Start in Baton Rouge and enjoy…
A. History and Culture
Learn about the state’s political history at the Old State Capitol downtown to learn all about the legendary Huey P. Long. You won’t want to miss their brand-new exhibit on Sarah Morgan, the Capitol’s ghost-in-residence! While you’re downtown, head to the levees and check out the Mighty Mississippi River before heading over to the Old Governor’s Mansion.
You’ll also want to check out the Louisiana State Museum on 4th Street to learn about the rich history and culture of The Pelican State. Or, you could visit the Rural Life Museum to catch a glimpse of the folk architecture, tools, utensils and farming equipment of the diverse cultures that settled and farmed preindustrial Louisiana.
B. Cajun Cuisine
Enjoy Janice’s delicious hot breakfast at The Stockade Bed and Breakfast, along with a piping hot mug of Louisiana’s own Community Coffee. For mid-morning mimosas, head down Highland Road to The Chimes, which also offers a great selection of beers from around the world. While you’re by The Chimes, hop on over to LSU’s gorgeous campus and go for a walk under the stately oaks.
Parrain’s Seafood is a great place to grab lunch. It offers Cajun and Creole dishes in Baton Rouge’s diverse mid-city district. Parrain’s exclusively serves Gulf Coast seafood and boasts an appealing hometown atmosphere. After lunch, explore mid-city’s wide selection of shops, including the eclectic locally-owned Cottonwood Books or the unique art and architectural salvage shop Circa 1857.
For dinner, enjoy Creole specialties at the upscale Mansurs on the Boulevard, which offers fantastic service and is known for its divine Cream of Brie and Crabmeat Soup. Another great dinner option is Juban’s, home of the beautiful (and delicious) Hallelujah Crab.
C. Wildlife and Outdoors
For the nature lover, a trip through Baton Rouge wouldn’t be complete without stopping at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, a 103-acre facility that features live animal exhibits, artifact and mineral displays, and a wide selection of walking trails. Birders can view seasonal and year-round species.
Next, head to LSU’s campus to pay a visit to Mike the Tiger, a live Bengal tiger who serves as the official mascot for Louisiana’s flagship university. Louisiana State University is one of only two universities in America to feature a live tiger mascot. And Mike’s $3 million, 15,000 square-foot habitat ranks among the largest and best tiger habitats in the country!
Then head to…
On your way from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, you won’t want to miss the one-of-a-kind Laura Plantation, a Creole sugar plantation built in 1805. We also recommend a stop at Oak Alley Plantation or Houmas House.
In New Orleans, start with breakfast (or brunch) at Camelia Grill on Carrollton Avenue, a small diner famous for its giant omelets and entertaining counter service.
Looking for great shopping? Magazine Street offers six miles of specialty boutiques, antiques, galleries, and more so that you can shop til you drop!
Art lovers will enjoy the Frenchmen Art Market, open on Thursday through Sunday in the evenings. It features handmade goods from the region’s finest artists and craftspeople. Frenchmen Street is also the perfect spot to hear live music; there are several fantastic jazz clubs to choose from! The Spotted Cat features local musicians du jour and the ever popular Snug Harbor is true to its name with a cozy intimate venue. Street performers and musicians add to the revelry.