Attend a Mardi Gras parade, watch a race at the speedway, and have your photo taken with a giant alligator. This is just a taste of what West Baton Rouge Parish has to offer. Located just minutes from Baton Rouge and an hour from New Orleans, West Baton Rouge is a fantastic place to experience the best of Southern Louisiana. Read on to discover some of the can’t-miss things to do in West Baton Rouge.
Mardi Gras is one of the best times to visit West Baton Rouge. It’s the season of king cakes, rich food, shiny beads, and celebratory parades. The Addis Volunteer Fire Department Mardi Gras Parade is held two weeks before Mardi Gras in Addis, LA, and the Krewe of Good Friends Parade takes place in Port Allen, LA, the Sunday right before Mardi Gras. Book your hotel in advance and make plans to be here on one of the Sundays before Fat Tuesday for the special Mardi Gras parades in West Baton Rouge.
West Baton Rouge Parish sits within the heart of plantation country, and a trip through Louisiana's history is a must while you're here. The West Baton Rouge Museum should be your first stop to get an introduction to the history of the region, the sugarcane industry, and to experience life in the South as it was before the Civil War. See toys and games from a bygone era, art, photographs, military artifacts, and historic houses built in the 1800's.
Your tour south of West Baton Rouge includes Laura Plantation, Oak Alley Plantation, and Nottoway Plantation & Resort, the South’s largest antebellum mansion and a fabulous place to dine on dishes like fried green tomatoes and pork tenderloin. Head to the plantation country north of West Baton Rouge to explore Rosedown Plantation, Greenwood Plantation, and The Myrtles Plantation (known as one of America’s most haunted homes). There's plenty of history to uncover, and West Baton Rouge puts you right in the middle of it all.
It’s no secret Louisiana is a foodie destination, so plan on pausing those diets while you’re in town. From Creole and Cajun to barbecue and Mediterranean, it's all on the menu at the restaurants in West Baton Rouge. Order tasty fried shrimp and crab legs, crawfish etouffee, and oyster po’boys at Camile’s Cajun Cafe. At Bergeron's Boudin & Cajun Meats, choose from favorites like pepper jack boudin balls and stuffed quail. Athenos Greek and Lebanese Cafe has authentic Middle Eastern dining with dishes like lamb shanks, gyros, and baklava. Impress your dinner party guests with a turduckin from Benoit's Country Meat Block. And you simply cannot pass on enjoying beignets from Caffe' Maison. Bring your appetite and you'll leave well satisfied.
Louisiana is known for its alligators, but you wouldn't necessarily want to step into a bayou to take a photo with one. You’re in luck. The largest alligator harvested in West Baton Rouge Parish is now on display at the West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau. Locals call him Moby, and he’s waiting for you to come take a selfie with him. Don't worry, he won't bite.
The aromas of burning rubber and the roar of high-throttled engines. If this is the kind of heart-pounding action you crave, the State Capitol Raceway in Port Allen is the place to be. Throughout the year, you can watch—or participate in—high-adrenaline races that'll keep you on the edge of your seat. The raceway also hosts hot rod and muscle car shows throughout the year, so there's always something for you auto fans out there. These races draw competitors from across the country, but you'll want to cheer on the locals who have raced here for generations.