Baton Rouge on a Budget

Here are some top picks for enjoying the capital city without spending a fortune.

Louisiana's Old State Capitol Building

Louisiana's Gothic-style Old State Capitol building.

USS KIDD in Baton Rouge

USS KIDD World War II destroyer.

Capitol Park Museum

Capitol Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge.

Let's dig into some of Baton Rouge’s hidden gems and local favorites that don’t break the bank. Here are our top places that cost $15 or less.

Shaw Center for the Arts

Price Breakdown: Free

You can’t fully enjoy downtown Baton Rouge without stopping by the Shaw Center for the Arts. The enormous museum complex provides activities for lovers of the arts. The building covers an entire city block in downtown Baton Rouge and comprises the Manship Theatre, LSU Museum of Art and the LSU School of Art Alfred C. Glassell Jr. Exhibition Gallery. The LSU Museum of Art is a highlight, presenting world-class touring exhibitions of regional, American, and European painting, sculpture, decorative arts, works on paper, and photography. The permanent collection consists of more than 6,500 objects, ranging from a world-class collection of Chinese jade to one of the most comprehensive public collections of Louisiana art. 

LSU’s Mike the Tiger Habitat

Price Breakdown: Free

Louisiana State University is represented by its legendary mascot, a live tiger named Mike the Tiger. Visit Mike in his 15,000 sq. ft, state-of-the-art habitat located near Tiger Stadium. The habitat incorporates lush plantings, a large Live Oak tree, a beautiful waterfall, and a stream evolving from a rocky backdrop overflowing with vegetation. You may just catch Mike swimming in his pond or playing with his ball!

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

Price Breakdown: Free

Louisiana's Old State Capitol is one of the state's most historic buildings and a National Historic Landmark - completed in 1852. Today, the Gothic-style building, overlooking the Mississippi River, houses the Museum of Political History that tells the story of Louisiana's rich political history through lively and engaging exhibits. The building is famous for its architecture, especially the stained glass dome and beautiful spiral staircase.

Capitol Park Museum

Price Breakdown: Adults - $7; Children 6 and under - Free

Visit the Capitol Park Museum to explore a range of exhibits highlighting the incredibly diverse history of Louisiana. The museum includes two permanent exhibits: Grounds for Greatness: Louisiana and the Nation and Experiencing Louisiana: Discovering the Soul of America. Learn about local music like zydeco, swamp pop and New Orleans jazz (and the iconic Louis Armstrong), Mardi Gras, a Cajun fais-do-do, and more Louisiana history, industry and culture.

Louisiana Art & Science Museum

Price Breakdown: Adults $12; Children $10

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum is housed in a historic railroad depot on the banks of the Mississippi river and has both rotating and permanent exhibitions for a variety of interests, from ancient Egypt to the solar system. See a 2,300-year-old mummy at the Ancient Egypt Gallery, hands-on art and science galleries, and digital movies and sky shows at the state-of-the-art Irene W. Pennington Planetarium. 

USS KIDD & Veterans Museum

Price Breakdown: Adults - $12.53; Children - $8.36

Walk along the levee bordering the mighty Mississippi River and you’ll find the USS KIDD & Veterans Museum.  At the Louisiana Memorial Plaza, spend time looking at the names of fallen heroes and the eternal flame and reading the stories of our nation’s brave heroes. Walk the decks of this World War II destroyer and visit the museum to see the aircraft that soared through the skies of Southeast Asia during two eras of conflict, examine the dented helmet of an infantryman who stormed the beaches of Normandy, and so much more.

Note: The USS KIDD Veterans Museum is temporarily moving to Houma for repairs projected to last through 2025. The museum will remain open throughout repairs. Patrons are invited to visit the museum's website for virtual tours, too.  

Baton Rouge Zoo

Price Breakdown: Adults - $8.75; Children - $5.75

Connect with wild animals at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo! Visit the world-class Realm of the Tiger, featuring highly endangered tigers and a beautiful aviary. You'll also see rhinos, hippos, giraffes, alligators, bald eagles, flamingos and everything in between. Don't miss the Otter Pond with underwater viewing and L'aquarium de Louisiane with exotic fish and Atlantic stingrays. Let the kiddos run wild at the KidsZoo and Safari Playground, grab a bite at the Flamingo Cafe and take home a souvenir from the Safari Post Gift Shop.

Greenwood Community Park

Price Breakdown: Free

The Greenwood Community Park is one of BREC’s largest parks, offering plenty of open space and a plethora of activities for every interest. The park features an 18-acre lake where you can get out on the water on a kayak or canoe – take a leisurely paddle or cast a line and see what bites. Let the kids cool off on a hot day at the splash pad after a long day at the playground. Check out the popular 18-hole disc golf course. If you have a furry friend with you, stop by the Raising Cane's Dog Park - featuring separate small and large dog play areas, a water station, benches and pavilion. History buff? The Cypress Bayou Lake Trail includes fishing piers, benches and interpretive signage that will tell the story of the use of this site as a World War II ammunitions depot associated with Harding Air Field. There’s something for everyone!