Best Places to Visit in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, sits picturesquely along the Mississippi River. If you have time to soak in the scenery and enjoy these attractions, you’ll find that there’s plenty to keep you occupied, especially in the spring or fall when the weather is mild.
The city is home to the destroyer USS Kidd, which is part of the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial and is one of the city’s must-see attractions.
Beautiful old mansions, including the oldest magnolia plantation in the area (1791), and the State Capitol are well worth a visit.
For other fun things to do, check out some of Baton Rouge’s museums and cultural attractions, such as the LSU Country Life Museum, and learn about the area’s rich history.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Baton Rouge and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Baton Rouge
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Baton Rouge:
1. Old State Capitol
The Old State House is a stunning Gothic Revival castle built in 1847. It is worth seeing in terms of history and architecture, albeit only from the outside.
The fort was burned by Union troops and restored in 1882 and used as the state capitol until the new state capitol was opened in 1932. Located on the cliffs of the Mississippi River, this stunning structure is now used as the Museum of Political History.
The museum offers many great exhibits, including The Legacy of Hugh Iran, the Governor’s Portrait Gallery, Baton Rouge and the Civil War, and more. The Old State Capitol hosts a variety of events and can be rented as a venue for weddings and other events.
Address: 100 North Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.louisianaoldstatecapitol.org/
2. USS Kidd Veterans Memorial
A short walk from the State Capitol is the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial. Focusing on the destroyer USS KIDD, this attraction is named after Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr., who was killed aboard the USS Arizona during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
The ship, which was launched in 1943, was called the “Pirates of the Pacific”. The ship tells the story of its long and interesting history before it was decommissioned in 1964. The ship has been used in various films and historical documentaries for decades. Today, visitors can board the USS KIDD to see and learn about its history.
The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial Complex also includes an observation tower and museum. This historic warship and sailing center boasts many one-of-a-kind artifacts, a model boat collection, and a miniature replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
Address: 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.usskidd.com/
3. Louisiana State Capitol
The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge was built in the early 1930s. The landmark is 450 feet high and has 34 floors. The limestone on the exterior is embellished with many emblematic images representing the country, and the marble on the interior harmonizes with the ornate furnishings throughout the building.
The outer staircase is surrounded by two groups of statues: an armored soldier and the Patriot mourning a soldier killed in battle, and the Herald, a robed woman surrounded by settlers.
The construction of the state capitol was the result of the efforts of Louisiana Governor Huey Pierce Long, who eventually became a member of the United States Senate. He tried hard to build the building, succeeded, and was later killed in the same building.
Huey Pierce Long is buried on the land where you can find his monument. Consider taking an architectural tour that includes taking an elevator up to an observation deck for city views. The Louisiana State Capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 900 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/Louisiana/cap.htm
4. Magnolia Mound Plantation
Magnolia Mound was built in the second half of the 18th century and displays the architectural influence of early settlers from France and the West Indies. Over the years, the house has been owned by a variety of different people who freely make their own changes and additions.
The house is a timber-framed timber structure that still retains much of its 18th and 19th century appearance. It is surrounded by old oak trees. The property was nationalized by the City of Baton Rouge as a symbol of early history.
Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public. The property includes approximately 15 acres of land, including the main building and several other buildings.
Address: 2161 Nicholson Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.brec.org/index.cfm/park/detail/112
5. LSU Rural Life Museum
Ten different flags fly over Louisiana. The LSU Country Living Museum showcases the lifestyle and culture of pre-industrial Louisiana. Highlights include the Louisiana Folk Architecture, a group of seven buildings that showcase the diverse cultural influences of Louisiana settlers; stables from prehistoric times to the 20th century; and The Working Plantation, a building complex used to reconstruct 19 Living activities at Century Works Plantation.
The museum covers 25 acres and includes 32 historical buildings. Some of the highlights of folk architecture are the church, cottage, Acadian house, and potato house. Tours are generally self-guided, but pre-documented tours can be arranged.
Address: 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.lsu.edu/rurallife/
6. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
The Cornflower Marsh Nature Center is a 103-acre site on the southwest side of town that provides research and educational resources in a natural setting. One kilometer of gravel trails and boardwalks meander through the preserve, leading to different areas of the park such as Cypress-Tupelo Swamp and Hardwood Forest.
In addition to wildlife viewing opportunities along the trails, you can get up close and personal with the animals on the 9,500-square-foot exhibit. The building also contains information on the area’s flora and fauna, mineral and art exhibits, and an extensive collection of waterfowl bait carvings.
Address: 10503 North Oak Hill Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.brec.org/index.cfm/park/BluebonnetSwamp
7. Baton Rouge Zoo
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is home to both exotic and pet animals. Collections include Louisiana big cats, rhinos, otters, fish, reptiles and amphibians at L’aquarium de Louisiane.
Check out Parrot Paradise, home to rare and colorful birds from the tropics, including parrots and macaws. The tiger kingdom is something that has been added recently with tigers and other Asian animals. Flamingo Bay and Giants of the Islands display Chilean flamingos, Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises.
The KidsZoo is another popular area with barn animals and tunnels for kids to play. Nearby there is a Safari Playground equipped with all kinds of equipment.
Address: 3601 Thomas Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.brzoo.org/
8. Shaw Center for the Arts
Built in 2005, this versatile arts facility spans an entire city block and overlooks the Mississippi River and has since hosted thousands of cultural events. Located inside the Shaw Center, the Manship Theater showcases international talent through musical, dance and performance performances.
The theater also hosts live simultaneous broadcasts of other theatrical productions from around the world. The property also houses the LSU Art Museum, which houses a variety of visual arts, from ancient Chinese jade carvings to regional portraits and paintings.
Address: 100 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.shawcenter.org/
9. Louisiana Museum of Art and Science
Combining art and science, the Louisiana Museum of Art and Science has something for adults and kids alike. The art gallery offers ever-changing exhibitions and a permanent fine art collection. Some highlights include American and European art, ethnographic art, Louisiana modern and contemporary art, photography, and antiquities.
The science section of the museum is for children and families and is a fun area with interactive educational displays. Here, children can learn about the world around them in a playful way.
Also of interest are ancient Egyptian galleries creatively arranged with mummies and other artifacts, as well as an on-site planetarium. The building that houses the Louisiana Museum of Art and Science is a lovely old train station that runs along the Mississippi River.
Address: 100 South River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Official website: http://www.lasm.org/
10. Capitol Park Museum
If you want to know the origin of the word Cajun, be sure to stop by the Capitol Park Museum. Inside, you’ll find everything you could ever want to know about Louisiana. A comprehensive display of the state’s history and culture will make time fly by.
A few of the most interesting displays include a 48-foot shrimp boat and two rows of sugarcane harvesters, as well as an oil rig and a Civil War-era submarine. Cultural highlights include a horn by Louis Armstrong and a polka-dot Stratocaster guitar once played by jazz artist Buddy Guy.
One of the most colorful exhibitions is the Carnival exhibition. There are several old planes from the golden age of aviation that you can see up close. Detailing the 1932 Cleveland Air Race, the film is a technological marvel with unmissable special effects.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Baton Rouge. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Baton Rouge, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.