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Explore Baton Rouge: A Comprehensive Guide to Louisiana’s Capital

Things to do in Baton Rouge

Louisiana’s capital city, Baton Rouge, is a treasure trove of history, culture, outdoor adventure, and culinary delights just waiting to be discovered. From its historical landmarks and sprawling parks to its vibrant arts scene and mouthwatering food, the city offers something for everyone. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, here’s a comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Baton Rouge.

Immerse Yourself in Louisiana’s History

Louisiana's Old State Capitol

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

Perched on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River, the Louisiana’s Old State Capitol is a picturesque Gothic-Revival castle that once housed the Louisiana legislature. Today, it serves as the Museum of Political History. Marvel at the stunning stained-glass dome, explore the magnificent halls and chambers, and learn about Louisiana’s political history through the museum’s exhibits. For a unique experience, don’t miss the “Ghost of the Castle” show, where a Civil War-era ghost, Sarah Morgan, shares fascinating tales about Baton Rouge’s history.

USS KIDD Veterans Museum

For military history enthusiasts, a visit to the USS KIDD Veterans Museum is a must. Here, you can explore a historic naval ship, witness war artifacts, and learn about U.S. military history. For an ultimate experience, sign up for their overnight camping program, where you can sleep in a berthing compartment like a true war hero.

Louisiana State Capitol

Standing tall at 450 feet, the Louisiana State Capitol is the tallest capitol building in the U.S, boasting beautiful historic architecture and an Art Deco interior. Take a guided tour of the senate chambers to learn about the U.S. government and Louisiana’s history or visit the observation deck on the 27th floor for a breathtaking view of the city skyline.

Embrace the Great Outdoors

Louisiana Great Outdoors 

Baton Rouge Zoo

Animal lovers will find plenty to enjoy at the Baton Rouge Zoo. Home to over 2,000 animals from around the world, the zoo offers a unique opportunity to learn about and appreciate diverse wildlife species. From exotic animals like tigers, rhinos, and tapirs to local species, the zoo promises a fun-filled day for visitors of all ages.

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

For a taste of Louisiana’s natural beauty, head to the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. This 101-acre reserve offers a chance to learn about Louisiana habitats and spot wildlife like snakes, turtles, and even alligators. Take a hike through the trails, enjoy the serene beauty of the swamp, and feel connected to nature.

Hilltop Arboretum

If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, the Hilltop Arboretum is the place to be. Spread across 14 acres, it offers a network of trails through wildflower-filled meadows, farmland, and groves featuring over 150 native tree species. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely nature walk or a family picnic under the shade of the trees.

Dive into the Arts and Culture Scene

Louisiana Art

Louisiana Art & Science Museum

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum is a hub for creativity and learning. With its state-of-the-art planetarium, movie theater, and interactive exhibits, the museum promises a fun and educational experience for the whole family. Don’t miss the Ancient Egypt exhibit featuring a real-life mummy and the solar system model in the planet tower.

Shaw Center for the Arts

The Shaw Center for the Arts is a cultural gem in the heart of Baton Rouge. This performing arts theater is home to the LSU Museum of Art and the Glassell Gallery, offering a diverse range of performances, exhibitions, and events. Whether you’re a fan of plays, music, indie films, or dancing, the Shaw Center for the Arts has something for you.

LSU Museum of Art

For art aficionados, a visit to the LSU Museum of Art is a must. The museum features a mix of traveling exhibitions and permanent collection showcases that cater to all art tastes. From Cocktail and painting nights to yoga in the galleries, the museum offers unique experiences that blend art and entertainment.

Indulge in Baton Rouge’s Food Scene

Coffee Call

For a mid-day caffeine kick, head to Coffee Call. Known for its extensive menu of espresso-based beverages and warm ambiance, this coffee shop is a local favorite. Don’t forget to try their Beignet Fingers, a sugary delight that pairs perfectly with your coffee.

Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant

Craving some fresh seafood? Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant serves up delicious Cajun-style seafood dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From crab bisque and seafood gumbo to their famous po’boys, Parrain’s offers a true taste of Louisiana.

Bistro Byronz

Experience French-inspired cuisine at Bistro Byronz. This charming bistro serves up a variety of dishes, from classic French fare to Southern comfort food. Try their boudin balls, a local delicacy, for a unique culinary adventure.

Celebrate Baton Rouge’s Festivals

If your visit coincides with one of Baton Rouge’s festivals, you’re in for a treat. Dance the night away at free local concerts or immerse yourself in the excitement of Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge, an annual celebration attended by thousands. Whatever your interests, Baton Rouge’s festive spirit is sure to make your visit a memorable one.


Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor adventurer, a foodie, or an art lover, Baton Rouge has something for you. With its rich history, vibrant culture, stunning natural beauty, and diverse food scene, the city offers a wealth of experiences that promise to make your visit truly unforgettable. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore Baton Rouge, a city that’s sure to surprise and delight you at every turn.

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