While a visitor to Louisiana’s burgeoning capital city of Baton Rouge will undoubtedly find an abundance of activities and places to explore during their stay in this famed Louisiana port, the more energetic traveler may want to venture out to its surrounding environs and see what attractions circle this hub of history and commerce.
Taking day trips from Baton Rouge is the most convenient way to visit many of the historic and natural sites in the area, allowing for a leisurely-paced vacation with many fun-filled days. For long-time residents and students of Baton Rouge’s many colleges and universities, this is also an ideal way to plan a weekend getaway.
Just twenty miles to the north of the city lies the historic Port Hudson National Cemetery, a Civil War burial ground where nearly 4,000 Union troops were laid to rest after the siege of Port Hudson. The site is one of the only naturally preserved Civil War battlegrounds in the country, still retaining the original breastworks, gun pits and trenches as they were at the time of the historic battle.
Thirty miles west of Baton Rouge is the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge, a 15,000 acre preserve that is home to some of the nation’s most varied wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, bobcats and a small remnant population of the Louisiana Black Bear. Its boundaries encompass part of the largest bottomland hardwood swamps in the nation. Exploring the full extent of this natural preserve could easily take several day trips from Baton Rouge.
Only twenty minutes due south from the city lies Nottoway Plantation and Resort, home to one of the largest remaining antebellum plantations in the south. Its centerpiece, restored to former glory, is a distinctive, 53,000 square foot white mansion, featuring 22 exterior columns, 12 Italian marble fireplaces and spacious, fifteen-foot high ceilings. Guided mansion tours are offered seven days a week, while the resort itself boasts a full range of accommodations and amenities, including an outdoor pool, tennis courts, fitness center, restaurant and salons.
Eighty miles southeast, accessible by car or via LA Swift chartered buses that run regularly each day from Baton Rouge, lies the famed party mecca of New Orleans. Rich in history and tradition, this city is a mosaic of cultures featuring some of the most famous foods, music, architecture and styles recognized the world over. More than a few day trips from Baton Rouge would be needed to sample all that this storied city has to offer.
Clearly, for the traveler seeking a refreshing change from the typical vacation itinerary, away from the usual, overcrowded tourist destinations, Baton Rouge and its surroundings offer a wealth of sightseeing opportunities and adventures that shouldn’t be missed.