When people think of Louisiana, many will automatically gravitate towards New Orleans. However, there’s another part of Louisiana that will offer visitors and travelers a completely different experience of the southern state. Baton Rouge only happens to be the capital of the state, and if you were to visit there, you’ll get an experience that’s as unique and memorable as NOLA. There are plenty of sights to see and things to do in the city for all types of visitors. Whether you’re traveling with your family, your significant other, your group of friends, or simply going at it alone, Baton Rouge has something for you to enjoy. Here are 10 things you should do in Baton Rouge if you’re visiting for the first time.
1. LSU Museum of Art
With about 13,000 square feet of space, you could easily spend an entire day perusing the 14 galleries of this modern museum of art. LSU Museum of Art is home to a wide selection of various art collections that includes Chinese jade carvings, artwork by black folk artist Clementine Hunter, and many more.
2. Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
Overlooking the Mississippi River, this gothic establishment is like a building out of a history book. It’s castle-style architecture stands out from the rest of the buildings in the area. In fact, the Old State Capitol is also referred to as Castle of Baton Rouge or Castle on the River. It’s now a museum that houses historical educational resources, artifacts, documents, and more.
3. LSU Tiger Stadium
What better way to spend your Friday night than going to a stadium to watch a football game with 99,999 other LSU fans? LSU is known for its football, and you certainly can’t leave Baton Rouge without experiencing a game.
4. Mike the Tiger Habitat
LSU’s tiger mascot is probably the most famous tiger in the entire world. The animal has a habitat dedicated to him, and it’s something that you’d have to see to appreciate. Whether you’re a football fan or not, Mike’s habitat is a must-see.
5. USS Kidd
Look back in time aboard the USS Kidd, and see how the crewmembers lived back in the days. This destroyer was built back in WWII and was only the 661st destroyer to be built for the Navy. That’s only a snippet of what you’d learn about this ship, but there’s more to feel about the place than just seeing it.
6. LSU Rural Life Museum
This is one of the nation’s best outdoor museums. If you’ve ever wondered how life must’ve been like in Louisiana before the industrial period, this is the place to go. It’s a replica of a 19th century plantation, and it’s got 27 impressive buildings to give visitors the perfect old time experience.
7. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
Your visit to Baton Rouge will not be complete if you don’t visit the swamplands. You can find all sorts of greenery and wild animals as you take a hike around the area. The trails offer a peaceful walk, while the nature center offers a lot of educational information including a reptile exhibit.
8. Downtown Baton Rouge
It may seem like a typical city at first glance, but the more you roam Downtown Baton Rouge, the more you’ll see it’s charm. You’ll find some of the best restaurants in the area, and if you’re looking for nightlife activities, there’s no other place to go but here.
9. Magnolia Mound Plantation
You could never visit enough plantations here, but there’s something unique about this place. Built in the 1700s, Magnolia Mound Plantation offers some of the most peaceful sights you’ll ever see in the area. The small house alone is fascinating, and it’ll give you a good glimpse of life back in the 18th century. Magnolia Mound remains to be a favorite among many visitors to Baton Rouge.
10. Baton Rouge Food Tours
Louisiana is known for many things, but food is probably the highest on that list. There are so many different foods to try here, but taking a food tour is more than just the grubs. You’ll also get important historical and architectural details on all the restaurants and areas you’ll visit. It’s three hours of your life that you’re going to want to repeat over and over again.