The city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the capital of the state and is also known for Louisiana State University as well as being home to some of the best examples of Cajun cuisine.
Nicknamed “The Red Stick,” they host Fete Rouge, a yearly celebration of all things food and wine. Having the Louisiana Culinary Institute there also brings in some top name chefs.
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What to Do
LSU Museum of Art– This art museum has a permanent collection of early American art, Chinese jade, and contemporary work as well as the traveling exhibits. 100 Lafayette Street
Rural Life Museum– This museum helps visitors understand the importance of farm life to the culture of the south as well as for Louisiana. They have recreated cabins and other important plantation buildings. The museum is also the site of festivals and events. 4560 Essen Lane
Louisiana Art & Science Museum– Located on the Mississippi River, younger visitors will love this museum with its planetarium, exhibits on ancient Egypt and local works of art. 100 River Road South
Baton Rouge Food Tours– The “C’est Si Bon” tour takes you to a handful of the city’s best restaurants for tastes of their menus and interweaves it with history of Baton Rouge.
Tin Roof Brewing– The craft beer trend has reached Baton Rouge, with their local brews sold on draft and in cans. The selections include a blonde, amber and pale ale, as well as seasonal offerings. You can visit the brewery on Fridays for only $5, which includes a souvenir glass and 3 samples. 1624 Wyoming Street
Old Governor’s Mansion– This home for Louisiana’s leaders was modeled after, what else, the White House. It served as the official residence from 1929 to 1963 when a new mansion was built. 502 North Boulevard
Louisiana Old State Capitol– The stunning Gothic building saw over 100 years of scandal and change but became a museum in 1994. Visitors can learn about the history of the building and the people who worked there. Enjoy the Disney-style interactive video narrated by the castle’s ghost. 100 North Boulevard
Capitol Park Museum– As a part of the Louisiana State Museums system, the Capitol Park Museum is the best in Baton Rouge, with exhibits on each of the state’s regions and information on its history, cuisines, music, festivals and much more. 660 North Fourth Street
Baton Rouge is also home to many former plantations that you can visit, including Nottoway Plantation & Resort and Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.
Where to Eat
Tony’s Seafood Market & Deli– As the largest seafood market in the state, Tony’s sells everything you could want, from fresh shrimp, crawfish and crabs to live catfish and boudin balls. They also make the top-selling fish fry batter in the country. 5215 Plank Road, (225) 357-9669
Doe’s Eat Place– This chain started in nearby Mississippi but this location is uniquely Baton Rouge. They are LSU fans to the core, dedicating an entire room to purple and gold. They also serve steaks the size of your head and proudly showcase local brewer Tin Roof. 3723 Government Street, (225) 387-5331
Louie’s Cafe– This 24-hour diner is a favorite of LSU students who come by to nurse their hangovers. The Cajun hashbrowns and biscuits (while they last) are well worth an order. You’ll still find Louie himself behind the counter cooking orders. 206 West State Street, (225) 346-8221
Poor Boy Lloyd’s– You can get your po boy fix here where the specialty is roast beef sandwiches with “debris,” the juices that come from the meat poured over your sandwich. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and for dinner live music on Friday nights. 201 Florida Street, (225) 387-2271
Restaurant IPO– This restaurant combines Southern classics with twists from around the world. The lunch menu changes weekly and for dinner, you might find fried catfish or Asian-inspired slaw. The cocktails aren’t bad either. 421 Third Street, (225) 302-5541
The Overpass Merchant– Don’t miss the weekly half-priced burgers and wine at this restaurant that lies east of LSU under a highway overpass. The $9.99 lunch special is also a hit with the working crowd. 2904 Perkins Road, (225) 508-4737
Tiger Deaux-nuts– Start your day with breakfast sandwiches made of doughnuts and boudin or opt for one of their signature creations. The Mid-City establishment has local coffee as well. 5162 Government Street, (225) 421-1091
White Star Market– This food hall has a little bit of everything, from sushi to pizza to coffee. But our personal favorite is Gov’t Taco, which crafts funky styles like their carrot taco. 4624 Government Street, (225) 224-8092
Where to Stay
Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown– This outpost has the brand’s signature boutique design with local touches like its in-house restaurant and Louisiana artwork. It’s also within walking distance of downtown attractions.
Watermark Baton Rouge– The newest addition to the city’s hotel portfolio is this stylish boutique hotel in the former bank headquarters. It’s a member of the Autograph Collection, meaning you can earn Marriott points for your stay.
L’Auberge Casino– You don’t have to be a gambler to appreciate the luxurious casino hotel. They’re a hub for dining, shopping, and live entertainment.
Airbnb– Groups can stay in one of the city’s lesser-known neighborhoods.
I was a guest of Visit Baton Rouge and Louisiana Tourism, but all opinions are my own.