Baton Rouge, Louisiana boasts southern hospitality laced with French savoir faire and a dash of zesty Cajun fun. When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Baton Rouge opened its doors and displaced families from New Orleans poured into the city seeking shelter. The city rose to the challenge and the impact on Baton Rouge tourism has been minimal. The welcome mat is out for visitors. From art and alligators to the zoo and zydeco, there’s plenty to do in Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge is bayou country. Get close to life in the bayous. Acadian Swamp Tours and Alligator Bayou Swamp Tours offer entertaining and educational eco-tours that include a little history, biology, ecology and a lot of fun. Step back in Louisiana’s colorful history at the Louisiana State Museum, Louisiana State Capitol and Old Governor’s Mansion. Tour the USS Kidd World War II Fletcher class destroyer. Ride the rails on authentic steam train at Old Hickory Railroad. Get a taste of Mardi Gras through the years at the Iberville Museum. Go hands-on with interactive science and art exhibits at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. It is also the home of the new Irene W. Pennington Planetarium.
Give Lady Luck a whirl at the Belle of Baton Rouge, Casino Rouge or Argosy Casino. Get a chilling glimpse of life behind bars at the Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum in nearby Angola. Visit stately plantation homes along River Road and travel down the Mississippi River on a paddlewheel riverboat. When all the fun works up a mighty hunger, indulge in Cajun and Creole specialties like a Po-Boy sandwich piled high with crispy fried shrimp or oysters. Sample a bowl of steaming gumbo with a side serving of tender alligator. They say it’s better than chicken! Baton Rouge satisfies the appetite for food and fun.
Written by: Lynne Christen