Uncover Baton Rouge: Your Comprehensive Guide to The Red Stick City
Baton Rouge, the dynamic capital city of Louisiana, beckons with its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse culinary scene. Home to fascinating museums, impressive architectural marvels, and beautiful parks, there is something for every kind of traveller in this southern gem. This comprehensive guide will take you on a journey to discover Baton Rouge’s must-visit attractions, top spots for kids, best accommodations, and essential travel tips.
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Top 15 Must-Visit Attractions in Baton Rouge
- Louisiana State Capitol: A symbol of Baton Rouge’s historical significance, the Louisiana State Capitol is the tallest capitol building in the United States. Guided tours are available to provide a rich understanding of Louisiana’s history and governance. The Observation Deck offers panoramic views of the city. Website
- LSU Rural Life Museum: Experience Louisiana’s rich rural past at this open-air museum. The museum showcases artifacts, tools, and buildings that tell the story of 18th and 19th-century life in the state. Website
- USS Kidd Veterans Museum: This museum and memorial houses the famous USS Kidd, a Fletcher-class destroyer from World War II. Explore the ship, military aircraft, and extensive exhibits on the sacrifices of veterans. Website
- BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo: Home to over 800 animals worldwide, the Baton Rouge Zoo offers an educational and fun experience for all ages. Don’t miss the Realm of the Tiger and the Flamingo Cove. Website
- Atchafalaya National Heritage Area: Known as America’s Foreign Country, this area covers 14 parishes in Louisiana and offers unique experiences, from exploring the swamps and forests to discovering the Cajun and Creole cultures. Website
- Old State Capitol: A National Historic Landmark, the Old State Capitol is a Gothic architectural treasure that now serves as a museum of political history. Don’t miss the stunning stained glass dome. Website
- Louisiana Art & Science Museum: This museum offers an eclectic mix of art and science exhibits, ideal for stimulating your curiosity. The planetarium shows are a must-see. Website
- Magnolia Mound Plantation: Step back in time at this preserved French Creole plantation. The guided tour offers a fascinating insight into life in the late 18th century. Website
- Shaw Center for the Arts: This sleek modern building houses art galleries, a theatre, and eateries. The Manship Theatre and LSU Museum of Art are the main attractions. Website
- Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center: A 103-acre facility dedicated to conservation, education, and recreation. The centre has exhibits on local plants and wildlife, along with hiking trails. Website
- Baton Rouge Gallery: This gallery showcases contemporary art from local and national artists. The gallery also hosts concerts, film screenings, and other cultural events. Website
- Capitol Park Museum: This museum gives a broad overview of Louisiana’s vibrant culture and history through engaging exhibits that cover everything from Mardi Gras to the state’s diverse musical heritage. Website
- Hilltop Arboretum: Discover over 14 acres of indigenous Louisiana trees and shrubs. This soothing space is perfect for nature walks and picnics. Website
- The Red Stick Farmers Market: Engage with local farmers and producers while picking fresh produce, baked goods, and local specialties. It’s a culinary exploration of Baton Rouge. Website
- Southern University Museum of Art: This museum celebrates the art, history, and culture of African and African American artists. It offers a unique cultural perspective. Website
Top 10 Places to Visit for Kids in Baton Rouge
- Knock Knock Children’s Museum: This interactive museum offers hands-on exhibits for children to learn through play, exploring different careers and environments. Website
- BREC’s Liberty Lagoon: Cool down at this water park that features water slides, a lazy river, and a splash pad, perfect for a hot Louisiana day. Website
- Louisiana’s Old Governor’s Mansion: Known as Louisiana’s White House, this mansion provides an interesting historical tour suitable for kids. Website
- Main Event Baton Rouge: This family entertainment centre offers a variety of games, activities like bowling, laser tag, and more. Website
- All-Star Lanes Baton Rouge: This bowling alley isn’t just for bowling; it also has a laser tag arena and arcade games for hours of family fun. Website
- BREC’s Bluebonnet Nature Center: This nature centre allows kids to learn about and interact with local wildlife. The centre also has beautiful trails for family walks. Website
- Mike the Tiger Habitat: Visit the live Bengal-Siberian tiger mascot of Louisiana State University. The habitat is an educational conservation centre as well as a popular attraction. Website
- Farr Park Equestrian Center: Let the kids experience horseback riding lessons or simply enjoy the equestrian events at this extensive horse park. Website
- Cajun Pride Swamp Tours: Embark on an exciting adventure through the Louisiana swamps with Cajun Pride Swamp Tours. Kids will love the guided boat tours where they can observe alligators, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitats. The knowledgeable guides provide interesting facts about the swamp ecosystem, making it an educational and memorable experience for the whole family. Website
- Playmakers of Baton Rouge: Enroll your kids in theatre classes and workshops at Playmakers of Baton Rouge. This youth theatre organization provides opportunities for children to learn acting, singing, and dancing. Kids can participate in stage productions, gain confidence in their performance skills, and develop their creativity and teamwork. It’s a fantastic way for children to express themselves and cultivate their love for the performing arts. Website
Getting Around Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge offers various modes of transportation for tourists. Capital Area Transit System (CATS) provides a network of bus routes throughout the city, and you can find routes and schedules on their Website.
Top 5 Hotels in Baton Rouge
- Watermark Baton Rouge: This luxury hotel is located in a historic 1927 skyscraper. It offers refined rooms with unique artwork and an upscale restaurant. Website
- Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown: With a prime location near the riverfront, this chic hotel offers stylish rooms and a rooftop pool. Website
- The Cook Hotel and Conference Center at LSU: Located on the LSU campus, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, a pool, and close proximity to university attractions. Website
- Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel: This upscale hotel offers plush rooms, a Southern restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a fitness centre. Website
- Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center: This historic hotel is close to the riverfront and offers comfortable rooms, a fitness centre, and an outdoor pool. Website
Baton Rouge Climate Information
|Season||Average Temperature (°C)||Average Temperature (°F)|
|Spring||12.2 – 26.7||54 – 80|
|Summer||23.9 – 33.9||75 – 93|
|Autumn||12.8 – 29.4||55 – 85|
|Winter||4.4 – 17.2||40 – 63|
Travel Tips for Baton Rouge
- Check Event Schedules: Baton Rouge is known for its festivals and events. Check the city’s events schedule in advance to not miss out on any special event during your visit.
- Try Local Cuisine: From crawfish boils to jambalaya, be sure to taste Baton Rouge’s flavorful Creole and Cajun cuisine.
- Pack for the Weather: Baton Rouge experiences a hot, humid summer and a mild winter. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing for the summer and a light jacket for the winter.
- Visit Plantations: Explore the nearby plantations, such as Houmas House and Laura Plantation, to delve further into the history of Louisiana.