Garth Brooks isn’t the only one being “called to Baton Rouge.” In addition to being a great place to live, the capital city of Louisiana is a target for adventurers, explorers, and tourists.
Each year, Baton Rouge gets over 11 million visitors. And new people move here all the time!
But once you get here, what is there to do?
If you’re an art enthusiast or looking for indoor entertainment, the options are endless. There are museums, concert venues, and loads of other fun ways to spend your time.
The outdoors are great, too. From beaches and botanical gardens to waterparks, there’s no shortage of ways to have fun outside in Louisiana.
In this article, we’ll discuss the seven best outdoor activities in Baton Rouge.
Check it out!
1. Visit the State Parks
State parks are the go-to place for people who want to get as close to nature as possible while still having access to basic amenities.
Baton Rouge visitors can get away from the hustle and bustle and learn about the state’s ecosystem at the Waddill Wildlife Refuge. More than 237 acres make up this incredibly scenic park, so you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied.
Whether you want to hike, bike, fish, or picnic, Waddill Wildlife Refuge is your getaway, and no reservations are required.
If you feel like heading out of the city for a day, take a trip to Tickfaw State Park. It’s not exactly in Baton Rouge, but it’s close enough to share the same ecosystem.
In Tickfaw, you can explore the swampy areas that Louisiana is known for (it’s a lot more fun than it sounds). There’s even a visitor center where you can learn about the local plants and animals!
2. Explore the Bayous
A trip to Baton Rouge isn’t complete without a tour of the surrounding bayous. There are a ton of local tour guides who can take you on an adventure through the area. (Going out by yourself, unless you are an experienced swamp navigator, is not recommended.)
On your tour, the guide will steer you through a complex system of waterways on an airboat, regaling you with facts about the area along the way.
After your adventure, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. No worries there — you’re in Cajun country, and incredible food choices are everywhere.
You can always hit up Yelp for suggestions on where to get the best Cajun meals. But to get an authentic taste for the culture (and a good laugh), head to Boudreaux and Thibodeaux. This casual restaurant piggybacks its name off of a history of jokes that you’ll only hear in Southern Louisiana.
3. Peruse the Botanical Gardens
When you have an ecosystem as extensive and unique as Baton Rouge, the flora and fauna are sure to be incredible.
Educational opportunities are found in the many botanical gardens in and around the city. They’re also perfect locations for Instagram-ready photos!
Burden Gardens, located at Louisiana State University, gives locals and visitors the chance to walk through the Burden Woods. Here, you’ll view a wide variety of plants and flowers that only grow in this region.
Burden Gardens is famous for its “Black Swamp,” a rain-fed wetland, and its multiple flower gardens.
Another popular place to see local plant life is Brec’s Independent Park. Smack-dab in the middle of the city, this walking trail offers over a mile of botanical gardens as a refuge from the daily grind.
4. Enjoy the Beaches
Louisiana is surrounded by water. In fact, about a fifth of the state is covered in it!
Not all of that water is fit for swimming, but the beaches around Baton Rouge are worth visiting for the view.
You can head to the Mississippi River if you want to see this famous body of water. However, swimming isn’t recommended since the currents are very strong.
If you’re looking to take a dip, Baton Rouge Beach is a good choice. It’s located in Milford Wampold Memorial Park. There are plenty of picnic tables where you can enjoy lunch when you’re done swimming.
Muddy Water Paddle Company is a locally-famous company that rents paddleboards. You can rent one by the hour or book a party and head out on the water with your friends.
5. Immerse Yourself in the Swamps
Some people can’t get enough of Louisiana’s swamps and bayous. If that sounds like you, there are plenty of ways to explore nature without getting on a boat.
For example, you might visit one of the many nature centers in the area. In these facilities, you’ll learn about the creatures and plants that make their homes there.
The more you learn about the wildlife of Baton Rouge, the more you’ll want to know. Luckily, the city is full of educational resources to help you fill your quota of Cajun and bayou knowledge!
6. Frolic with Your Pup in the Dog Parks
Pets aren’t allowed in many bayou areas, and for a good reason. After all, the area’s dangerous animals and delicate plants don’t always mix with domesticated dogs.
But, there are a lot of places that welcome Fido! Dog parks like Brec and Raising Cane give your pup plenty of room to run around. With trails, fenced-in play areas, and toys, you and your dog may never want to leave!
There are also several dog-friendly restaurants nearby to tempt you and your furry friend away from the park at the end of the day. There’s always tomorrow for more puppy playtime!
7. Keep Cool in a Water Park
If you’d prefer to cool down in filtered water during the dog days of a Louisiana summer, you have options besides the local pool.
Baton Rouge and the surrounding cities have a large selection of water parks to visit.
Whether you’re looking to plunge down an enormous waterslide or lounge under a cabana by a lazy river, these are both great options.
Baton Rouge is known for its history and culture, a lot of which is best explored inside a museum.
But when it comes to spending time outside, there’s still plenty to do. From trekking through the bayou on an airboat to lounging on the beach, you’re sure to have a great time in Baton Rouge.
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management and works closely with Wildwood Baton Rouge to help them with their marketing efforts. He has over ten years of experience in the student housing industry.