Baton Rouge, the capital city of Louisiana, boasts an incredibly rich culture, history, and awesome, Southern soul food. There are many attractions that bring visitors to this city, and it’s not hard to know why. Read through this list of the most beautiful places to see in Baton Rouge!
1. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
The Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, found on North Oak Hills Parkway, is a large nature center built on over 100 acres of land. Inside the center, visitors can find a variety of habitats found in Louisiana such as forests and swamps.
Wildlife who dwell in such habitats can also be found there, such as armadillos, coyotes, deer, foxes, and even otters. Boardwalks and paths travel through these habitats, and visitors walking the paths can also see different species of local and migratory birds who live in the center alongside the other wildlife residents.
In the Exhibit Building of the Center, visitors can see displays of live animals and exhibits of minerals. Children who visit can also interact with natural objects up close such as feathers and animal pelts.
2. The Old Governor’s Mansion
Built during the administration of Governor Huey Long, the Old Governor’s Mansion was the home of several Louisiana governors between 1930 and 1963. The building was reportedly inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s original design of the White House. Its first resident, Huey Long, wished to be familiar with the White House when he became president.
It is located on North Boulevard. Later on, it served as the home of the Louisiana Arts and Science Center Museum for many years, until eventually, it reopened as a historic house museum in 1978. The building is now managed by Preserve Louisiana, in cooperation with the State of Louisiana.
It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Governor’s Mansion now offers guided tours on weekdays and welcomes school field trips, weddings, and other special events.
3. Baton Rouge Zoo
Near downtown Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Zoo is owned and operated by the Recreation and Park Commission of East Baton Rouge Parish. Its mission is to connect people with animals and to play a role in saving wild animals.
The Baton Rouge community founded the zoo, which came together and rallied for a zoo in the 1960s. The community ran a penny drive that raised over 600,000 pennies that allowed the zoo to acquire its first two elephants. It opened in 1970.
Now, the zoo is home to over 1,800 animals from all over the world. It houses amphibians, mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles. It leads the way for the survival and reintroduction programs for many endangered animals.
Popular exhibits include the Otter Pond, where visitors can watch otters swim underwater, and the Parrot Paradies, a walkthrough aviary.
4. Louisiana Art and Science Museum
You can find the Louisiana Art and Science Museum at historic 1925 railway station located on South River Road in Baton Rouge. It showcases art galleries, science galleries, and even a planetarium.
It has a permanent exhibit of fine art and puts up many temporary revolving art exhibits throughout the year. Its planetarium, named the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, presents sky shows, lectures, and workshops.
It even hosts films and music shows. The Ancient Egypt Gallery showcases many ancient artifacts and even has a mummy, which is a popular attraction.
5. Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
The Old State Capitol sits on a bluff that overlooks the Mississippi River. Locals fondly call it the Castle of Baton Rouge and the Castle on The River, due to its Gothic style of architecture.
It was made the seat of the Louisiana government in 1846 and is notable for being one of the few state capitols to not mimic the style of Washington’s National Capitol Building. During the Civil War, the Louisiana state government left Baton Rouge after the Union captured New Orleans.
The Union used the capitol building as a prison, where it caught fire twice. Post-rebuilding in 1882, the state government used it as a seat until 1932. It is now the Museum of Political History and is a National Historic Landmark.
The museum contains art, artifacts, and historical documents. In addition, it’s also famous for a beautiful spiral staircase leading up to a stunning stained-glass dome.
6. Downtown Baton Rouge
Although Baton Rouge is full of interesting places to see, the city itself is a stunning attraction. Downtown Baton Rouge itself is a commercial and residential area located along the banks of the Mississippi River.
It is an area that is full of rich and vibrant culture and history, and it is home to many museums, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It is also a very picturesque area in which to take a lovely nighttime stroll.
For visitors who wish to immerse themselves in the culture of the city, you shouldn’t miss downtown Baton Rouge!
7. LSU Museum of Art
You can find the LSU Museum of Art at the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge. The galleries span across more than 13,000 feet of space. Both inside and out, it’s one of the most beautiful places to see in Baton Rouge.
Furthermore, it has one of the largest art collections in the South and features works from several local and international artists. The museum opened its doors 1962 as The Anglo-American Art Museum on LSU’s Baton Rouge campus and moved to the Shaw Center for Arts in March of 2005. It offers the Baton Rouge community greater access to arts, culture, and education programs.
Local and regional artists exhibit and sell their works in the gift shop. The LSU Museum of Art is the best place to be if you wish to see the artistic soul of the capital.
Visit Baton Rouge today!
In all, Baton Rouge boasts immense culture, history, and scenic landscapes. It is a city full of hospitable people, great food and restaurants, and the iconic culture of the South. There’s no wonder that people flock to Baton Rouge every year to get a taste of what it’s like in the city. Visit the most beautiful places to see in Baton Rouge now!
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