National World War II Museum

The National World War II Museum, located in New Orleans, is the official WWII museum of the United States, as designated by Congress. Spanning six-acres, the museum is a must-see for history lovers, patriots and for anyone who wants to learn more about this tragic, but important, war. The museum has over 100,000 artifacts including military uniforms, weaponry, vehicles, aircrafts, and personal mementos. Visitors can also watch a 4-D movie or catch a show at a 1940s style canteen. This educational gem is one that every visitor to New Orleans should experience at least once.

Best and worst time to go to the National World War II Museum
The museum is not the type of facility that you simply breeze in and out quickly. The worst time to visit is when you have less than 3 hours to spare or you're bound to miss some of the exhibits. If you have kids between the ages of 7 and 12, a good time to visit the museum is during the annual (usually in July) Family Overnight at the Museum. During this fun sleepover, visitors get the chance to spend the night in the museum and have the opportunity to explore without the thick crowds, while enjoying exciting, hands-on activities including, scavenger hunts, games and a late night movie.

Must see/do at the National World War II Museum
A good place to start your trip is with a viewing of Beyond All Boundaries, a 4-D, 45-minute documentary narrated by Tom Hanks, that provides a great overview of the conflict. Before you leave, make sure you check out the restored World War II B-17, in the U.S. Freedom Pavilion's Boeing Center, which also educates visitors about the role of Boeing in producing planes, ships, tanks and other wartime machinery. Finally, a trip to the Joe W. and Dorothy D. Brown Foundation Special Exhibit Gallery, featuring rotating exhibits from the museum's collection and traveling exhibits from around the world, should also be on your must-see list.

Admission to the National World War II Museum
You'll pay about $25.00 for admission, with discounts for seniors, students and the military. World War II Veterans get in free every day. You can get a second-day pass for about $6 more, if you think you won't be able to see it all (and there's a lot to see) in one day. There are extra charges for some areas of the museum. You'll pay about $5, for example, for Beyond All Boundaries.

Parking and public transportation to the National World War II Museum
The best place to park is in the paid lot on Magazine Street, across from the museum. Expect to pay about $10 for 7 hours or around $15 for 12 hours. If you're using public transportation, take the St. Charles Streetcar or the Magazine bus and ask the driver to call out your stop. Both the bus and streetcar stop within easy walking distance of the museum.

Food at the National World War II Museum
You can quiet your rumbling tummy at the American Sector, open for lunch, dinner and a Happy Hour. The restaurant offers a nice selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts options, to please everyone's palates. Offerings include Salmon BLT, shrimp and grits, lamb ribs, spaghetti and meatballs, and s'mores or seasonal fruit pies. Expect to pay about $10 for a soup or salad; $15.00 for a sandwich; $20.00 for an entree; and $8.00 for a dessert.

Insider tip for visitors to the National World War II Museum
The ticket line can be a long, winding snake, so save yourself a headache and time by buying your tickets online.

Author's bio: Myra Faye Turner lives and writes from New Orleans. She abhors waiting in long lines and buys her tickets online whenever possible.