Treat yourself to a vacation filled with brass bands, plates of spicy shrimp, indulgent spa treatments, lush gardens, and winning jackpots in Louisiana’s capital city, Baton Rouge. Bring your appetite for fun and food, tour historic plantations, and step into stunning sights like the Louisiana’s Old Governor’s Mansion and the castle-like Old State Capitol. Read on to discover just a few of the top things you can do in Baton Rouge.
Louisiana is the place to go for Cajun and Creole cuisine, and this capital city has been voted “Best Foodie City” in TheMeetingsMagazines.com two years in a row for good reason. Shrimp diablo, oyster po’boys, crawfish étouffée, fried alligator, and andouille sausage jambalaya, it’s all on the menu here. Start your day with beignets and coffee, move on to raw oysters and Gulf Fish Pontchartrain, and top it off with bananas foster and pralines. Of course, there’s far more here than local fare, as many other of Baton Rouge’s restaurants serve everything from American and Asian food to French, Greek, and Italian eats. With so much great food to eat, you’ll want to bring your appetite to Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge is in the heart of Louisiana plantation country, where opulent Antebellum mansions tell the many stories of this part of the American South. There are more than 20 plantations within driving distance of Baton Rouge. Start your journey at the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, a picturesque 19th-century home settled on 38 acres of lush gardens. Go on a guided tour of the grounds, then settle in for traditional Louisiana cuisine at one of three onsite restaurants.
Nottoway Plantation and Resort is another exceptional plantation worth visiting. The two-story Greek and Italianate-style mansion (the largest of its kind in the South) is a magnificent work of architecture, historic hotel, and restaurant. Tour the grounds, stay the night in a suite with your own private swimming pool, and relax in the shade of a majestic oak tree. Discover the other plantations you can explore near Baton Rouge here.
Andean condors, bearded dragons, and Indian rhinoceroses, oh my! No, this isn’t the Wizard of Oz. Instead, it’s the BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, where you can see amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Gulf of Mexico, Oceania, and the Americas. Encounter fascinating creatures large and small, including golden lion tamarins, tapirs, Galapagos tortoises, Sumatran tigers, and giraffes. Check the zoo’s calendar when you visit Baton Rouge, as there are always fun events like Safari Night, Twilight Tours, and FrogWatch USA trainings going on throughout the year.
Whether you’re a Blackjack expert or a slot machine player, you can win big at any of Baton Rouge’s four casinos. Play the day away at Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel and Hollywood Casino, both of which offer hundreds of slot machines and countless tables of poker, craps, and a multitude of other games on old-fashioned river boats.
For more gaming, L'Auberge Casino & Hotel is the place to be. It’s here that you’ll find 30,000 square feet of more than 1,500 slot machines and 51 table games, as well as a rooftop pool. Interested in some Vegas-style excitement? Paragon Casino Resort is a world-class casino and vacation destination with an abundance of slots and table games and an off-track betting parlor, along with a championship golf course, indoor pool, and more.
Keep your eyes peeled for resting alligators, wading egrets, and swimming turtles as you pass through the shade of majestic, moss-covered cypress trees. Enjoy a retreat to the bayou on your very own swamp tour. There are numerous tours in Baton Rouge to choose from, ranging from fast-paced airboat rides to more easygoing journeys that allow you to admire the area’s beauty. Learn a thing or two about local lore from your boat captain as you make memories along the way.