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Mike the Tiger Habitat in Baton Rouge

List of 13 Free Places to Visit in Baton Rouge (2023)

You probably are aware of New Orleans, but did you realize that it isn’t the state capital of Louisiana? Beautiful Baton Rouge, to the north, is home to the government’s headquarters. However, Baton Rouge is not just home to the legislature; it also offers a beautiful river walk, excellent restaurants, stunning art, and a rich history. Baton Rouge is brimming with beautiful wildlife reserves, city parks, museums and art galleries, spectacular festivals, and a plethora of other events, free of cost! The only challenging thing is figuring out where to look for them. Baton Rouge is a fantastic place to experience culture on a tight budget because it is amongst the South’s most reasonably priced travel destinations. We’ve put up a bunch of free activities in the capital city of Louisiana for you tourists who want to travel light and have a lot of fun simultaneously.

Not all entertainment needs to be expensive. This is a compiled list of free things to do in Baton Rouge.

List of 13 Free Places to Visit in Baton Rouge

The ideas on this list can be helpful whether you’re looking for last-minute activities in Baton Rouge today or making advance plans for a long weekend.

1. Louisiana State University Museum of Art

The Louisiana State University Museum of Art is home to the South’s most prominent art collection. The museum exhibits work by rising and well-known artists in its 14 galleries, which are scattered across 13,000 square feet. Their inventory is constantly changing, so you can check out their following exhibits instead if you don’t like their present ones because you could find something there that interests you.

See more than 6,500 works of art from all over the world when you visit the LSU Museum of Art. You can explore the collections of artwork belonging to the South only on the first Sunday of every month for no money at all, including sculptures, pictures, and paintings.

With its soaring 15-foot ceilings, this stunning modern room can hold artworks of all sizes and mediums. Additionally, there is a different installation devoted to the local history of Louisiana. All year long, entrance is free for kids under 12 years old, students with valid IDs, and members.

2. Mike the Tiger Habitat

Visit Mike the Tiger in his 15,000-square-foot enclosure. From the “Wild at Heart Wildlife Center” refuge in Okeechobee, Florida, came Mike VII, a tiger with traits of both the Siberian and Bengal species. He is the sole real tiger that exists on an American college campus. While you’re here, take a selfie with the life-sized and realistic Mike statue along the main road at Tiger Stadium.

3. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

The most amazing Southern Baton Rouge has been considered as a sheath to 103-acre Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. This center hails with a mission to protect the native animals as well as the animals. This way, it would also be easier for it to reach out to as many people as possible regarding the same.

This place is surely the best location for admiring nature’s beauty and gaining some more knowledge about it. There are a lot of activities held here and some of them are bird watching and other craft activities. If you would like to explore the various trails in the preserve on your own, you should definitely bring a map!

It has to be noted that only children are admitted for free; entry for adults is $3. If you’d prefer not to pay, offering your time and providing helpful service will allow you to visit the park without any fee!

4. University Lake

Located immediately south of Baton Rouge is University Lake. Visitors have a free opportunity to take in the city’s natural splendor thanks to the 2.5 miles of picturesque hiking and biking trails that encircle the lake. You can finish the entire walk in about an hour, and the paths are typically not too busy. You can complete a summertime stroll around the lake in time to see the sunset over the lake if you set out at around 7:00 p.m.

5. Mardi Gras

Although it’s not as well-known as the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Baton Rouge nonetheless throws an incredible annual extravaganza for the occasion! You’ll have access to all the outrageous masks, outfits, and beads you could ever want!

6. Riverfront Plaza

You can stroll for miles along the Mississippi River levee, or you can see the sights from the Downtown area. In addition to the American Queen, the biggest and most luxurious riverboat on the entire planet, you can also see the American Duchess and the new American Countess. You can also see the destroyer and the USS Kidd Museum, as well as the Sing the River statue, which marks the beginning of the Heart Project Walk.

Take a stroll through the lovely Riverfront Plaza, an eye-catching collection of plants, sculptures, fountains, and painted murals, for a relaxing evening that won’t cost you a penny. Considering how big the riverside is, you might wish to consult a map.

The plaza’s prime location a lot of other attractions, some of which are free and that you would love to explore, within easy walking distance. This makes follow-up tasks simple and affordable!

7. Red Stick Farmers’ Market

The neighborhood farmers market is available for browsing, purchasing, and sampling every sunny Saturday morning between 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Red Stick Farmers Market takes great pride in offering only seasonal, local, and fresh produce grown on the farms of commercial farmers.

The charity BREDA, which supports small family farms, promotes land stewardship, and ensures that everyone, regardless of financial level, has access to local foods, is the host of the market. The shop owners will provide free sampling, and attendees can buy food as a gratifying way to contribute back to the neighborhood.

8. Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

From the middle of the 19th century till the 1930s, when the present Capitol was built, the Louisiana Legislature was housed in the Old State Capitol, a historic structure. The stunning building features stunning glass-stained windows and is fashioned in the Gothic architectural style. Although it was renovated and relaunched in 1994 as the Museum of Political History, the Old State Capitol name is still widely used to refer to it.

Visitors are invited to explore Louisiana’s history interactively through the museum’s exhibits. The well-liked and acclaimed exhibit Ghost of the Castle Show explores the structure’s mysterious past. The museum is free to enter for everyone and is open from Tuesday to Saturday.

9. Public Parks

Public parks are the best places for everyone whether an individual or a family, especially because they are easily accessible. At BREC, there are more than 180 parks and the majority of them come inclusive of hiking paths, swimming pools and playgrounds. Not only this, if you have a furry friend with you, there are many dog parks out there where you can take him.

10. Blues Festival

Visiting Baton Rouge for nothing is one of the most fantastic things you can do every year during the Blues Festival. Every April, the celebration completely takes over the city.

Over the course of the weekend, live music, delicious food, and positive energy are everywhere! The festival’s purpose is to honor and value the “swamp blues,” a subgenre of the blues that originated in Baton Rouge. Visitors to the event frequently stop by Phil Brady’s Bar & Grill or Teddy’s Juke Joint, two legendary blues venues that were essential to the development of swamp blues.

11. LSU Hilltop Arboretum

You can find nearly every significant ecosystem in Louisiana in part-controlled microcosms at the Louisiana State University Hilltop Arboretum. It is meant to be preserved and studied; however, guests are welcome. Along with taking in the sounds and sights of the arboretum’s diverse animals, you may also become involved in one of the educational programs or lend a hand by volunteering.

12. Highland Road Park Observatory

Spend 1-2 hours observing the gorgeous evening sky, and you’ll quickly leave Baton Rouge—and the world. Alternatively, you may go to the observatory’s Friday night lectures if you want a more stern educational experience. Of course, there are many other events held at the venue all year long, but the majority of them are not free.

13. Hot Art Cool Nights

Mid City Merchants hosts a neighborhood-wide art event throughout Mid City Baton Rouge every spring. At a few venues, you may browse, pass by, and even buy artwork from regional and more well-known artists while enjoying live music totally free of cost!


If you are present in Baton Rouge but have a strict budget, you can check out some of its free places as well. Visiting such places would give you some amazing experiences and also, help you save huge!

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