Must-Visit Nature Museums in New Orleans
Learn about the history, art, and culture of New Orleans at their incredible museums. In New Orleans, you can find everything from art and history museums, to Mardi Gras and multicultural museums, and much more.
You’re sure to have a lot of fun exploring the natural world in the beautiful nature museums throughout New Orleans. Both the nature museums and the botanical gardens are within a short distance of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Here are some nature museums you won’t want to miss!
The Audubon Nature Center
About: The Audubon Nature Center is one of the top five urban nature centers in American. Here you will find a welcoming, hands-on learning experience for visitors of all ages. The Nature Center is located just 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans and is a perfect combination of interactive fun and environmental education.
Visitors can spend the day perusing the stunning hardwood bottomland forest and checking out the educational exhibits that the Nature Center offers. In the Interpretive Center, visitors will find cool wildlife exhibits and live swamp critters native to Louisiana.
In the Judith W. Freeman Astronomy Center, visitors will be taken on a voyage through the nighttime skies in the largest planetarium in New Orleans. There are also over 80 educational and public programs at the Audubon Nature Canter, along with shows and events.
Address: 11000 Lake Forest Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127
Phone: (504) 861-2537
New Canal Lighthouse
About: The historic New Canal Lighthouse was established in 1839 and is located on Lake Pontchartrain. The lighthouse is open to the public daily for tours and is also available for private parties, weddings, and other special events.
Address: 8001 Lakeshore Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124
Phone: (504) 282-2134
Tulane Museum of Natural History
About: The Tulane Museum of Natural History is located just outside of New Orleans’ city limits, in Belle Chasse. The museum is private and non-profit and is home to gigantic collections of birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, and fossils, which are (or were) all native species to the region.
While the museum is not officially open to the public, individual appointments for writers, scholarly researchers, and school tours can be made.
Address: 3705 Main St, Bldg. A-3, F. Edward Herbert Riverside Research Center, Belle Chasse, LA 70037
Phone: (504) 394-1711
Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge
About: One of New Orleans’ most visually interesting attractions is actually the little-known and rarely visited Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge spans over 24,000 acres, and while thousands upon thousands of people pass through it every day, most of them don’t even realize it. But you won’t get to truly appreciate the beauty of this refuge until you’re off the main highway and exploring it by foot or boat.
Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1990 and offers stretches of coastal hardwood forests and fresh and brackish marshes. During the warmer months, these forests and wetlands are teeming with both flora and fauna.
Head over to the refuge to see some of the incredible birds, animals, and plants the region has to offer. Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge also offers limited crabbing, fishing, and hunting during certain times of the year (you’ll want to check their regulations and make sure you acquire the proper permits beforehand).
Address: New Orleans, LA 70129
Phone: (985) 882-2000
These nature centers are the perfect way to spend the day with your family. And if you’re looking for even more outdoor fun, head over to the fishing village of Delacroix and come fishing with Whiskey Bayou Charters. We’ll make sure you and your family have the fishing trip of a lifetime!