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30 Things You Need to Know About Baton Rouge Before You Move There

What does Red Stick have to offer? Pretty much everything you ever wanted.

Angela Colley

Movoto Contributor

1 articles, 0 comments

1. A Natural Habitat for (Plastic) Pink Flamingos

Source: Flickr user Tobo

Source: Flickr user Tobo

Founded in 1805, Baton Rouge’s oldest neighborhood, Spanish Town, has become a haven for artists, musicians, and people who like to do things a little bit differently. They’ve even got their own mantra, “Poor taste is better than no taste at all,” and their own mascot—the pink flamingo.

2. Like Big Ships?

Source: Flickr user Sean Davis

Source: Flickr user Sean Davis

Baton Rouge is home to the Navy ship, the USS Kidd, a Fletcher-class destroyer also known as “The Pirate of the Pacific.” Yes, you can tour it.

3.The Best Burgers and Fries in the State

Source: Flickr user stu_spivack

Source: Flickr user stu_spivack

While Baton Rouge is ripe with Cajun food, no one in the state makes a better burger with a side of fries than Burgersmith. Famous for garlic fries, filet burgers, and turkey sliders, this small shop is the place to indulge on this American classic.

4. You’ll Become a Road Ninja

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Whether you blame the boom in population, highway expansion, or LSU commuters, Baton Rouge has traffic nearly every hour of the day. Thankfully, learning how to navigate around said traffic and zoom home will make you feel like a road ninja.

5. Saturday Night in Death Valley

Source: Flickr user David Reber

Source: Flickr user David Reber

Able to hold more than 90,000 people and appropriately nicknamed “Death Valley,” LSU’s Tiger Stadium was voted as “Scariest Venue for Opposing Teams” by ESPN because it is the loudest stadium in the country. In Baton Rouge, football is serious business.

6. We All Scream For Handmade Ice Cream

Source: Flickr user stu_spivack

Source: Flickr user stu_spivack

LSU has a thriving agricultural center with a creamery to boot. Everyone’s favorite flavor, Tiger Bite, is a blend of golden vanilla and a thick blueberry swirl—purple and gold in its most delicious form.

7. The Ol’ Mississip’

Source: Flickr user thepipe26

Source: Flickr user thepipe26

Stretching along downtown, the levees built outside of the Mississippi River gives you impressive views and an excellent trail for running or walking your dog.

8. Huey P. Is Still There

Source: Flickr user  thepipe26

Source: Flickr user thepipe26

Besides being the tallest in the United States, Baton Rouge’s capitol building is particularly unique. Infamous politician Huey P. Long commissioned the building in 1928. In 1935, he was assassinated inside of it. Today, you can walk around the truly beautiful gardens outside of the capitol building and say hi to Huey P.—he’s buried under his memorial statue.

9. Casinos Are Plentiful

Source: sfmission.com

Source: sfmission.com

Gambling is legal in Louisiana and Baton Rouge has several casinos to prove it. The newest casino, L’Auberge, might look like a massive version of the lodge from “Twin Peaks”, but it holds 1,500 slot machines, 50 gambling tables, and a concert hall. It needs to be that big.

10. You Can Find a Perfect Tin

Source: Flickr user Butterbean

Source: Flickr user Butterbean

Local brewer Tin Roof hand crafts signature beers and seasonal brews right from Baton Rouge. Perfect Tin is a popular favorite, but the company is quickly becoming known for their seasonal beers like Watermelon Wheat and Parade Ground Coffee Porter.

11. Winter Isn’t Coming

Source: Flickr user Rick Galvan

Source: Flickr user Rick Galvan

Snow isn’t common in Baton Rouge, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t make snow angels. Every year the Downtown Festival of Lights boasts an ice skating rink and up to six tons of fake snow you’re actually encouraged to run around in.

12. Dogs on Parade

Source: Flickr user Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

Source: Flickr user Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

Nothing is more adorable than puppies in costumes riding in little red wagons decorated like Carnival floats, which is exactly what happens when the CAAWS Mystic Krewe of Mutts—an all dog parade—rolls through Baton Rouge around Mardi Gras.

13. Feel Like a Kid Again

Source: Flickr user rockmixer

Source: Flickr user rockmixer

Miss the carefree days of childhood? Relive it at the indoor go-kart racing at RockStar Racing, galactic bowling night at Circle Bowl, or the water slides and roller coasters at the Blue Bayou Waterpark/Dixie Landin’.

14. Hike in the Swamp

Source: Flickr user MikeLove

Source: Flickr user MikeLove

The Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a murky, swampy paradise located right in the heart of Baton Rouge; just don’t forget the bug spray.

15. See Movie Stars

Source: Flickr user zoetnet

Source: Flickr user zoetnet

New Orleans may have gained the title “Hollywood South” but Baton Rouge is no stranger to film crews. If you want to be an extra (or just gawk at celebrities) you’ll have plenty of chances.

16. Halloween Happens in Style

Source: Flickr user Jennifer C.

Source: Flickr user Jennifer C.

Halloween isn’t just a night for kids to score free candy. Every year, downtown Baton Rouge is home to The 13th Gate, a massive haunted house—so massive it takes 100 actors to jump out at you in 13 different areas.

17. You’ll Have Your Own President

Source: Flickr user

Source: Flickr user

Who needs a county and a mayor? In Baton Rouge, you’ll live in a parish and elect a parish president.

18. It’s Geaux, Not Go

Source: Flickr user

Source: Flickr user

Down here, “O” sounds are spelled with the French and Cajun influenced “eaux.” You’ll see it everywhere. Geaux Tigers!

19. The Best Chicken Fingers You’ll Ever Get in a Drive Thru

Source: Flickr user Shoshanah

Source: Flickr user Shoshanah

The first Raising Cane’s, code named “The Mothership,” was built outside of LSU. They only serve chicken fingers, and most of the city is so addicted to the secret Cane’s sauce, they’re willing to pay extra for more.

20. You’re Practically Expected to Tailgate for Days

Source: Flickr user David Reber

Source: Flickr user David Reber

Tailgating is a massive event starting the Friday before games and overtaking a major part of the city. You won’t be able to drive through all the people clad in purple and gold, so you might as well grab some Tin Roof and join in.

21. Busses Abound

Source: Flickr user joshua_putnam

Source: Flickr user joshua_putnam

While the Deep South isn’t known for fast lifestyles, the Baton Rouge bus system is surprisingly punctual. You can get anywhere from downtown to college town on a bus any day of the year.

22. College Kids Are Everywhere

Source: Flickr user Rande Archer

Source: Flickr user Rande Archer

LSU is firmly planted in the middle of town and college kids can be found everywhere, especially in the row of bars and fast food chains on Highland Road right outside of the college.

23. Who Says Only Europe has Castles?

Source: Flickr anthonyturducken

Source: Flickr anthonyturducken

The former state capitol building oddly resembles the kind of castle where you’d expect to find Prince Charming in a Disney movie. It’s eerily charming and incredibly cool.

24. There Is a Season Devoted to Cake

Source: Flickr user sywlch

Source: Flickr user sywlch

Carnival season in Louisiana is also King Cake season, and in many bakeries you can only get this delicious cinnamon cake right around Mardi Gras. Ambrosia Bakery is no exception, but when they’re baking King Cake, they’re baking Zulu King Cake—their trademarked recipe complete with chocolate and coconuts.

25. A Tiger Named Mike

Source: Flickr user Jimmy Bramlett

Source: Flickr user Jimmy Bramlett

You won’t have to go to the Baton Rouge Zoo to see a live tiger. Mike, the official mascot for the LSU Tigers, has a large home right inside the LSU campus. Mike is so used to visitors he’s known to come right up to the glass and give you a high five.

26. A Whole Lot of Extreme Sports Packed Into 52-Acres

Source: Flickr user JohnONolan

Source: Flickr user JohnONolan

The Perkins Road Community Park may not be the biggest park in the state, but it might have the most entertainment. Between the skate park, BMX track, sand volleyball courts, cycling velodrome, and rock climbing wall, you’ll never wonder what to do on a nice day again.

27. There’s a White House Here Too

mansion
Simply called “The Governor’s Mansion,” the house that Huey P. Long built is almost an exact replica of the White House, complete with a rose garden and an Oval Office.

28. Garth Brooks Sings a Song About It

Source: Flickr user Steve Jurveston

Source: Flickr user Steve Jurveston

Garth Brooks’s cover of Dennis Linde’s “Callin’ Baton Rogue” is our anthem. You’ll learn to love it!

29. Turn Left at the Plantation

Source: Flickr user f_trudeau

Source: Flickr user f_trudeau

Swamp moss, cypress trees, plantations, and everything else you’ve seen in movies are real—so real you’ll learn to use them as landmarks when giving directions.

30. A Carousel Like You’ve Never Seen

Source: Flickr user Mark Skrobola

Source: Flickr user Mark Skrobola

If shopping’s your thing, Baton Rouge has you covered. Mall of Louisiana is a shopping spree megaplex, but the real attraction is the carousel—the second largest indoor one in the world. In. The. World.

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posted on: September 16, 2013
35,547 views, 21 comments

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21 Comments

  1. Brandt

    Funny how they don’t mention that it ranks in the top ten for cities with the worst violent crime rates.

  2. BRresident

    number 21 is a complete LIE. it takes over 2 hours and two bus changes to go 9.7 miles. theadvocate.com/home/6966680-125/cats-critics-take-bus-to

  3. Kevin Morgan

    Sorry, but the photo you posted is of the NEW governor’s mansion, built in 1963 by Jimmie Davis, long after Huey Long died. It looks nothing like the White House in Washington, DC. It looks more like a cheap copy of a traditional southern sugar plantation than anything in Washington.

    The OLD governor’s mansion, located on North Boulevard, is on the other side of downtown, and while it does superficially resemble the president’s home in DC, it’s far smaller, features an entirely different layout, and lacks both the east and west wings of the original.

  4. Chip

    Numbers 3 and 21…allow me to wipe away several tears of helpless laughter.

    Also, Dennis Linde, not Garth Brooks, wrote Callin’ Baton Rouge. Two different bands charted with it before Garth covered it 15 years later.

    • Randy Nelson in response to Chip

      Good point, Chip (re: #28)! We just gave credit where credit’s due (and consider this your credit for the elaboration).

  5. Inaccurate

    This article is kinda inaccurate. Biased to the LSU area, LSU and Bluebonnet Swamp are by no means in the center of town as theyre both located on the southern edge of the city. The LSU area is also the only area with significant traffic at most times of the day because of its proximity to the interstate. LSU area is fun for students, but most of what the city has to offer is east and north of it.

    • D.K. in response to Inaccurate

      Blue Bonnet Swamp Critic – You are being a bit nit picky. In what other city will you find a swamp so centrally located! I live in the city. I love the article. It has been decades since i have ridden a public bus. We just voted in taxes to improve the system, and i don’t think one trip on a bus qualifies anyone to be an expert. Folks don’t be so negative about someone has been soo positive.

  6. jon

    I live in Baton Rouge. I can tell you, that #21 is a complete complete lie. I cannot speak for the LSU bus system however, I can relate my experience riding the city bus. I rode the bus once, on a whim to see if I could rely on public transportation. I have no idea when this article was posted, however the author must never have ridden the public bus system in this city. It only stops in the most blighted areas of the city, it is highly unreliable, and the list could go on and on. I am very lucky that I have a vehicle otherwise, there would be no way for me to go to work.

  7. Corn

    Baton Rouge is incredibly boring. Take out LSU and it’s mainly doctor’s offices, a few good restaurants and a lot of humidity.

    • Helen in response to Corn

      Geez, Debbie Downer

      • Pete in response to Helen

        I can see by the negative comments here, that the diaspora of New Orleanians in 2005 must have taken some root. This is a fun list. Lighten up, people, and GEAUX TIGERS!

    • His in response to Corn

      hahahahhahaahah

  8. Jack

    Number 21 is a complete lie. Worst public transportation I have ever seen.

  9. Sybil

    Well you don’t realize what you have until you move away…. So maybe y’all should stop looking at the negative and realize how much culture and greatness there is in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas… BC I can tell you now… Fort Worth and Dallas doesn’t have anything compared to home…. And I can’t wait to move back

    • Bobby in response to Sybil

      I grew up in Baton Rouge. I moved away with my family when I was 16 to Atlanta. Lived there the years and then moved to middle Tennessee. I miss Basin Rouge daily. I’ve been I Tennessee for 22 years now. It’s a beautiful place and I enjoy riding my motorcycle through the hills and mountains. But it last the culture that I grew to love. When I return to Baton Rouge to visit family I have to make myself go back to Tennessee.

  10. KC

    Man, this article is already getting ripped… but well-deserved. While most of this is true (obviously not 21), a lot of it isn’t exactly most people’s idea of fun. A nice outing once a year – or decade – but no more than that. Baton Rouge is getting better, but it’s progress has slowed over the years. We need more Shaw Centers, more recreational parks, etc.

    And while I ABSOLUTELY love that the 13th Gate was added to the list, at least take a photo from the haunt rather than some stock footage of a generic haunt. I know for a fact that that photo is NOT the 13th Gate!

    Either way, I’ll at least say this to the author: Thank you for trying!
    /half smile

  11. Jeremy

    You fail to mention the OTHER college in town, Southern University!

  12. Connie

    I love this, you really focused on all of the beautiful things that Baton Rouge has to offer. Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers,
    Connie
    http://www.allmysons.com/batonrouge/

  13. AL

    Great article. GREAT Food. Great place to visit or live and a great Gun Club. Oh sorry. That wasn’t in the list but FYI, Hunters Run Gun Club just across the river is the best Gun range in Louisiana. Offering Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays as well as rifle & pistol. Range. Thanks for a little advertising . But since this is the south and guns are a BIG part of BR culture I thought it applies to this article. PS GO Michigan. Guess where I moved from six years ago. :D

  14. Brandon

    Baton Rouge is more of a slum than a real city, what about all the violent crime? All the AIDS? Canes is the most bland chicken I’ve ever had. Road Ninja…lmao, more like the I-10 I-12 parking lot, public transportation is a joke, that’s why LSU bought their own buses and bus system instead if relying on CATS. As for LSU that’s merely a “name brand” school that spends all its… your money on football. Oooo the mall has a carousel, reaching there aren’t we? And OMG OMG the tax and insurance rates.
    Tailgating is fun, plantations are cool and the USS KIDD is amazing.
    I have lived in other city’s/states and they are better almost every time. I will move away asap.

  15. Diana

    Article is about Baton Rouge….but they misspell it in #28. That song certainly isn’t about a rogue stick!
    Traffic is hell on many main roads & interstates most hours of a business day, let’s not forget the poor quality of our roads! Potholes galore!

 

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