Situated upriver 70 mi/110 km northwest of New Orleans and home to many New Orleanians, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a burgeoning Mississippi River port city and Louisiana's political capital.
Gov. Huey Long—populist or dictator, depending on your viewpoint—built the art-deco-style Capitol there as well as the political system that made Louisiana what it is. Long is buried in the Capitol garden, not far from where he was assassinated in 1935.
Mount Hope, one of Louisiana's old mansions, is definitely worth a visit. It's a gracefully designed 1817 house built of cypress. You may also want to allow time to see the Magnolia Mound Plantation, which produces most of the food for its weekly cooking presentations.
Baton Rouge is the home of Louisiana State University, which runs the Rural Life Museum, a working farm that has a collection of artifacts that once belonged to sharecroppers in the region. It is also home to the Shaw Center for the Arts, which has an impressive collection of early American arts as well as Newcomb pottery, which was produced in New Orleans.
Elsewhere in Baton Rouge, you'll find the Old Arsenal and the Governor's Mansion. There are also plenty of good Creole restaurants and a couple of riverboat casinos.
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