Even if you’ve visited, dined, or partied in every corner of New Orleans, there are still plenty of sites to see that you probably never heard of. Even the NOLA natives don’t know about some of the gems hiding in plain sight in this city. Here are six of the most intriguing locations that go unnoticed by tourists and natives alike.
1. Piazza d’Italia
Considered one of the most innovative architectural designs of the 20th century, the Piazza d’Italia is a New Orleans landmark that goes unvisited by most city residents and tourists. Designed in 1978 by architect Charles Moore, this artistic masterpiece was considered a groundbreaking achievement in postmodern architecture.The landmark blends many classical forms and designs – including a fountain, colonnades, and a Roman Temple – with modern mediums and styles of the time.Piazza d’Italia is free to the public, so check out this historical landmark at the corner of Lafayette Street and Commerce Street!
2. Abandoned Six Flags Amusement Park
Located at 3011 Michoud Street, the ruins of the Abandoned Six Flags Amusement Park lie deserted, spooky and more intriguing than ever.The theme park was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, leaving a decaying, apocalyptic landscape that has not been renovated since.The 150-acre ghost town, splayed with smashed Mardi Gras figures, rusting roller coasters, and supposed alligators swimming in the water slide section, is probably more of an urban explorer attraction than a tourist attraction, but for anyone planning on entering this place, I’d advise you to enter at your own risk.The park is private property, and there is a chance of running into an alligator.
3. New Orleans’ Historic Voodoo Museum
Voodoo has been a part of New Orleans culture since the city was first established, adding a mysterious and fascinating allure to the city.But most tourists and residents don’t actually have any knowledge of the religion.The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, located at 724 Dumaine Street, may be able to change that.Focusing mostly on Louisiana Voodoo—a combination of African and European influences, the small museum displays many artifacts and objects used during Voodoo practices, but also offers fortune telling and cemetery tours.John T., the museum’s Voodoo priest, performs the psychic readings, which start at $40, and standard museum entry starts at $4.50.
4. New Orleans’ Own Eiffel Tower
Among the historic, pillared mansions on St. Charles Avenue, there is one odd building out. Resembling an exoskeleton, with long steel beams extending in all directions from the ground, the Eiffel Society at 2040 St. Charles Avenue hosts events during the week and operates as a cocktail lounge and night club. Why is it called the Eiffel Society? Because the structure is literally a rebuilt chunk of the Eiffel tower. Up until 1981, the Restaurant de La Tour was a famous restaurant located at the top of the Eiffel Tower, but was taken down due to its weight. A famous French chef then bought the deconstructed restaurant and shipped it to New Orleans, giving it a new start in the Big Easy.
5. Nicolas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb
Nicolas Cage, the once acclaimed actor-turned-meme, has prepared for death in an unusual and excessive manor. He purchased a nameless pyramid-shaped tomb in the beloved St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. The monolithic grave stands at nine feet tall and the Latin maxim “Omni Ab Uno” is carved into it, stylistically contrasting all of the surrounding burial stones. A tradition has started since it was constructed where women kiss the tomb while wearing bright lipstick. Locals are furious about his empty grave in the already crowded cemetery, but Cage has refused to comment.
6. Audubon Park Labyrinth
Hidden in the beautiful Uptown park, there is a Labyrinth that is free and open to the public. The intricate walkway is housed in a less populated section of the park, located near Laurel Street and the Tree of Life. Marty Kermeen, one of the most acclaimed labyrinth creators, was hired to constructed New Orleans’ first Labyrinth.