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Baton Rouge - Louisiana's Captivating Capital

© By Mike Keenan
 
Huey Long was one of the most controversial political figures in Louisiana history. In Baton Rouge, you get to know the man many called "the Kingfish." From the moment Dr. Carl Austin Weiss was killed by Huey Long's bodyguards in the State Capitol following Long's assassination, speculation existed that Weiss may not have been responsible for Long's death. Tours are available at the State Capitol where Long was killed, Long's governor's mansion and LSU, where Long built a Federally funded, oval-shaped dormitory known as Tiger Stadium. The Old State Capitol houses the Center of Political and Governmental History, which relates the Long story and features an exhibition that includes the gun allegedly used to kill him. The Louisiana State Museum's Huey Long exhibit features a "Tommy gun," used by Long's bodyguards on the day of his assassination, and the original headstone used for his grave.
     The Old State Capitol is perched along the Mississippi River and now the Center for Political and Governmental History, serving as an interactive and interpretive center that outlines the history of Louisiana. The heavy Gothic-style of the Old State Capitol is in stark contrast to the sleek lines of the Art Deco-styled, new State Capitol. The tallest capitol in the nation still contains bullet holes from the assassination of Huey P. Long, buried on the grounds and surrounded by lush
 


Louisiana's Governor Huey Long
manicured gardens.

Houmas Plantation  Nottoway Plantation  Mississippi River Boats  Laura (Creole) Plantation  Alligator Bayou

     Featuring a sub-tropical climate, Baton Rouge has incredible gardens such as Rosedown Plantation, one of the nations' five most historic gardens, with 28 acres of gardens and the Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens, with 25 acres, featuring classical statuary along with 20 buildings depicting various aspects of pre-industrial life in Louisiana.
     The Baton Rouge area boasts the largest concentration of plantation homes in the South. Many offer bed and breakfast accommodations, and each home has its own history, architecture and story to tell, from Gothic-styled San Francisco Plantation to Oak Alley with its centuries old live oaks draped with Spanish moss. There are Creole homes like Magnolia Mound, homes with African-American influence (Laura Plantation is the American home to the B'rer Rabbit tales), homes with English influence in St. Francisville, and homes such as Nottoway that are truly beyond comparison. Travel along the scenic River Road and view the majesty of the Mighty Mississippi as you listen to the stories from the past.
     A variety of attractions are showcased along the riverfront such as the USS KIDD, a restored WWII destroyer and Veterans Memorial Museum; the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and Irene W. Pennington Planetarium; the Shaw Center for the Arts; and the Old State Capitol, serving as the Louisiana Center for Political and Governmental History. Two riverboat casinos also offer gaming and a great view of river life along the Mississippi.
     Alligator Bayou and BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center just minutes away from downtown Baton Rouge offer tours withviews of alligators, nutria, egrets and other swamp creatures.
     The food here must be tasted to be believed with Creole and Cajun influences. Seafood, po-boys, muffalettas, beignets, jambalaya and étouffée are served in local restaurants. Esoteric dishes include Hallelujah Crab, Mahogany Duck, alligator sausage and sensation salads! Baton Rouge is home to more restaurants per capita (900) than any other city in the nation.

USS Kidd & Veterans Memorial Museum  Capitol  State Museum  Planetarium  Old Governor Mansion

     With so much to offer, many movies have been made here including All The Kings Men - appropriately filmed at the Louisiana State Capitol. History, food, architecture, horticulture and throw in a little mystery. It's the perfect recipe for tourists!

Mike Keenan writes for QMI Agency (Sun Media) Canada's largest newspaper publisher, printing 44 daily newspapers as well as a web portal, Canoe.ca. Besides regular columns for the St. Catharines Standard, Welland Tribune and Niagara Falls Review. Mike has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. His work is found in QMI published dailies such as the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, Vancouver Sun, London Free Press, Calgary Sun, Winnipeg Sun and Edmonton Sun.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Visit Baton Rouge

If you go
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as seen on
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Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_rouge
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Baton_Rouge
About.com: http://honeymoons.about.com/od/louisiana/Louisiana_Honeymoons_Romantic_Getaways.htm
Visit Baton Rouge: http://www.visitbatonrouge.com/

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/




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