What do you think of when you hear of Baton Rouge, Louisiana? Having lived in several other states like Ohio and California, I envisioned a sleepy Southern town with very proper Southern bells sipping iced tea on the veranda.
Actually it is quite a cosmopolitan city that has blended the old Southern charm with progressive, high-energy of a dynamic and growing metropolitan area. The official city website says it best: "Situated on the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge represents the best of Louisiana's vibrant culture...home to both LSU and Southern University and numerous businesses and industrial facilities. Known for its great people, its unique food and its lively music, Red Stick has something for everyone - including a local government that cares."
The state capitol rises from downtown and overlooks the central park area which is a short walk from many of Louisiana's history resources. The capitol houses the Louisiana State Legislature, the governor's office, and parts of the executive branch.
Across from the Capitol park is the Louisiana State Library.In 1920, the Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Library Commission, a forerunner of the State Library of Louisiana. In 1925, the Commission joined with the great philanthropic Carnegie Corporation to create a network of libraries across the state. Three-quarters of a century later, Louisiana boasts public libraries in each of its 64 parishes. The State Library provides Louisianans access to more than 11 million items through its own excellent collection and electronic resources combined with a statewide online lending network of public libraries, and remains committed to creating ever-increasing opportunities for citizens to experience the value of libraries and reading.
Across the street is the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge. Topics of it's exhibits range from the Louisiana Purchase to Sportsmen's Paradise to Mardi Gras traditions throughout the state. Artifacts include a 48 foot wooden shrimp trawler, a Civil War submarine, a record breaking Marlin, a Krewe of lawnmowers, a New Orleans Lucky Dog cart and musical artifacts from Fats Domino, Buddy Guy, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Aaron Neville and much more. Relax under the big, shaddy oak trees and enjoy a box lunch when you finish your visitto the Museum.
Then just a few steps further and you enter Baton Rouge's oldest residential district, a historic destrict added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the sought after Spanish Town area. Spanish Town was commissioned in 1805. This diverse community is home to artists, writers, musicians, actors, students, teachers, physicians, politicians, and attorneys.