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Baton Rouge

Discover the essence of the Pelican State in its capital city

Louisiana does everything with a distinctive flair, and its capital is no different. From swamp tours to spectacular capital buildings to out-of-this-world spicy Cajun cuisine, a visit to Baton Rouge is Louisiana in a nutshell. Prepare to have your world—and your taste buds—rocked to a zydeco beat.


Old State Capitol

Commanding pride of place on a lofty bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, there’s no shortage of story value attached to Louisiana’s rather anachronistic Old State Capitol building. Resembling a 15th-century Gothic cathedral, the former statehouse occupies the spot that historians claim marked the red cypress tree or “le baton rouge,” (red stick) believed by 17th-century French explorers to mark the boundary between Houma and Bayou Goula tribal hunting grounds.

Designed by architect James H. Dakin, the structure is lauded as one of the nation’s finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. It’s certainly Baton Rouge’s most striking architectural statement. Writer Mark Twain, however, was not such a fan and referred to the building as “pathetic.”

In 1994, the Old State Capitol was reinvented as the Museum of Political History. Featured prominently is Huey Long, the outspoken, populist governor and senator whose ambitions for the White House were snuffed out by an assassin’s bullet in 1935. The museum’s permanent multimedia exhibits, including the popular “Ghost of the Castle” show, present the seminal moments in Louisiana’s history, while temporary exhibitions explore the state’s rich cultural tapestry.


Maggie Bowles

Taste of Louisiana

Few states tease the taste buds and taunt the waistline quite like Louisiana. With complex native dishes based on Cajun and Creole traditions and heavily influenced by the cuisines of Portugal, Spain and Africa, it’s not surprising that dining out is one of Baton Rouge’s most decadent pleasures. For an epicurean experience without a whiff of pretension, Beausoleil Restaurant and Bar serves gourmet cuisine in a friendly, no-frills bistro setting.

Comfort food takes on a whole new meaning at Bistro Byronz, which marries French café panache with a sultry New Orleans vibe. From Turkey Merci (turkey sandwich doused with gravy and served with sweet potatoes), to Tilapia Almondine, (almond-encrusted tilapia served over a risotto cake) and king cake bread pudding (served during Mardi Gras), Bistro Byronz executes its inspired menu with consistency and flair.

One of Baton Rouge’s most popular restaurants, Louisiana Lagniappe, adds a refined spin to traditional Cajun/Creole classics. Food lovers from across the Pelican State enjoy the restaurant’s take on Gulf seafood, from blackened shimp to crab cakes, or the house special, Oysters Lagniappe (fresh Gulf oysters baked in the shell with signature Lagniappe stuffing and jumbo lump crabmeat). It’s a delight for the taste buds.

Shaw Center for the Arts

Unveiled in 2005, the Shaw Center for the Arts is Baton Rouge’s premier cultural attraction. Covering an entire city block within the heart of downtown and overlooking the Mississippi River, the stellar multiuse museum provides a showcase for the state’s visual and performance arts. It’s home to the LSU Museum of Art, the Glassell Gallery and the Manship Theatre.

For More Information

Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitors Bureau




Louisiana Office of Tourism