Suffice it to say, if you served in the United States Military during WWII, you’re granted free admission to the National WWII Museum, which is a really amazing place worth paying to visit, anyhow. But if you’re not a member of “The Greatest Generation,” but still a US veteran, you can still visit the museum for free on certain national holidays (check the website for details). Again, though, you should pay to check this place out: it has boats, and tanks, and airplanes, and a 4D cinematic experience narrated by Tom Hanks. Very, very cool.
Founded in 1966, THNOC is a museum, and also a research center that aims to preserve and celebrate the artistic and cultural history of NOLA and the Gulf South. It occupies several beautiful and historic buildings in the French Quarter, making it easy to tour if you’re visiting NOLA, staying downtown, and hoping to stay classy between Hurricanes. Best of all, it’s totally free to one and all (though you might be sucked into purchasing something cool at their gift shop).
Galleries on Royal St and the Julia St Arts District
French Quarter and Warehouse District, respectively
Okay, while the dozens of art galleries lining Royal St in the French Quarter and on Julia St in the Arts District aren’t, technically speaking, museums, they host a veritable smorgasbord of diverse art, antiques, and artifacts much like a bona fide museum... only you can buy the art, if you have the money bags. So long as you’re not falling-down intoxicated or otherwise obnoxious, most galleries are happy to have you stop in for a look at their wares.