Home of popular Old State Capitol, USS Kidd Veterans Memorial, Louisiana State University and lots of things to do on Memorial day in Baton Rouge. We've compiled some of the best things to do in Baton Rouge on this Memorial Day holiday.
The Old State Capitol building is a striking Gothic-Revival castle that was built in 1847. It is noteworthy both from a historical and architectural perspective, and is worth a look, even if just from the outside.
The castle was burned by the Union Army, and in 1882, it was repaired and served as the state capitol until 1932, when the new State Capitol building opened. This eye-catching structure standing high on a bluff over the Mississippi River is now a museum of political history.
The museum offers a number of good exhibits that include The Legacy of Huey Long, The Governors' Portrait Gallery, Baton Rouge and the Civil War, and several others. The Old State Capitol hosts various events and can be rented out as a venue for weddings and other occasions.
A short walk from the State Capitol building is the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial. This attraction centers on the destroyer USS KIDD, named after Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr., who was killed on the USS Arizona during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
The ship was launched in 1943 and was nicknamed the "Pirate of the Pacific." The stories of its long and interesting history before it was decommissioned in 1964 are told on board. The ship has been used in several movies over the decades, as well as historical documentaries. Today, visitors can climb aboard to see the USS KIDD for themselves and learn all about its past.
The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial complex also consists of an observation tower and museum. This Historic Warship & Nautical Center has many one-of-a-kind artifacts, a model ship collection, and a miniature replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall found in Washington D.C.
The Louisiana State University was established in 1860 near Alexandria, and in 1869, it was moved to Baton Rouge. In 1926, the university moved to its current location. Some of the highlights include the LSU Rural Life Museum and the LSU Museum of Natural Science.
American Indian mounds, located on the grounds, are believed to be more than 1,600 years old. Popular athletic programs and venues on the LSU campus include baseball at Alex Box Stadium/Skip Bertman Field and football at the LSU Tiger Stadium.
The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge was built in the early 1930s. This landmark structure stands 450 feet high with 34 floors. The limestone on the exterior is adorned with many symbolic images representing the state, and the marble of the interior matches well with the ornate furnishings throughout the building.
Flanking the exterior stairs are two groups of statues: The Patriots, an armored soldier and the mourners of a warrior slain in battle; and the Pioneers, a robed woman surrounded by settlers.
The construction of the State Capitol was the result of efforts by Huey Pierce Long, a Louisiana governor, who would eventually become a member of the U.S. Senate. He fought hard to have the structure built, succeeded, and was later assassinated in this same building.
Huey Pierce Long is buried on the grounds, where you'll find his memorial. Consider taking the building tour on Memorial Day, which includes a ride up an elevator to an observation deck for views out over the city. The Louisiana State Capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Magnolia Mound was built in the last half of the 18th century and shows the architectural influences brought by early settlers from France and the West Indies. Throughout the years, the home has been owned by a variety of different people who took the liberty of making their own alterations and extensions.
The home, a wooden structure of bousillage construction, still maintains much of its 18th- and 19th-century appearance. It is surrounded by old oak trees. The property was expropriated by the city of Baton Rouge to be maintained as a historical symbol of an earlier age.
Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and open to the public for tours during Memorial Day. The property includes almost 15 acres, consisting of the main house and several other buildings.
Ten different flags have flown over Louisiana. The LSU Rural Life Museum presents the lifestyles and cultures of pre-industrial Louisiana. Highlights include Louisiana Folk Architecture, a collection of seven buildings that illustrate the various cultural influences of Louisiana's settlers; The Barn with items from prehistoric times to the 20th century; and The Working Plantation, a complex of buildings furnished to reconstruct the activities of life on a 19th-century working plantation.
The museum grounds are 25 acres in size and contain 32 historic buildings. Some of the highlights of the Folk Architecture are a church, cabin, Acadian house, and potato house. On Memorial Day, tours are generally self-guided, but docent-led tours may be arranged in advance.
Located on 103 acres on the southwest side of the city, the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center provides research and education resources in a natural setting. A mile of gravel paths and boardwalks winds through the conservation space, leading to distinct areas of the park, like a cypress-tupelo swamp and hardwood forests.
As well as the wildlife-watching opportunities along the trail, you can get up close to animals in the 9,500-square-foot Exhibit Building. The building also features information related to the flora and fauna of the region, mineral and artifact displays, and an extensive waterfowl decoy carving collection.