Old State Capitol of Louisiana
Photo: Siegfried Schnepf/Fotolia

The capital city of Louisiana, Baton Rouge is home to great museums, unique attractions and outstanding restaurants. Watch a game at the LSU Tiger Stadium, visit the LSU Museum of Art, and see a planetarium show at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. Best historic things to do in Baton Rouge, LA include the LSU Rural Life Museum, USS Kidd and the Old Arsenal Museum.

»LSU Museum of Art

LSU Museum of Art


The LSU Museum of Art, located on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts, is spread across 13,000 square feet of space in fourteen galleries and is one of the top attractions in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This magnificent modern space has soaring fifteen foot high ceilings and can accommodate artworks in all sizes and media. The museum has one of the largest collections of art in the South. It features a number of collections such as Chinese jade carvings, several works of Clementine Hunter, Newcomb College Pottery pieces, and so much more. Local and regional artists offer some of their art pieces for sale in the museum’s store.

It is a great place to buy a unique gift and support local artists. The museum also has a number of adult, family, and kids programs and activities. Read more

100 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-389-7200

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»Louisiana's Old State Capitol

Louisiana's Old State Capitol


Located on North Boulevard, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol is a historic building that was the home of the Louisiana State Legislature from the mid 19th century until the 1930s when the current capitol building was constructed.

The Old State Capitol building stands on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and was built in the Gothic style. It is known by several nicknames, including the Castle of Baton Rouge and the Castle on the River and is one of the best things to do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and as a U.S. National Historic Landmark, the building is now called the Museum of Political History, and it is an educational resource containing art objects, artifacts, documents, and much more.

100 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-342-0500 Photo: Siegfried Schnepf/Fotolia

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»Louisiana State Museum

Louisiana State Museum

The Louisiana State Museum is made up of nine museums, including the Capitol Park Museum located on North Fourth Street on the mall of Louisiana’s State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

The museum contains exhibits on the culture, history, and industry of Louisiana. There are two permanent exhibits: Experiencing Louisiana: Discovering the Soul of America and Grounds for Greatness: Louisiana and the Nation.

The exhibits cover a wide variety of topics such as slavery, the civil war, and the fight for civil liberties during the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott. They also touch on industries such as sugar cane, oil, and shrimp, and among others. Read more

660 North Fourth Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-342-5428

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»Louisiana Art & Science Museum

Louisiana Art & Science Museum


Located on South River Road, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum consists of art galleries, science galleries, and a planetarium. Housed in a historic 1925 railway station, the museum seeks to educate and entertain visitors of all ages. In addition to its permanent collection of fine art, the museum also mounts temporary revolving art exhibits.

With its ancient artifacts and exceptionally interesting mummy, the Ancient Egypt Gallery is quite a popular exhibit. If you are wondering what to see in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with kids, this is a great place to visit. The Irene W. Pennington Planetarium serves several purposes: in addition to presenting its sky shows, it is also the venue for films and music shows. The museum’s educational programs include classes, lectures and workshops. Read more

100 South River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-344-5272

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»LSU Tiger Stadium

LSU Tiger Stadium

The LSU Tiger Stadium is an outdoor stadium located on West Stadium Drive on the campus of Louisiana State University. Known as “Death Valley,” it is the home of the Louisiana State University Tigers football team.

Before 1924, games were held at State Field on the old LSU campus, but the new Tiger Stadium opened in 1924 with a capacity of 12,000 spectators. Since then, several renovations have increased the capacity to 102,321 making the LSU Tiger Stadium the ninth largest stadium in the world.

The stadium features 27 x 80 HD video boards that were added in 2009, the 8,000 square foot Jeff Boss Locker Room, and the LSU Strength and Conditioning Facility.

West Stadium Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-578-0628

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»Mike the Tiger Habitat

Mike the Tiger Habitat


Located on North Stadium Road, the Mike the Tiger Habitat is the residence of Louisiana State University’s official mascot and one of the top things to see in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The original tiger, Mike I, lived in a small 2,000 square foot enclosure beginning in the 1930s until Mike I passed away in 1956. A new habitat was constructed in 2005. It is 15,000 square feet in size.

Whereas the original habitat was simple and only had logs for Mike I to climb over, the new habitat includes a waterfall and a stream that flows into a pond, many plants, and rocks for the new Mike to enjoy. The habitat’s backdrop is an Italianate tower that is in keeping with the architecture of LSU.

North Stadium Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-578-4823

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»LSU Rural Life Museum

LSU Rural Life Museum


The LSU Rural Life Museum is a history museum located on Essen Lane in Baton Rouge. Operated by the Louisiana State University, the museum is located on the 40-acre Burden Plantation and consists of 30 historic buildings.

The museum preserves and presents rural life in Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley during the 18th and 19th centuries through its artifacts, exhibits, and tours. It is an open air museum with the largest collection of local Louisiana architecture and cultural and historical objects.

The museum offers many opportunities for educational experiences and is associated with several schools and universities. The museum is open every day.

4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-765-2437

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»USS Kidd

USS Kidd


The USS Kidd is a Fletcher-class destroyer that was launched in 1943. Nicknamed the “Pirate of the Pacific,” it was named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd who died on board the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The USS Kidd saw many battles on the Pacific during World War II and was decommissioned in 1946 only to be re-commissioned in 1951 for use during the Korean War. Decommissioned again, this time in 1964, the USS Kidd was selected as a memorial for World War II veterans from Louisiana.

305 South River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-342-1942 Photo: Siegfried Schnepf/Fotolia

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»Baton Rouge Food Tours

Baton Rouge Food Tours


The C'est Si Bon Food Tour is a walking tour of Baton Rouge downtown restaurants and cafes that introduces some of the best foods the city has to offer. It also offers brief details on its history, architecture, and culture.

The tour starts with tasting beef po-boy at Poor Boy Lloyd’s, continues to the Hilton to learn the history of the Heidelberg Hotel, and goes after that to Stroube’s for their famous crab and corn Brie bisque. The tour continues to Zolia to try its unique shrimp and grits, then to the Lobby Café for a muffaletta, IPO to try duck poppers, and finally to the Hilton for the fabled beignets.

The tour, guided by Kimberly Harper, a passionate local, takes about three hours. If you are looking for great activities in Baton Rouge, this unique tour will leave you satiated and enchanted by this charming city. Read more Photo: Baton Rouge Food Tours

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»Red Stick Farmers Market

Red Stick Farmers Market


The days to get fresh produce in Baton Rouge are Thursdays and Saturdays, which is when the Red Stick Farmers Markets are open in various parts of the town.

Red Stick markets are open-air markets for farmers or food producers only; all products sold in the market are grown in the area by local farmers. During peak seasons, there are up to seven markets in seven different locations around Baton Rouge, making fresh local produce available to most of the city.

There are about 50 farmers who are members of the Red Sick Farmers Market, and they offer a number of different locally grown foods including fresh vegetables and fruits, seafood, meats, artisan breads, honey, homemade pies, cheese, milk, herbs, native plants, and various specialty foods such as pickles and jams.

501 Main St., Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phone: 225-267-5060

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»Alex Box Stadium

Alex Box Stadium


Located on Nicholson Drive, the Alex Box Stadium is a baseball stadium named after Simeon Alexander Box, an LSU Tiger outfielder who was killed in action during World War II. The original stadium opened in 1938 and had a seating capacity of 2,500; this arrangement served as the baseball stadium from 1938 until 2008.

Opened in 2009, the new state-of-the-art stadium is the home of the Louisiana State University Tigers college baseball team. After several additions, the seating capacity was raised from 8,500 spectators to 10,326, and the baseball team has 6,000 square feet of locker room space and meeting rooms. Photo: stefan wasner/Fotolia

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»Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol


The Louisiana State Capitol, located on North Third Street in downtown Baton Rouge, is the Louisiana seat of government and home of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Governor of Louisiana. With 34 stories and standing 450 feet high, it is the tallest state capitol building in the United States and the tallest building in the city of Baton Rouge.

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark, the Art Deco building is sometimes referred to as Huey Long’s Monument because of the former governor’s efforts to get the capitol built.

900 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-342-7317

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»Downtown Baton Rouge

Downtown Baton Rouge

Downtown Baton Rouge is a commercial, residential, and entertainment area located along the banks of the Mississippi River. If you are looking for date night ideas in Baton Rouge, this area rich with culture and history, and it is the home of many restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues as well as residences. Restaurants include Azteca’s Mexican Cuisine, Capital City Grill Downtown, Tsunami Sushi, and many more. There are many bars and several hotels and casinos from which to choose.

Live After Five is a successful outdoor concert series that takes place at The Crest. Eight shows are produced in the spring and eight in the fall. The concerts are free and exceedingly popular. Photo: Cracker Clips - Fotolia

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»Baton Rouge Zoo

Baton Rouge Zoo

The Baton Rouge Zoo is located on Thomas Road north of downtown Baton Rouge. Opened in 1970, the zoo is home to more than 1,800 animals from all around the world, including amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and more. If you are wondering what to do in Baton Rouge with kids, this is a great place to visit. The zoo is involved in survival and reintroduction programs for animals like the Arabian oryx and the Guam rail.

Its Otter Pond is a replica of a cabin, and visitors can watch otters as they swim underwater. Another popular exhibit is the Parrot Paradise, a walk-through aviary, the home of many kinds of birds. The zoo has education programs for children including field trips, day camps, and much more.

3601 Thomas Road, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-775-3877 Photo: photocech/Fotolia

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»The Old Governor's Mansion

The Old Governor's Mansion

Located on North Boulevard, the Old Governor’s Mansion was used as a residence by the governors of Louisiana between 1930 and 1963. Built during the administration of Governor Huey Long, the mansion served as the home of several Louisiana governors. Later, it housed the Louisiana Arts and Science Center Museum for many years until the mansion was reopened as a historic house museum in 1978.

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the mansion is open for guided tours from Tuesday through Friday; group tours are available by reservation. The mansion welcomes school field trips and is a popular venue for special events, especially weddings.

502 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-387-2464 Photo: The Old Governor's Mansion

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»Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, located on North Oak Hills Parkway, is a large nature center with a 9,500 square foot Exhibit Building set on 103 acres of land. Within the center there are boardwalks and paths where visitors can see a variety of habitats such as forests and swamps as well as wildlife like armadillos, coyotes, deer, foxes, otters, and many other creatures.

Birdwatchers can enjoy seeing a variety of migratory birds as well as year-round residents. If you are looking for things to do in Baton Rouge today, this is a great stop. In the Exhibit Building, there are displays of live animals and mineral exhibits, and children are able to touch natural objects such as feathers, pelts, and much more.

10503 North Oak Hills Parkway, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-757-8905

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»Street Breads

Street Breads


Street Breads sells gourmet sandwiches, but they have selections that go beyond our typical definition of sandwiches. They offer a fusion of sandwiches and what in other countries is basically a popular street food. The result is 14 kinds of sandwiches with a delicious assortment of possible flavors combinations.

The sandwiches are made with fresh artisanal breads, tortillas, flatbreads and other kids of wraps along with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, spreads, toppings, sauces, and spices to create absolutely satisfying meals. Depending on what you pick, you will experience Italian, Mexican, Cajun, French and many other flavors.

Street Breads has two shops, and the location in Baton Rouge is colorful and fun. It’s the kind of place where you can eat at one of the small modern tables or grab your order from the counter for later.

3131 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-930-4672 Photo: Street Breads

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»Bistro Byronz

Bistro Byronz

Bistro Byronz is a Louisiana Bistro that comes very close to the popular bistros in Paris – it’s a cozy neighborhood eatery where locals come to hang out and enjoy their regular fare, which is usually their same favorite dish and drink, which the waiter of course already knows.

Dark colors and soft lighting make for a very pleasant atmosphere for a business lunch or a girls’ night out. Both the lunch and dinner menus are extensive, rich, and imaginative. Bistro Byronz is famous for its sandwiches and tartines, but you can also find some traditional French delights such as Cassoulet or Chicken Paillard on the menu.

Don’t miss their homemade blue cheese chips; they are addicting. Bistro Byronz serves a nice selection of craft beers and wines by the glass.

5412 Government Street, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-218-1433 Photo: Bistro Byronz

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»Shaw Center for the Arts

Shaw Center for the Arts


Located on Lafayette Street, the Shaw Center for the Arts is a fine arts museum and performing arts venue that nearly covers an entire city block in downtown Baton Rouge. Opened in 2005, it is an enormous 125,000 square foot facility that is home to the 325-seat Manship Theatre, the New Venture Theatre, the Hartley-Vey Theaters, the LSU School of Art Glassell Gallery, the LSU Museum of Art, classrooms, a park, and several restaurants.

The center hosts musical performances, films, and events for children. It is also a popular place to rent for weddings and other special occasions.

100 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-389-7171 Photo: Shaw Center for the Arts

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»Fleur de Lis Pizza

Fleur de Lis Pizza

In a world in which restaurants proudly announce they change their menus every day, Fleur de Lis Pizza makes an effort to uphold traditions established back in 1946; they’ve kept everything from the orange vinyl-covered chairs and plastic covered tables to the traditional Roman pizza pies baked square on a cookie sheet.

Their recipe has been tried and tested by Grandma in the early 50’s, and they haven’t changed it since – why fix it if it isn’t broken? There is only one thing on the menu – delicious Roman pizza with thin, flakey crust and ingredients that burst with flavor.

The regulars already know what they want as soon as they come in. For newcomers, there is special Round the World pizza with anchovies, mushrooms, Italian sausage, salami, pepperoni, and onions.

5655 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-924-2904 Photo: ivanmateev/Fotolia

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»City Pork

City Pork

At City Pork during lunchtime, the line is out the door most days. Word has gotten out about their sandwiches. City Pork is not only a sandwich shop, it is also a deli and charcuterie, meaning that their sandwiches are made with their house-made slow-roasted, smoked or braised meats, along with condiments, pickles, and various sides.

They also make tasso, boudin, and andouille sausage, pâtés, confits, and several kinds of dry-cured meats. The results are heavenly. One of the best sellers is the Big Pig, a sandwich made of a pork shoulder smoked for 17 hours, loaded with BBQ sauce Carolina-style on a brioche bun, and served with coleslaw. Be sure to get some truffle chips with that.

City Pork also has a Brasserie & Bar on Jefferson Hwy. Check their 4-7pm happy hour specials on wine, beer, and cheese and charcuterie boards.

2363 Hollydale Ave., 225-300-4550; 7327 Jefferson Highway, 225-615-8880 Photo: City Pork

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»Magnolia Mound Plantation

Magnolia Mound Plantation

Located on Nicholson Drive one mile south of downtown Baton Rouge, the Magnolia Mound Plantation is a 1791 French Creole house that was originally a cottage. Built near the Mississippi River, the plantation is often referred to as Magnolia Mount in documents that date from the period.

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the architectural style of the plantation and its outbuildings show the influence of the West Indies and the early French settlers. The original four-room cottage was expanded in 1812 and again in the late 19th century. The city of Baton Rouge bought the 16-acre property in 1966 in order to preserve the house and the grounds.

2161 Nicholson Drive, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-343-4955 Photo: Magnolia Mound Plantation

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»Mason's Grill

Mason's Grill

People drive for miles for Mason’s weekend brunch. Mostly they come for bottomless champagne and the country’s best Bloody Mary, which is called Bloody Masons at this establishment. It really is the best, and a number of magazines and food reviewers have voted and agreed.

Besides large quantities of booze, their brunch offerings provide an excellent reason to visit this restaurant, even if you don’t order drinks. Several creative versions of Eggs Benedict with crabs, seafood, crawfish and lots and lots of jalapenos are the best sellers, and the thick juicy steaks prepared any way you want them are also quite popular.

This modest looking restaurant with two dining rooms fills up quickly, so if you do not like crowds, come during the week and have a good look at the menu; it is full of wondrous Cajun dishes worth exploring.

13556 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-756-8815 Photo: Mason's Grill

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»Old Arsenal Museum

Old Arsenal Museum

The Old Arsenal Museum is located on State Capitol Drive on the grounds of the new State Capitol. Built around 1838 on an earlier military post, the Old Arsenal Museum is a former powder magazine. This area of the Mississippi River was important to early settlers, and it later became an important defensive post.

Today, the museum contains exhibits related to military history, the structure of the powder magazine, the history of the Capitol grounds, and the Battle of Baton Rouge. Before this battle, Louisiana troops occupied the Old Arsenal Magazine, but after the battle took place in 1862, it was used by federal troops.

900 State Capitol Drive, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-342-0401

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»Walk-on's

Walk-on's

Designed as a quintessential Irish pub, Walk-on’s is spacious, cozy, and welcoming, and it is centered around the enormous bar. Above the bar, an endless line of flat screens shows various games that are going on at the time.

The bar is quite close to LSU campus, meaning that most guests are students and Tigers fans. The place is absolutely electrifying when the Tigers are playing. Walk-on’s pays particular attention to their food – everything is made by hand and from scratch.

They specialize in Louisiana staples, hand-made burgers, stuffed potatoes, sauces, dressings, breaded fried stuff, and fun salads. Everything is made to order. They have lots of beers on tap and some really inventive and creatively named cocktails.

3838 Burbank Drive, Baton Rouge, LA, Phone: 225-757-8010 Photo: Walk-on's

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25 Best Things to Do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana