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.
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.
If You Go
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.
My visit to the Capitol Park Museum was arranged by Visit Baton Rouge and Louisiana Travel.