There were surprisingly a lot of things to do in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge has a lot of history and personally was creepier than going to New Orleans. It was such a breathtaking location to experience the real Louisiana. We’re diving into the heart of the South—Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t New Orleans the place to be in Louisiana?” Well, sure, NOLA is fantastic, but let’s not overlook its charming neighbor, Baton Rouge. This city is a blend of Southern hospitality, rich history, and vibrant culture that you won’t want to miss. So grab your sweet tea, and let’s get started with the best things to do in Baton Rouge.
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Why Baton Rouge?
Baton Rouge is Louisiana’s capital city, and it’s teeming with life. From the mighty Mississippi River to the lively music scene, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just someone looking to have a good time, Baton Rouge has got you covered.
The Best Time to Visit Baton Rouge
The best time to visit is during the fall or spring when the weather is just perfect—not too hot, not too cold. Plus, you’ll get to experience some of the city’s best festivals.
Getting Around Baton Rouge
The city is pretty easy to navigate. You can rent a car, but if you’re staying downtown, walking or biking is a great way to soak in the local atmosphere. There’s also a convenient bus system and ride-sharing options like Uber and Lyft.
Things to do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, mouthwatering cuisine, and toe-tapping music, this city offers a unique blend of experiences that you won’t want to miss. So grab your sense of adventure (and maybe a beignet or two), and let’s dive into the ultimate guide to the best things to do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the United States!
Louisiana State University Campus (LSU)
Let’s just say that the state of Louisiana is very proud of its university. Geaux Tigers! They take pride in their school and their team. Many alumni will still continue to see an LSU game whenever they can.
Even if you’re not a student or an alum, a visit to this iconic campus is an absolute must when you’re in Baton Rouge. Picture sprawling green lawns, majestic oak trees, and grand Georgian-style architecture. It’s like stepping into a different era but with a modern twist, thanks to the vibrant student life that infuses the campus with energy and excitement.
First things first, you’ve got to check out LSU Tiger Stadium, or as locals call it, “Death Valley.” Whether it’s football season or not, the sheer size and atmosphere of this place are awe-inspiring. If you happen to be there during a game, prepare for an electrifying experience; the crowd’s spirit is contagious! It’s a great place for sports lovers.
Meet Mike the Tiger at LSU
When you’re at LSU, you can’t miss the chance to meet this majestic creature who embodies the spirit of the university like no other. Mike is not just a tiger; he’s a living symbol of LSU’s pride, strength, and resilience. This is a must-see for things to do in Baton Route.
Located near Tiger Stadium, Mike’s habitat is more than just an enclosure; it’s a state-of-the-art sanctuary that provides him with a comfortable and enriching environment. As you approach, you’ll see a glass barrier that allows you to peer into his world while ensuring his safety and well-being.
Getting a glimpse of Mike is a treat in itself, but if you’re lucky, you might catch him in a playful mood or even lounging in the shade. Keep your camera ready because capturing a moment with this magnificent creature is a memory you’ll treasure.
The best part? Mike’s enclosure is designed with his needs in mind, ensuring that he has ample space to roam, a pool to cool off in, and plenty of opportunities for enrichment. LSU takes great care of Mike, ensuring that he leads a healthy and happy life.
Louisiana State Museum
Just a short walk from the Capitol is the Louisiana State Museum. Dive into the state’s rich history, from its Native American roots to its role in the Civil Rights Movement. Don’t forget to check out the Mardi Gras exhibit!
Live Oaks Plantation Houe
Live oaks plantation is a very beautiful plantation with a weird and spooky vibe. In the attic, you will see this creepy wedding gown in the middle on a mannequin. This was probably one of my favorite things to do in Baton Rouge – I’m a California girl, so learning about the history of these places is an important part of US history.
This historic plantation nestled in Baton Rouge exudes the elegance and grandeur of a bygone era, inviting visitors to step back in time and experience the antebellum South. As you stroll beneath the sprawling canopy of ancient oak trees, their majestic branches adorned with Spanish moss, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and nostalgia.
The plantation’s architecture reflects the opulence of the past, with its ornate details and classic Southern design. Whether you’re drawn to the captivating stories of the past, the architectural beauty, or simply the serene ambiance, Live Oaks Plantation offers a glimpse into history that’s both captivating and unforgettable.
Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
Why not take the chance and opportunity to visit the Louisiana state capitol building? One of my goals when visiting each state is to visit the state capitol. The buildings created for the state capitol always seem to be large and extravagant buildings.
The old Louisiana state capitol is the tallest capitol building in the U.S. The observation deck offers panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River. It’s a great way to get your bearings and snap some Insta-worthy pics.
Louisiana Art & Science Museum
Welcome to a piece of history that’s as captivating as it is awe-inspiring—the Old State Capitol Museum in Baton Rouge. This architectural masterpiece stands as a testament to the city’s rich past and serves as a gateway to a world of stories and secrets waiting to be uncovered.
As you approach the Old State Capitol, you’ll be struck by its striking Gothic architecture, resembling a medieval castle that seems to have been plucked from a fairytale. But this isn’t just a castle; it’s a place that has witnessed pivotal moments in Louisiana’s history, from political debates to social change.
One of the highlights of the museum is the breathtaking stained glass dome that bathes the interior in a warm, ethereal light. It’s a sight to behold and a reminder that history is not just about facts and figures; it’s about the human stories that have left an indelible mark on the world.
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
This 103-acre haven is a must-visit for nature lovers. With its well-marked trails, you can easily find yourself lost in the beauty of cypress-tupelo swamps, hardwood forests, and even a sparkling lake. Keep your eyes peeled, because you might just spot some of the local residents like armadillos, deer, and if you’re lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you see it), an alligator basking in the sun.
Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a photographer looking for that perfect shot, or just someone who wants to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center offers a tranquil and educational experience that’ll make you fall in love with Louisiana’s unique landscapes all over again. If you want outdoor activities, it is the perfect spot for the whole family.
There are so many different types of birds and creatures here. Unfortunately, the milk thistle was making me sneeze like crazy – be sure to bring your allergy medication. We found one gator while out there.
Magnolia Mound Plantation
Magnolia Mound Plantation—a true gem that transports you to the heart of Louisiana’s colonial history. Nestled in Baton Rouge, this meticulously restored plantation offers a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved architecture, lush gardens, and fascinating stories.
As you explore the historic buildings, from the main house to the slave cabins, you’ll be immersed in the lives of the people who once called this place home. The beautiful French Creole-style architecture, complete with its distinctive roof and galleries, is a testament to the cultural influences that shaped the region.
Wander through the lush gardens adorned with vibrant flowers and fragrant herbs, and you’ll understand why this plantation is a haven for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Whether you’re drawn to the historic insights, architectural beauty, or the serenity of the surroundings, Magnolia Mound Plantation offers an enriching experience that captures the essence of Louisiana’s past.
This place is like stepping into a different world, a magical realm where nature reigns supreme. The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest river swamp in the U.S., stretching over 140 miles and covering almost one million acres. It’s a labyrinth of bayous, swamps, and lakes, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The basin also holds cultural significance, especially for the Cajun people who have lived off this land for generations. You’ll find charming fishing villages where life moves at a slower pace, and you might even get to hear some authentic Cajun music if you’re lucky.
What a gorgeous view it was to be around here. The water felt like it never ended, the view was breathtaking. What is cool about this area is that there are many rivers that meet here and lead out into the ocean. It was a great way to end the evening with a view of the sunset.
The Old Arsenal Powder Magazine Museum
Step into Baton Rouge’s past at the Old Arsenal Powder Magazine Museum—an intriguing window into the city’s military history. This historical gem, originally a storage facility for gunpowder in the 1800s, now stands as a meticulously preserved museum showcasing artifacts, uniforms, and documents that offer insights into the lives of soldiers and the evolution of weaponry.
The museum’s original architecture and immersive exhibits create an atmosphere that transports visitors to a bygone era, where stories of courage and sacrifice come to life. For those intrigued by the past’s echoes, the Old Arsenal Powder Magazine Museum is a must-visit destination that bridges the gap between history and the present.
USS KIDD Veterans Museum
If you are interested in history, this is one of the things to do in Baton Rouge you shouldn’t miss.
Step aboard history at the USS KIDD Veterans Museum, an iconic tribute to those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Permanently docked in Baton Rouge, this floating museum offers a unique opportunity to explore the USS KIDD, a Fletcher-class destroyer that played a vital role in World War II and beyond. As you step onto the deck, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by the ship’s historic architecture and artifacts.
From the well-preserved living quarters to the mighty guns that once defended our nation, every corner of the USS KIDD tells a story of bravery and sacrifice. You can walk through the engine rooms, peer into the ship’s communication center, and even explore the captain’s quarters, gaining insight into life aboard a warship during some of history’s most critical moments.
Things to do in Baton Rouge with Kids
Baton Rouge Gallery
This place celebrates contemporary art in all its forms. As you step inside, you’re immediately greeted by the vibrant energy that emanates from the artwork adorning the walls. From thought-provoking paintings and sculptures to cutting-edge multimedia installations, the gallery showcases a diverse range of works from both local and national artists.
Baton Rouge Zoo
Embark on a wild adventure at the Baton Rouge Zoo, where the wonders of the animal kingdom come to life. Nestled in the heart of Baton Rouge, this family-friendly destination offers a captivating blend of education and entertainment. As you explore the zoo’s diverse natural habitats, you’ll encounter a fascinating array of creatures from all corners of the globe. From playful primates to majestic big cats, each exhibit is thoughtfully designed to provide a natural and enriching environment for the animals.
One of the highlights of the Baton Rouge Zoo is its commitment to conservation and education. Through interactive experiences, informative displays, and engaging presentations, visitors of all ages can learn about the importance of wildlife preservation and the role zoos play in protecting endangered species.
Blue Bayou Water Park
Dive into a world of splashes, thrills, and endless fun at Blue Bayou Water Park in Baton Rouge. This aquatic wonderland is the ultimate escape from the heat, offering a variety of exhilarating water rides and attractions that cater to visitors of all ages. This is one of the best summer activities and things to do in Baton Rouge.
From heart-pounding slides that send you spiraling down to lazy rivers where you can relax and soak up the sun, Blue Bayou Water Park has it all. If you’re up for a challenge, test your courage on the towering water slides that will get your heart racing.
For a more leisurely experience, grab an inner tube and float along the lazy river, letting the gentle currents carry you away. With its vibrant atmosphere, vibrant pools, and interactive play areas, this water park is a family-friendly paradise where memories are made and laughter echoes through the air.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking to cool off and unwind, Blue Bayou Water Park promises a day of excitement and aquatic adventures that will leave you with unforgettable moments and a big smile.
Knock Knock Children’s Museum
The museum’s exhibits are a blend of education and play, encouraging children to learn through hands-on experiences. From a mini cityscape where kids can role-play as doctors, chefs, and more, to a backyard filled with outdoor adventures, every area is designed to spark creativity and foster a love for learning.
Whether it’s building structures, creating art, or solving puzzles, the Knock Knock Children’s Museum offers a wide range of activities that cater to various interests and age groups. With each exhibit, kids are encouraged to ask questions, explore their surroundings, and discover new concepts in a fun and engaging way. This is a great museum to take your child if you are looking for things to do in Baton Rouge with kids.
Where to eat in Baton Rouge
Get ready to indulge your taste buds at Chimes Restaurant, a beloved Baton Rouge dining institution that’s all about good food, great vibes, and Southern hospitality. Nestled in the heart of the city, Chimes is more than just a restaurant; it’s a gathering place where locals and visitors alike come together to savor the flavors of Louisiana.
I suggest you try the Boudin Balls, Crawfish Ettoufee, Gumbo, and Raw Oysters.
Have a Crawfish Boil at a local’s home
Crawfish Boils are a thing to do in Louisiana, but the best part is doing all of these with locals. The crawfish are a big deal in Louisiana and the boils are a big family thing to do with drinking beer, eating good food, spending time with family, and of course eating Crawfish, Corn, and Potatoes from the boil.
Must have Drinks
Grab a Daquiri in a drive-thru
This was probably one of the most interesting things to do in Baton Rouge for someone not from the South. However, it is illegal to drink these in the car while it is moving, but it’s weird because it’s technically an open container. Not sure what to say about that, but they were freaking delicious! Hands down the best Bloody Mary I ever tried hands down and definitely refreshing.
Have you been to Baton Rouge, Louisiana? What are your favorite things to do in Baton Rouge?