The Louisiana State Museum system has nine museums throughout the state, but the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge is the crown jewel. It’s the ideal place to start your trip before exploring Louisiana further, as it features exhibits on the most notable towns, types of food, music, and festivals.
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Exhibits at the Capitol Park Museum
Start upstairs with “Experiencing Louisiana: Discovering the Soul of America,” the section that highlights each region of Louisiana, from Acadia’s zydeco legacy to the North’s folk art and Creole cuisine to the Southeast’s jazz funerals, voodoo, and tailgating to the Mississippi’s seafood trade and ecology.
The second exhibit, “Grounds for Greatness: Louisiana and the Nation,” focuses on notable Louisianians like Huey Long and Louis Armstrong. Some of the most interesting artifacts are the funeral wagon of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, a full-sized shrimp boat, a Lucky Dogs stand, a voodoo altar and the holiday lights from Natchitoches.
Tips for Visiting the Capitol Park Museum
The Capitol Park Museum is located at 660 North Fourth Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. Entry is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, students and military with ID and free for children under 12 and school groups.
Get 10% off with your AAA card. It’s a short walk between the Old Governor’s Mansion and State Capitol Welcome Center, which has its own parking deck. There is also some street parking nearby.
Where to Eat Near the Capitol Park Museum
The Capitol Park Museum is close to a number of restaurants for when you get hungry after your visit. Batch 13 is a few blocks away and has all-day breakfast. They’re known for their bonuts (biscuit donuts), traditional biscuits, sandwiches, and bowls.
Cocha is another option and has a menu of globally-inspired dishes like a beet and burrata salad, a Cuban sandwich, and Indonesian stir fried noodles.
Where to Stay Near the Capitol Park Museum
Downtown Baton Rouge has many hotels to choose from, but the Hampton Inn & Suites Baton Rouge Downtown is the closest to the museum. It offers continental breakfast, free WiFi, and a fitness center onsite.
The Courtyard by Marriott Baton Rouge Downtown is another option, attached to the Shaw Center for the Arts, with free WiFi, parking, coffee makers, and a fitness center.
My visit to the Capitol Park Museum was arranged by Visit Baton Rouge and Louisiana Travel.