Traveling on a budget? Luckily, Baton Rouge is known for being one of the most affordable destinations in the South, making it a great spot to get a taste of culture on a budget. With affordable attractions within walking distance, an award-winning extensive park system with free or low-cost amenities and an abundance of good eats for an even better price, we’ve curated a list of things to do that’s perfect for travelers and locals who are looking to save some money.
PRICE BREAKDOWN: FREE
Explore local and known artists' work for FREE during gallery hours! One of the oldest co-ops in the United States, Baton Rouge Gallery is the place to check out unique installations and dynamic programming.
Built by Governor Huey P. Long in 1930, this historic house museum is modeled after the White House, as Long embarked on a mission to become the President of the United States. Admission is free to see the furnishings and artifacts of the nine Louisiana governors who called this house home, as well as a grand ballroom, French wallpaper, crystal chandeliers and a stunning marble staircase.
Louisiana’s Old State Capitol is one of Baton Rouge’s top attractions, and its free admission is just an added bonus! Explore Baton Rouge’s colorful political history in this gothic-style Castle on the River.
Did you know that Louisiana hosts the tallest capitol building in the nation with 34 floors? So tall, in fact, you get an incredible view of the city on the 27th-floor Observation Deck for FREE! From its art deco interior to the stunning gardens surrounding the building, there are treasures to be found all around the Louisiana State Capitol and grounds.
Catch a glimpse of one of the largest college football stadiums, Tiger Stadium, and while you’re there, stop and say hi to the live mascot, Mike the Tiger, in his multi-million-dollar habitat, where he receives top-of-the-line care from his caretakers, who are students at LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
Southern University is home to the nation’s largest HBCU system and is filled with free gems for all to explore. See the sculpture of the Red Stick, which marks the location of where it is said Baton Rouge got its name, or stand in awe at A.W. Mumford Stadium, where fans come from all over to cheer on the Jags and jam to the Human Jukebox.
PRICE BREAKDOWN: $
*Denotes First Free Sunday participants
Admission: $3 Adults $2.50 Seniors $2 Ages 3-17 $2.50 Full-time College Students FREE Children 2 and under
Get a taste of the great outdoors on a budget! Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is filled with live animal exhibits, photographs depicting the site’s flora and fauna, natural artifact and mineral displays and a sizable, vintage waterfowl decoy carving station. Just outside, connect with nature on over a mile of paths and boardwalks linking habitats such as the cypress-tupelo swamp, beech-magnolia and hardwood forests.
Admission: $8.75 Adults $7.75 Seniors $5.75 Children 2-12 FREE Children 1 and under
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is home to animals from around the world, and the perfect place for family fun on a budget! In addition to showcasing beautiful animals, the Zoo also takes strides in conservation efforts by participating in survival plans for critically endangered species, as well as reintroducing rehabilitated animals to the wild.
Admission: $7 Adults $6 Military $6 Seniors $6 Students FREE Children 6 and under
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop on all things Louisiana, then Capitol Park Museum is the spot for you. Housing a full-size shrimp boat, Louis Armstrong’s bugle and much more, Capitol Park Museum details the history, culture and industry of the most vibrant state in America.
Admission: $14 2 and older FREE 23 months and younger
Knock Knock Children’s Museum is filled with hands-on, interactive exhibits – all anchored in research and evidence-based practices addressing all areas of childhood development. By engaging in activities such as grocery shopping, construction, reading and much more, the kiddos will have a day filled with fun and education!
Admission: $12 Adults $10 Seniors $10 Children
Louisiana Art & Science Museum finds its home in an old train depot and is filled with fascinating wonders you won’t find anywhere else. With rotating and permanent art collections, fossil displays, a world-class planetarium and even a mummy, LASM is filled with learning opportunities for adults and kids alike!
Admission: $5 Adults FREE Military FREE Children
Located on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts is the LSU Museum of Art, which holds one of the largest university-affiliated art collections in the South, and features world-class touring exhibitions of regional, American and European art.
Admission: $12 Adults $10 Military $11 Seniors $10 Children 4-11 FREE Children under 3 years $10 LSU Faculty, Staff and Students
The LSU Rural Life Museum & Windrush Gardens has the largest collection of Louisiana vernacular architecture and the most extensive collection of material culture from 18th, 19th and early 20th century rural Louisiana, and you can walk through the 32 historic outbuildings spread over 25 acres for a budget-friendly admission fee.
Admission: $14 Adults $12 Military $12 Senior $10 Child
Hit the decks of this Fletcher-class destroyer that has been restored to her World War II configuration – the only one in the world. Get a glimpse at how sailors lived their day-to-day or pay your respects to the fallen at the Louisiana Memorial Plaza.
PARKS & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
PRICE BREAKDOWN: FREE
For any member of the family, BREC has over 180 parks to choose from with plenty of wide open space to peruse. You can use the Find a Park tool to find the best way to spend your day. For your furry friends, BREC has many dog parks in the Baton Rouge area. Since they’re spread over multiple community parks, you’re bound to find the perfect park for your pup! In downtown Baton Rouge, you can stroll along the Riverfront Plaza for a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River and visit the Sing the River Sculpture.
PRICE BREAKDOWN: $
If biking is your chosen mode of transportation, there are plenty of options providing rentals and guided or self-guided rides, all at your leisure. Prices may vary based on the type of bike and rental period.
GeauxRide: Free wellness rides on the first Thursday of the month, glow self-guided tour starting at $20/hour, social ride rentals for $15
Pedego: Rentals starting at $25/hour
Stock up on fresh and healthy produce with the Red Stick Farmers Market, held multiple times a week. On the first Saturday of the month, shoppers can also find art vendors set up at the Baton Rouge Arts Market, located downtown.
3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Main Library at Goodwood
7711 Goodwood Boulevard
8 p.m.-12 p.m.
Pennington Biomedical Research Center
6400 Perkins Road
8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Main Street Market
5th and Main Streets
The Market at the Oasis is the fastest-growing farmers market in the greater Baton Rouge area, providing the community a shopping experience that customers of all ages can enjoy.
9 a.m.-2 p.m.
13827 Coursey Boulevard
DINING ON A BUDGET
PRICE BREAKDOWN: $
Dearman’s Diner & Soda Shop
Faye’s Subs & Salads
Frankie’s Dawg House
Inga’s Subs & Salads
Mr. C’s Deli
Poor Boy Lloyd’s
Schlittz & Giggles
Triplet’s Blue Store Chicken
PRICE BREAKDOWN: $$
Southern University Soul Food Monday - For around $8, anyone can dine on at either of Southern University's dining halls for Soul Food Monday, which consists of crispy fried chicken and Baton Rouge classic, red beans and rice.
HAPPY HOUR DEALS
While we could argue that every hour spent in Baton Rouge could be considered happy hour, we understand that deals on drinks and appetizers are pretty hard to beat. Head over to our happy hour blog to find a round-up of the best deals on drinks and apps in Baton Rouge.
With so many talented local artists putting up paint all throughout Baton Rouge, you could easily mistake the city for an outdoor art museum. Embark on a tour of Baton Rouge murals for the perfect Insta-worthy backdrop that’s sure to serve!
Music can be heard all throughout Baton Rouge, and you’ll be pleased to learn that most of these events are free! From busking in downtown Baton Rouge to seasonal weekly concert series, such as Rock N Rowe, Live After Five and Sunday in the Park, the sounds of Baton Rouge will quite literally be music to your ears.