Visiting a cemetery may not be the first thing that jumps to mind when planning a trip, but if you’re traveling to New Orleans, cemeteries should be on your itinerary.
Metairie Cemetery is unlike any other cemetery in the country. Architectural tombs are at turns elegant, grandiose, and touching. Some have the rich detail and refined sensuality of a Bernini. Others appear to want to “one-up” their neighbors.
Self-guided tour maps, recorded cassettes, and tape players are available at the funeral home (free of charge). Follow the “Soldier, Statesmen, Patriots, Rebels” tour or the “Great Families and Captains of Commerce” tour, or both. Since the cemetery spans 150-acres, many people tour it in automobiles, descending when something catches their eye. Not to be missed are the Estelle Theleman Hyams monument, the Moriarty monument, and the Brunswig mausoleum.
It’s easy to wander among the dead for several hours, and to fully appreciate the art and artistry, consider returning to Metairie Cemetery several times during a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast vacation. If you intend to make Metairie Cemetery a major part of your trip, consider staying at a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast in Mid-City or Parkview.
Ask your innkeepers about the best times to visit Metairie Cemetery, or consider taking a New Orleans Cemetery tour.