Combining the charms of the old South with lively Creole culture, Baton Rouge attracts more than one million visitors each year. Easy access and proximity to New Orleans are certainly two top factors making Baton Rouge an ideal destination. For those traveling by plane, the city is home to Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, which offers non-stop access to major cities and connecting service throughout the world. Additionally, nearby Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans offers even more travel options on nine major carriers and soon-to-be-resumed international flights.
Once in the city, guests are met with over 8,000 hotel rooms. From full-service hotel chains to historic cottages to budget-friendly inns, properties of all price points line the pedestrian-friendly streets of downtown. For quicker travel, a convenient free downtown trolley service can ferry guests among hotels, top attractions, and meeting venues of all kinds.
The first of the trolley's 20 downtown stops is at the stunning Baton Rouge River Center. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, the River Center features over 200,000 square feet of space. Among its versatile venues are a 100,000-square-foot exhibition hall, an elegant 26,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, a 70,000-square-foot arena, and a sophisticated 1,900-seat Theatre of Performing Arts. Featuring spacious light-filled rooms, state-of-the-art amenities and breathtaking riverfront views, the River Center is an ideal choice for memorable meetings and conferences in Baton Rouge.
Also sure to be memorable are the several unique venues located throughout the city. Host a meeting at the Louisiana State Museum, which offers more than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for up to 750 people. Or, inspire attendees with a backdrop of world culture and scientific discovery in the soaring atrium at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. For an evening of Southern splendor, the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens is capable of accommodating up to 5,000 guests on 36 awe-inspiring acres.
Of course nothing livens up meetings and events like spirited jazz and zydeco music complemented by Creole and Cajun cuisine. It's not hard to find this combination in Baton Rouge, thanks to a number of popular restaurants offering private function space. Up to 700 guests can feast on Creole masterpieces at award-winning Juban's, while Mike Anderson's Seafood serves up catfish, oysters, crawfish and more to up to 80 guests in a relaxed setting. To really revive guests after a long day in the boardroom, Alligator Bayou offers a waterside pavilion where guests can dance to the sounds of blues or swamp pop and enjoy Chef Mike's out-of-this-world white chocolate bread pudding.
Several major corporations are headquartered in Baton Rouge including the Shaw Group, Cajun Industries, Energy Gulf States Louisiana, and Turner Industries Group, LLC. In addition, the city is home to several large companies including ExxonMobil, Dow Chemicals and Nan Ya Plastics. Louisiana State University and Southern University are also in Baton Rouge.
Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is Louisiana's capital and most populous city with nearly 800,000 residents. Spanning approximately 79.1 square miles, it is one of the southernmost capital cities in the lower 48 United States along with Tallahassee, Florida, and Austin, Texas. A magnificent blend of past and present, Baton Rouge shines with all the sophistication of a modern city while holding steadfast to the graceful charms of its Southern roots.
Baton Rouge bore the colors of a number of different flags before being incorporated as a U.S. city in 1817. In fact, the city dates back 300 years to when, in 1699, French explorer Sieur d'Iberville named the region during an expedition along the Mississippi River. The one-time home of the French, the English, the Spanish and the Confederacy, Baton Rouge is an exciting medley of cultural influences. From Cajun and Creole to antebellum homes and Zydeco dancing, the city is a tapestry of converging cultures sure to enchant visitors from across the country.
Guests often begin their journey into Baton Rouge's vibrant past by stopping by one of the many historic sites and attractions dotted across the city. See Louis Armstrong's bugle and the four-pounder gun used in the Battle of New Orleans at the captivating Louisiana State Museum-Baton Rouge. Or, take a step back in time at one of the city's lovingly-preserved plantation homes. From the Magnolia Mound Plantation to the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, these glorious estates impart a true taste of the lives of Baton Rouge's past residents.
As Baton Rouge's colorful history enlightens guests, its opportunities for entertainment and adventure energizes them. The Belle of Baton Rouge Casino offers the excitement of Las Vegas-style gaming on a three-deck boat. Docked in the heart of the city, Belle offers round-the-clock gaming, live performances and top-notch dining. Or, visitors can get out on the water in an entirely different setting, the Louisiana Bayou. Bayou River Boat Adventures offers swamp tours, moonlight and starlight tours as well as boat rentals. Alligator Bayou Swamp Tours are another option for guests looking to get up-close and personal to the native animals of residents of the area's wetlands.
Not all of Baton Rouge's outdoor adventures require guests to come face-to-face with predators. At nearby Tickfaw State Park, they can visitors can take a stroll through four ecosystems thanks to a mile of boardwalks, or rent a canoe to explore the Tickfaw River. For sports enthusiasts, Baton Rouge is a delight with high-caliber golfing and fishing options. Its collegiate athletics are also top-notch, including the championship-winning LSU Tigers football team. Whether reclining on a plantation veranda or getting down and dirty in the Bayou, guests to Baton Rouge will have no trouble finding a reason to stick around.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Beautiful Baton Rouge has a semi-tropical climate characterized by sultry summers and mild, short-lived winters. A year-round destination, Baton Rouge's annual average temperature is a pleasant 67.5°F. Temperatures in winter average a modest 52°F, while summer temperatures average 81.3°F. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year with an average annual accumulation of 55 inches.
With warm temperatures throughout the year, anytime is a good time to visit Baton Rouge. However, the absolute best time to go is during the spring. Thanks to cool, breezy nights and warm, sunny days, visitors can take in the majestic blooms and exciting outdoor adventures of this welcoming Southern city.
Baton Rouge River Center
Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Baton Rouge River Center has modernized the downtown core. With a ballroom, theater, arena and exhibition hall, the center encompasses a total of over 200,000 square feet of meeting space. Not surprisingly, the center attracts a great variety of events, from music headliners like Tim McGraw to the Baton Rouge Boat & Sports Show.
Recently renovated, the new Exhibition Hall includes 70,000 square feet of space that can be modified in a variety of configurations. Combined with the arena, the hall provides over 100,000 square feet of continuous space. The Theatre of Performing Arts holds up to 1,900 guests, while the stately Grand Ballroom offers over 26,000 square feet of space. The River Center complex also includes 21,000 square feet of meeting space, 62,000 square feet of pre-function space, and exterior verandas with breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.
The well-appointed center houses an on-site catering service that can accommodate any number of guests. Dining options include local favorites such as fried catfish, jambalaya and oysters. The River Center facilities can also provide audio-visual and networking capabilities.
In addition to first-class meeting space and countless amenities, the River Center is conveniently located within walking distance of 600 hotel rooms and within five miles of an additional 2,600 rooms. The downtown location provides countless entertainment options for guests visiting River Center; the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, USS Kidd Veterans Memorial and Museum, and Louisiana Art & Science Museum are all nearby. River Center offers 1,300 parking spaces in two garages.
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR)
Approximate taxi fare: $20 USD
Located just four miles north of the downtown district, Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport provides easy access to the city and its vast attractions. The airport offers non-stop service to major cities across the United States including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Memphis, Orlando and Washington, DC.
Nestled within the airport's two terminals are numerous amenities including restaurants and shops, a business center, a conference room and free wireless Internet access. For passenger convenience, the airport also offers 1,300 parking spaces.
Airline carriers serving Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport
Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY)
Approximate taxi fare: $100 USD
Located just 70 miles away from downtown, New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International Airport is another option for traveling to Baton Rouge. The airport offers service to over 30 cities across the country. Nine major carriers, including American, Continental, Delta and United, operate out of Louis Armstrong International.
Service to international cities is expected to resume in the near future as part of the airport's post-Hurricane Katrina recovery initiative. In fact, in the summer of 2009 AeroMexico began offering non-stop service between New Orleans and Mexico City. As of 2008, airport operations had returned to 80 percent of their pre-Katrina status.
Amenities abound at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Advanced baggage check-in, free wireless Internet access, tax-free shopping, lounges and financial services are all available to make the passenger experience more comfortable. The airport also features a cell phone pick-up lot, ticketless parking, and 5,500 spaces combined between its short and long-term facilities.
Committed to improving customer service, the airport also recently launched the $8 million "Music to Your Eyes" campaign. The initiative included external terminal improvements such as changes to lighting, cleanliness and seating areas.
Airline carriers serving Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Baton Rouge's Capital Area Transit System operates a network of buses known as CATS. Buses provide easy access to all parts of the city as well as to LSU and Southern University. Overall, CATS offers 17 routes throughout the city.
Regular one way fare is $1.75 per adult and $0.35 for seniors.
As part of the downtown development project, Baton Rouge offers a free, convenient trolley service. The trolley cars make 20 stops at major points of interest throughout the downtown area including the River Center, Old State Capitol, Old Governor's Mansion and the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino.
Trolleys run Monday through Friday from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Fare is free.
Visitors to Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport can find the desks for car rental companies just past the baggage claim area. Representatives from Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty are available to assist arriving guests.
Passengers traveling from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will find the desks for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty on the lower level of the airport.
Taxi cab service is available from both Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Taxis can be found lined up outside the baggage claim areas of both airports.
Approximate fare from Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport to downtown Baton Rouge is $20. Taxi service from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to downtown Baton Rouge is approximately $100.
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