2014 RT Convention Preview: Historic NOLA at a Glance
New Orleans is a history-laden city, with stories and ancestry around every corner. So when you’re not busy chatting up your favorite authors or hanging out with your fellow booklovers during the RT Convention, be sure to venture out into the city to visit these exciting historical sites. Grab your map and let’s go!
Let’s start with something spooktastic, shall we? Of the many cemeteries plotted across NOLA, the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is a definite must see, especially since it’s the supposed gravesite of Marie Laveau, famous Voodoo priestess. The cemetery is located on Basin St., just outside the French Quarter, so you won’t have to go far. For more information, click here.
But if cemeteries aren’t your thing and you’d prefer to keep things a bit more bookish, head on over to St. Charles Avenue to the Latter Memorial Library. Once a private mansion, the library boasts colorful and intricate architecture and design, sure to please those who can appreciate quality woodwork and beautiful French frescoes.
Delving more into the academic side of things, we have the Civil War Museum on Camp Street, south of the French Quarter. The museum is home to the second largest collection of Confederate artifacts in the world and currently has a special exhibit on display for the Red River Campaign, which features photographs, uniforms and weapons from this 1864 battle.
An exterior view of the Latter Memorial Library
When you’re done browsing the Civil War Museum, be sure to check out the National World War II Museum, which is Lonely Planet’s top pick for New Orleans sites. With over 100,000 artifacts, including recorded oral histories, the museum offers a wealth of information for everyone, even the casual history buffs. A special exhibit worth noting is the upcoming From Barbed Wire to Battlefields: Japanese American Experiences in WWII, which officially opens March 15 and remains open through the fall.
For the musically inclined, the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park isn’t to be missed. Located on the east side of the Quarter, the park is operated by rangers who are, most often, musicians themselves, making their lectures and discussions on the history and importance of jazz music all the more enthralling. Admission is free and you can also take an audio tour of the park.
These are only a handful of the exciting and culturally rich sites you’ll be able to visit when you join us in May for the RT Convention, and be sure to check out Lonely Planet’s guide for even more suggestions! For more convention news and buzz, visit the official page here! See you soon!