of Louisiana cookings.

Explore the cooking of many cultures, including African, Caribbean, French, and German, all rolled into one. Don't forget to check for special events and seminars for a chance to taste a delicious meal and learn lessons from expert cooks in the area.

11. The Backstreet Cultural Museum

New Orleans' most famous celebration gets preserved with The Backstreet Cultural Museum. Housing a variety of cultural artifacts, Indian costumes, and photographs from New Orleans' most famous holiday, the museum dutifully offers visitors the chance to explore the spirit of Mardi Gras throughout the years.

Historic Museum Artifacts

Historic Museum Artifacts

12. Myrtles Plantation & Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site

Visit Saint Francisville for a tour of two of Louisiana's most famous plantation homes. Explore guided tours and see historic artifacts straight from the Gilded Age of the pre-Civil War South at the Myrtles Plantation.

Afterwards, enjoy strolling through ornamental gardens filled with refined plants, centuries-old trees, and intricate flowering arrangements at Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site.

13. Laura Plantation & Oak Alley Plantation

Round out your Louisiana visit with a trip to these pair of plantations near La Place. A highlight of plantation country just outside New Orleans, these gilded French Creole style Laura Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation are listed on the National Historic Landmark places.

Take a self-guided tour through antique period rooms before visiting the reconstructed slave quarters and the plantation fields, a reminder of what life was really like in the Plantation era. Afterwards, stroll through some of Louisiana's most beautiful scenery, including a postcard-worthy double row of live oak trees.

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Best Western Hotels Along the Way:

1

Best Western of Alexandria Inn & Suites & Conference Center

2720 N MacArthur Drive, Alexandria LA 71303-4227
Phone: +1 318-445-5530  |  Fax: (318) 445-8496  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

2

Best Western Eunice

1531 W Laurel Avenue, Eunice LA 70535-4015
Phone: +1 337-457-2800  |  Fax: (337) 457-8223  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

3

Best Western Forest Inn

1909 Main Street, Franklin LA 70538-3117
Phone: +1 337-828-1810  |  Fax: (337) 828-1810  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

4

Best Western La Place Inn

4289 Main Street, La Place LA 70068-5944
Phone: +1 985-651-4000  |  Fax: (985) 651-8666  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

5

Best Western Natchitoches Inn

5131 University Pkwy, Natchitoches LA 71457-7169
Phone: +1 318-352-6655  |  Fax: (318) 352-9440  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

6

Best Western Plus French Quarter Landmark Hotel

920 N Rampart Street, New Orleans LA 70116-3011
Phone: +1 504-524-3333  |  Fax: (504) 523-5431  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

7

Best Western Plus St. Christopher Hotel

114 Magazine Street, New Orleans LA 70130-2421
Phone: +1 504-648-0444  |  Fax: (504) 648-0445  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

8

Best Western Plus St. Charles Inn

3636 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans LA 70115-4690
Phone: +1 504-899-8888  |  Fax: (504) 899-8892  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

9

Best Western St. Francisville Hotel

6756 US Highway 61, Saint Francisville LA 70775
Phone: +1 225-635-5851  |  Fax: (225) 635-5831  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

10

Best Western West Monroe Inn

405 Thomas Road, West Monroe LA 71292-7938
Phone: +1 318-322-9922  |  Fax: (318) 388-4556  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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More to See in Louisiana

  • Louisiana State Parks

    Louisiana State Parks

    Explore one of 22 Louisiana state parks, set in northern, central, and southern Bayou State, and surrounding New Orleans.

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  • Regions of Louisiana

    Regions of Louisiana

    Visit Louisiana for the bustle of New Orleans and the French Quarter, plus plantation tours, fun festivals and creole cuisine.

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  • Louisiana Landmarks

    Louisiana Landmarks

    Find hotels near Louisiana historic sites in New Orleans, Plantation Country, Cajun Country, and throughout the Bayou State.

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  • Louisiana Universities

    Louisiana Universities

    A guide to Louisiana Universities. From LSU in Plantation Country, to the Green Wave of Tulane in New Orleans, and the Ragin' Cajuns of UL Lafayette.

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  • Louisiana Sports

    Louisiana Sports

    From the Saints and Hornets of New Orleans to the Fightin' Tigers of LSU, Louisiana is the state for impressive athletics.

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  • Experience Mardi Gras

    Experience Mardi Gras

    Find hotels during Mardi Gras season in the New Orleans metropolitan area, and get ready for Twelfth Night, Lundi Gras, and Fat Tuesday during Carnival Season.

    Get Ready for Carnival Season ►
  • Louisiana Airport Hotels

    Louisiana Airport Hotels

    Hotels near primary Louisiana airports like Louis Armstrong New Orleans International and Baton Rouge Metropolitan.

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  • French Quarter of New Orleans

    French Quarter of New Orleans

    Explore the hot spots and festivals of the French Quarter - including the French Market, Jackson Square and Mardi Gras.

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