Located between New Orleans and Lafayette, La., on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, is the capital city of Baton Rouge.
Home to historic sites, attractions, outdoor activities and plenty of culinary goodness, the state's second-largest city offers something for everyone. And in true Louisiana-style, Baton Rouge has it share of stories and lore as well. Many of those relate back to one of its most famous (or infamous) citizen - former Governor and Senator Huey P. Long.
Whether it's a day trip or a weekend visit, check out these things to do and see.
Located in the heart of Baton Rouge, the LSU Rural Life Museum
may be Baton Rouge's - perhaps even Louisiana's - best-kept secret.
The outdoor museum highlights and preserves the rural life and culture of Louisiana and its citizens during the 18th and 19th century. Home to an extensive collection of tools, household utensils, furniture and farming devices, the museum also features around 32 buildings. These are highlighted in four areas: the Working Plantation, the Folk Architecture, the Gulf Coast Region, and the Exhibit Barn. View everything from a country church to a dogtrot house to what is said to be one of the oldest standing Acadian-style homes in the state and much more.
Oh, the stories Louisiana's Old State Capitol
could tell if only the walls could talk! But not all is lost. Instead of the walls inside the Gothic-style structure, a multi-media presentation called "Ghost of the Castle" retells the building's storied history as well as Mark Twain's opinion about the "castle-on-the-river."
Although the National Historic Landmark has been retired from its original role, the castle with its spiral staircase and stained-glass dome serves as the Museum of Political History. Don't forget to check out Huey Long exhibit.
From its music to its festivals to its food, everyone can agree that Louisiana is in a class by itself. The Capitol Park Museum, a Louisiana State Museum
, highlights the state's rich history and culture. Exhibits within the bi-level museum feature everything from industries that've shaped Louisiana to regional Mardi Gras krewes to various music sounds heard around the state and much more.
Louisiana is home to the tallest state capitol
building in the country. Commissioned by Governor Huey P. Long, the "new" state capitol was completed in 1932 and stands 450-feet high with 34 floors. Stop at the observation deck located on the 27th floor.
Long was assassinated inside the capitol in 1935 and is buried
on the grounds.
Food tours are a great (and fun) way to familiarize yourself with a city. On Baton Rouge Food Tours
' "C'est Si Bon" Food Tour not only do you get to sample dishes from six different restaurants on the guided walking tour but also learn more about downtown Baton Rouge itself.
falls within Baton Rouge's realm. It's here you can discover and explore such places as Nottoway Plantation
in White Castle, the largest remaining antebellum mansion in the South; and The Myrtles Plantation
in St. Francisville, said to be one of America's most haunted homes.
photo credit: personal collection (top) inside Louisiana's Old State Capitol, (second to the top) LSU Rural Life Museum, (third to the top) Louisiana's Old State Capitol interior, (middle) Capitol Park Museum, a Louisiana State Museum, (below middle) "New" State Capital, (second from bottom) Roast Beef Po Boy from Poor Boy Lloyd's Restaurant visited on the Baton Rouge Food Tour, (bottom) Nottoway Plantation