Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler: Five NOLA Destinations To Visit Now That Mardi Gras Season Is Over
March 9, 2022
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or Essence Fest, chances are you fell in love with the city’s vibrant energy and unique culture. But unlike many cities that become a destination only during certain seasons, the melange of historical and cultural influences that have shaped over the course of history make NOLA magical year-round.
Here are five destinations you can use as an excuse to return to New Orleans anytime you want:
House Of Dance And Feathers
Located in the curator Ronald W. Lewis’ backyard, this museum was established to share the culture of the Mardi Gras Indians and ensure that the unique street culture of New Orleans is preserved. The living exhibit is based on Lewis’ personal experiences as a lifelong resident of the lower ninth ward, president of the Big Nine Social Aid & Pleasure Club, former Council Chief of the Choctaw Hunters, and former King of Krewe de Vieux. Because the museum DOES live at Lewis’ personal residence, visits are by appointment only, which can be made through the House of Dance And Feathers website.
A cultural destination since 2016, this Bywater warehouse gives visitors a visual treat before they even walk into the doors. Within the building, adorned with a bright and colorful mural on the outside, live the large-scale murals and portraits created by local artist Brandon Odums, a.k.a. BMike. In addition to serving as a gallery of Odums’ work, Studio Be also promotes and supports other artists through programming, workshops, exhibitions, and resource allocation. Book your visit here.
New Orleans has such a rich and expansive culinary scene that deciding where to eat while you’re in town can get overwhelming. But what could be better than feasting on New Orleans soul food while paying homage to an actual queen? The late Leah Chase, known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine” opened Dooky Chase in 1946 and spent nearly seven decades sharing her spin on traditional New Orleans food in a non-traditional way. In addition to earning countless accolades from the culinary world, including a coveted James Beard award, Leah Chase was also the inspiration behind Disney’s Princess Tiana.
The name is an acronym: Joy Art Music New Orleans. And it describes this unique pop-up experience perfectly. Nestled in the Marigny neighborhood just a 15-minute walk away from the French Quarter, JAMNOLA features 12 Instagrammable exhibits celebrating the essence of New Orleans culture as imagined by over 20 local artists and creative partners. This fully-immersive family-friendly experience is also a great way to introduce little ones to the magic of NOLA. JAMNOLA is open Thursday thru Monday but recommends checking their website for ticketing and hours, as those may vary.
Yes, you read that right… but hear us out. The Whitney Plantation is the only museum in Louisiana that focuses on the lives, experiences, and legacy of enslaved people. Founder and former owner John Cumming spent 15 years renovating the property, curating spaces, and bringing in structures from across the South to offer visitors a real look at the lives of enslaved people in America. Rather than reenactments or tour guides dress as slaves, you’ll find exhibits like an actual church built by freed slaves, filled with life-sized statues serving as a memorial to the 2,200 enslaved children who died across St. John The Baptist Parish before slavery was abolished. The museum, which National Geographic says every American should visit, educates visitors about the legal and political factors that impacted slaves’ lives in America, as well as some insight into the experience of enslaved Africans and their descendants in other parts of the world as well.
Get The Latest
Signup for the AFROPUNK newsletter