Louisiana is one unique destination. With so many different cultural experiences packed into one relatively small state, locals and visitors are lucky to have so much to do, see, and explore whether for a weekend or a whole summer. Different areas of the state all have their own charm. This summer, journey through the state’s capital city and its surrounding areas, which offer everything from big-city excitement to small-town festivals and fun. Central Louisiana is a great stop for history buffs looking to further their knowledge of Louisiana’s military contributions to the country. Down in Cajun Country, festivals serve up delicious food and live music to accompany the gorgeous bayou scenery and opportunities for outdoor fun. Take your summer adventure across Louisiana and explore a side of the state you’ve not seen before. From fine art to military fanfare, fais do dos, water parks, and golf courses, there’s something for everyone in Sportsman’s Paradise.
Baton Rouge & Surrounding Attractions
The LSU Museum of Art’s Art in Louisiana exhibition features permanent collection highlights of Louisiana art, both historic and contemporary. Galleries devoted to Newcomb Pottery, New Orleans Silver, and contemporary Louisiana art make it a central hub for experiencing insightful and inspiring local works.
On June 27th, the museum opened two new exhibitions. An exhibition of jewelry, Adore | Adorn: The Elsie Michie Contemporary Jewelry Collection, features over 100 pieces of contemporary art jewelry that demonstrate the joy of making, collecting, and adornment. Semblance: The Public/Private/Shared Self features three contemporary painters who use the figure to explore identity in private and in public spaces.
On view until September 29th is Matt Wedel: On the Verge, an exhibition of ceramic sculpture by LSU School of Art Reilly visiting artist Matt Wedel, whose remarkably large-scale ceramic works explore culture and nature and push materials and forms to the verge of collapse.
For more details, visit lsumoa.org.
Check out the sunnier side of Baton Rouge this summer with a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure. Louisiana’s capital city offers exceptional experiences for the sporty, the nature-driven, and those looking for playful relaxation.
Indulge your competitive side while testing your limits at BREC’s Extreme Sports Park with its three skate parks, BMX track, rock climbing wall, and more. Golfers love the links at Santa Maria Golf Course, considered the best public course in Southeast Louisiana. Meanwhile, Topgolf offers a sports bar and golfing experience combined—compete with friends over cold beers at the open, interactive range.
Nature lovers flock to Baton Rouge’s lakes and the Mississippi River levee, where running and cycling are made even better by majestic natural scenery. Greenwood Community Park, Bluebonnet Swamp & Nature Center, and Baton Rouge Zoo offer their own unique explorations of the local landscape and its wildlife.
Summer’s the perfect time to cool off at Liberty Lagoon and Blue Bayou & Dixie Landin, water parks that both thrill and chill. Delicious icy treats at Snoman Snowballs also relieve the heat.
For more to do in Baton Rouge, go to visitbatonrouge.com.
Whether it is football you crave, high-speed drag racing, historic plantation homes, scenic views of the Mighty Mississippi or a fun festival, West Baton Rouge Parish has it all. This summer, celebrate the history of the nation. On July 4, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., gather with friends and family on the downtown Port Allen riverfront for the 14th annual holiday celebration featuring fireworks, live music, and activities for children. While in Port Allen, visit the West Baton Rouge Museum and view its current exhibition, Through Darkness to Light, Photographs Along the Underground Railroad.
This September, have a blast at the Oldies But Goodies Fest & BBQ Cook-off. Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, the West Baton Rouge Tourist Information & Conference Center will be taken over with live music, delicious barbecue, an antique car show, and more.
Save the date now for Reflections of the Season, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, December 20-21.
Visit WestBatonRouge.net for details and more events. Stop in at Exit #151 and visit the 13’, 760 lb. alligator, “Mobey,” as you travel through Louisiana.
Central Louisiana is home to a hidden gem for military history enthusiasts in the form of the Louisiana Maneuvers and Military Museum. The Museum is located on the grounds of Camp Beauregard in Pineville and offers free admission to the public. Built as a replica WWII barracks, the Museum houses memorabilia and artifacts from the WWII era in addition to that of WWI and earlier time periods. Visitors can view life-size military vehicles, authentic military uniforms, and historic pieces from the home front while learning about the Louisiana Maneuvers.
After experiencing the museum, step into the lobby of the historic Hotel Bentley where an exhibit about the Louisiana Maneuvers fascinates locals and visitors alike. Complete your military history experience by heading to the site of Camp Claiborne in Kisatchie National Forest to see where the 101st and the 82nd Airborne Divisions began.
To learn more or begin planning a trip, visit AlexandriaPinevilleLA.com or call 800-551-9546.
St. Mary Parish, also known as the Cajun Coast, is a treasure for experiencing the great outdoors in Sportsman’s Paradise. Surrounded by the waters of Bayou Teche, Atchafalaya River, and the Atchafalaya Swamp Basin, the Cajun Coast is known for its natural splendor and “road less traveled” atmosphere. Options for exploration, relaxation, and excitement abound on both water and land.
Find your calm among the serene wilderness of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area or along the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway. Boaters enjoy the waters of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest overflow swamp, as well as the scenery and sounds of the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge. Golfers love the Atchafalaya at Idlewild, which was rated the number one golf course in Louisiana by Golfweek Magazine in 2008 and 2009 and number two by Golf Advisor in 2017.
This summer, experience, Morgan City’s Bayou BBQ Bash (July 12-13), The 50th celebration of Easy Rider at Bikers on the Bayou (July 13), and the Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival during Labor Day Weekend. For more information, visit CajunCoast.com.