Things To Do in Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge's college town atmosphere attracts retirees looking for a lively city with tons of attractions and restaurants.

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:36

The most popular things to do in Baton Rouge reflect the city's youthful college town vibe, as well as its cultural diversity and rich history.

Cheer on the LSU Tigers

College sports fans are picking winners when they choose Baton Rouge, home of the Louisiana State University Tigers, and that doesn't just apply to the schools' SEC football team. LSU's athletic teams have won more than 45 national championships so far, the seventh-highest total for any sports program in the nation. They've won 31 in track, six in baseball, four in golf, three in football and one each in boxing and basketball.

Baton Rouge Restaurants and Bars

For a casual yet tasteful start to the day, head to Strand's downtown for coffee, tea service, croissants, handcrafted chocolates and more (closed on Monday). Double lunch time with picking up gourmet goodies to make at home and a visit to the deli at one of two Calandro's Supermarket locations – a Baton Rouge staple since 1941. 

Olive or Twist quickly has earned a reputation for the place to be at Happy Hour for craft cocktails at excellent prices. For dinner, scan the chalkboard menus of Cajun fare at Chelsea's, which also books bands. Fans of Cajun cooking and seafood may also enjoy Boutin's and Mike Anderson's. Another casual favorite, Fleur de Lis on Government, has pizza so good one Yelp review said she'd “probably eat if off the bottom of an ashtray if necessary” (they'd never make that necessary, but point made). For Italian options beyond pizza, try Nino's or Louis DeAngelo's.

For more upscale dining, jubans and Mansur's on the Boulevard both feature fine Creole cuisine and are well suited for date nights, Sunday brunch or special occasions. For Chinese food, check out OMI, and for Mexican, try Ninfa's. For those simply looking for a great patio spot for beer and pub food, The Bulldog fits the bill and allows diners to bring their dogs, too. Would you expect anything less from a place with that name?

Music, Arts and Architecture

Live music fans keep track of the schedule at The Varsity Theatre near LSU, yet the greatest variety of art can be found at The Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge. The center features films plus music, dance and theatrical performances at the Manship Theater, the LSU Museum of Art, and works by LSU students and faculty within the LSU School of Art Glassell Gallery.

Science, history and art come together at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, which features a planetarium, exhibits of ancient Egyptian artifacts and much more. River Center Baton Rouge also books large-scale theatrical and concert productions, including performances by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Other don't-miss attractions include admiring the architecture of the Gothic Old Louisiana State Capitol, the modern-day Louisiana State Capitol, which dates to 1932 and is the tallest capitol in the U.S., and the USS KIDD & Veterans Memorial.