Visit Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge Strong
In the aftermath of the "thousand-year flood" that devastated thousands of families in the Baton Rouge area in the summer of 2016 , Visit Baton Rouge wanted to spread a message of hope and strength.
As a native to Baton Rouge, I wanted to capture the spirit of camaraderie that I witnessed across South Louisiana as we worked together to recover after the disastrous Hurricane Katrina.
In true Louisiana fashion, what began as a poem became a rallying cry of recovery that was shared and celebrated by the affected and those who turned out to help.
"You'll Get the Picture" Campaign Manifesto
Around here, things have a kick.
And we’re not just talking about our home-grown spices and local flare for music. We’re talking about the Baton Rouge spirit: that certain unshakeable soul that’s wrapped into every plate of crawfish etoufee, every paint splattered canvas and every friendly wave as you walk down the boulevards and avenues of our city. Our people all have one thing in common when it comes to Baton Rouge – southern flavor and hospitality. At the intersection of Cajun and Creole, this city and its people are a gumbo of all things good in South Louisiana and the reason why we call Baton Rouge, the Crossroads of the South.
To those of us who live here, it’s not just another dot on the map or another check on a bucket list. It’s home. And we love our city. Like a really deep love for it. Every morning, we wake up, interact with its people and strive to make it the best it can be. Because it’s our city. Being natives to Baton Rouge, we’re also intimately familiar with our city’s best kept secrets. We want to share those authentic, and often curious experiences with travelers from all over the United States as well as Louisiana day-trippers and weekend travelers. That interplay of cultural icons and local charm is the story we want to tell.
You see, while there are many things to see and do in Baton Rouge, the things you’ll stick around for are the experiences you never saw coming. They’re the hidden gems that add a splash of flavor to the already savory atmosphere. And don’t just take our word for it. Ask the folks who live here, explore our city and you’ll get the picture, and while it’s certainly worth a thousand words, you’ll be too busy dining, celebrating and dreaming a thousand reasons to stick around for more.
You’ll get the picture, the portrait and even the tapestry. Yeah, a tapestry. While Baton Rouge was settled in 1699, our city has been at the crossroads before the Earth was round. Choctaw, French, Spanish, Cajun and Creole have all called our land home. We even have a castle. That’s right. A French castle. This gem is right smack in the middle of downtown, and one look at the spiraling colors in the rotunda will make every man and woman feel like a King. Stick around, explore our museums and you’ll hear stories as old as the Mississippi River itself.
What’s even more exciting though, the story of Baton Rouge doesn't stop there.
You’ll get the picture when flamingos paint the town pink and the trees have more beads than leaves. When Baton Rouge does a Mardi Gras parade, a whirlwind spectrum of colors decorates the street as an uproar of floats in Spanish Town, Southdowns and the Garden District parade past groves of oak and magnolia trees that seem to offer their own colorful accent to the scene.
And if you're sticking around Baton Rouge, then there's no better way to get the picture than with the food, right?
You’ll get the picture when you feast on a crispy flash-fried Louisiana soft-shelled crab stuffed with a mélange of Louisiana crawfish, shrimp and crabmeat, and topped with Creolaise sauce from Juban’s restaurant. Head on over to Mid-City and you’ll get the picture when you lick your sauce soaked fingertips after a sweetly glazed rack of ribs from Smokin’ Aces Barbeque. Stick around for LSU Football season and you’ll get the picture when chowing down on hot boudin and cold couscous at a purple and gold flocked tailgate on the LSU Parade Grounds.
Trust us on this one, you’ll want something fresh-brewed and ice cold to give your taste buds even more to think about. Before sundown, visit the Tin Roof Brewery and treat yourself to one or more beer concoctions, crafted to complement flavor as zesty as the food around here.
You’ll get the picture when you spend an evening relaxing on the riverfront. There’s nothing quite like standing on the levee, watching the mighty Mississippi River roll on by while the cascading purple and orange hues of sunset silhouette the landscape in a final dazzling display of radiance. When the twinkling lights on the bridge mix with the green and red lights of tugs on the river, the night becomes a celebration all its own.
Stick around after sundown because the festivities are just getting started on Downtown’s Third Street. Around every corner and on every balcony the party carries into the warm, shimmering night as jive scenes pour out of venues like The Roux House, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s and Club 1913. You’ll get the picture when legendary blues singer Buddy Guy gives a sweat-soaked performance at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. For everything pictures can’t put into words, the Baton Rouge music and entertainment scene is reason enough to stick around. Whether it’s a soulful blues jam at Teddy’s Juke Joint or a sold out crowd at Bayou Country SuperFest in Tiger Stadium, there’s a rhythm in this city that you have to hear to understand.
After a night of music and dancing, stay up and stick around for a piping hot, french-roasted coffee and a sugarcoated stack of fresh-baked beignets at the famous Coffee Call. When it's finally time to call it a night, rest assured knowing you'll sleep in comfort and style at world-class hotels like the eclectic Hotel Indigo or the historic Hilton Capitol Center. Better yet, wake up knowing you can experience every Baton Rouge gem all over again.
You see, the key to experiencing the real culture of any place is going two blocks off the beaten track to find the hidden gems that define the character of a place. There’s seeing and then there’s experiencing. To truly experience a place like Baton Rouge, it’s not enough to simply visit. It’s about living it. It takes a true cultural familiarity, a taste for the remarkable and a little bit of grit to promote on that scale.
Anyone can promote categories and generate buzz about food and music. We want to create a national following of diehard Baton Rouge fans. Not just the folks who visit for our food or our music. We’re thinking bigger. Like Tiger Stadium on a Saturday Night big. We want to attract people who are obsessed with our city - managers who ask for job transfers to Baton Rouge and teenagers who dream of the day they can move cross-country to live in the River City.