The 10 Best Museums in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital city, is a treasure trove of culture and history. Nestled along the Mississippi River, this vibrant community boasts a collection of museums that are as diverse as they are engaging. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or science geek, there’s a museum in Baton Rouge that will spark your curiosity and leave you with a deeper appreciation for the Pelican State.

1. Louisiana State Museum Baton Rouge

Let’s kick things off with a bang at the Louisiana State Museum Baton Rouge. This isn’t just any old museum; it’s a journey through Louisiana’s colorful past. From Mardi Gras festivities to the state’s rich political history, the exhibits here are as informative as they are captivating. You’ll find yourself lost in the stories of the bayou, and before you know it, hours have flown by.

2. LSU Museum of Art

Art lovers, rejoice! The LSU Museum of Art, located in the Shaw Center for the Arts, is a haven for the visually inclined. With over 6,500 works of art, ranging from Louisiana folk art to European masterpieces, this museum offers a feast for the eyes. The rotating exhibitions mean there’s always something new to discover, making each visit a fresh experience.

3. USS Kidd Veterans Museum

History comes to life aboard the USS Kidd, a Fletcher-class destroyer turned museum. Step onto the ship and back in time to World War Ii. The museum honors American veterans with artifacts, aircraft, and memorabilia that tell the tales of bravery and sacrifice. It’s a poignant reminder of the cost of freedom and a must-visit for anyone interested in military history.

4. Louisiana Art & Science Museum

Where art meets science, you’ll find the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. This family-friendly spot is perfect for curious minds of all ages. With interactive exhibits, an ancient Egypt gallery, and a state-of-the-art planetarium, it’s easy to spend an entire day here. The museum’s blend of education and entertainment is sure to ignite a passion for learning in kids and adults alike.

5. The Old Governor’s Mansion

Ever wondered how Louisiana’s governors lived? The Old Governor’s Mansion is your chance to step into their shoes. This stately home, often referred to as Louisiana’s White House, offers a glimpse into the elegance of the 1930s. The guided tours are rich with stories of political intrigue and high society, making it a fascinating stop for history enthusiasts.

6. Capitol Park Museum

The Capitol Park Museum is a gem within Baton Rouge’s landscape. It’s not just about the exhibits inside; the building itself is a modern architectural marvel. Inside, you’ll find comprehensive displays that cover everything from Louisiana’s natural resources to its cultural contributions, like jazz music and cuisine. It’s a Celebration of all things Louisiana and an educational experience you won’t want to miss.

7. Magnolia Mound Plantation

Take a step back into the antebellum South at Magnolia Mound Plantation. This preserved Homestead offers a sobering look at the region’s history. The beautiful grounds and historic buildings are a testament to the craftsmanship of the era. Yet, the plantation also provides an important context for the lives of the enslaved people who lived and worked there, offering a more complete picture of Southern heritage.

8. The Rural Life Museum

For a taste of 19th-century Louisiana, the Rural Life Museum is the place to be. It’s an open-air museum that brings history to life with its collection of refurbished buildings and artifacts. The museum showcases the lifestyles and traditions of rural Louisianans, offering a unique perspective on the state’s agricultural history. It’s a hands-on history lesson that’s both educational and enjoyable.

9. Knock Knock Children’s Museum

Knock Knock Children’s Museum is where fun and learning collide for the younger crowd. With 18 interactive learning zones, this museum is designed to stimulate young minds and encourage creative play. It’s a place where kids can be kids while also gaining valuable knowledge and skills. Parents will love the focus on early childhood education, and kids will just love the fun.

10. West Baton Rouge Museum

Last but certainly not least, the West Baton Rouge Museum offers a rich tapestry of local history. With a focus on the sugar industry and its impact on the region, the museum provides insight into the area’s development. The collection of historic buildings, including a slave cabin and a Creole cottage, adds depth to the stories told within its walls.


  • What are the best museums for kids in Baton Rouge?

    The Knock Knock Children’s Museum is a hit with the kids, thanks to its interactive exhibits. The Louisiana Art & Science Museum is also great for families, with its planetarium and hands-on science galleries.

  • Are there any free museums in Baton Rouge?

    While most museums have an admission fee, some offer special days or hours with free entry. It’s best to check the individual museum’s website for up-to-date information on free admission times.

  • Can I find museums focused on Louisiana’s natural history?

    Yes, the Capitol Park Museum has exhibits dedicated to the state’s natural resources and environment, offering a deep dive into Louisiana’s diverse ecosystems.


Baton Rouge’s museums are as rich and varied as the city’s history and culture. From the immersive historical exhibits at the Louisiana State Museum Baton Rouge to the interactive fun at the Knock Knock Children’s Museum, there’s something for everyone. These institutions not only preserve the past but also inspire future generations. They’re places where stories come alive, creativity flourishes, and learning is an adventure. So, whether you’re a local or just passing through, make sure to add these top 10 museums to your Baton Rouge itinerary. You’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge and a heart full of Louisiana pride.

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