20 Best Things to Do in Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge, LA
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Baton Rouge, Louisiana is one of the top places to check out if you want to experience a cool, interesting, and historically significant vacation.

The beautiful views of the Mississippi River, combined with the various cultural aspects of Baton Rouge and the different museums, make this an excellent destination.

Louisiana's capital city boasts plentiful attractions that allow you to surround yourself with nature, art, and history.

On top of that, a vacation is never complete without great food—and you'll get all this and more when visiting this city.

Interested in learning more about what it has to offer?

These are the best things to do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

Visit the Old State Capitol of Louisiana

Front exterior of Old State Capitol of Louisiana
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This gorgeous structure resembling a castle is Louisiana's former State Capitol.

Constructed in the Gothic-Revival style, the old State Capitol brings in crowds daily.

It started functioning as a government body in 1847.

Aerial view of the Old State Capitol of Louisiana
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In 1882, it faced a gruesome event and was burned beyond repair.

After several tries and renovations, the building was rebuilt in 1932.

There is a museum inside that contains a lot of displays on some important political aspects of Baton Rouge.

Stained glass windows of Old State Capitol of Louisiana
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Tour the Louisiana State University Campus

Name sign of Louisiana State University campus
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Louisiana State University did not always use to be in Baton Rouge.

When it was first set up, it was located in Alexandria.

But after a change of plans, it was relocated to Baton Rouge, where it still stands today.

Exterior of Louisiana State University Campus' stadium
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There are a lot of sights to see on the Louisiana State University campus.

The Natural Science Museum and the Rural Museum are some of them.

There's also a world-famous stadium that's home to the univeristy's football team.

The grounds are a fun place to explore and hang out.

Interior of Louisiana State University Campus' bookstore
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Appreciate the LSU Museum of Art

The LSU Museum of Art is undoubtedly one of the best places to spend an evening  in Baton Rouge.

If you feel like you want to see some beautiful art, the LSU Museum of Art is the right place to head over.

There are a whopping 14 galleries spread across the museum, each one boasting breathtaking works of art.

The interiors are mesmerizing as well.

Its gorgeous ceilings are almost 15 feet high.

Check Out the Present State Capitol

Exterior of the State Capitol
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There is no State Capitol in the United States as tall as the one in Louisiana.

Standing at 450 feet, it's actually the tallest building in the state and has about 34 floors.

Top half of the State Capitol
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Being the house of the Senate and the Representatives of the state of Louisiana, the new State Capitol building houses the governors, too.

This National Historic Landmark is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

Huey Long statue in front of State Capitol
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Take a Trip to the Old Governor's Mansion

Exterior of Old Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge
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The Old Governor’s Mansion is one of the most gorgeous architectural pieces in Baton Rouge.

It was originally the home of Governor Huey P. Long in the 1930s and eventually served as a residence for eight other governnors.

Now, it's included in the famous National Register of Historic Places.

The library inside the Old Governor's Mansion
Niagara, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know when it was built, the architects only had the White House in mind?

Many people comment on their how they resemble one another.

Tours of the house are led by expert guides who share fascinating stories about the place.

The foyer and stairs of Old Governor's Mansion
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Learn New Things at the Louisiana State Museum

Exterior of Louisiana State Museum
see above, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Want know everything there is to know about Louisiana?

Well, you might need to head over to the Louisiana State Museum.

The Louisiana State Museum is not just one museum but a collection of nine museums in total.

Louisiana's culture, people, industrial growth, early settlers, history—everything can be found in these museums.

Experiencing Louisiana and Grounds for Greatness are the main exhibits here.

Another fascinating display talks about the Baton Rouge bus boycott of 1953.

You can even learn about the different industries that thrived in Louisiana, such as sugarcane and oil.

Get to Know about Different Cultures at the LSU Rural Life Museum

Exterior of a house at LSU Rural Life Museum
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Louisiana has seen a lot of ups and downs, both in politics and cultures.

It has seen a lot of powers rise and fall.

It did not always use to be such an industrially rich state.

So, what was Louisiana like back in the old days?

Interior of a church at LSU Rural Life Museum
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If you feel like you want to know more about the old state, visit the LSU Rural Life Museum.

In this museum, there is everything about who ruled Louisiana and what it was like throughout the different decades.

Head to the Working Plantation, where you learn about the past.

Some old structures have been reconstructed as replicas for tourists to explore.

Dancers at the LSU Rural Life Museum
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Catch a Game at LSU Tiger Stadium

Tiger statue in front of the Tiger stadium at LSU
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The home turf of the Louisiana State University Tigers, the stadium has quite a  reputation for delivering some of the best and most chaotic matches.

The nickname “Death Valley” probably says a lot about the gruesome matches that have been played here.

Exterior of Louisiana State University Campus' stadium
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After a lot of renovations, it's now considered one of the top 10 football stadiums in the entire world.

It has a  holding capacity of more than 102,321 people.

Crowd inside the LSU Tiger Stadium
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Check Out Mike the Tiger's Habitat

Mike in its natural habitat
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In case his name doesn't ring a bell, Mike the Tiger is Louisiana State University's official mascot.

He's an actual tiger who has a habitat on the university campus grounds.

Exterior of Mike Tiger's Habitat
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The space is vast, spanning 15,000 square feet.

There's even a waterfall inside the habitat to keep Mike happy and busy.

There's also a stream where Mike goes in for a swim if he's in the mood for it.

Shop for Local Goods at Red Stick Farmers Markets

Are you looking to do a bit of shopping after sightseeing?

Red Stick Farmers Markets lets you  shop and experience the local culture at the same time.

If you any day from Thursday to Saturday, you'll be able visit the Red Stick Farmers Markets, which take place weekly.

There are a lot of things you can check out here, such as fresh produce and organically grown vegetables.

You'll get to eat a lot of local homemade goodies, too.

Take a Break at BREC's Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

A great egret at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
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If you want to take a casual break from all the sightseeing, you can do so by surrounding yourself with natural greens.

BREC's Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a visual treat that will make you feel better in no time at all.

Trees at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
Roberto Michel / Shutterstock.com

The place filled with swamps, and you can also see a lot of wild animals like armadillos, otters, deer, coyotes, and foxes.

They host exhibits and events every year, wherein you can see the animals and plants and get to know more about them.

If you are visiting in the winter, you'll be able to spot a lot of migratory birds.

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center's boardwalk
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Check Out the Local Food

Louisiana is well known for its sizzling dishes.

The best part is that various operators conducts a lot of food tours, allowing you to experience the state's best flavors.

They take you to the best restaurants in the area to explore all Louisiana's must-try dishes.

It's like a walking tour, and the best place to start exploring is the downtown area, which is lined by food chains and restaurants.

You'll get to taste the local delicacies, and the guides will also describe the story and significance behind them.

If you're venturing on a self-guided food four, some of the dishes you have to try include the following: Poor Boy Lloyd's Beef Po-boy, Stroubes' Corn Crab and Brie Bisque, and Lobby Café's Muffuletta.

Visit the Magnolia Mound Plantation

Exterior of a house at Magnolia Mound Plantation
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The Magnolia Mound Plantation is yet another beautiful property in Baton Rouge.

Its style tells stories from Europe, and you won't find a more exemplary model of French architecture anywhere else in Baton Rouge.

Built in 1791, it was initially meant to be a cottage, but the project came out to be a French Creole house.

The views are splendid, and you can see the waters of the Mississippi River rushing by.

The house also has its name on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Take a Stroll around Downtown Baton Rouge

Aerial view of Downtown Baton Rouge
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If you want to get an authentic taste of Baton Rouge, you should check out their downtown area.

It's said that the downtown of any city is generally the hub of their entertainment.

This is true in the case of Baton Rouge.

The fact that the lovely Mississippi River flows by it makes it even more worth visiting.

The road of Downtown Baton Rouge
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Downtow Baton Rouge is a hip location that's usually crowded with people.

If you are hungry, you can explore the many restaurants lined up along the street.

There are a lot of shops here, too.

It is one of the best places to spend an evening.

Night time view of Downtown Baton Rouge
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Have Some Pizza at Fleur de Lis Pizza

Interior of Fleur de Lis Pizza in Baton Rouge
Jennifer Woodard Maderazo, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who doesn’t like pizza after a long day of sightseeing?

The pizzas at Fleur de Lis Pizza can be traditional or modern, depending on what you order.

You can enjoy the delicious smell of cheese from a traditional Roman Pizza, or you can order some new toppings on a gluten-free pizza.

The choice is entirely yours, and no matter what you end up ordering, your taste buds are surely in for a treat!

Explore the Louisiana Art & Science Museum

Exterior of Louisiana Art & Science Museum
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Art and scientific exhibits are housed at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, accessible through South River Road.

The Historic 1925 train station houses the museum, which aims to educate and entertain visitors of any age.

Additionally, the museum hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art and its fine art collection.

Planets on the ceiling of Louisiana Art & Science Museum
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The Ancient Egypt Gallery attracts many visitors because of its fascinating mummies and ancient artifacts.

If you're looking for family-friendly things to do in Baton Rouge, look no further than this fantastic location.

Additionally, the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium hosts film screenings and music recitals.

Classes, seminars, and workshops are among the museum's educational offerings.

Spark Your Kid's Curiosity at Knock Knock Children's Museum

Exterior of Knock Knock Children's Museum
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In Baton Rouge, there is a 26,000-square-foot Knock Knock Children's Museum that families with small children should not miss.

Perched high above City-Brookes Community Park, the museum has worked hard to establish an inclusive setting where families of all backgrounds may come, learn, play, and connect.

There are various displays dubbed "Learning Zones" inside the museum, providing children with hands-on learning opportunities.

Your kids may acquire new skills here, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking in a pleasant and engaging environment.

Children's interest in STEAM topics may be fostered via the museum's Learning Zones, separate from the museum's displays for fundamental skill development.

Learn about World War I History at the USS KIDD Veterans Museum

The warship of USS KIDD Veterans Museum
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Admiral Isaac C. Kidd was killed during the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor while aboard the USS Arizona, his flagship.

To preserve the history of WWII warships, the USS Kidd was converted into a museum.

Aside from the warship itself, it features World War I artifacts.

The museum also allows families to camp overnight, making it one of the best destinations in the city.

You may take a tour of the ship and the riverfront where it is docked or stay the night in the bunks if you're not alone.

Meet and Greet Animals at the Baton Rouge Zoo

A giraffe at Baton Rouge Zoo
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The Baton Rouge Zoo is located on Thomas Road, just north of the city.

In addition to the amphibians and birds, there are also many other kinds of fish, mammals, and reptiles in this zoo that first opened in 1970.

This is a terrific spot to visit when in Baton Rouge with kids.

Animals like the Guam rail and Arabian oryx are part of the zoo's conservation and reintroduction efforts.

A spider monkey in Baton Rouge Zoo
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Visitors may see otters swimming at Otter Pond, which is a reproduction of a cottage.

The walkthrough aviary with various birds at the Parrot Paradise is another famous attraction.

It offers a variety of educational opportunities for kids, such as field excursions and day camps.

Kids watching the prarie dogs in Baton Rouge Zoo
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Sample the Spirits at Three Roll Estate

Near Pointe Coupe Parish, you'll find Three Roll Estate on the Alma Plantation grounds.

Distillers acquire all of their ingredients from this location.

As one of Baton Rouge's first bourbon producers, Three Roll Estate has a rich history.

It is well-liked by Louisianans and others in the country since it only employs premium ingredients.

You may experience firsthand how Three Full estate rum and whiskey are manufactured if you visit the distillery.

Final Thoughts

Besides its rich cultural heritage, one of the biggest reasons to visit Baton Rouge is its breathtaking natural scenery, making it one of Louisiana's most desirable destinations.

Everything you see is worthy of a photograph.

Save this list of things to do in Baton Rouge to ensure you have the most fantastic Louisiana experience.