Finding a tribe’s territory-marking blood-stained pole as they arrived at the land, the French christened the place Baton Rouge, or literally ”red stick” in French. So, believe it when you’re told that the city is just as exciting as its name and history. As Louisiana’s capital city, Baton Rouge is a bustling venue for fun, nightlife, and culture. Here’s a list of fulfilling things to do in Baton Rouge to guarantee yourself a great time.
1. Taste the local French Creole cuisine
It’s no secret that Louisiana is America’s state center of French Creole culture, as well as Cajun influences. And so, just like in every rise of civilization and aftermath of colonization, cuisine comes directly with culture.
And of course, as the state capital, Baton Rouge does not hold back as it shows off their version of these classic Creole and Cajun dishes.
Treat your taste buds to those scrumptious dishes in these fine Baton Rouge restaurants:
Price range: $
The must-try menu item/s: seafood etouffee, fried boudins
Note: Lines at Bellue’s are always long, so try to get there earlier than peak meal times!
Price range: $$
The must-try menu item/s: seafood pot pie, tomato pie
Price range: $$$
The must-try menu item/s: Cajun arancini, Charbroiled oysters
Note: Make sure to call for a reservation before you get there!
2.Tour around Baton Rouge’s historical spots
With a little French, comes a whole lot of history. Baton Rouge, as Louisiana’s city capital, has also been a center of history’s trials and defeats, with a large abundance of French influence and culture.
A few monuments and pillars of the city’s past still stand to this day and are fortunately available for the public eye. Visit these historical spots for a glimpse at Baton Rouge’s olden times:
Old Governor’s Mansion
Entrance fee: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors 62 years old and above, $8 for children 5 to 18 years old, free for kids below 5 years old
Opening hours: 10 am to 3 pm (Tuesday guided tours)
Note: Touring schedules change often due to reserved events. Call ahead to avoid time conflicts.
Entrance fee: $5 per person
Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm (Sunday-Saturday)
Magnolia Mound Plantation
Entrance fee: $20 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 12 years old
Opening hours: 10 am to 4 pm (Monday-Saturday), 1 pm to 4 pm (Sunday)
3. Go shopping in Downtown Baton Rouge
You don’t have to go to the edges of Baton Rouge to experience the city’s fun. In fact, wandering around the Downtown Development District, the heart of the city is one of the best ways to get to know the Red Stick City.
For starters, you can go shopping at these local markets and boutiques, and check out local products:
- Centro Comercial En Baton Rouge
- Matherne’s Market
- Mall of Louisiana
- Red Stick Farmers Market
On the other hand, the city gives you the option to spend your money elsewhere, also giving you the excuse to dress up fancy for the night—at the Hollywood Casino!
Or if you are more into the city’s daily life than of the nightlife, you can visit the Spanish Town Historic District especially during the Mardi Gras festival season, where it is held annually.
4. Take on the Mississippi River waves
As New Orleans has the mystic of Bayou River, the city of Baton Rouge has the waves of the great Mississippi River at its disposal.
For your information, you, and preferably a group of your friends, can paddle all the way to the Gulf of Mexico from Baton Rouge.
Follow in the footsteps of Huckleberry Finn, and conquer the Mississippi waters doing these available activities:
- Tubing/ Floating on the River
- Bring extra clothes because you will surely get drenched in the waves.
- Check the river’s condition online before getting there, so that you can make sure it’s in safe weather for water sports.
- Make sure to wear protective water sports gear (i.e. Life vests, helmets).
- There are numerous water sports companies you can rent a boat and gear from.
5. Spend a night at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center
Seeing the words “Hilton” and “hotel” together instantly makes you think of the words “expensive” and “high-class.”
And yes, you’re right! While staying at Baton Rouge, you might as well spend your money the right way: on a night at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center.
It may be a pricey one-night stay, but it is totally worth it. Not only is the Baton Rouge Hilton only a four-star hotel, but it is also a historical state monument.
Sure, it will set you back a few hundred bucks for a few hours of the day, but the experience, service, and ambiance practically priceless.
Louisiana’s Baton Rouge is a classic example of how modernized culture and commercialization, and historical influence can work well to create an iconic and incredible city.
The Red Stick City surely is one of America’s up-and-coming key cities, especially because of its French Creole influence and its Southern customs.
Before that time comes and flights to Baton Rouge become fully booked, get yourself over there and see the city’s extraordinaire with your very own eyes!
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