Collin Richie/Visit Baton Rouge

Key Info

4560 Essen Ln.

Price & Hours

$10 for adults 12 and older; $8 for kids 6-11; free for children 5 and younger
8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily


Museums, Tours, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 2.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

History buffs won't want to skip a visit to the LSU Rural Life Museum. Boasting the largest collection of material from 19th-century Louisiana, the museum comprises more than 30 historic buildings and a 25-acre landscaped garden. Highlighting the working classes of the 18th and 19th centuries, the site features an exhibit barn that displays hundreds of artifacts representing everyday rural life up to the early 20th century. Other buildings include a blacksmith's shop, a sugar house and a grist mill, among other structures. There are also slave cabins on-site that allow visitors to see the conditions of an enslaved person working on a plantation. The Windrush Gardens, which feature live oaks, colorful crepe myrtles, azaleas and camellias, are also located on-site.

Recent visitors offered high praise for the LSU Rural Life Museum and recommended budgeting plenty of time to explore all the buildings. Many were impressed with the period artifacts on display and applauded the knowledgeable, friendly staff.

You'll find the LSU Rural Life Museum less than 10 miles southeast of downtown Baton Rouge. Parking is free. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The outbuildings and Windrush Gardens are open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission for adults ages 12 to 61 costs $10, $8 for kids ages 6 to 11; youths ages 5 and younger can enter for free. Access to the gardens is not included in the overall admission fee and costs $3 per person. For more information, visit the official website.

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#1 Louisiana's Old State Capitol

A National Historic Landmark, Louisiana's Old State Capitol is not your average capitol building. Designed in a Gothic Revival architecture style and constructed between 1847 and 1852, the exterior of the building looks like a medieval fortress. Created by architect James Harrison Dakin, the building is accented with towers, stained-glass windows and cast-iron – a design aesthetic that Dakin referred to as "Castellated Gothic." Though it's no longer used for official government business (lawmakers started using the new state capitol beginning in 1932), it's open to the public and houses a number of exhibits, including a multimedia presentation about the ghost of Sarah Morgan, a Civil War-era figure who kept diaries of her experiences throughout the war.

Past visitors called the building a "must-see" while in Baton Rouge. Reviewers were particularly impressed by the stained-glass windows and spiral staircase.

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