night view of Mississippi River at Baton Rouge

Things to Do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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A guide for things to do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, including where to stay, eat, drink, and what to see and do.

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Louisiana’s capital city twice now and fell in love with it a little more each time. First, it was the cool downtown, with live concerts, people walking around with daiquiris, and the magnificent views of the Mighty Mississippi River. Then, it was exploring the Old State Capitol and seeing its gorgeous stained glass windows, eating the tasty cuisine, and drinking delicious craft beer. Here are things to do in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that I recommend. 

best things to do in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Attractions and Activities

The Capitol Park Museum is one of the most-visited attractions in Baton Rouge, with exhibits including pop culture, agriculture, Louisiana state musicians, and cajun culture, to name a few. You can learn a lot about what makes Louisiana so unique here, also a branch of the state museum. 

In the spring and fall, free concerts (Live After Five) are offered from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the downtown City Hall Plaza. Families and friends come out in droves to enjoy Baton Rouge’s parks, scenery, water attractions (kids love the splash pad at Repentance Park), and outdoor life. Feel free to roam around the city, enjoying the sights and sounds, with a cold flavored Spanky’s Daiquiris to-go cup. I recommend the Pineapple Painkiller and Bushwhackers. Be on the lookout for great street art and murals while you wander the downtown area. 

capitol park museum Louisiana exhibits

You can’t come to Baton Rouge without seeing the home of the LSU Tigers (winner of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship) and Louisiana’s flagship university. Take a walking tour of Louisiana State University’s campus (LSU), see a game, or even say hello to Mike the Tiger, the official mascot and moniker of the LSU Tigers (live and costumed) since 1936.

Shoppers will love the Town Center at Cedar Lodge, with stores like Bath Junkie, J. Jill, Don Juan Cigar Company, and Soft Surroundings. If you’ve never been to a Bath Junkie store before, it is great fun. You can design your own fragrance for your bath and body products. 

Anderson campbell tiger walk LSU

The Louisiana State Capitol

Also in Baton Rouge is the Old Louisiana State Capitol. The Gothic castle features amazing stained-glass windows, has extraordinary historical exhibits, and is a National Historic Landmark. The Spiral Staircase is made of cast iron and has 32 steps. The magnificent stained-glass dome (the most photographed element of the Capitol) consists of 2,054 glass panes. Admission is free to this treasure, open Tuesday through Saturday. 

old Louisiana state capitol stained glass
stained glass dome old LA state capitol

The seat of today’s government is at the Louisiana State Capitol, a 34-story limestone skyscraper. Louisiana’s Capitol features art-deco elements, making it a tad bit different than other state capitols. The landscaped grounds are immaculate and the whole setting is gorgeous.

Tip: If you are like me, you like checking off state capitols from your travels. Louisiana’s is super easy to get to for just that.

Baton Rouge old and new state capitols

A Phenomenal Day Trip

The Houmas House Plantation is the best thing/attraction/historical venue I’ve seen in the state of Louisiana. It’s well worth the 30 minute drive from Baton Rouge to get there. 

sunset at houmas house

This grand antebellum estate (a sugarcane plantation of the 1800s) is jaw-dropping. From the impeccable gardens to the sculptures and antiques, this is one house tour you won’t ever forget. Houmas House is the jewel of the River Road, offering lodging, pristine gardens and grounds, and a variety of restaurants. For me, the gardens, fountains, and artwork were like therapy for my soul. This is a treasure that I’d visit again and again.

Fun Fact: Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Green Book, The Bachelor, and Wheel of Fortune have filmed at the Houmas House.

Houmas House museum exhibits and decor

Places to Eat and Drink

Christina’s is a no-frills favorite eatery in downtown Baton Rouge with amazing breakfast dishes all day and delicious homemade biscuits. My favorite dish is the Shrimp & Cream Cheese Omelet, with a luscious cream cheese sauce, savory sautéed shrimp, and fresh sliced green onions. 

shrimp omelet Christinas in Baton Rouge

Capital City Grill will satisfy your palate with a selection of flavorful salads, gourmet burgers, and a noteworthy happy hour. The location can’t be beat, plus there is outdoor seating to take advantage of the river views. 

You’ll find a decadent Italian dinner at the Little Village Restaurant. Start with the Village Bread with red sauce. Huge, billowy puffs of bread, swimming in garlic and a buttery glaze will whet your appetite, plus go hand-in-hand with a nice glass of wine. The Shrimp and Lobster Cream pasta dinner is a winning choice for a flavorsome Italian meal. 

garlic bread from little village restaurant

Be sure to pop into District Donuts for cold brew, sliders, and craft donuts. Everything is scratch-made, including the sprinkles. Or, try something original like a bonut (a hybrid of a biscuit and donut) from Batch 13. Specializing in biscuits (a Southern staple) and breakfast bowls, Batch 13 is a vibrant restaurant that cannot be missed.  

batch 13 breakfast and bonuts

You’ll find a dozen or so craft breweries in Baton Rouge, one being Rally Cap Brewing. This is a fun place to hang out in a baseball-themed setting and enjoy a cold IPA or stout. My favorite is the Failed T-Shirt Company, an oatmeal stout.

rally cap brewing

Other Points of Interest

Downtown Baton Rouge has some fabulous architecture, restaurants, churches, and street art to be admired. You’ll also find eight art galleries, five concert venues, and eleven public greens-spaces.

A fun free thing to do in Baton Rouge is to stroll along the riverfront by the Riverfront Plaza and USS Kidd war museum. The area is gorgeous of the day or night, with the stately Horace Wilkinson Bridge over the Mississippi River in the background. 

Baton Rouge downtown points of interest
night view of Mississippi River at Baton Rouge

Where to Stay in Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

My top pick for where to stay in Baton Rouge is the L’Auberge Casino and Hotel. Besides hotel rooms in a variety of prices, size, and amenities, L’Auberge has 74,000 square feet of non-smoking gambling space (and a small gambling terrace for smokers) with 50 table games on the casino floor. It is the premier hotel in Baton Rouge and has several fantastic restaurants.

l'auberge casino Baton Rouge

Another great choice is the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, offering 291 rooms and a gorgeous pool deck overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. The conveniently located hotel also offers complimentary airport shuttles and an onsite restaurant and bar in downtown Baton Rouge. 

lobby at hilton Baton Rouge downtown
Hilton downtown Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge: A Southern City To Check Out

With a wide array of cultural opportunities, historical attractions, and Southern charm, Baton Rouge is a place you’ll love visiting. Hopefully this list of things to see and do in Baton Rouge will help guide your visit to make the most of it. 

hilton Baton Rouge downtown
capital park museum special event
old Louisiana state capitol
restaurants Baton Rouge l'auberge casino
restaurants Baton Rouge l'auberge casino gaming floor
lsu tiger stadium Baton Rouge
downtown Baton Rouge church
restaurant Baton Rouge l'auberge casino

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Baton Rouge Louisiana things to do and see
fun things to do in Baton Rouge la
things to do in Baton Rouge

Read more about Louisiana in these posts:

Extraordinary Things in Lake Charles

13 Things for a New Orleans Bucket List

Eating My Way Through Shreveport/Bossier City

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