"Land of Oil and Red Tape" Top 5 Page for this destination Baton Rouge by der_geograf
Baton Rouge Travel Guide: 281 reviews and 568 photos
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: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.
One of Baton Rouge's main problems is that it wasn't designed to grow as much as it has. So when the brilliant city... more travel advice
When the river is not at flood stage (normally during the summer and fall, it is possible to venture down the other side... more travel advice
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