Baton Rouge – Louisiana’s capital – is the perfect place to learn all about the state’s culture and history.
From fine arts to carefully preserved monuments, Baton Rouge is full of fascinating cultural attractions. When hunger strikes, you’ll discover a wide range of restaurants and dining choices here, from down-to-earth cafés to elegant dining, including plenty of classic Cajun cooking.
Capitol Park Museum
Begin your day at the enormous and modern Capitol Park Museum, right across the park from the Capitol building and set on the Mississippi River. On the ground floor, learn about Louisiana’s rich history through videos, audio re-enactments and historic artifacts. The upstairs is dedicated to current Louisiana culture, featuring vibrant Mardi Gras displays.
Shaw Center for the Arts
Just 10 minutes from Capitol Park, the Shaw Center for the Arts is a multi-use arts complex in downtown Baton Rouge that is a fantastic place to see art exhibits and to watch music, dance and theater performances. Browse the LSU Museum of Art on the fifth floor, which houses about 3,500 historical and contemporary art pieces, then head to Tsunami Sushi, on the top floor of the complex, with great views of the Mississippi – it’s the perfect place for a drink before or after a show.
Magnolia Mound Plantation
Built in 1791, Magnolia Mound Plantation was once a 200-person, 364-hectare operation that stretched all the way to the banks of the Mississippi River. Visit the French Creole main house, with beautiful period furniture and historical artifacts both of local origin and from France, where the plantation owner had family. See the slave quarters with their spare furnishings and the open-hearth kitchen. Visit the nearby campus of Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge with its beautiful, stately buildings and calming natural surroundings.
Local Destination: Mid-City
To get a feel for Baton Rouge’s arts and culture vibe, venture to the revitalized area of Mid-City. Government Street runs through the heart of the neighborhood and is lined with hip art galleries, funky record stores, innovative "food hall" dining concepts and vintage clothing boutiques.
Great Dining in Baton Rouge
Everywhere you go in Louisiana, you’ll find that people here love their food, and that holds especially true for Baton Rouge. Most notably, this friendly city is an outstanding place to experience authentic Cajun cooking, fresh local seafood and craft beer.
Fresh Fish and Boudin at Tony's Seafood Market
Offering both raw and boiled seafood, Tony's Seafood Market is the largest of its kind in the southern Gulf region. As a matter of fact, it’s known for once selling more than 21,000 kilos of crawfish in a single day. If you want your seafood already prepared Cajun-style, try the delicious over-the-counter lunch plates such as seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffée or stuffed crabs. Taste boudin, a well-known Cajun sausage dish that’s a blend of pork, onion and spices.
Local Favorite: The Chimes Restaurant and Tap Room
The Chimes is a Baton Rouge dining tradition located near the north gates of Louisiana State University. The beloved eatery serves up the Cajun and creole classics expected in southern Louisiana, as well as more than 60 ice cold beers on draft from around the world.
Oysters Any Way You Like Them: Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar
Head to Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, a local gathering spot offering more than 50 types of oysters from all over the country, served roasted, grilled or raw and with a selection of toppings.
Tour the Craft Brewery and Local Distillery Scene
Baton Rouge has welcome a wave of local breweries and distilleries crafting concoctions in the capital city. Join locals in the tap rooms and tasting rooms for happy hours after work and on weekends, and enjoy tours to discover more about each establishment's unique process. Cane Land Distilling’s tour follows the journey of its rum from sugar mills to distillery to your rocks glass, while Tin Roof Brewing showcases how its favorite beers like the Bayou Bengal and Juke Joint IPA are crafted.