Situated down on the banks of the Mississippi River in the southeastern part of Louisiana, New Orleans is the biggest city in the state and one of the most famous cities in all of North America. Well known all around the world for its eclectic culture, exciting annual festivities, delicious cuisine, and booming nightlife scene, New Orleans is a lively city that is regarded as a must-visit location for anyone in Louisiana or the local area. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.New Orleans RV Parks
2.French Quarter RV Resort
4.Pelican RV Park New Orleans
5.New Orleans KOA
4 Best New Orleans RV Parks
- New Orleans RV Parks, Photo: Leandro/stock.adobe.com
- French Quarter RV Resort, Photo: nikolayshubin/stock.adobe.com
- Pontchartrain Landing, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Pelican RV Park New Orleans, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- New Orleans KOA, Photo: Rob Bouwman/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Frédéric Massard/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: New Orleans Museum of Art
In the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana, just blocks away from the expansive Lake Pontchartrain, sits the famous and renowned City Park. This north-south corridor of sprawling greenspace in the middle of the city is held to be one of the best examples of urban parks in the nation. It is larger than New York City’s famous Central Park by at least half, and its hundreds of giant, moss blanketed oak trees were standing when the first wave of European explorers first brought their flags and galleons to these shores.
Among the oaks, bridges and streams idling in the park, at the end of Lelong Avenue, on one side of the Collins C. Diboll Circle turnabout, sits the New Orleans Museum of Art. Fittingly, the museum is the oldest art institution in the entire city, and one of the oldest such institutions in the entire nation. Built from humble beginnings on the soft earth of this Mississippi river delta town, today the museum holds an impressive collection of over 40,000 works of art, and is notable for its survey of French, American, African and Japanese works in particular, making it one of the leading art museums in the south.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Isaac Delgado, a wealthy philanthropist and sugar magnate, late in his years and of ill health, approached the directing board of New Orleans’ City Park with $150,000 and a proposal to build a “fire proof building where works of art may be collected through gifts or loans and where exhibits can be held from time to time....” By the close of the year 1911, the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art opened to the public with a collection of only 9 paintings.
Over the course of the next hundred years, the museum would go on to weather challenging times brought on by disasters both natural and man-made. During the Great Depression, the city proposed major budget cuts which very nearly meant the end of the institution. Luckily, public outcry forced the city to reinstate funding and avert the museum’s closure. During that time the famous art collector and philanthropist Samuel Kress, with a legacy of not only collecting some of the most important works to hit the market during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but more importantly of donating such works to local and smaller art museums in the cities where Kress’s dime store empire had its roots. His gifts were fundamental and crucial to many art museums throughout the contiguous United States and beyond, and in 1931 the Delgado Museum of Art was the recipient of Baroque artist Giovani de Biondo’s Madonna and Child.
An expansion in 1971 added three stories to the museum’s exhibition space with a wing funded by the Edward Wisner Foundation. In the same year the board of trustees voted to change the museum’s name to the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The museum has cemented its reputation as one of the most important art museums in the nation with a sophisticated collection curation and by offering as selection of some of the most rare, important and unique exhibits to travel the United States. In 1953, NOMA celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase with French Painting Through the Centuries, 1400-1900, a traveling exhibition of important works on loan from Paris’ Louvre museum. Twenty-five years later, the museum attendance records are blown away by an influx of over 900,000 people in the space of four months, when the New Orleans Museum of Art is host to the celebrated Treasures of Tutankhamen exhibit. The New Orleans Museum of Art was the sole venue for the exhibition Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio, an exhibit of original artwork from the making of many of the movies from Disney’s golden age of animation, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, and the Little Mermaid.
The year 2005 was one scarred by the grim devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The Category 1 storm missed most of New Orleans city proper, but winds and ensuing storm surge destroyed levees and drainage canals and was responsible for the deaths of nearly 1,500 people. The New Orleans Museum of Art was fortunate to escape damage to its collection, but the institution was forced to close during the storm and lay off a significant percentage of its staff. The building sustained $6 million in damage, including damage to its brand new 5-acre sculpture garden, created from a significant donation of 40 important works of sculpture by the Besthoff family only two years prior. The sculpture garden would not reopen until 2010 after extensive rehabilitation to its grounds and facilities. Over the course of the 2006, a small staff worked to recover in a temporary headquarters in Baton Rouge. After being closed for seven months, the museum reopened with a series of major exhibitions, and important pieces of the collection traveled the country to raise money for the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.
In 2007, the museum opened the exhibition Femme, Femme, Femme: Paintings of Women in French Society from Daumier to Picasso from the Museums of France. The exhibition was a gift to the New Orleans Museum of Art from the people of France, made as a promise a couple months after the disaster ravaged the city. Forty-five different French museums and institutions contributed a total of 85 works of art for the exhibition, which included works by some of the most celebrated names in the course of art history.
The New Orleans Museum of Art offers over 100,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space. Its collection contains a number of celebrated works of art, including such artists as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Pablo Picasso. Other notable artists represented in the museum’s collection are Georgia O’Keeffe, Matisse, Rodin, Miró, Mary Cassatt, Gauguin, Pissarro, and Jackson Pollock.
The permanent collection also includes a review of work by local Louisiana artists and other American artists as well.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is home to a noteworthy furniture collection that contains important examples of American furniture making from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, highlighted by a collection of the decorative arts that are a unique legacy of New Orleans art itself.
The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden offers visitors an additional five acres of outdoor garden space and a collection of 64 sculptures from many renowned artists worldwide, most of which were donated by Sydney and Walda Besthoff themselves. Unlike many art museum gardens, the NOMA’s is situated within an old growth, mature landscape that contains picturesque ancient trees and a lagoon. On one side of the lagoon, mature pine and magnolia groves flank the museum, and on the other, near the New Orleans Botanical Gardens, is a park full of live oaks, wreathed and dressed in musty shawls of Spanish moss, many of the trees being over 200 years old.
The museum also is the home of the Felix J. Dreyfous Library, which contains over 20,000 books and 70 journal subscriptions, with the mission of making such material and information available to “educate, challenge and engage a diverse public.”
Café NOMA is the museums eatery, and offers a fresh take on the classic midcentury modern design. It focuses on sourcing seasonal and fresh food and ingredients from local farms and businesses, and offers views of City Park and dining in the museum’s courtyard.
The New Orleans Museum of Art offers a number of programming options that provide a fun and engaging way to learn about and celebrate the museum’s heritage and collection.
The museum offers its film series, Friday Nights at NOMA, and a series of talks about various topics and artists. Its Movies in the Garden series features popular and important movies.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is easily accessible from most major transit methods. A great way to reach the museum is with New Orleans unique and celebrated street cars. Visitors can take any street car labeled “City Park,” which will take guests right to the end of Lelong Drive and only mere feet away from the entrance to the museum. Buses are also convenient and visitors can take the 91 Jackson-Esplanade line through City Park.
For visitors driving to the museum, it is easily accessible from most major highways. For those driving in from I-10 West or from Baton Rouge, simply follow the highway to the City Park/Metairie Road exit, number 231A. Take a left on City Park Avenue and continue until taking a left onto North Carrollton Ave. A left on Esplanade Avenue leaves visitors looking right onto the museum campus.
For those visiting from downtown or approaching form the east on I-10, simply take exit 232 for Carrollton Ave North and follow the road until taking a left at Esplanade as above.
NOMA offers two different options for free parking to its guests, either in front of the museum building along Lelong Drive or behind the Besthoff Sculpure Garden.
Back to: 25 Best Things to Do in New Orleans
1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124, Phone: 504-658-4100
Attraction Spotlight: Audubon Nature Institute
The Audubon Nature Institute is a non-profit that is comprises of ten parks and museums devoted to nature, and located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It consists of an Aquarium of the Americans, Audubon Zoo, Park, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES), Entergy IMAX Theatre, Audubon Insectarium and Audubon Wilderness Park.
The park changed its name to Audubon Park in 1886 to commenorate artist John James Audubon. A flight cage was introduced to the park wjocj lead to the launch of a zoo that was full scale thus establishing Audubon Zoological Gardens over 58-acres in 1916.
The Garden ranked among the top nation’s best zoo. The zoo was able to expand quickly through several private donations including that of the mammal exhibit and deer padlock. The very first elephants to have a home at the zoo was purchased by local school children in 1924. Merz Memorial Zoo was enabled by a local benefactor Valentine Merz in 1938 through a $50,000 donation.
The museum entered into a partnership with San Diego Zoo Global to form a program to breed disappearing Zoo animals of the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center. Audubon Nature Institute serves the community and the world as an environmental guardian, educational reserve, and location for family entertainment. It also acts as a leader in economic development.
Aquarium of the Americans is located along Mississippi River banks, administers the Audubon Zoo, Insectarium and Butterfly Garden. It also oversees Audubon Park situated in another part of the city. The exhibits origins are North and South American regions. It contains 100,000 animals with 530 species.
Mississippi River Gallery is home to paddlefish, owls, catfish and a leucistic white alligator.
Amazon Exhibit houses an anaconda, macaws, freshwater stingrays, piranhas, and other specimens native to the South American Amazon rainforest Caribbean Reef Exhibit houses angelfish and tarpon.
Gulf of Mexico Exhibit features 400,000 US gallons tank of sea turtles, sharks and stingrays.
Entergy IMAX Exhibits has exhibits that feature African Penguins and sea otters.
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is an insectarium exhibit that showcases various insects and located in a Federal Building of the U.S. Custom House, so be ready to pass through a metal detector system. The museum is handicapped friendly and limited wheelchairs are available.
Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) was initiated to help the disappearing species by developing supported reproduction procedures.
Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center is a 1,200-acre sanctuary inaugurated in 1993 where endangered animals can breed and live peacefully.
Audubon Zoo shelters different types of animals. It has reptiles, sea lions, watoto walk, monkey hill, pelican’s nest, jaguar jungle, flamingo exhibit, bamboo village, frogs, African Savanna among others.
Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is a community resource center situated in New Orleans East of Joe Brown Park. It covers 86 acres of hardwood basin forest. The center opened on May 23rd, 1980 through a project by Greater New Orleans Junior League. From providing essential environmental education programming, it upgraded to become a community pride.
Audubon Park situated in historic Uptown New Orleans is a favorite place for picnics, recreation or relishing a lovely day. For centuries, people have delighted in this urban oasis with a Lagoon, a tranquil 1.8 mile, ancient live oaks picnic shelters, jogging path and playgrounds. The Park opens to the public while featuring riding stables, tennis courts, the Whitney Young Pool, soccer fields, Audubon Golf Club and Clubhouse Café.
Butterfly Garden is an Asian-inspired home to hundreds of butterflies. It is the work of Dorothy Dorsett Brown and Joe W. Foundation.
Golf Course features 18-holes with a par 62 on a 4,220-yard layout placed in the midst of hundred-year-old oak trees. This part of the Audubon Park is located just a few minutes from downtown New Orleans. The course features trimmed Tif-Eagle greens, Denis Griffiths design with outlined Bermuda fairways, and magnificent landscaping.
Audubon Clubhouse Café is a public café located within Audubon Clubhouse. The restaurant offers an appetizing menu with a culinary experience. Delight in lunch, brunch and dinner indoors or enjoy your meal on the café veranda while enjoying the fascinating view of the park. For parties of 6 people and more, make reservations.
Odenheimer Sea Lion Pool is a historic site built in 1928 and stands in the landmark of Audubon Zoo. It has an elegant Hygeia Fountain surrounded by a giant oak tree that makes the area captivating.
Woldenberg Riverfront Park is a perfect spot to unwind and was formed in the late 1890s to early 1900 and named after humanitarian Malcolm Woldenberg who assisted in funding it. It sits on a 16-acre green space and it’s placed along Mississippi Riverfront. The park contains Holocaust Memorial Sculpture of New Orleans.
Wilderness Park located on Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center campus, in Lower Coast Algiers. It consists of a natural and isolated green space that comprises of basic facilities housing the NALCO Visitor Center, picnic shelters, a loop trail and restroom amenities. The park entails educational programs that include Insect Identification, Geocaching, Introduction to Birdwatching, Merit Badge Clinics and more. The park closes on holidays like Memorial Day, Labor, Mardi Gras and Thanksgiving.
Entergy IMAX Theatre has giant 3-D screen theater that is high-tech powered by world’s greatest advanced motion picture technology for viewing films. It’s found next to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and has a 4k digital projection that offers the finest motion picture systems. It closes during Thanksgiving.
Whitney Young Pool is opened during the summer season and located across Audubon Golf Course and run by New Orleans Recreational Department. The pool is open to public and caters for both adults and children; hence an excellent spot for family outings.
Cascade Stables is a horse riding stables that have been giving Equestrian instruction since 1981. It went ahead to open a new riding facility in September 2006. It provides full saddleseat riding lessons to horse fanatics from children of 4 years to adult. The rides are only on an appointment basis and not trail rides.
Audubon Tennis Courts is a world-class facility made of clay that includes ten courts located on Magazine Street Riverside off Henry Clay Avenue. While playing tennis, you enjoy the cool breeze experienced in the clay courts that defines true magnificence. The tennis instructors are certified by USPTA/PTR so be sure to be coached by experts.
Birdwatching experienced in the lower area at the Aquarium, and they’re friendly to visitors. In this space, you can also find eel, tortoise and a selection of fish in the ponds.
Audubon Shop carries an assortment of items that appreciates the wonders of nature. It contains items ranging from birds items, nature lover, gifts and kids items. The shop is a fragment of the Mass Audubon that is a non-profit body. The money collected from the sales is used to protect birds, other wildlife, and the land.
Riverside Jogging Path is an excellent place for jogging and popular with the residents. It includes artwork and sculptures.
Hoppy Thanksgiving gives people an opportunity to sample a broad range of traditional Thanksgiving delicacies: wax worm cranberry sauce, cornbread with turkey and mealworm filling and cricket pumpkin pie. The creative dishes are a statement of Audubon Nature Institute. The event takes place at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.
Holiday Film Festival has a variety of films that one can catch up on during the holiday season at the Entergy Giant Screen Theater.
The Water Feature is a 90-foot linear and a fun place complemented by 30 varying light shows set for evening events on the plaza. Moreover, a great place for kids to run through so as to cool off during steamy summer.
Penguin Backstage Experience gets you up close with the endangered African penguins. You will get to learn about how the Aquarium cares for the penguins and prepares food from the Aquarium husbandry team. You will receive a penguin painting made during the visit and take photos.
Snorkel Adventure or Maya SCUBA Dive gives you an adventure in the Aquarium's Great Maya Reef by bonding with the hundreds of aquatic animals.
Whitney Zoo-To-Do is the 40th annual event for awakening new wonder taking place in the Audubon Zoo’s Jaguar Jungle. The occasion will cheer a substantial expansion of the famous Jaguar Jungle at Audubon Zoo.
Jungle Bells Holiday Party will be held in Audubon Zoo Picnic Pavilion and will provide different activities to children: Visit with Santa, crafts, refreshments, rides on the Endanger Species Carousel, train, and an ornament photo.
Insect Adventure night experience brings you up close with the insects that fly and glow at night.
Audubon Tea Room is a prestigious official space with lofty ceiling, polished hardwood floors, and lavish silk draperies. It’s perfect for day and night events as it has a romantic Tea Room Garden.
Cajun Ballroom found at Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, holds more spectacular events that are fun. It has a dancing hall to make your occasion entertaining. It accommodates 800 guests.
Back to: 25 Best Things to Do in New Orleans
6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Lousianna,70118, Phone: 504-861-2573