Baton Rouge City Guide
About Baton Rouge
The city of Baton Rouge, which is situated 75 miles (121km) northwest of New Orleans on Louisiana’s Great River road, is the capital of the state of Louisiana. Baton Rouge is located in the heart of erstwhile plantation country on the banks Mississippi River. It is accordingly surrounded by lush sugar cane fields, ancient southern mansions and verdant flower-filled gardens.
The city of Baton Rouge was founded nearly 300 years ago by French explored D’iberville and this city, which was once built on a swampland settlement, is today the fifth largest port city in the US. Further Baton Rouge is a prominent center for medical research and petrochemical industries in the southern USA though the city is also a well known major hub for education as it plays host to two large universities, the Southern University, and the Louisiana State University.
Aside from this business and educational profile, Baton Rouge is also popular as a southern vacation destination which is renowned for its magnificent historical buildings, vibrant nightlife that features riverboat casinos with high stake gambling and more than 900 restaurants which serve a delicious Cajun, Creole, French and Mexican fare.
Where to stay in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge City Center
Baton Rouge offers a good assortment of hotels and accommodation options, which tend to belong to the mid-range category. Most of these mid-range hotels are conveniently located off the main highway Interstate I-10, which traverses through the city of Baton Rouge.
Near the Mississippi River
The hotels which are located near the Mississippi River are situated on the outskirts of the city but they afford gorgeous vistas of the great river. So if your accommodation preferences veer towards scenic hotels and water views then these riverside hotels many seem like an ideal fit for your stay in Baton Rouge.
Nearby towns and cities
Several communities located in and around Baton Rouge like Baker, Hammond, Lafayette and Gonzales are equipped with quaint countryside inns and family-friendly accommodations which are popular with visitors on a vacation to Baton Rouge.
No matter where you elect to stay during your vacation in Baton Rouge, Fare Buzz can secure the best hotel deals for your visit, so if you have decided to enjoy a southern living vacation in Baton Rouge, you should contact Fare Buzz with your accommodation requirements.
Places to see in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge offers several historic sites that provide an insight into the ‘genteel southern living lifestyle’ of the early 19 h century plantation era.
Rural Life Museum and Windrush Garden
This museum, which is situated on the Burden Research plantation, is run by Louisiana State University. The museum offers displays of furniture, household implements and tools, vehicles, farming equipment and more, all of which help to illustrate the plantation lifestyle which prevailed in Baton Rouge in the early 19th century.
Old State Capitol
The historic Old State Capitol building is a gothic structure that is located on a bluff that overlooks the Mississippi River. This building, which was constructed in 1849, was once described by Mark Twain as ‘the ugliest thing on the Mississippi’. This building housed the Louisiana Legislature until the city fell to the Union forces in 1862. In 1882, the Legislature returned to the old capitol and remained there until it moved to the new capitol in 1932. Today this old Capitol has been restored and houses a museum that features several exhibits that chronicle Louisiana’s rich history.
Baton Rouge Nautical Center and the USS Kidd
The Baton Rouge Nautical Center offers a fascinating attraction, which takes the form of the restored 112m (396ft) long World War II, Fletcher Class Destroyer, USS Kidd. Aside from this old warship, the museum also offers a collection of model ships, a restored World War II fighter jet, another fighter jet from the Vietnam War and other interesting exhibits.
If you are on vacation in Baton Rouge with your children then the Baton Rouge Nautical Center should features as a must-do attraction on your list.
San Francisco Plantation
The San Francisco Plantation is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River near the town of Garyville which can be accessed via a forty minute drive from downtown Baton Rouge. The San Francisco Plantation is an authentic, restored grand house that dates back to the pre-industrial Plantation era. The galleried house, which was built in 1856 by Edmond Bozonier Marmillion in a style that is known as the Creole open-suite style, offers numerous attractions and one of the best collections of antiques in the USA. Tours of the grand house are offered by costumed guides. Other similar plantation homes, which are open for public viewing in the area include properties like Oak Alley, Madewood, Tezuco, Nottoway and Laura. So if you enjoy visiting old, historic, you are going to be in heaven on your Baton Rouge vacation.
Louisiana Art and Science Museum
Yet another interesting Baton Rouge attraction for families on vacation with children in Baton Rouge is the Louisiana Art and Science Museum, which is housed in an ancient railroad depot and offers a collection that features fine art exhibitions, interactive art and science galleries and a stimulated space station. Other attractions on site include the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium and ExxonMobil Space Theatre.
Best time to visit Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge generally experiences a year round warm and wet climate which is characterized by high temperature and humidity. The average year round temperature in Baton Rouge is 67.5°F (20°C) though average temperatures in the summer months often register 81.3°F (27°C). The city also experiences a hurricane season that extends from June to November. It is generally believed that the best time to visit Baton Rouge is between the months of February and April for spring in Baton Rouge is a glorious time that features by warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights.
Getting around in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge is served by its Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport that is located in the northern part of the city near the Southern University. The Baton Rouge airport welcomes nearly all the major US domestic carriers. This makes getting to Baton Rouge from other parts of the US infinitely easy. In fact Fare Buzz often announces attractive flight deals for Baton Rouge from several US cities so if you are currently looking for cheap air tickets for a Baton Rouge vacation you would do well as to contact Fare Buzz at 1.888.808.4123 with your requirements for cheap air flights to Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge is served by a public transport system which is made up of a public bus network and the Capitol Park Trolley that provides free service in the downtown area of the city. However the best way to explore Baton Rouge and its environs is to rent a car and drive around. Fare Buzz can be of assistance if you need to rent a car for your Baton Rouge vacation for our portfolio of travel deals includes affordable car rentals for Baton Rouge and various other cities. Further these car rentals can be booked at the same time that you make your other travel bookings for your Baton Rouge vacation.
Where to shop in Baton Rouge
Baton Rougeans have a passion of shopping and to cater to their myriad shopping needs the city is littered with huge malls, shopping centers and entire districts devoted to shopping.
If you enjoy the comprehensive shopping experience that a mall provides, then you are in luck in Baton Rouge, for city is littered with several malls like the Mall at Cortana which offers dozens of great stores along with anchor tenants like Macy’s and JC Penney. Also worth a visit is the Mall of Louisiana, an immensely popular shopping destination that offers a wide selection of stores like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Bath and Body Works, Pottery Barn along with anchor tenants Dillard’s, Macy’s and JC Penney. Similar shopping experiences can be had at locales like the Bon Carre Mall and Baton Rouge’s upscale open-air malls, the Town Center at Cedar Lodge and Perkins Rowe.
Baton Rouge also offers outlet shopping at the Tanger Factory Outlet Center, located in the nearby town of Gonzales that hosts hundreds of stores offering fashions and other products from seasons past.
Other recommended shopping destinations in Baton Rouge include the Baton Rouge Arts Market, an outdoor market that offers locally made arts and crafts sourced from all over the south and Cajun Village, a shopping enclave located in Sorrento on the outskirts of Baton Rouge.
Where to eat in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge hosts quite a varied dining scene that aims to cater to all budgets and wallets. Traditional American eats, southern/soul food, Cajun food, fresh seafood and even Asian cuisines are offered at the many excellent Baton Rouge restaurants. Popular and well ranked eateries in Baton Rouge currently include spots like the Chimes (southern/soul food), Texas de Brazil (Brazilian steakhouse), Parrain’s Seafood (southern/soul food), Ichiban Sushi and Japanese, Fleur de lis Pizza, Louie’s Café (burgers), Chelsea’s Café (New American) and Zea Rotisserie and Grill.
Nightlife in Baton Rouge
Bars, dance clubs, pool halls, live music venues populate Baton Rouge’s nightlife landscape though a majority of these hot spots are concentrated in the city’s downtown area and around the Louisiana State University campus. Popular nightlife haunts in Baton Rouge include joints like the Londoner (a British-themed pub), Port Royal-the Cove, the Bull Dog, Boudreaux And Thibodeaux, the Office, Reggie’s, the Roux (all dance clubs), and the Time Out Lounge.