new orleans wwii museum

New Orleans WWII Museum—Why It’s a Must-See (+ Visit Tips)

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When I saw the New Orleans WWII Museum was a top attraction in New Orleans, I knew I had to visit. Not only am I a history lover, but my grandfather enlisted in the Navy to fight WWII.

I remember the stories he told us of his escapades and what life was like on his ship. He was the oldest aboard the ship and befriended the youngest, a man named Tom.

For decades, he and my grandmother went to his ship reunions, and through the pictures, I saw a very different side of my grandparents. They knew how to party! 🙂

When my beloved grandfather passed, we reviewed what he kept from his time in the Navy and the reunions and managed to find Tom. He was still alive and lived surprisingly close to where my grandparents lived. We shared the news and invited him to join us.

I’ll never forget the sight of this stoic older gentleman with tears splashing down his face. Over half a century later, he was still very much back in that time. As his face met ours, our tears flowed together.

I always visit at least a museum or two in every city I travel to, and this one is now in my top five in the world. Not only for my personal sentiment but also for how well it was done. This museum is an incredibly immersive experience.

World War II is considered “the war that changed the world.” It may have been decades ago, but it’s still very relevant, providing invaluable lessons and learnings that we can apply today.

Here’s all about visiting the New Orleans WWII Museum, what you can expect, and visit tips. Whether you have a personal connection or not, it’ll be a visit you’ll likely never forget.

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WWII Museum Visit Details

  • WWII Museum hours: the museum is open daily from 9 to 5 except for certain holidays (Mardi Gras Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day).
  • It’s at 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130-3813.
  • Tickets cost $31.50 for adults for the “Museum Campus Pass.” You have several add-on options, including the 4-D Beyond All Boundaries Movie, exclusive curated items in restricted areas, a guided tour, and more. Pricing is on their tickets page for more details.
  • They also offer events, musical concerts, and more. And they also have a membership, detailed on the tickets page on their website.

The museum offers discounted or free tickets to veterans, people with disabilities, and more. Check the tickets page for more details to see if you’re eligible.

Things To Know Before You Go

  • It’s a good idea to pre-purchase your tickets as they do sell out at times. (You can buy them directly here, though you get a small discount through Get Your Guide.)
  • A timed ticketing system is used at the museum. They request that visitors come at their assigned time.
  • Once your ticket is scanned, you may visit for as long as you’d like.
  • Walk-up tickets may be available, but they are not guaranteed when you arrive.
  • You may not carry luggage and oversized bags in the museum. They have a Guest Services desk where you can check them and lockers for smaller items.
  • Video recording and flash photography are not allowed.
  • All ticket sales are final, and no refunds are offered. Tickets expire after their assigned date.
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About the New Orleans WWII Museum

The WWII Museum in New Orleans honors the legacy of the “Greatest Generation” through everything they do. They opened on D-Day in 2000 and have received millions of visitors.

The museum shares the story of the American experience in the war. They do this so people of all ages can understand what freedom means.

Their mission is to “The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience of the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.”

Their goals include inspiring all people of any age to embrace the lessons of the conflict, engaging worldwide audiences through their museum exhibits, online experiences, and distance learning, and expanding the understanding of the war and its relevance for today and the future.

They also want to be a place for people to learn about America’s strengths and values and to serve as a catalyst for cultural tourism to serve New Orleans and Louisiana.

Congress has designated them as “America’s National WWII Museum.”

wwii soldiers uniform with clothes and hat

What to Expect at the National New Orleans WWII Museum

I’ll be honest—I’m not a huge war buff. I love history and enjoy learning, but I’m not big into wars, battles, and the like.

But this is a top attraction in New Orleans, and of course, I had a strong personal connection. I knew this would be worth visiting, but I had no idea what an incredible museum this truly is.

It’s incredibly well-curated and is just downright impressive. From the moment you purchase your ticket and start your journey, you’re drawn into the story. You start by picking up your dog tag and boarding a train, where you learn a little about your coming journey.

It’s easy to close your eyes and almost feel like you were there. The exhibits are just incredible and immersive. All of your senses are awakened as you can see, feel, and hear the stories of the war.

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The Museum Experience

The museum is broken down into timelines, geographies, and battles. You walk through a chronological history of the war and can experience it through all senses. They have exhibits that you walk through and some that you can touch.

There are videos of interviews, presentations, and different activities that happened. You can see artifacts from the battles, strategies on maps, and write-ups of the everyday people who fought for what they thought was right.

You can get as much detail as you want or wander and absorb. At times, it’s overwhelming. Some rooms are quite busy with artifacts, videos, written clips, maps, newspaper clippings, and images. And that’s exactly the intent.

Ready to get your discount WWII Museum ticket?

The museum also offers several distance learning programs. This includes virtual learning programs, support for teachers in classrooms, school programs, and distance learning, and they even have a partnership with Arizona State University for credit classes.

So, if you’re not local or able to visit but want to learn more, there are plenty of opportunities for you!

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How Long Should You Spend at the WWII Museum?

Plan at least 2 to 3 hours to visit the museum, though you may want more if you’re deeply interested in the subject matter. If you find it a bit overwhelming or overstimulating, they offer a second-day pass so you can return for more.

We spent over three hours there. Towards the end, we wandered a bit more as it was a lot to take in. Had I had more time in New Orleans, I probably would have gone back for another visit, so I think the two-day pass is a great idea. There is a lot to take in.

Don’t Miss the Museum Store

The WWII Museum store is a treasure trove of WWII-related gifts. They have many items, from books to sweatshirts and games to household items. You could wander in there for days!

And lucky you, they also have an online shop! Check it out, as these items would make a great gift for people interested in this time of our history!

Will You Visit the New Orleans WWII Museum?

I hope this article helps you to say an emphatic “yes!” to that question! I’ll tell you—I now consider this museum in my top five of all museums worldwide. It’s not something I expected for sure!

It’s so beautifully curated and so wonderfully done. There is an intense amount of information, and you can absorb it how you do best—reading, listening, or watching. If you want to learn more and have a transformative experience, here’s a great place to do it.

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