Baton Rouge sunset

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR)

The French called it “le baton rougeor “the red stick,” when they settled the land in the late 17th century and the name stuck. Since then, Baton Rouge has retained much of that French flair while transforming into a modern, must-see destination.

A capital city that knows how to cut loose, Baton Rouge is about 80 miles northwest of the better-known New Orleans. Home to plenty of live music venues celebrating the Creole culture, you can duck into one of the many blues or jazz clubs and catch a show that will have your toes tapping to the beat. Stop by the Roux House or Boutin's for a taste of the good life, Cajun style.

Easy, Tiger

Louisiana State University or LSU, makes up a big part of the Baton Rouge identity. The university hosts museums of Art, Natural Science, Natural History and Rural Life which have artifacts in their respective fields and are great ways to pass the morning or afternoon. The LSU campus is spirited and proud of its Tigers who compete in the NCAA Southeastern Conference. So catch a game if you can.

The Old Governor’s Mansion, the Old State Capitol building and the new State Capitol are all good stops to gain a sense of history about Louisiana’s statehood. All three buildings have storied pasts and tours are a great way to brush up on your Louisiana knowledge. A quick literary tip to make your trip complete: Pick up All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren before you head to Baton Rouge. These spots are thought to be the backdrop to Willie Stark’s character in the book.

To soak up more Southern charm, explore other lazy day cities like Atlanta and Chattanooga.