"Land of Oil and Red Tape" Top 5 Page for this destination Baton Rouge by der_geograf

Baton Rouge Travel Guide: 280 reviews and 567 photos

Welcome to the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge

Founded in 1699 along the banks of the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge has evolved into the state of Louisiana's center of government, industry, research, and education, as well as one of the state's leading port cities.

As is true for most medium-sized Southern cities, for successful touring and exploration of Baton Rouge you have to scratch the surface. The city has a plain, bland appearance at first glance, but after living here for almost seven years, I am discovering more and more about it, and I have watched it develop.

There seems to be a certain kind of new energy taking hold. Baton Rougeans are developing a renewed sense of pride in their hometown. Increasingly they are shrugging off the silly notion that they live in a small town, and they are supportive of making the changes that are necessary for any metro area of 500,000 to make. For example, the mayor has initiated a campaign to rid the city of it's urban decay, historic preservationism is becoming a larger force, and city leaders are pushing "Plan Baton Rouge", which is an aggressive and innovative revitalization based on "new urbanism" that is aimed at changing downtown from it's current "nine-to-five" status. In the spring of 2003, a delegation of city leaders even travelled to Austin, Texas and held a 3-day conference with leaders there to get some ideas on how to create positive change.

Also in 2003, the city regained control of its public schools from the federal government after reaching a settlement in the nation's longest-running school desegregation case.

Baton Rouge has endured and withstood some heavy tests, from a shaky economy to two serial killers that stalked her streets and neighborhoods and claimed the lives of at least 15 of her female residents and a devastating disaster that knocked its larger neighbor city out of service and dumped many new residents in her bulging borders.

But through all of the growing pains of a young metropolis, Baton Rouge has proved her will and worth.

Welcome to a city that is coming of age.

The city has a difficult time selling itself to outsiders as it is often hidden in the shadow of its neighbor New Orleans. (70 miles separate the two.) Not to be sold short, the Baton Rouge area has something to offer history buffs, "outdoorsy" types, and sports fans--and everyone's stomach. Not to mention politics that are as spicy as the local food!

For more information, visit The Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:excellent side trip from New Orleans, airport offers flights to many regional large cities, low cost of living
  • Cons:traffic congestion, confusing street grid, air pollution, poor drainage, areas of urban blight
  • In a nutshell:With greater collaboration between the city-parish government and the academic community in recent years, Baton Rouge is finally becoming the destination its grand history and location suggest it should be.
  • Intro Updated Dec 15, 2005
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Reviews (13)

Comments (19)

  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2006 at 5:17 AM

    Genuinely interesting tips, thanks :-)

  • wendy33's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2005 at 10:56 AM

    thanks for the tips. but what side of town is best to live at? i may be tranferring out there soon.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2005 at 7:11 PM

    Hey great tips. I am going to be visiting there soon so these have been very helpful. Wish you would put more! Megypt

  • pedersdottir's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2004 at 8:51 AM

    Hi Mike: nice update on your Baton Rouge page - and travel motto! Enjoy your 'take' on life in the South!

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2004 at 8:51 AM

    All that is missing here, is Randy Newman wailing away about the Kingfish! ;-]

  • am&pm's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2004 at 11:38 AM

    We live in Baton Rouge and still learned something from reading your page!! Thank you! I love this city.

  • andal13's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2004 at 7:53 PM

    Your hometown looks very attractive; all the cities have their own problems... they are inherent to urban life. Best wishes for Mrs. Blanco!

  • Christophe_Ons's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2004 at 12:08 PM

    Wonderful page about your hometown. Insightful, and with some very nice pictures. Great job. Best regards from Belgium :)

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2004 at 8:17 PM

    I enjoyed my brief and unexpected stay in Baton Rouge. It looks much nicer in good weather:-) Quite a historic day you have just had there.

  • Leipzig's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2004 at 3:58 AM

    Great page! Blame it on the urban water management - it should be possible to avoid annual floodings caused by rainfalls with a good drainage system - perhaps your town is rich enough to pay each year the damages

der_geograf

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