Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Baton Rouge, LA

Located on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is a vibrant city with a rich history and a unique blend of cultures. Visitors to this Louisiana capital city will find a wealth of top-rated tourist attractions that showcase the city’s Southern charm, diverse cuisines, and lively music scene.

One of the must-visit attractions in Baton Rouge is the Louisiana State Capitol. Standing tall at 450 feet, this art deco building is the tallest state capital in the United States. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Capitol to learn about its history and admire stunning views of the city from the observation deck.

For history buffs, the Old Louisiana State Capitol is a must-see. Nicknamed the “Castle on the River,” this Gothic Revival building is now a museum that offers a glimpse into Louisiana’s political past. The building itself is a masterpiece, with its stained glass windows, spiral staircase, and grand interior.

No visit to Baton Rouge would be complete without experiencing the vibrant food scene. From traditional Cajun and Creole dishes to innovative fusion cuisine, the city’s restaurants offer something for every palate. Be sure to try iconic Louisiana dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish étouffée.

Baton Rouge is also known for its lively music scene, especially its blues, jazz, and zydeco traditions. Visitors can catch live performances at various venues throughout the city, including the famous Baton Rouge Blues Festival, which attracts top musicians from around the country.

Whether you’re interested in history, food, or music, Baton Rouge has something to offer everyone. With its top-rated tourist attractions, this Southern city is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the unique culture and charm of Louisiana.

Historic Attractions

Baton Rouge is steeped in history, and visitors can explore the city’s rich past through its many historic attractions. Whether you’re interested in early settlement history or want to delve into the Civil War era, there are plenty of sites to discover:

  • The Old State Capitol: This Gothic Revival-style building served as the State Capitol from 1850 to 1932. Now a museum, it offers exhibits on Louisiana’s political history and culture.
  • Magnolia Mound Plantation: Step back in time at this restored French Creole plantation house. Dating back to the late 18th century, it showcases the daily lives of early settlers.
  • The USS Kidd: Explore this Fletcher-class destroyer that served in World War II and the Korean War. Now a museum, it features exhibits on naval history and technology.
  • The Louisiana State Museum: Housed in the former US Mint building, this museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Louisiana’s history, including its diverse culture and heritage.
  • The Louisiana’s Old Governor’s Mansion: Take a guided tour of this elegant French Gothic-style mansion that once housed the state’s governors. Learn about Louisiana’s political history and enjoy the stunning architecture.

These historic attractions offer a fascinating glimpse into Baton Rouge’s past and are must-visits for history enthusiasts.

Louisiana State Capitol

The Louisiana State Capitol is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture and is the tallest capitol building in the United States. It is located on a 27-acre plot of land in downtown Baton Rouge and is one of the top tourist attractions in the city.

Completed in 1932, the Louisiana State Capitol has an impressive 34-floor design and stands at a height of 450 feet. The exterior of the building features beautiful limestone and granite, while the interior boasts marble and granite finishes.

Visitors to the Louisiana State Capitol can take a guided tour of the building, which provides a glimpse into the state’s political history and showcases the impressive architecture. The tour includes visits to the House and Senate chambers, the Governor’s office, and the Memorial Hall, which features paintings and sculptures depicting Louisiana’s history.

One of the highlights of the Louisiana State Capitol is the Observation Deck on the 27th floor. From here, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Baton Rouge and the Mississippi River. On a clear day, it is possible to see up to 30 miles in every direction.

Surrounding the Louisiana State Capitol is the Capitol Park, a beautifully landscaped area that features statues, memorials, and a reflecting pool. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The Louisiana State Capitol is also home to the State Capitol Museum, which is located on the ground floor. The museum houses exhibits that chronicle the history of Louisiana’s political system and its key figures.

Whether you are interested in politics, history, or simply appreciate beautiful architecture, a visit to the Louisiana State Capitol is a must when in Baton Rouge.

Old State Capitol

The Old State Capitol, located on North Boulevard, is a historic landmark in Baton Rouge. Built in 1849 in Greek Revival style, it served as the seat of Louisiana’s government until 1932. Today, it houses the Museum of Political History, offering visitors a fascinating glimpse into the state’s political past.

The Old State Capitol is known for its distinctive castle-like architecture, with its Gothic spires and turrets. The building has a colorful history, including surviving two fires in the late 19th century. It was beautifully restored in the 1990s and has become one of Louisiana’s most iconic structures.

A visit to the Old State Capitol allows visitors to explore the various exhibits that chronicle Louisiana’s political journey. The museum features interactive displays, artifacts, and multimedia presentations that bring the state’s political history to life. Visitors can learn about key figures and events, such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil Rights Movement.

In addition to its historical significance, the Old State Capitol offers breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and downtown Baton Rouge. The observation deck on the top floor provides a panoramic view of the city, making it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

Address 100 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Hours Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-4pm
Admission Adults: $10, Seniors: $8, Students: $6, Children under 5: Free
Contact Phone: (225) 342-0500, Email: [email protected]

Magnolia Mound Plantation

One of the highlights of Baton Rouge is the unique and historic Magnolia Mound Plantation. This 18th-century French Creole plantation provides visitors with a glimpse into Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage.

The main house, built in 1791, showcases the architectural style of the time and is filled with period furniture and artifacts. Visitors can explore the beautifully preserved rooms, including the kitchen, bedchambers, and parlor, and learn about the plantation’s history from knowledgeable guides.

Outside, the picturesque grounds are filled with lush gardens and shaded pathways, inviting visitors to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. The plantation also boasts several outbuildings, such as the pigeoneer, slave quarters, and a barn, which provide additional insight into the daily life of those who lived and worked on the plantation.

In addition to self-guided tours, Magnolia Mound Plantation offers a variety of educational programs and special events throughout the year. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities, workshops, and performances that showcase traditional arts and crafts, music, and dance from the region.

Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or simply want to experience a taste of Louisiana’s past, a visit to Magnolia Mound Plantation is a must. The plantation offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the rich cultural heritage of Baton Rouge.

St. Joseph Cathedral

St. Joseph Cathedral is a stunning Roman Catholic cathedral located in downtown Baton Rouge. It is the seat of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and has been an important religious institution in the city since its completion in 1854.

The cathedral features beautiful architectural details and a striking Gothic Revival style. Its grand facade is made of red brick and features intricate stone carvings and stained glass windows. Inside, visitors can admire the impressive high ceilings, elegant marble altar, and ornate stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes.

In addition to its religious significance, St. Joseph Cathedral also holds historical importance. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1974 for its architectural and cultural significance to the Baton Rouge community.

Address: 401 Main Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:00am-4:00pm

Saturday: 4:00pm-6:00pm

Sunday: 8:00am-12:00pm

Admission: Free
Website: www.stjosephcathedral.org

Visiting St. Joseph Cathedral is a must for those interested in architecture, history, and spirituality. Whether you are a devout Catholic or simply appreciate beautiful landmarks, the cathedral offers a peaceful and awe-inspiring experience.

Outdoor Activities

Baton Rouge offers a range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. From beautiful parks to exciting water sports, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

One of the top outdoor attractions in Baton Rouge is the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. This expansive nature preserve offers miles of walking trails, boardwalks, and observation platforms that allow visitors to explore the diverse wildlife and ecosystems of Louisiana. With its lush vegetation and tranquil lakes, the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a great place for bird-watching, photography, and nature walks.

If you’re interested in history and outdoor activities, don’t miss the Magnolia Mound Plantation. This 18th-century French Creole plantation offers guided tours of its beautiful gardens, plantation house, and outbuildings. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking on the lush grounds or taking a leisurely stroll through the scenic trails.

For those looking for more adventurous outdoor activities, Baton Rouge has plenty to offer. The Mississippi River is a hub for water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Rent equipment from one of the local outfitters and explore the mighty river while taking in the stunning views of the city skyline.

If you prefer to stay on land, consider visiting one of Baton Rouge’s many parks. The LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. This historic site features a museum that showcases rural life in Louisiana, as well as beautiful gardens filled with native plants and flowers. Take a leisurely walk through the grounds or have a picnic under the shade of the oak trees.

Another great outdoor activity in Baton Rouge is biking along the Louisiana Levee Trail. This scenic trail runs alongside the Mississippi River and offers breathtaking views of the water, as well as access to several parks and recreational areas. Rent a bike and spend the day exploring Baton Rouge on two wheels.

Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or adventure seeker, Baton Rouge has plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained. From beautiful parks to thrilling water sports, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this charming city.

Baton Rouge Zoo

The Baton Rouge Zoo is a must-visit attraction for animal lovers of all ages. Located in the serene surroundings of Greenwood Park, the zoo is home to a diverse range of wildlife from around the world.

With over 1,800 animals representing more than 300 species, visitors can explore exhibits that showcase the richness and variety of the animal kingdom. From magnificent lions and tigers to playful primates and slithering reptiles, there is something for everyone at the Baton Rouge Zoo.

One of the highlights of a visit to the zoo is the opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals. The zoo offers a variety of interactive experiences, including giraffe feedings and encounters with kangaroos and lorikeets. These experiences provide a unique chance to learn about the animals and their habitats.

In addition to the animal exhibits, the Baton Rouge Zoo also offers educational programs and events for visitors of all ages. From summer camps and behind-the-scenes tours to wildlife conservation initiatives, the zoo is committed to promoting awareness and appreciation of the natural world.

Visitors can also take advantage of the zoo’s amenities, including a gift shop, picnic areas, and concessions. With its beautiful grounds and family-friendly atmosphere, the Baton Rouge Zoo is the perfect destination for a day of adventure and exploration.

Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor from out of town, a trip to the Baton Rouge Zoo is an experience you won’t soon forget. Come and discover the wonders of the animal kingdom in the heart of Louisiana.

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

The Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a natural oasis located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This 103-acre facility offers visitors the opportunity to explore and learn about the unique ecosystems of southern Louisiana.

Visitors to the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking along the scenic trails that wind through the swamp. These trails provide an up-close look at the diverse flora and fauna of the region, including cypress-tupelo swamps, beech-magnolia forests, and more. Wildlife enthusiasts will also appreciate the chance to spot a variety of species, such as turtles, snakes, birds, and even alligators.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center also offers educational programs and exhibits for visitors of all ages. The center features interactive displays and informative signage that highlight the unique features and importance of the swamp ecosystem. Guided tours and classes are also available, giving visitors the chance to learn from experts and deepen their understanding of Louisiana’s natural environment.

The Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a popular destination for nature lovers, families, and school groups. It provides a serene and educational experience, allowing visitors to connect with the natural world and gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of Louisiana’s wetlands.

USS Kidd and Veterans Memorial

The USS Kidd and Veterans Memorial is a renowned museum and memorial located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. It serves as a tribute to the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

The USS Kidd, also known as the “Pirate of the Pacific,” is a Fletcher-class destroyer that saw action during World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War. It has been restored to its original condition and now serves as a floating museum, giving visitors a glimpse into the life of a sailor during wartime.

Visitors to the USS Kidd can explore the ship’s various decks, including its engine room, mess hall, and sleeping quarters. They can also learn about the ship’s history through informative displays and exhibits, which feature artifacts, photographs, and personal stories of the men and women who served aboard the vessel.

In addition to the USS Kidd, the memorial also includes several other exhibits and monuments that pay homage to veterans from different conflicts. This includes the Louisiana Memorial Plaza, which features a wall inscribed with the names of Louisiana soldiers who lost their lives in World War II, as well as a Vietnam War Memorial.

The USS Kidd and Veterans Memorial is not just a museum, but also a place of reflection and remembrance. It offers visitors the opportunity to honor the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have served their country and provides educational experiences that promote a deeper understanding and appreciation for their service.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a veteran, or simply interested in learning more about America’s military history, a visit to the USS Kidd and Veterans Memorial is a must when in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana Art & Science Museum

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum, located in downtown Baton Rouge, is a unique cultural attraction that combines the arts and sciences. With its stunning architecture and diverse collection of exhibits, the museum offers something for everyone.

One of the main highlights of the museum is its art collection, which includes works from various periods and styles. From contemporary paintings to ancient sculptures, visitors can experience the beauty and creativity of different art forms. The museum also hosts rotating exhibitions that showcase both local and international artists, providing a platform for emerging talent.

In addition to its art collection, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum features a planetarium and a science gallery. The planetarium offers a variety of shows that explore the wonders of the universe, from the night sky to distant galaxies. The science gallery provides interactive exhibits that engage visitors with topics such as physics, biology, and chemistry. It’s a great place for kids and adults alike to learn and have fun.

Aside from its exhibits, the museum also offers educational programs and workshops for people of all ages. From art classes to science camps, these programs aim to inspire a love for creativity and discovery. The museum’s staff is knowledgeable and passionate, ensuring that visitors have a memorable and enriching experience.

Whether you’re an art lover, a science enthusiast, or simply looking to explore something new, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum is a must-visit attraction in Baton Rouge. Its unique combination of arts, sciences, and educational programs make it a cultural hub that appeals to a wide range of interests.

Museums and Galleries

Baton Rouge is home to a diverse range of museums and galleries that offer visitors a chance to explore the city’s rich history, culture, and art. Here are some of the top-rated museums and galleries in Baton Rouge:

1. Louisiana State Capitol: As one of the most recognizable landmarks in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana State Capitol is not only a government building but also a museum that showcases the state’s history and political heritage. Visitors can explore the building and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck.

2. LSU Museum of Art: Located on the Louisiana State University campus, the LSU Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of American and European art. The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions featuring works by both established and emerging artists.

3. Louisiana Art & Science Museum: This multidisciplinary museum features a range of exhibits that cover not only the artistic but also the scientific aspects of Louisiana’s culture. With a planetarium and interactive displays, it offers a hands-on learning experience for visitors of all ages.

4. Old Arsenal Museum: Housed in a historic building dating back to the early 1800s, the Old Arsenal Museum showcases the military history of Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana. Visitors can view artifacts, weaponry, and learn about the city’s involvement in various wars.

5. Shaw Center for the Arts: The Shaw Center for the Arts is a contemporary art center that features rotating exhibitions of local, national, and international artists. It also houses the Manship Theatre, where visitors can enjoy performances ranging from theater to live music.

6. Southern University Museum of Art: Located on the campus of Southern University, this museum highlights African American art and culture. It houses a permanent collection as well as rotating exhibitions that showcase the works of African American artists.

7. The LSU Rural Life Museum: This living history museum offers a glimpse into 19th-century rural Louisiana life. Visitors can explore restored buildings, including a plantation home and a schoolhouse, and learn about the daily lives of past generations.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, or science, Baton Rouge’s museums and galleries offer a variety of experiences that will enrich your visit to the city.

LSU Museum of Art

The LSU Museum of Art, located on the campus of Louisiana State University, is a premier destination for art lovers in Baton Rouge. With its diverse collection and stunning exhibitions, the museum offers a rich cultural experience for visitors of all ages.

The museum houses a vast collection of artwork spanning various periods and styles. From traditional Renaissance paintings to contemporary installations, there is something to captivate every artistic taste. The permanent collection includes works by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others.

In addition to its permanent collection, the LSU Museum of Art features rotating exhibitions that showcase works by emerging and established artists from around the world. These exhibitions provide a platform for artistic exploration and promote dialogue about contemporary issues through the visual arts.

Visitors to the museum can also enjoy a range of educational programs and events, including artist talks, workshops, and guided tours. The museum’s commitment to engaging with the community ensures that visitors have the opportunity to deepen their understanding and appreciation of art.

With its stunning architecture and panoramic views of the Mississippi River, the building itself is a work of art. Designed by noted architect, Samuel Wilson Jr., the museum blends modern and classical elements seamlessly, creating a space that is both visually striking and functional.

Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or simply looking for a cultural experience, a visit to the LSU Museum of Art is a must when exploring Baton Rouge. Immerse yourself in the world of art and be inspired by the incredible creativity on display at this top-rated tourist attraction.

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol Historic Site

The Louisiana’s Old State Capitol Historic Site is a must-visit attraction in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This stunning Gothic-style building is located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and serves as a museum and educational center.

The Old State Capitol was originally constructed in the mid-19th century and has since been restored to its former glory. Its beautiful exterior features graceful towers, ornate stained glass windows, and intricate ironwork. The interior is equally impressive, with grand staircase, richly decorated legislative chambers, and exhibits that tell the story of Louisiana’s political history.

Visitors can explore the building’s many exhibits, which include interactive displays, artifacts, and videos. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Louisiana’s past, from the early Native American civilizations to the present day. One of the highlights is the “Ghosts of the Castle” exhibit, which delves into the building’s haunted history.

In addition to the exhibits, the Old State Capitol hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year. Visitors can attend lectures, workshops, and performances, or take part in special activities for children. The building also serves as a popular venue for weddings and other special events.

From the top of the Old State Capitol’s tower, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding city and river. The rooftop observation deck offers a unique vantage point and is perfect for capturing memorable photos.

No trip to Baton Rouge would be complete without a visit to the Louisiana’s Old State Capitol Historic Site. Its majestic architecture, rich history, and stunning views make it a must-see attraction for locals and tourists alike.

FAQs

What are some of the top tourist attractions in Baton Rouge?

Some of the top tourist attractions in Baton Rouge include the Louisiana State Capitol, the Louisiana State Museum, the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial, and the LSU Museum of Art.

Are there any historical sites to visit in Baton Rouge?

Yes, there are several historical sites to visit in Baton Rouge. One of the most popular is the Louisiana State Capitol, which is the tallest state capitol building in the United States and offers tours to visitors. The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial is also a popular historical attraction, as it is a Fletcher-class destroyer that served in World War II.

What can I see at the Louisiana State Museum?

The Louisiana State Museum offers a wide range of exhibits and artifacts that showcase the history and culture of Louisiana. Visitors can see exhibits on topics such as Mardi Gras, Louisiana music, sports history, and the Civil War. The museum also offers educational programs and special events throughout the year.

What is there to do at the LSU Museum of Art?

The LSU Museum of Art is a great place to view a diverse collection of artwork. The museum features both permanent and rotating exhibits, showcasing works from various artists and time periods. In addition to viewing the artwork, visitors can also participate in educational programs, attend lectures, and even try their hand at creating their own art in workshops.

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14 BEST Things To Do In Baton Rouge 🇺🇸 Louisiana

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Wyatt Johnson

Wyatt Johnson, a seasoned travel writer and Miami resident, is the driving force behind captivating pieces at TravelAsker. Unveiling the gems of his vibrant city and its serene beach resorts, his articles showcase an array of family-friendly activities. Leveraging his global insights and experiences as a family man, Wyatt becomes your ideal companion, guiding you through the enchanting delights of Miami and the wonders of Florida.

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