Dedicated to an original American art form, this still-evolving museum steps from Frenchmen Street features stellar collectibles like Louis Armstrong’s first cornet, Sidney Bechet’s soprano saxophone, and Edward “Kid” Ory’s trombone. The rotating exhibits come from an archive of irreplaceable treasures ranging from costumes, photos, manuscripts, and historic recordings to rare film footage. Best of all, the gorgeous third-floor performance space has free 2pm concerts every open day (and evening shows often). The building, the only mint that was both a U.S. and a Confederate mint, also has exhibits of interest to numismatists (O-minted coins, struck right here!) and regular, curious folk. Fun fact: Ghost hunters believe William Mumford, who met the noose here in 1862, still hangs around.