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Best things to do in Baton Rouge

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Where in the world: USA  /  Louisiana  /  Baton Rouge

Top 15 things to do in Baton Rouge

1. Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie

Learn about the history of the 200 slaves who lived and worked at Oak Alley Plantation, from the construction of the plantation's mansion up until the time of emancipation. Discover the property's Big House, built in 1939, and watch historical interpreters reenact the life of the family who inhabited this antebellum home. Walk down the alley of 28 oak trees, for which the plantation is named. Explore the interactive Civil War Encampment and view the Slavery Exhibit, added in 2011, to gain a better understanding of the lives of slaves at this plantation. Finally, visit the new pecan trees planted to honor Antoine, an enslaved gardener who grafted the original "paper shell" pecan.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. State Capitol Welcome Center

The Louisiana State Capitol (French: Capitole de l'État de Louisiane) is the seat of government for the U.S. state of Louisiana and is located in downtown Baton Rouge. The capitol houses the chambers for the Louisiana State Legislature, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as the office of the Governor of Louisiana. At 450 feet (137 m) tall and with 34 stories, it is the tallest skyscraper in Baton Rouge, the seventh tallest building in Louisiana, and tallest capitol in the United States. It is located on a 27-acre (110,000 m2) tract, which includes the capitol gardens. The Louisiana State Capitol is often thought of as "Huey Long's monument" due to the influence of the former Governor and U.S. Senator in getting the capitol built. The building's construction was completed in 1931. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Houmas House and Gardens, Darrow

Visit Houmas House and Gardens for a glimpse into the history of the sugar trade and plantation life. Explore the home's 16 rooms, which are filled with artwork and period antiques from the estate's more than 200-year history. With 15.4 hectares (38 acres) filled with indigenous and exotic plants outside, the gardens make a good retreat amidst ponds and tree-lined avenues. From here, visit one of the restaurants and dine on traditional Louisiana dishes, such as rabbit and andouille gumbo. You may recognize the property, which has been used as a location in several films.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Laura: Louisiana's Creole Heritage Site, Vacherie

Your guide at Laura: Louisiana's Creole Heritage Site will bring stories of past generations to life, revealing the lives of the slaves and the people who owned them here in Louisiana Creole country. Learn about those who ruled the sugarcane plantation and those who worked here in bondage. The main house, built in 1805, is filled with family heirlooms and Creole craftsmanship. You'll see everything from the basement to the galleries and offices, as well as slave cabins and the sugarcane fields still there today. Though slavery was abolished in 1865, local and migrant sugarcane workers who were paid continued to live in the plantation's slave quarters until 1977.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Louisiana State University

The University of Louisiana System (UL System) is a public university system in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It enrolls more students than the other three public university systems in the state. Its headquarters are in the Claiborne Building in Baton Rouge.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. LSU Rural Life Museum

Discover the countryside culture of 18th- and 19th-century Louisiana at LSU Rural Life Museum, an outdoor museum on a plantation that functions as an agricultural research station. Through the barn's collection of artifacts, you'll see how influences from European and African settlers and Native Americans combined to create a rural culture. Head to the Louisiana folk architecture exhibit to see designs that imitate early settlers' construction styles. For the highlight of the attraction, explore the working plantation decorated with period furnishings. Learn about plantation life in the slave cabins, sick house, schoolhouse, forge, grist mill, and more.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Capitol Park Museum - Louisiana State Museum

With thematic exhibits on diverse aspects of Louisiana history, industry and culture, the museum includes two permanent exhibits: Grounds for Greatness: Louisiana and the Nation and Experiencing Louisiana: Discovering the Soul of America.

For more information on current events at Capitol Park Museum, visit the Louisiana State Museum Facebook page or online at LouisianaStateMuseum.org.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Mike the Tiger's Habitat

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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10. Whitney Plantation, Wallace

Experience the Old South at Whitney Plantation. Dating back to the early 18th century, the plantation started out as a small farm owned by a family of German immigrants. Take a guided walking tour of the restored French colonial manor, detached kitchen, slave quarters, and a Baptist church. Finally, check out Wall of Honor memorial. You'll leave having a richer perspective of the history of the entire area.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. USS Kidd

USS Kidd (DD-661), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died on the bridge of his flagship USS Arizona during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Kidd was the first US flag officer to die during World War II and the first American admiral ever to be killed in action. A National Historic Landmark, she is now a museum ship, berthed on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is the only surviving US destroyer still in her World War II configuration.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Red Stick Farmers Market

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Knock Knock Children's Museum

Knock Knock Children's Museum will make a positive difference for Louisiana's Capital Region by providing opportunities for young children (birth to age 8 years), their families and their caretakers to connect play with learning and education.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. North Boulevard Town Square

North Boulevard Town Square is a spectacular greenspace development that has transformed the disjointed area between North Boulevard and River Road into a lively downtown center where the city's cultural and civic attractions come together for all to enjoy. While this area was previously unusable with virtually no tree cover to protect visitors from the relentless Louisiana heat, it has now become the city's premier social gathering place — featuring more than an acre of open green space and innovative water features that help cool the landscape and a multitude of high-tech amenities to entertain visitors.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. The Old Governor's Mansion

The Old Governor's Mansion is fit for a politician, princess, and movie star. We housed nine governors, hosted a reception for the Miss USA contestants, and recently leased the Mansion to be used as scenes in the movie, Pitch Perfect 2. In addition, the Old Governor’s Mansion is a historic house museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an elegant venue for special events, and serves as the headquarters for Preserve Louisiana.

Contact us today about scheduling a group tour, or booking the venue for your special event!


"All of our guests were very impressed with your facility. It has been a pleasure working with you. You and your staff are to be commended on the professionalism you displayed throughout our planning process."

Davis family May 2012

"I just wanted to let you know that the Old Governor's mansion was the perfect venue for Lauren's wedding reception. Everything ran smoothly, thanks to Cammie's attention to every detail. I was able to enjoy myself and not worry about a thing. Cammie is amazing. I am thankful that the public has the opportunity to use that beautiful facility. It's a treasure to Baton Rouge."

Mrs. Lamonte (mother of the bride) November 2011

"Thank you so much for your assistance with the wedding and taking the time to work with us. The wedding was beautiful and having you as coordinator helped make the evening. My night was stress free because I knew you were handling all behind the scene details. You and the Governor's Mansion will always be recommended to family and friends with any future events and it was a pleasure meeting you and working on my daughter's wedding at this venue. Thanks again!"

Mrs. Lee (mother of the bride) November 2011
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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