When the weather starts to cool, slowly and mildly as it’s known to do in South Louisiana, the lucky locals of Baton Rouge look forward to what comes next: gumbo season. While there’s no “official” credence, fall and early winter impart an undeniable craving for the rich and hearty roux-based stew called gumbo. Crab, shrimp, smoked sausage, chicken, okra—the ingredients vary greatly by chef, but nearly every Baton Rouge restaurant serving Creole and Cajun classics will have it on the menu. More importantly, it’s going to be good.
So what happens when the gumbo’s gone? When you’ve reached the bottom of the bowl, ordered a second for the table and are ready to explore? Spend a weekend in Louisiana’s historic Capital City and you’ll learn that when it comes to Southern traditions, there’s plenty to go around.
Tailgating and gumbo go together like football and marching bands, so an LSU or Southern University game day is an electrifying first impression of the city this time of year. If football isn’t your cup of tea? Try a different spirit. Head down town where a variety of cocktail bars, breweries and distilleries are all with in walking distance of hotels, museums and more. Oxbow Rum Distillery has become a fan favorite for its tours and tastings of premium rum made from Louisiana sugar cane, grown along the bends of the Mississippi River. After you sip your spirits beneath the twinkling lights of the outdoor tasting room, take a stroll down to the Mighty Mississippi herself and watch the sunset over a glistening horizon.
Once you’ve had your fill of flavor, the music and art scene in Baton Rouge is not to be missed. National headliners and local talent bring old and new sounds of folk, funk, blues, rock and country to venues across the city, while incredible art can be found just about anywhere—from festival grounds and city sidewalks, to the Baton Rouge Gallery and seasonal events like White Light Night and Sundays in the Park.
When it’s all said and done, and you’ve been enchanted by the slow, sweet serenade of Southern hospitality, it’s only fitting that you bookend your stay with a heart-warming crescendo of local flavor. Frank’s Restaurant, known for “the best homemade biscuits in the world” is one of the best-kept secrets for breakfast. Sharing the category with other greats like Louie’s and Dearman’s, all three have been serving the city for over half a century.
Just like a gumbo, time spent in Baton Rouge is a blend of all things good, one serendipitous moment after the next. Whether it’s the food, music, sports or history that brings you here, the easiest way to plan your trip is visitbatonrouge.com. The rest is gumbo and gravy. Take it easy and enjoy.