Louisiana's Old State Capitol#1 in Best Things To Do in Baton Rouge
Price & Hours
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.
Louisiana's Old State Capitol is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Though entrance to the museum is free, "The Ghost of the Castle" show costs $3 per person. You'll find the building in downtown Baton Rouge. There is a gift shop and restrooms located on-site. It can be reached via the free Capitol Park Trolley Service or by car; metered street parking is available. For more information, check the official website.
More Best Things To Do in Baton Rouge
#2 USS Kidd
Named for Medal of Honor recipient Isaac C. Kidd Sr., who was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Arizona, this Fletcher-class destroyer is considered one of the world's most authentically restored vessels, according to the Historic Naval Ships Association. Along with the preserved ship, there is also an attached museum that displays a variety of artifacts related to veteran and naval military history. Artifacts on display include ship models, a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and a helmet worn by an infantryman who stormed the beaches of Normandy, among other items.
Past visitors highly recommend making time for a tour of the USS Kidd and the adjoining museum. Many said the experience helped them understand the lives of Navy sailors. They also applauded the staff for their willingness to answer all sorts of questions. Several reviewers did warn that spaces within the ship can be tight, which can pose a challenge for visitors with mobility limitations.
Explore More of Baton Rouge
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.