Travel Guide: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Today's travel guide is a super fun one - my first time in Louisiana was such a great time! I stopped in Baton Rouge for about 24 hours because it was a good halfway point on my drive from Texas to Florida. I was so excited to explore this area because it looked so beautiful in pictures and there is so much to do there. It seemed like the perfect city for my first Louisiana experience. If you're looking for some tips for where to stay, what to eat, and what to do for fun in Baton Rouge, read on!
I did a lot of research to find the best Baton Rouge hotel to stay at. I've stayed at some pretty sketchy hotels in my life, and since I was traveling alone, I wanted to make sure I picked a good one this time. Review after review convinced me how great this hotel was. I knew I couldn't stay anywhere else during my visit to Baton Rouge. L'Auberge Casino came out on top - it has amazing reviews and has won countless awards (it won a #17 spot on US News World Report's best hotels in Louisiana for 2018). This beautiful 4.5 star hotel and casino is nestled right up next to the Mississippi River. It is modern and clean, with the most friendly staff and most comfortable bed. I fell in love with L'Auberge the second I walked in the door. I seriously wanted to move in after only one night there.

I stayed in L'Auberge's Iris suite. This 798 square foot oasis has a huge full-sized living room, a giant master suite, a spacious bathroom (with a tv in the mirror!), and the most comfortable bed I've ever laid on. I slept on an air mattress all summer long, and had been in the car all day, so I definitely had my fingers crossed that this bed would be welcoming. The suite overlooked the Casino and had beautiful views of the Mississippi River. Getting ready in the bathroom in the morning was quite the experience - I literally was able to watch tv IN THE MIRROR while I was doing my makeup! So cool. 

The hotel feels secluded but is only about 10 minutes from the heart of downtown Baton Rouge, making it the perfect location to stay. They also had tons of available (free) parking between their several parking lots and covered parking garages. I have a new car, so I always get a little paranoid about leaving my car in parking lots overnight (especially when my entire life was inside that car after living in Texas for the summer). I didn't feel even slightly nervous leaving my car in the L'Auberge parking lot. It was super well-lit and there was security everywhere. It's nice to have that extra piece of mind, especially when you're traveling alone.
You know a girl loves her food, so here are my recommendations. I didn't have a ton of time to eat since I was only in Baton Rouge for 24 hours, but I did some research to find some great places to try. I can't wait until I can make a return trip when I have more time!

Obviously the first place I scoped out was a coffee shop. I hit up Yelp and Instagram to find the best of the best in Baton Rouge - enter: Lighthouse Coffee. I was super pumped when I walked in the door because the aesthetic was me to a T. I ordered an iced cereal latte after seeing it on Instagram, and it was as delicious as it sounds. I guess they change the cereal they use in this latte on a daily basis, which is so fun! On the day of my visit, they were using my favorite cereal (Reese's Puffs). What are the odds of that?! Anyways, they made a delicious latte and then finished it off with some Reese's Puffs on top. It is right by the LSU campus, so there were a lot of students there. If I had time, I definitely could have spent a whole day working at this cute coffee shop.

I swear I had more than just coffee on this trip. Because I am also obsessed with burgers, I needed to find a good one. I heard BurgerSmith had the best burger in the area, so that's where I stopped for lunch on my way out of town. I got a burger (obviously) and some of their parmesan french fries. The burger was not the best one I've ever had by any means, but the fries were the best EVER. I could have just eaten a huge basket of fries and skipped the burger.

If you're feeling lazy and don't want to wander far for food, L'Auberge has tons of amazing options right inside the hotel. With four restaurants right on site, there's something for everyone. They have Bon Temps Buffet, which is open pretty much all day every day. The buffet has tasty Louisiana seafood, Southern comfort food, and great dessert options. L'Auberge also has an upscale sports bar, steak house, and a 24-hour grab and go cafe.
If you've ever read a travel guide from Baton Rouge, you'd know that the city has dozens of things to do. Like I said, I didn't have a ton of time, but I feel like the things I did were good choices. I left Baton Rouge feeling accomplished and like I had seen a lot of what the city had to offer in only 24 hours. One of the more relaxing activities to partake in during your visit is relaxing poolside at the rooftop pool at L'Auberge. It was sadly closed while I was there, but I did get to snap a few photos. It looks like such an amazing area to spend a day!

If you're looking to indulge in a little Baton Rouge history, be sure to stop at the Old Capitol building and the New Capitol building. Each one is unique and has something fun to offer.

My first stop was at the Old Capitol. This beautiful building looks like a castle. It's so crazy to me that such a beautiful, historic building was smack dab in the middle of a modern downtown area. The looming clouds from when I was there gave it major American Horror Story vibes. 

I headed down the road a few miles to the New Capitol. I loved how close the two buildings were because I was on a time crunch. While the New Capitol building is not quite as cool looking on the outside as the Old Capitol, it was still a neat place to check out. Inside, visitors are able to head up to the very top of the tower to an observation deck.

The deck has beautiful views of the city and the Mississippi River. You can't tell from the photo below, but when I was up there the wind was 40mph and I felt like I was going to blow away! It was definitely worth trying to beat the rain to get up there though.

The perfect way to wrap up a fun day of sightseeing is hitting the L'Auberge Casino. The best part is that when you're staying at L'Auberge, you don't even have to leave the building! They have a casino attached to the hotel. The casino has 1,500 slot machines, poker games, and other table games.

To add to all the greatness, I learned that the hotel often hosts big names in the music industry for concerts and other events. There is so much to do at this hotel! It really completes your all-around Baton Rouge experience.

Baton Rouge really exceeded my expectations. It was a smaller city than I expected, but beautiful nonetheless. It is not far from New Orleans, but has a much more relaxed vibe. I wish I had more than 24 hours to spend there, but I feel like I got to experience a lot of the city in my short time there. If I'm being honest, Louisiana was not super high on my travel bucket list, but I am SO glad I took a chance on Baton Rouge. I am also so happy with my experience with L'Auberge. It is one of the most amazing hotels I have ever stayed at in my life! I can't wait to stay there next time I find myself in Baton Rouge. You can check out their website HERE. If you've ever visited Baton Rouge, leave a comment down below to share your must-do's with everyone!

This post is sponsored by L'Auberge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. All text and opinions are my own.