Pre-game, post-game or away game, any time you visit Louisiana State University is a good opportunity to see one of the nation’s prettiest campuses while enjoying its recreational, shopping and dining opportunities. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Mike the Tiger Habitat
Whether or not the Tigers are your team, no trip to the LSU campus is complete without a visit to Mike the Tiger's habitat. Mike VII arrived on LSU campus in August 2017 and quickly solidified his status as one of the most beloved mascots in the university's history. Mike the Tiger’s story goes back to 1934, when a few university athletic staff members and a young law student raised $750 to bring a live tiger from a Little Rock zoo to LSU’s campus. Since the original Mike roared onto the scene, there have been six others, with the current mascot living in a state-of-the-art enclosed habitat that is open to visitors year-round. Stop by and visit the 15,000-square-foot enclosure, full of creature comforts such as a waterfall and wading pool, located next to LSU Tiger Stadium. After your visit with the habitat, walk next door to the LSU SportShop, the on-campus store where you’ll find athletic gear to show off your Tiger team spirit.
Jack and Priscilla Andonie donated more than 13,000 LSU Tiger sports-related artifacts to the college’s alumni association. Today, these treasures are on display to the public. Find trophies, banners, retired jerseys and decades’ worth of other purple-and-gold memorabilia at this museum, situated next to the Lod Cook Alumni Center. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and three hours prior to game time on home football game days.
Where's the best ice cream in Baton Rouge? You got it, the LSU AgCenter Dairy Store—located at the corner of South Stadium Drive and Tower Drive on LSU’s campus. It serves 16 flavors of ice cream made with milk from cows at the AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station in Franklinton. Tiger Bite, a blueberry and vanilla confection, is the signature flavor, but we highly recommend the chocolate cookies and cream. Other items including cheese, meats and coffee are also available. It's staffed by student workers, so the business hours aren't as liberal as you might hope. If you want to get a taste of one of the best-kept secrets in Baton Rouge, you'll need to visit Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
LSU Memorial Tower and Parade Ground
LSU’s most prominent landmark is a 175-foot-high tower built in 1923 as a monument to World War I soldiers. The clock tower, whose bells ring every quarter hour, is where you’ll also find the LSU Museum of Art’s permanent collections. In front of the tower is the wide grassy expanse known as the Parade Ground, which turns into a prime piece of real estate for tailgaters during football season. Walk across the quad behind the Memorial Tower in time to watch The Golden Band from Tigerland march down Victory Hill before the game.
Among the university’s most scenic vistas are its six lakes—University Lakes, often referred to as the LSU lakes. Kayaking, paddleboarding, running… there is a huge variety of options for outdoor adventurers here, all right in the heart of Baton Rouge. These historical lakes, transformed from swamps in the 1930s, are today are home to pelicans and bald cypresses, plus paved trails, fishing piers and picnic spots.
Just a short walk from Tiger Stadium is the North Gates shopping district, which for decades has been the place for shopping, dining and entertainment for LSU fans and students. Shop for Tiger gear, dine on Cajun and Creole specialties, play video arcade games while drinking a cold one, or catch up on other scores at a local watering hole.
For a complete schedule of local Baton Rouge events, check out the calendar on VisitBatonRouge.com.