Baton Rouge History on Display
Downtown Baton Rouge is home to the Old Governor’s Mansion, Shaw Center for the Arts and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and Planetarium.
Visit museums, galleries, markets and attractions in downtown Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Art & Science Museum and Planetarium is housed in a historic train station in downtown Baton Rouge. It features fine-art exhibitions, a hands-on science gallery, a creative playroom with art activities and an Egyptian tomb exhibit. Also featured are Louisiana's only Challenger Learning Center – offering simulated space missions – and the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium and Exxon Mobil Space Theater.
On a hilltop across River Road, Louisiana's "Castle on the River," the Old State Capitol, serves as a political history museum and home to distinguished awards for architecture and exhibits. Unique Gothic and Victorian architecture, a stained glass dome and cast-iron staircase accent this classical restored structure. A one of a kind animatronic exhibit, "Huey Long Live – The Kingfish Speaks,” brings the old Kingfish back to life. And don't miss "The Ghost of the Castle," a unique theatrical presentation by the ghost of Sarah Morgan.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected sights in downtown Baton Rouge is the USS KIDD Veterans Memorial & Museum. A restored World War II Fletcher-class destroyer, the USS KIDD is docked along the Mississippi River. The museum features restored aircraft, the largest ship model collection in the South, historic artifacts and a riverboat pilothouse. It is also home to the Louisiana Memorial Plaza with names of over 7,000 Louisiana natives killed in combat.
No trip to the capital city is complete without a visit to the Old Governor's Mansion & Foundation For Historical Louisiana. Built in 1930 during the administration of Huey P. Long and nicknamed "Louisiana's White House," the original mansion served as official residence to nine Louisiana governors and their families. Now a splendid historic house museum and venue for special events, the Georgian landmark is listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. Guided tours are available, along with the West Wing Gift Shop.
Located in the Shaw Center for the Arts, the LSU Museum of Art manifests a decade-long vision to offer LSU and the Baton Rouge community greater access to its diverse art. The Shaw Center is also home to a theater, student gallery, musuem store and two restaurants, Tsunami and Capital City Grill. In the summertime, little ones love to play in the dancing fountains on the plaza.
With a diverse group of micro enterprises and four open-air commercial kitchens, the Main Street Market creates an affordable market hall for small local farmers, artists and businesses. It is home to BREADA's Red Stick Farmers Market every Saturday morning. The location in the center of downtown Baton Rouge helps bring the country to the city. From fresh produce and local delicacies to nutrition classes and the arts, Main Street Market is a wonderful addition to a revitalized downtown.