Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, USA. Located on the east bank of the mighty Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is Louisiana's second largest city, home of Louisiana State University, major port facilities, and a variety of attractions.
The name of Louisiana's oldest city was given over 300 years ago when on 17 March 1699, Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, led an expedition along the Mississippi River. The early French explorers found a pole stained with blood of fish and animals that served as the dividing line between the Bayougoula and Houmas Indians. It is from this "red stick" that Iberville christened our city "le Baton Rouge", French for "red stick".
The small town here was selected as the new capital of state of Louisiana in 1817, and it's been growing since. The capital was returned to New Orleans for a while during and after the troubles of the American Civil War, but it's been back here since 1882.
Baton Rouge has a semi-tropical climate, perfect for outdoor activities.
The weather is consistently warm from May to September. Be warned that, like the rest of the Southern United States during the summer, it can become down-right miserable, with sustained temperatures in the 90s (°F) with 100% humidity. Proper medical precautions should be taken if planning on partaking in outdoor activities, such as ample amounts of sunscreen and hydration. Also, there are many days throughout July that are classified as "ozone days," which are days on which the level of ground-level ozone is severe, causing health problems in sensitive individuals. This should be put into consideration before planning outdoor activities throughout the summer months.
Winter is usually mild and short-lived. Spring is glorious with cool nights and warm, sunny days. A light jacket is all that is needed. Fall is mild and only a light sweater is needed in the evenings.
Precipitation is reasonably well-distributed and ample throughout the year with an average annual precipitation of 55 in (140 cm)
- Average summer temperature: 81.3°F (27°C)
- Average winter temperature: 52.5°F (11°C)
- Average annual temperature: 67.5°F (20°C)
Baton Rouge, like many cities in the Gulf States, has what is known as 5 seasons. The 5th season, being hurricane season. The time of year between June 1 and November 30 when hurricane are most likely to form.
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (IATA: BTR), located in north Baton Rouge, near Southern University. American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines offer non-stop service to their respective hubs in the Southern United States.
While there is no train station in Baton Rouge, connecting bus service can be booked with a train connecting in New Orleans or Hammond. .
From New Orleans, Baton Rouge is an 80-mi (129 km) northwest drive on I-10, which drives into the heart of downtown. The distance between the two Louisiana cities is an easy 90-min drive if you avoid weekday rush hours; if you catch the traffic of commuter rush hours at either end it can take a lot longer.
If you're driving in from anywhere east of Louisiana, come into Baton Rouge via I-12, which will take you north of Lake Ponchartrain and bypasses New Orleans. From the west, I-10 connects Lafayette, Houston, and Los Angeles with Baton Rouge. From the east, I-10 connects Baton Rouge with Mobile, Pensacola, and Jacksonville. If you're coming from Chicago, St. Louis, or Memphis follow I-55 South and merge onto I-12 West and continue driving for roughly 45 mi (72 km).
- Greyhound. Service from Houston, New Orleans, Shreveport, and points in between. The bus station is at 1253 Florida Boulevard, at 13th Street.
- Megabus. Service to Baton Rouge from Houston and New Orleans. The bus stop is located at the northeast corner of Convention Street and North 22nd Street, on the back side of the CATS Terminal.
- Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Rd, ☎ +1 225 775-3877, fax: +1 225 775-3931, e-mail: email@example.com. M. Enjoy the Otter Pond, L'aquarium de Louisiane, Parrot Paradise, the Cypress Bayou Railroad, the Safari Playground & KidsZoo petting zoo!
- Louisiana State Capitol, State Capitol Dr, ☎ +1 225 342-7317. Louisiana's new state capitol building dominates the city's skyline. It's an impressive Art Deco style skyscraper, built as part of the grand vision of Louisiana's colorful political boss of the 1920s and 1930s, Huey P. Long, who met his end by assassination in its halls.
- Capitol Park Museum, 660 N. 4th St., ☎ +1 225 342-5428. Near the State Capitol this museum features two floors of exhibits related to Louisiana culture, with such curiosities as Louis Armstrong's first bugle, Huey P. Long's tombstone, and a Civil War Confederate submarine with hand-cranked propeller.
- Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St, ☎ +1 225 346-5001. Onsight dining includes Tsunamis, Capitol City Grill, PJ's Coffee, and Stroubes. The center also features The LSU Museum of Art's rotating exhibitions, rotating events from the Manship Theatre, and the LSU School of Art Flassell Gallery
- Old State Capitol, 100 North Blvd, ☎ +1 225 342-0500. Tu-Sa 9AM-4PM. This 19th century castle formerly serving as the State Capitol before Gov. Huey P. Long built the new skyscraper is now a museum.
- LSU (Exit Dalrymple on I-10). LSU is a Tier 1 ranked university, and the flagship university for Louisiana. Aside from its academic excellence, the LSU campus in Baton Rouge is over a century old, and a historic delight for visitors. The campus is lush and green, with oaks that are as old as the campus itself. Historical Highland Road runs down a section of LSU, making the campus an easy visit for any tourist. Must sees include Tiger Stadium, the Indian Mounds, the Quad, the outdoor Greek Amphitheater, and the acres of beautiful, pedestrian friendly grounds. Food is available on campus at the Student Union for visitors, or you can eat at The Chimes, which is on Chimes Street running parallel to the LSU campus. edit
- Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, 10503 N. Oak Hills Parkway, ☎ +1 225 757-8905. Featuring wildlife and ecology exhibits, a 65-acre cypress-tupelo swamp, navigable by boardwalk filled with wildlife such as birds, bobcats, foxes, turtles and alligators.
- Swine Palace Productions. Located in LSU's "theater-in-the-round" Reilly Theatre, originally a livestock-judging pavilion, Swine Palace are Baton Rouge's premier professional theater company.
- Shaw Center for the Arts. Located downtown, this is the city's newest major performing arts complex. It features the Manship Theatre and a rooftop sushi restaurant.
- Blue Bayou Water Park/Dixie Landin', 10 and Highland Rd. Located on the outskirts of town at the intersection of I-this is the largest amusement park in the area. The main attraction is the enormous waterslide "Conja".
- Red Stick Farmers Market, 501 Main St (Downtown Baton Rouge). 4. The Red Stick Farmers Market, operated by BREADA (Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance), is a producer only market with over 50 vendors that has been in operation for nearly ten years. Located on Fifth Street between Main and North Street Downtown Baton Rouge, the market is open on Saturday mornings from 8AM-noon in conjunction with The Main Street Market. Going to the Market is a great way to experience culture and goods from local vendors and farmers.
- Visit the LSU Lakes, LSU (Exit Dalrymple at I-10). The LSU Lakes are an attraction for residents in Baton Rouge. Composed of several lakes near LSU, they are open to the public for fishing. In addition, there are extensive running tracks that run next to the lakes for miles for walking, jogging, and running. You can easily mix and mingle with LSU college students, all of whom consider the LSU Lakes part of their home campus.
- Tour the USS Kid, 305 South River Rd (Downtown Baton Rouge). The USS Kid, a WWII era US Navy Destroyer, offers tours to locals and tourists alike. Visit the USS Kid while exploring downtown Baton Rouge. A real delight if you are a WWII or military enthusiast or if you have children.
- Tailgate during an LSU home game, LSU (Exit Dalrymple on I-10, go right to LSU), ☎ +1 225 635-6277. LSU has an incredible tailgating scene. It's not uncommon for 100,000+ people to be tailgating in and around LSU--Tiger Stadium has a seating capacity of over 102,000! You'll be amazed at the number and friendliness of the crowd. Plan on arriving hours before the game to be able to park within a reasonable distance (< 2 miles). And *always* feel free to ask for a burger or gumbo from fellow tail-gaters as it's tradition to be friendly and open with fellow fans.
- Sleep at The Myrtles Plantation, 7747 U S Hwy 61, St. Francisville, LA 70775, ☎ +1 225 635-6277. Sleep one night at The Myrtles. The Myrtles is haunted, and has been featured on national TV. It's an old and beautiful plantation that now serves as a restaurant and B&B/inn. For the most fun, book a room at The Myrtles for Halloween Night, when The Myrtles cuts electricity to the plantation and let's nature runs its course.
- Tin Roof Brewery Tour (Exit Nicholson at I-10), ☎ +1 225 377 7022. Fridays from 5PM to 7PM. Baton Rouge's only microbrewery. Excellent guided tours every Friday at 6PM with three free beer samples for those over 21. Definitely a must for any beer lover. Free.
- Mall of Louisiana, 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd. Large shopping mall in the south part of town, just off the Bluebonnett exit of I-10. Mall also includes nearby shopping centers, the AMC Movie Theater, and many restaurants.
- Perkins Rowe. A new mixed-use development at the corner of Perkins Road and Bluebonnet Blvd. Has many retail shops, restaurants, and Cinemark Movie Theater
- Anthony's Italian Deli, 10248 Florida Blvd (Driving west on Florida Blvd from down town it is in a small store front area on the left after Oak Villa. Look for the Italian flag sign.), ☎ +1 225-272-6817, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9:30AM-6PM Monday through Saturday. This is a great place to go for good deli food and classic Italian dishes like spaghetti and meat balls and great muffuletta. Eat at the deli and enjoy the atmosphere and the personalities. $8 - $13.
- Chelseas. Under the Perkins Road Overpass.
- The Chimes. An LSU staple for generations, at the North Gates of campus on Highland. Predominantly frequented by students and faculty, The Chimes serves a mix of standards with Louisiana Cajun/Creole fare, and has one of the best beer selections in town.
- Fleur de Lis, 5655 Government St, ☎ +1 225 924-2904. Tu-Sa 10AM-10PM. Baton Rouge's other half-century old pizza parlor, originally a gas station on the outskirts of town, the Fleur de Lis is a family restaurant with a dedicated old Baton Rouge clientele. Cash or check only.
- George's, Perkins Road (just south of the Overpass).
- Rock n Sake, Perkins Rd (near the overpass). Sushi restaurant and bar; fun hip place with an awesome bar and fantastic food.
- India's Restaurant, 5230 Essen Ln. Southern part of the city, convenient just west of the Essen Ln. I-10 exit, +1 225 769-0600. Good, reasonably priced Indian food; buffet or menu.
- Louie's. open 24/7. A traditional diner right at LSU's North Gate.
- Parrain's. Although it is only a recent entry to the Baton Rouge eatery scene, Parrain's has already established itself as one of the best places to experience traditional Louisiana cuisine, most notably its fried seafood.
- The Pastime. A half-century old pizza parlor and bar serving easily the best pizza in the city. Also the home of "Boudin Pizza", a unique South Louisiana concoction representing the collision of Acadian and Italian cultures.
- Piccadilly Restaurants. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, the Piccadilly chain has been serving traditional, home-style meals since 1944 at affordable prices. Southern favorites include: Fried Chicken, Crawfish Etouffee, Carrot Souffle and Pecan Pie. Meals include entree, two sides and bread. $5-10.
- Raising Cane's, 14929 Market St, ☎ +1 225 408-1658. Home-grown chain of fast-food restaurants that serve only chicken finger meals, and have proven so adept at doing it that they have successfully expanded to other markets in the Gulf Coast region. Side items available include crinkle-cut fries, Texas Toast, cole slaw, and the mysterious-yet-addictive special dipping sauce.
- Sporting News Grill, 4848 Constitution Ave, ☎ +1 225 636-5347. Sporting News Grill's casual upscale atmosphere encourages everyone to relax and have a great time while catching sports action on high definition flat screen TVs placed strategically throughout the restaurant.
- TJ Ribs, 2324 S Acadian Thrwy, ☎ +1 225 383-7427. M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-10PM. The de facto standard for barbecue by which all other local BBQ restaurants are judged. Famous for pork and beef ribs, but also accommodates diners with other eating habits. LSU legend Billy Cannon's Heisman Trophy is on display here, as he exchanged it for lifetime eating privileges. $10-15.
- Tsunami. A sushi restaurant perched high above the city on the roof of the Shaw Center. The establishment has one of the best views in the entire city.
- Zeeland Street Market. Located in the Garden District just north of the LSU Campus, it is one of the best places in town to get soul food. Locally famous for their delicious heaping plate lunches,Z eeland Street Market is a favorite for college students with a hankering for a home cooked meal. The plate lunch menu rotates daily and all of the ingredients are fresh from local markets. Take special note that Zeeland's is only open for breakfast and lunch.
The Baton Rouge Metro Council recently outlawed many drink specials in establishments classified as bars, so if you're looking to save a buck, you should stick with drinking in restaurants. However, if you're looking for that bar atmosphere, there are several places to choose from. Baton Rouge's blue laws were repealed in October 2007, but restrictions on drink specials are still in effect.
- Port Royal, 2363 College Dr, ☎ +1 225 201-9900. The best pirate-themed bar (located next to a Waffle House) in all of Baton Rouge. A service industry hangout with an alt-rock leaning clientele.
- Chimes Restaurant and Oyster Bar (The OC), 3357 Highland Rd, ☎ +1 225 383-1754, fax: +1 225 387-5413. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-11PM. The largest selection of beer, both bottled and on tap, in the Capitol City area and maybe the entire state. They serve practically anything you can think of. Be sure to ask about "Drinking around the world". There are several reports of bottled beer being served past its prime, but anything on draft seems fine.
- The Chimes East, 10870 Coursey Blvd (between Airline Hwy and Sherwood Forest Blvd), ☎ +1 225 296-4981. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-11PM. A newer sister store of the Chimes Restaurant.
- Mellow Mushroom, 4250 Burbank Dr, ☎ +1 225 490-6355. A pizza place with a very funky, hippie-influenced decor.
- Churchill's, 7949 Jefferson Hwy Ste C, ☎ +1 225 927-4211. "Premium Cigars & Elixirs", also frequently has live music and tastings.
- Happy's Irish Pub, 136 Third St. A low-key downtown bar with an eclectic mix of college kids, professionals and everyone in between.
- Tigerland, Bob Pettit Blvd. A group of bars just south of LSU for those really into the college bar scene; with student favorites such as Freds, Tiger Bar, JL's Place, etc. This is also a place fraught with druken bar fights.
- Best Western Chateau Louisianne Suite Hotel, 710 N Lobdell Ave, ☎ +1 225 924-5000, toll-free: +1-800-256-6263, fax: +1 225-924-3074.
- DoubleTree Baton Rouge, 4964 Constitution Ave, ☎ +1 225-925-1005. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Offers 127 guest suites, complimentary WiFi, and delicious regional cuisine at the 4964 Restaurant. Rooms from $104.
- Comfort Suites University, 3045 Valley Creek Rd. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, 201 Lafayette St, ☎ +1 225 344-5866. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. The Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center is a historic building and hotel in downtown Baton Rouge. AAA 4-Diamond rated hotel, offering 290 guest rooms, complimentary airport shuttle, and an on-site Viking Cooking School. Rooms from $129.
- Quality Inn Bluebonnet Center, 9138 Bluebonnet Centre Blvd. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- TownePlace Suites Baton Rouge South, 8735 Summa Blvd, ☎ +1 225 819-2112, toll-free: +1-800-257-3000, fax: +1 225 819-2117.
- Residence Inn Baton Rouge Towne Center at Cedar Lodge, 7061 Commerce Circle, ☎ +1-225-925-9100.
- New Orleans
- Plantation houses along River Road between Baton Rouge and New Orleans
- St. Tammany Parish is east on I-12
|Routes through Baton Rouge|
|Lake Charles ← Lafayette ←||W E||→ LaPlace → New Orleans|
|END ←||W E||→ Jct N S → Covington → Slidell|
|Natchez ← St. Francisville ←||N S||→ LaPlace → New Orleans|
|Opelousas ← Krotz Springs ←||W E||→ Jct N S → Covington → Slidell|