Get the Inside Scoop on the New Orleans Art Scene

The hottest hub for the arts in the Big Easy (we’re talking about charming and beautiful New Orleans, USA!) is the Arts District. If you want to get the inside scoop on the New Orleans art scene, you’ll find that learning about the Arts District is the best way to do it. To help you out, we’d like to share plenty of interesting information about this vibrant part of NOLA and all that it has to offer.

The Arts District is also known as the Warehouse District and it’s home to so many wonderful galleries, museums, eateries and shops.


Portraits in a New Orleans Cotton Office, 1873. By Degas.


Why Is This Area Special?

This area has evolved into something extraordinary! In the beginning, back in the 1900s, this part of New Orleans was the Industrial District. The district’s myriad warehouses were loaded with commodities which came off the ships that docked in the Port of New Orleans. When industrial practices changed, the area experienced a downtown which continued for decades. Its streets were often deserted.


It wasn’t until the mid-Seventies that the area experienced a renaissance. This revitalization was sparked by the opening of the Contemporary Arts Center, which is still in business today, as a popular venue for the performing arts. After the Contemporary Arts Center opened, artists realized that this the Industrial District could become a thriving arts district. The Center would be its glittering centerpiece!


Painters, sculptors and other types of artists chose to live and work there. They displayed their work in the warehouses which were once filled with coffee, grain and other valuable commodities! These days, people refer to the area as the New Orleans Arts District, or Warehouse District. It’s very popular with tourists and locals. It’s a great place to hang out and get a taste of the legendary NOLA vibe.


What to Do in the Arts District


This area is right downtown, so you won’t need to go far in order to browse galleries, enjoy fine dining and check out the Art District’s interesting boutiques. In terms of key attractions, you should make a point of spending time on Julia Street. It’s the main thoroughfare for a host of respected and popular art galleries and restaurants. Examples of exceptional art galleries on Julia Street include Octavia Art Gallery New Orleans, Arthur Roger Gallery and LeMieux Galleries. Great eateries to grab a bite at include Root (on 200 Julia Street) and Mulate’s the Original Cajun Restaurant, which is at 201 Julia Street.


Other fun streets in the district include, but are not limited to, Camp Street and Magazine Street. Notable places to shop in the New Orleans Arts District include the New Orleans Glassworks & Printmaking Studio, Miette (unique jewelry, decor and clothing) and The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk (many outlet shops in one convenient plaza).


If you want to soak in WWII history, you should spend time at The National WWII Museum. It’s actually the most popular attraction in all of New Orleans and it’s located within the Arts District.


Visit the Big Easy Today


New Orleans is a feast for the senses, no matter where you go. If you’re arts-oriented, you’ll find that the city’s vibrant Arts District earns a special place in your heart. So, why not visit today or as soon as you can?