16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Baton Rouge, LA

Written by Lana Law and Lura Seavey Updated Dec 22, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Baton Rouge, the Louisiana state capital, sits picturesquely along the Mississippi River . If you have some time to soak up the sights and enjoy the attractions, particularly in the spring or fall when temperatures are perfect, you'll find plenty of things to do to keep busy.

The city is home to the destroyer USS Kidd , part of the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial, one of the city's must-see sites.

The handsome old mansions, including Magnolia Plantation (1791), one of the oldest in the area, and the State Capitol Building are worth seeing.

For other fun things to do, check out some of Baton Rouge's museums and cultural attractions, like the LSU Rural Life Museum, that provides insight on the region's rich history.

Outdoor activities are also easy to find in Baton Rouge — places like the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center are a good place to look for an adventure.

Discover more interesting places to visit with our list of attractions and things to do in Baton Rouge.

See also: Where to Stay in Baton Rouge

1. Visit the Old State Capitol

2. uss kidd veterans memorial, 3. catch a game at lsu's tiger stadium, 4. louisiana state capitol, 5. explore magnolia mound plantation, 6. visit the lsu rural life museum, 7. bluebonnet swamp nature center, 8. see the animals at baton rouge zoo, 9. shaw center for the arts, 10. louisiana arts & science museum, 11. old governor's mansion, 12. take a riverside stroll, 13. capitol park museum, 14. cool off at the blue bayou water park, 15. lsu museum of natural science, 16. knock knock children's museum, where to stay in baton rouge for sightseeing, map of things to do in baton rouge, la, baton rouge, la - climate chart.

Old State Capitol

The Old State Capitol building is a striking Gothic-Revival castle that was built in 1847. It is noteworthy both from a historical and architectural perspective, and is worth a look, even if just from the outside.

The castle was burned by the Union Army, and in 1882, it was repaired and served as the state capitol until 1932, when the new State Capitol building opened. This eye-catching structure standing high on a bluff over the Mississippi River is now a museum of political history.

The museum offers a number of good exhibits that include The Legacy of Huey Long, The Governors' Portrait Gallery, Baton Rouge and the Civil War, and several others. The Old State Capitol hosts various events and can be rented out as a venue for weddings and other occasions.

Address: 100 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

USS Kidd Veterans Memorial

A short walk from the State Capitol building is the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial. This attraction centers on the destroyer USS KIDD , named after Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr., who was killed on the USS Arizona during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The ship was launched in 1943 and was nicknamed the "Pirate of the Pacific." The stories of its long and interesting history before it was decommissioned in 1964 are told on board. The ship has been used in several movies over the decades, as well as historical documentaries. Today, visitors can climb aboard to see the USS KIDD for themselves and learn all about its past.

The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial complex also consists of an observation tower and museum. This Historic Warship & Nautical Center has many one-of-a-kind artifacts, a model ship collection, and a miniature replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall found in Washington D.C.

Address: 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Bronze Tiger Statue outside LSU's Tiger Stadium

LSU's Tiger Stadium is home to the LSU Tigers football team, hosting all of the school's home games and serving as a venue for special events throughout the year.

Nicknamed "Death Valley" after a remarkable victory over Clemson in 1959, this stadium has been filled with passionate football fans since 1924, and seeing a game here is one of the best things to do if you want to experience Baton Rouge like a local.

The LSU campus is a great place to explore, and is home to other notable tourist attractions, including the LSU Rural Life Museum and the LSU Museum of Natural Science . The Louisiana State University was established in 1860 near Alexandria, and in 1869, it was moved to Baton Rouge. American Indian mounds, located on the grounds, are believed to be more than 1,600 years old.

While you're here, be sure to check out the luxurious 15,000-square-foot habitat that the school's mascot "Mike the Tiger" calls home.

Official site:

Louisiana State Capitol Building

The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge was built in the early 1930s. This landmark structure stands 450 feet high with 34 floors. The limestone on the exterior is adorned with many symbolic images representing the state, and the marble of the interior matches well with the ornate furnishings throughout the building.

Flanking the exterior stairs are two groups of statues: The Patriots, an armored soldier and the mourners of a warrior slain in battle; and the Pioneers, a robed woman surrounded by settlers.

The construction of the State Capitol was the result of efforts by Huey Pierce Long, a Louisiana governor, who would eventually become a member of the U.S. Senate. He fought hard to have the structure built, succeeded, and was later assassinated in this same building.

Huey Pierce Long is buried on the grounds, where you'll find his memorial. Consider taking the building tour, which includes a ride up an elevator to an observation deck for views out over the city. The Louisiana State Capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Address: 900 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Magnolia Mound Plantation

Magnolia Mound was built in the last half of the 18th century and shows the architectural influences brought by early settlers from France and the West Indies. Throughout the years, the home has been owned by a variety of different people who took the liberty of making their own alterations and extensions.

The home, a wooden structure of bousillage construction, still maintains much of its 18th- and 19th-century appearance. It is surrounded by old oak trees. The property was expropriated by the city of Baton Rouge to be maintained as a historical symbol of an earlier age.

Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and open to the public for tours. The property includes almost 15 acres, consisting of the main house and several other buildings.

Address: 2161 Nicholson Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

LSU Rural Life Museum

Ten different flags have flown over Louisiana. The LSU Rural Life Museum presents the lifestyles and cultures of pre-industrial Louisiana. Highlights include Louisiana Folk Architecture, a collection of seven buildings that illustrate the various cultural influences of Louisiana's settlers; The Barn with items from prehistoric times to the 20th century; and The Working Plantation, a complex of buildings furnished to reconstruct the activities of life on a 19th-century working plantation.

The museum grounds are 25 acres in size and contain 32 historic buildings. Some of the highlights of the Folk Architecture are a church, cabin, Acadian house, and potato house. Tours are generally self-guided, but docent-led tours may be arranged in advance.

Address: 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Located on 103 acres on the southwest side of the city, the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center provides research and education resources in a natural setting. A mile of gravel paths and boardwalks winds through the conservation space, leading to distinct areas of the park, like a cypress-tupelo swamp and hardwood forests.

As well as the wildlife-watching opportunities along the trail, you can get up close to animals in the 9,500-square-foot exhibit building. The building also features information related to the flora and fauna of the region, mineral and artifact displays, and an extensive waterfowl decoy carving collection.

Address: 10503 North Oak Hills Parkway, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Rainbow lorikeet at the Baton Rouge Zoo

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo is home to both exotic and domestic animals. Among the collection are large cats, rhinos, otters, fish, reptiles, and amphibians of Louisiana in the L'aquarium de Louisiane.

Check out the Parrot Paradise with rare and colorful birds from the tropics, including parrots and macaws. The Realm of the Tiger is a more recent addition, with tigers and other Asian animals. The Flamingo Cove and Giants of the Islands exhibits feature Chilean flamingos and Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises.

The KidsZoo is another popular area with barnyard animals and tunnels for kids to play in. Neighboring this is the Safari Playground with a variety of equipment.

Address: 3601 Thomas Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Shaw Center for the Arts

Encompassing an entire city block and overlooking the Mississippi River, this multi-faceted art facility was built in 2005 and has since hosted thousands of cultural events. Within the Shaw Center, the Manship Theatre showcases international talent with music, dance, and performance acts.

The Theatre hosts live simulcasts of other theater productions from around the world as well. The LSU Museum of Art is also within the facility and features a wide collection of visual arts ranging from ancient Chinese jade sculptures to regional portraits and drawings.

Address: 100 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Louisiana Arts & Science Museum

The Louisiana Arts & Science Museum features a mix of art and science, with a little something for both adults and children. The art galleries offer both changing exhibits and a permanent collection of fine art. Some of the highlights include American and European art, ethnographic art, modern and contemporary art of Louisiana, photography, and antiquities.

The science portion of the museum, targeted towards children and families, is a fun area with interactive, education based displays. This is a place where children are provided interesting ways to learn about the world around them.

Also of interest is the creatively laid out Ancient Egypt Gallery, with mummies and other artifacts, and an on-site Planetarium. The building that houses the Louisiana Arts & Science Museum is a lovely old railroad depot located along the Mississippi River.

Address: 100 River Road South, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Old Governor's Mansion

Located a few blocks from Louisiana's Old State Capitol, the Old Governor's Mansion is a beautiful 1930s building constructed under the governorship of Huey P. Long. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places , the Old Governor's Mansion was reputedly constructed to resemble the White House in Washington D.C..

Guided tours are available of this historic residence and past home of nine governors and their families, and they include a peek at the many original furnishings and decorations throughout.

Address: 502 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Walking path along the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge has an extensive path that follows the curves of the Mississippi River, starting at the end of Laurel Street and ending several miles south of the city near the Willow Glen Power Station. While most tourists won't want to trek the whole way out and back, the stretch that runs north from The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is well worth a visit.

It's a lovely place to visit for a stroll, and a pretty alternative route to take between attractions like the LSU Museum of Art , the Old State Capitol , and the USS KIDD Veterans Museum . This area is also home to the Riverfront Plaza & City Dock, a nice park area with a viewing pier that extends over the river.

The newest addition to the Baton Rouge riverfront is a graceful sculpture called "Sing the River," located at the northern end of the riverside walk. This sculpture's reflective surface is reminiscent of "The Bean" in Chicago, but that's where the similarity ends. Combining art and technology, creator Po Shu Wang incorporated music that is determined by the rise and fall of the river's water. It's also a lovely sight lit up in the evening, visible from the bridge and the opposite shore.

If you've ever wondered where the term Cajun originated, be sure to swing by the Capitol Park Museum. Inside, you'll find everything you could possibly want to learn about the state of Louisiana. Extensive displays on the history and culture of the state will make the hours fly by.

Several of the most interesting displays include a 48 foot-long shrimp trawler and a two-row sugarcane harvesting machine along with an oil rig and Civil War era submarine. Cultural highlights include Louis Armstrong's bugle, and a polka dot Stratocaster guitar once played by the jazz artist Buddy Guy.

One of the most colorful exhibits is the Mardi Gras display; the Golden Age of Aviation has several vintage aircraft that you can see up close. The movie detailing the 1932 Cleveland Air Races is a technical marvel with special effects that should not be missed.

Splash Fountain in downtown Baton Rouge

Just outside the city center, Blue Bayou Water Park offers all ages a great way to beat the heat with a huge variety of water rides and play areas.

The water park features a large beach-style pool and a lazy river , as well as a dozen different waterslide rides offering a range of thrill levels. There's also a pirate-themed kiddie play area for the youngest polliwogs.

Its sister attraction, Dixie Landin' , offers families a variety of classic amusement park rides for varying age groups, from a merry-go-round and kiddie railroad to bumper cars and thrilling roller coasters. Admission covers both parks, and there's a discount when the weather or other factors limit the number of open attractions.

For those who can't make it out to the Blue Bayou, Baton Rouge has you covered with splash pads and kids' fountains located at many of the city's parks.

Address: 18142 Perkins Road E, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Exhibit at the LSU Museum of Natural Science

Located on the campus of Louisiana State University, the LSU Museum of Natural Science offers fascinating exhibits about the state's natural world, both past and present. Dioramas bring long-extinct species back to life and illustrate the changes in the Louisiana landscape over time.

One of the more popular exhibits is dedicated to the native peoples of present-day Louisiana, incorporating archaeological finds and interactive stations that will fascinate all ages.

Other major exhibits include the Antarctica experience and a closer look at Louisiana's fish. Visitors can also learn more about LSU's mascot, Mike the Tiger, as well as his relatives living in the wild.

This is an excellent family attraction, and although it is closed on weekends, admission is free.

Address: Murphy J. Foster Hall, 119 Dalrymple Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

Knock Knock Children's Museum

The Knock Knock Children's Museum is an excellent place to take the kids while visiting Baton Rouge as a family. Located at the edge of City Park (also known as Brooks Park), the museum offers 26,000 square feet of play room for the little ones to have a blast while learning.

The space is divided into 18 Learning Zones, each encouraging hands-on play and creative interaction. Among these are a kid-sized garage, where young mechanics can practice their trade; a grocery store and café, where they can learn about nutrition; and a construction site, where little builders can set their big plans in action.

There are also plenty of active areas to help burn off that extra energy, including an age-appropriate fitness area and a climbing structure. Young creators can experiment with various media in the art garden, test their tech ideas in the maker shop, and learn the math to support even bigger projects.

Visitors who are overwhelmed easily (or anyone who just needs a break) can escape to the Quiet Cabin where sensory issues are soothed, and there's a cozy reading room when story time comes around. Families traveling with kiddos under two even have their own spot in the "Crawbaby" play area.

The children's museum is open six days a week, closed on Mondays.

Address: 1900 Dalrymple Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Official site:

To get a real flavor and feel for this friendly Cajun city, it's best to stay right downtown. Baton Rouge's vibrant city center is about one square mile, bordered to the north by the Louisiana State Capitol, to the south by the USS Kidd Veterans Museum, and to the west by the Mississippi River. This is where many of the major attractions are found, along with restaurants and plenty of things to see and do. Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient locations:

Luxury Hotels:

  • The recently renovated Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center is a historic, 1927 riverfront hotel, with large rooms and first-class service, in a great downtown location.
  • Featuring circular, one-bedroom suites, with balconies overlooking the river, the Hampton Inn & Suites Baton Rouge Downtown is also well positioned, within walking distance of many downtown attractions.
  • The Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown, an IHG Hotel is a funky property with modern rooms, and is a pet-friendly waterfront hotel.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • The best mid-range hotels are near the junction of Interstates 10 and 12, about a 15-minute drive southeast from downtown.
  • The Homewood Suites by Hilton Baton Rouge is at the top end of the range and perfect for families that need extra space or require a kitchen.
  • The Drury Inn & Suites Baton Rouge is easily accessible off the Interstate and features free hot food and beverages in the early evening each day.
  • The Holiday Inn College Drive/I10 an IHG Hotel has the distinction of having welcomed President Obama as a guest in January, 2016. All these properties feature pools.

Budget Hotels:

  • Budget-minded travelers will want to head outside of the city center to find the best accommodation options. Located near Interstates 10 and 12, about a 15-minute drive from the city center, the Sleep Inn Baton Rouge East I12 offers good value.
  • The Baymont by Wyndham Baton Rouge is an excellent budget option located just off Interstate 12, offering free parking, on-site self-serve laundry, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary breakfast.
  • The Siegen Inn is located just outside the city center to the southeast and within a few steps of several restaurants. Hotel amenities include free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, and free on-site parking.

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12 Fun Things to do in Baton Rouge, LA

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on May 4, 2024

Although it is usually and understandably overlooked in favor of New Orleans , Louisiana’s capital Baton Rouge has a diverse array of tourist attractions for visitors to enjoy. While many relate to the state’s seat of government, plenty of marvelous museums and mansions are to be found alongside pristine nature spots and wonderful wildlife exhibits.

Situated on the east bank of the picturesque Mississippi River, it is now the second-largest city in the state with countless booming businesses calling it home. While centuries-old historic sights and cultural landmarks dot its streets, the large campus of the Louisiana State University lends it a lively yet laidback feel.

With a rich history, culture and cuisine, and plenty of things to see in Baton Rouge such as the stunning Louisiana State Capitol, this southern city certainly doesn’t disappoint with all that it has to offer up.

12. Old Governor’s Mansion

Old Governor's Mansion

Located just a few blocks south from the soaring Louisiana State Capitol is another very interesting and attractive building that is well worth checking out: the Old Governor’s Mansion. Used between 1930 and 1963 as a residence for the state’s governors, it now acts as a historic house museum with exhibits, artifacts and tours teaching you about its former residents and the beautiful building itself.

Believed to be modeled after the White House in Washington D.C., the majestic mansion was built under and for the governorship of Huey Long, its first resident. While wandering about its light and rooms, you can see original furnishings, decorations and memorabilia from the nine governors and their families who occupied the house over the decades.

11. Louisiana Art & Science Museum

Louisiana Art

A very fun and family-friendly place to visit, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum lies right in the center of town alongside both the Riverfront Plaza and Mississippi River. In its endless galleries are all kinds of amazing artworks and enthralling science exhibits for young and old alike to enjoy with plenty of exciting hands-on activities, experiments and a planetarium also being on offer.

Established in 1962, the superb museum now occupies a lovely old railway depot that dates to 1925 with the popular Repentance Park and Old Louisiana State Capitol lying right before it. Asides from seeing millennia-old mummies in its Ancient Egypt gallery, you can peruse contemporary European and American artworks, ogle at old dinosaur skulls and meteorites or explore the outer edges of the cosmos at its phenomenal planetarium.

10. Magnolia Mound Plantation

Magnolia Mound Plantation

If instead of art and science it is history and architecture you are interested in, then you’ll definitely want to stop by the magnificent Magnolia Mound Plantation. Dotted about its sprawling site in the south of the city are lots of charming centuries-old buildings for visitors to explore which feature a wide array of architectural styles.

While the main house, Magnolia Mound, was constructed in 1791 in a fetching French Creole-style, other cottages, kitchens, a carriage house and slave cabin were only added later on. Now recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the large, leafy complex shines a light on what life used to be like for early settlers and enslaved Africans in Baton Rouge with talks, live demonstrations and cultural events all regularly taking place.

9. Baton Rouge Zoo

Baton Rouge Zoo

As it is home to over 2,000 animals, birds and reptiles from all around the world; Baton Rouge Zoo promises to be an unforgettable day out for all of the family. Nestled away on the northern outskirts of the city, it has a whopping number of incredible exhibits, enclosures and aquariums for guests to explore with playgrounds, picnic spots and snack stands also dotted here and there.

Since first opening to the public in 1970, its menagerie has expanded considerably with fierce tigers and gentle giraffes now on show alongside alligators, rhinos and jaguars. As well as ambling around its aviary and aquarium and seeing themed sections such as Monkey Island and Otter Pond, you can also meet barnyard animals at its KidsZoo, climb about Safari Playground or attend an informative zookeeper chat.

8. LSU Rural Life Museum

LSU Rural Life Museum

Offering up a fascinating look at the rich history, culture and heritage of pre-industrial Louisiana is the excellent LSU Rural Life Museum. Situated just fifteen minutes’ drive southeast of the center on the huge Burden Plantation, it preserves more than thirty historic buildings that present rural life in the Lower Mississippi Valley during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Full of artifacts, exhibits and farming equipment, its well-preserved schools and shops, church and slave cabins are eye-opening to explore with friendly docents on-hand to teach you more about each stop on the site. While the Working Plantation part focuses mainly on the lives of enslaved people, its Southern section looks at early settlers to the state with the Acadian area of the outdoor museum instead delving into Louisiana’s Cajun culture.

7. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Just a bit further south of the museum, you can find the striking scenery and wonderful wildlife of the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. Sure to delight nature lovers and outdoor aficionados alike, it encompasses lots of lovely swamps, wetlands and forests with everything from snakes and turtles to alligators, armadillos and otters to be spotted amongst its scenic confines.

Created in 1997 to protect and preserve the sprawling swamp, its award-winning exhibit center now contains live animals, mineral exhibits and photo displays of the park’s fauna and flora. Asides from learning more about its ecology and wildlife, you can also stroll about its picturesque paths, viewing decks and winding boardwalk with fantastic scenery, nature and views guaranteed wherever you go.

6. Capitol Park Museum

Capitol Park Museum

Another very interesting institute for you to visit right in the city center is the Capitol Park Museum which contains all kinds of interactive exhibits on the history and culture of Louisiana . Located in a sleek, modern building not far from the State Capitol, its comprehensive collection looks at subjects such as the Civil War and slavery, Mardi Gras, music and the life-giving waters of the Mississippi.

A branch of the much larger Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans, it was founded in 2006 with its galleries now including curiosities such as a 48-foot shrimp trawler, Huey Long’s tombstone and Louis Armstrong’s first bugle.

As its displays delve into the culture of colonists from France, Spain and Britain and that of American Indians, enslaved Africans and Acadians too, the museum has long been a popular draw with local school groups and tourists to the Bayou State.

5. LSU Tiger Stadium

LSU Tiger Stadium

If you are after an exhilarating sporting spectacle when in town, then don’t miss the chance to watch an action-packed college football game at the spectacular LSU Tiger Stadium. Remarkably enough, it is the eighth largest arena in the world with the Fighting Tigers’ fiercely contested games at ‘Death Valley’ being electrifying and intense affairs.

Since first opening back in 1924, its capacity has increased ten-fold thanks to countless renovations and expansions with 102,321 fanatic football fans now able to pack out its stands and suites. Asides from taking in all its features and cheering on the LSU Tigers, you can also sometimes catch a show or concert at the stadium with big names like Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan and Garth Brooks all having performed in recent years.

4. Mike the Tiger’s Habitat

Mike the Tiger's Habitat

Just across the road from the stadium but still on campus you can find the massive and majestic live mascot of the Louisiana State University. At Mike the Tiger’s Habitat – an elegant and expansive Italianate-style enclosure – you can watch him prowl about, play and eat with exhibits, photos and videos explaining the gorgeous creature’s long-standing connection to the college.

Ever since 1936, LSU has had a live Bengal tiger mascot living on campus with all its sports teams either being named the Tigers or Lady Tigers. Over the years, their living conditions have improved considerably with its current resident, Mike VII, enjoying an excellent quality of life amidst verdant vegetation with a stream and waterfall also featuring alongside a rugged, rocky backdrop.

3. USS Kidd

USS Kidd

The only surviving US destroyer of her kind, the enormous USS Kidd now lies permanently docked along the Mississippi River, right next to downtown. Known as the ‘Pirate of the Pacific’ due to the service she saw in WWII and the Jolly Roger that fluttered from her foremast, the National Historic Landmark now acts as both a museum ship and memorial.

Named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Fletcher-class destroyer was first launched in 1943. Over the next three decades, she saw considerable action in not just the Second World War but the Korean War and Cold War too. While wandering about her cabins, decks and command centre, visitors can see original artifacts and exhibits that offer up an interesting look at the history of the USS Kidd.

2. Old Louisiana State Capitol

Old Louisiana State Capitol

Just a stone’s throw from the ship is yet another of Baton Rouge’s numerous historic landmarks that is not to be missed out on: the incredible Old Louisiana State Capitol. Often called the ‘Castle on the River’ due to its distinctive turrets and towers, it lies perched atop a prominent bluff overlooking the city and Mississippi.

Exhibiting some exquisite Gothic Revival architecture, it was built between 1847 and 1852 with the stained-glass dome and spiral staircase of its interior making for just as striking a sight. Now home to the Museum of Political History, it has lots of elegant halls, galleries and chambers for visitors to explore while exhibits focus on past governors and the state’s former seat of government itself.

1. Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

The city’s standout symbol and sight, however, has to be the towering Louisiana State Capitol which dominates and defines its skyline. The tallest capitol in the country, the enormous Art Deco edifice reaches a huge 450 feet in height with symbolic images representing the state adorning its exterior and lush grounds and gardens lying at its foot.

Often thought of as ‘Huey Long’s monument’ as the former governor campaigned so hard for it to be built, the soaring skyscraper was erected in 1931. Asides from ogling at its sheer size and scale, you can also take tours around its amazing Memorial Hall and grand chambers before heading up to its lofty observation deck for phenomenal views of Baton Rouge down below.

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Upon reaching Baton Rouge on his trip down the Mississippi, Mark Twain described Louisiana's capital thus: "Baton Rouge was clothed in flowers, like a bride ? no, much more so; like a greenhouse. For we were in the absolute South now ?no modifications, no compromises, no half-way measures." The second-largest city (discounting the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the size of New Orleans) in the state, semi-tropical Baton Rouge is located west of New Orleans and east of Lafayette, an urban center with a lot more to offer than just lazy days on the river.

Start your city tour with a trip to the 27th floor of the looming State Capitol building for views out over Baton Rouge, then enjoy an easy tour through the historic State Capitol down the street. It just wouldn't do at all to come this far and not see some of the lovely historic plantations within reach. Some serve duty as museums, a good number are bed and breakfasts, while a further few are still inhabited.

Touch base again with modernity ? both scientific discovery and artistic endeavors ? at attractions like the Louisiana Art and Science Museum, Louisiana State University (LSU) Museum of Art, or the LSU Museum of Natural Science. History buffs can get a glimpse of the past at Louisiana State Museum, Zachary Historic Village (just north of the city) or the Old Arsenal Museum (on State Capitol grounds).

Renowned for its genealogical research center, the Louisiana State Archives is the place to go if your looking for Louisiana roots; your own flesh and blood brood might be more entertained by the Baton Rouge Zoo, or some Friday night star-gazing at the Highland Observatory.

Don't get bogged down in Baton Rouge and bypass a bayou excursion. Local operators offer trips of varying lengths to big name swamps in the vicinity. Anyone looking rather to do some footwork should head for the nature trails in Bluebonnet Swamp.

If you've got cash burning a hole in your pocket, lighten the load at one of the boat-based casinos moored up along the banks of the Mississippi River.

Baton Rouge is 81 miles northwest of New Orleans and just over 57 miles east of Lafayette.

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The West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau was established for the purpose of developing and carrying out programs designed to promote tourism, attractions and events in West Baton Rouge Parish.

The West Baton Rouge Tourist Commission was created in 1976 by state legislation as an entity of the State of Louisiana. Act 47 of 1995 created the Tourist Commission as a political subdivision of the state and granted the authority to levy taxes on hotels, motels and campgrounds in West Baton Rouge Parish. We presently collect 4% occupancy tax. The funds generated pay for the day to day operation of the West Baton Rouge CVB.

1995 also created a Visitor Enterprise Fund which generates monies for the Bureau. These dollars are spent on improvements, preservation, tourist promotion, publications and are partially dedicated to the West Baton Rouge Conference Center facility and grounds. This money is spent solely on improvements, upkeep and promotion. Those funds also assist with the expenses associated with numerous special events, festivals and attractions in our parish, all of which bring visitors.

The West Baton Rouge Tourist Information & Conference Center was built in 2002 as a one-of-a-kind facility and the envy of many since its inception. The Tourist center welcomes over 60,000 visitors annually and the Conference Center hosts on average 300 events annually.

2007 brought with it a strategic plan for the Tourist Commission. A name change from the West Baton Rouge Tourist Commission to the West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau was just the first step. This plan for the Bureau has prepared us for both the growth of West Baton Rouge Parish and the tourism industry locally but also in the state of Louisiana.

The West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau was officially named the principal agency for the West Baton Rouge Film office. That office is also housed at the Bureau and has most recently been certified by the American Film Commissioners International. This office is one of only a handful certified in the state of Louisiana. We are committed to working with our partner organizations, CVB and Tourist Commissions, governmental agencies and the business community for marketing opportunities that both enhance our organization and produce an economic impact to the Bureau as well as the parish, region and the state.

Our dedicated staff provides the most accurate information possible to give every visitor a unique, memorable and satisfying experience when visiting West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.

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Juneteenth 2024: Events in, near Baton Rouge

by: Trinity Velazquez

Posted: Jun 5, 2024 / 03:42 PM CDT

Updated: Jun 11, 2024 / 11:44 AM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — This year’s national Juneteenth Day will be celebrated on Saturday, June 15.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture says Juneteenth honors the day when slaves in the last geographic area in Texas learned of their freedom two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry proclaimed that Juneteenth Day would take place on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, as a legal state holiday to honor the day Black people celebrate as Emancipation Day.

Celebrations are planned for in and around East Baton Rouge and neighboring parishes. Here’s where to find Juneteenth events in the area.

Ascension Parish

City of Donaldsonville 29th Annual Juneteenth Music Festival

The City of Donaldsonville will celebrate its 29th Annual Juneteenth Music Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 at Louisiana Square.

The city will also host a drive-thru food distribution from 9-11 a.m. on June 14 and a health fair for women from noon to 4 p.m. on June 15.

The 2024 Donaldsonville Juneteenth line-up includes:

  • Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank Drive-Thru Food Distribution sponsored by BASF at the Lemann Memoria Center from 9-11 a.m.
  • Wanda August and KKAY’s Angel of Faith Gospel Hour from 11:30 a.m. to noon
  • A Wisewoman’s Health Fair at the Clerk of Court at the Ascension Parish Court House in Donaldsonville from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Red Tape Musiq from noon to 1:30 p.m.
  • Total Control Band from 2-2:30 pm
  • The Michael Foster Project from 4-5:30 p.m.
  • Royal Essence Show Band from 6-7 p.m.

Louisiana Square is located at 300 Railroad Ave.

East Baton Rouge Parish

A Joyful Noise Juneteenth Celebration

The LSU Museum of Art will host Heritage, a world-renowned choir dedicated to restoring and preserving the legacy of the Negro spiritual, for a Juneteenth music event from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14.

Juneteenth Paint Party at the Celebration of Freedom

Chortazo Art Gallery will host a Juneteenth paint party and invite the public to “come together to honor Juneteenth and express ourselves through art.”

The event is from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, June 16 at 4303 Airline Hwy. General admission is $15.

Celebrate Juneteenth with Albertsons!

Albertsons will host a Juneteenth event with food and fellowship from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 at the Government Street location. The event will have live music, free samples, face painting and a dietician chat.

Gus Young Juneteenth Celebration 2024

State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle will host a Juneteenth Celebration from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at 4200 Gus Young Avenue.

This occasion will be a collaborative effort with BREC, Visit Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, YWCA, State Sen. Regina Barrow, Councilman Daryl Hurst, State Rep. Vanessa LaFleur, CareSouth, Entergy, State Rep. Barbara Carpenter and Louisiana Seafood.

The festival will have music performances from Vince Hutchinson and the American Bluesman Kenny Neal.

The Juneteenth Celebration is open to the public.

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Baton Rouge Travelers: Heed These Travel Tips as Summer Passenger Volumes Heat Up; TSA Officers Have Intercepted 7 Firearms Already This Year at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers are screening record numbers of passengers across the country. Passengers are reminded to arrive at the airport early and know what is in their bags.  TSA officers at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) have already intercepted seven firearms at the security checkpoint so far this year. 

“As summer travel heats up, passengers are reminded to be sure they do not have prohibited items in their bags before heading to the airport,” said TSA Spokesperson Sari Koshetz.

“Make sure your firearm is not in your carry-on bag and also check that you are not carrying a pocketknife or other items that are considered threats and are not permitted in the cabin of the aircraft.”  

Most items that are prohibited in your carry-on can be placed in a checked bag.  But anything that is flammable, corrosive or explosive cannot travel anywhere on the plane. Hand grenades, even replica ones, cannot travel on the plane in checked or carry-on bags.  

If you are going to travel with your firearm it must be in your checked bag, unloaded and in a locked hard-sided case. You must declare it to the airline at check-in.  Travelers are responsible for being aware of what the firearm laws are on each side of their trip or they may be cited or heading to jail instead of to their vacation or business trip. Firearms may not be legal to transport even in checked baggage in some jurisdictions.

The most recent firearm intercepted by TSA at the BTR checkpoint was on May 22nd. A 60-year-old man headed to Charlotte was carrying a loaded Ruger Max9. All seven of the firearms TSA officers have intercepted this year at BTR were loaded.

“Last year passengers across the state of Louisiana brought 138 firearms to our security checkpoints with 13 of those in Baton Rouge. So far this year we have stopped 57 firearms across the state,” Koshetz said. “We are not even halfway through the year, so simple math forebodes that the end of the year total will be substantially higher than last year’s.”

The specific year-to-date totals across Louisiana are 34 stopped at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, seven each at Shreveport Regional Airport and Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, four at Lafayette Regional Airport, two each at Lake Charles Regional Airport and Monroe Regional Airport and one at Alexandria International Airport.

“None of these firearms made it into the cabin of an aircraft thanks to the vigilance of our TSA officers,” Koshetz added.

Many of the passengers across the country who bring firearms to a federal security checkpoint are arrested or issued notices to appear in court. Regardless of whether the individual is arrested or cited by law enforcement, with whom we immediately partner, passengers face a civil penalty imposed by the TSA that can reach nearly $15,000.  If the traveler is in the TSA PreCheck  program, those privileges will be lost for a period of time, possibly permanently.

The TSA is seeing record-breaking numbers of passengers traveling across the country so be sure to arrive early and do heed these travel tips for getting through the security checkpoint as efficiently and stress free as possible.

Tip 1: No firearms in carry-ons. Firearms must be in checked  baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declared  to the airline at check-in, which means unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case. Contact your airline for additional guidance. And it is your responsibility to know what the firearm laws are on both sides of your trip.

Tip 2: Leave all prohibited items at home. To reduce the likelihood of a bag search at the checkpoint, search your own suitcase, backpack, computer bag or purse before leaving home. Unsure if it’s allowed: use the “What Can I Bring?”  link on .

Tip 3: Prepare for the security checkpoint. Have a valid ID card  readily available. If you are traveling with a carry-on bag follow the liquids, gels and aerosols 3-1-1 rule  of 3.4 ounces or less for each item and the items should be placed in a one-quart-sized bag, one bag per passenger. To simplify your screening and even before entering the checkpoint it is best to put your phones and any other content of your pockets into your carry-on rather than into a bin in the checkpoint.

Tip 4:   Help is available.  Get live assistance by tweeting your questions to @AskTSA  in English or Spanish or via Facebook Messenger . You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673 .

Tip 5: Enroll now in TSA PreCheck.  Travel with ease by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, laptops and light jackets. Most new enrollees receive a known traveler number within five days, and membership lasts for five years.                          


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  1. Welcome Centers

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    Renowned for its genealogical research center, the Louisiana State Archives is the place to go if your looking for Louisiana roots; your own flesh and blood brood might be more entertained by the Baton Rouge Zoo, or some Friday night star-gazing at the Highland Observatory. Don't get bogged down in Baton Rouge and bypass a bayou excursion.

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    Before starting your day trip adventure, stop by the West Baton Rouge Tourist Information Center at Exit #151. Trained Tourist Counselors are on hand waiting to assist you with information and directions to your planned adventure spots. Also be sure to pick up information on our local hotels, for a relaxing evening when your day is complete. 8am - Your adventure begins at the Mighty ...

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  18. Our Purpose & Mission

    The West Baton Rouge Tourist Information & Conference Center was built in 2002 as a one-of-a-kind facility and the envy of many since its inception. The Tourist center welcomes over 60,000 visitors annually and the Conference Center hosts on average 300 events annually. 2007 brought with it a strategic plan for the Tourist Commission.

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    Baton Rouge Travelers: Heed These Travel Tips as Summer Passenger Volumes Heat Up; TSA Officers Have Intercepted 7 Firearms Already This Year at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport ... You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673. Tip 5: Enroll now in TSA PreCheck. Travel with ease by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes ...

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  27. Contact Us

    We would love to hear your feedback! Please call or email us and let us know about your experience in Baton Rouge. Request or View Visit Baton Rouge's Welcome Guide; Submit a Tourism-related Event; Contact Us by Mail Visit Baton Rouge 359 Third Street Baton Rouge, LA 70801. Contact Us by Phone Toll Free: (800) 527-6843 Tel: (225) 383-1825