If you are seeking an authentic Louisiana summer day, we have you covered. The state is home to sprawling botanical gardens, top-rated seafood restaurants, fascinating history, and so much more. Baton Rouge and its surrounding towns make for an excellent starting point. Here’s how to have the perfect summer day in Louisiana!
Begin your day at Bluebonnet Swamp and Nature Center, the area’s first habitat and conservation area that opened to the public in 1997. With over 100 acres that include a nature center and education building with summer day camps and other workshops that showcase the animals of the region up close and personal, this family-friendly site offers two miles of trails and boardwalks that take you over the swamp and let you see nature up close and personal. And there are always animals in resident that love to have visitors. From there, you might want to stop at Red Stick Farmers Market and pick up a snack. Red Stick gives you the change to get locally grown seasonal produce, support farmers in the area, and talk about how food is grown. The market is open every Saturday from March to October from 8 a.m. until noon. If you want more than a snack, there are several places to eat inside the market and often live music. Try Cocha if you want a fresh locally sourced lunch menu from which to choose.
The afternoon brings the opportunity to visit the Rural Life Museum. A AAA five-star location, this 40-acre Louisiana history site has 30 buildings on the property and is one of the best outdoor museums in the country. Visitors of every age will find something to enjoy and will come away knowing a little more about how life was in the 1800s in rural Louisiana. From here, it’s just a short 14-minite drive to the Botanical Gardens, the state’s one-of-a-kind collection of over 250 plants that represent the flora of Louisiana. Make sure to stop by the Sensory Garden, a place where young and old can use their senses to explore, learn, and enjoy a variety of herbs and other plants used for culinary purposes. Make sure you don’t miss the beautiful butterfly garden while you’re there.
Two minutes away is Liberty Lagoon, a great place to cool off for a while. This family-friendly water park has slides, water playgrounds, and an area where parents can sit and relax while keeping a watchful eye on the young ones. Open daily, admission is by height with children 12 months and younger free. There’s so much to do at this fun-filled park. Just in case the weather is too hot or it decides to rain and outdoor play isn’t possible, you can take a quick 45-minute drive to Lil Bambinos Playtorium in Gonzales. You can get a day pass that lets you and your child play together and create real-life scenarios using Duplos, Legos, and other tools in several different environments. After creating all kinds of imaginative things at Lil Bambinos, you and your family have probably built quite an appetite, so finding food is the next thing to do. You’ll love the casual atmosphere at nearby Mike Anderson’s Seafood restaurant. The menu is perfect for adults and kids with pizza and burgers for the kids, and seafood platters and poboys for the grownups, and great desserts for everyone!
If you have older children and the Lil Bambinos Playtorium is on the young side for them, stop by Skate Galaxy instead. It’s about a 16-minute drive from Liberty Lagoon, and is a great place to work off some energy. There’s a rock climbing wall, laser tag, with the coolest features like lights and sounds, and a skating rink for rollerblading. Don’t have your own skates? No worry because the pro shop rents them by the hour. Skate Galaxy is closed on Mondays, so plan your trip accordingly if you want to include this on your itinerary.
End your fun-filled day with a trip to The Lakes at Louisiana State University to feed the ducks. You can stroll around the four-mile ring around the lake, toss a Frisbee, or just enjoy the sunset reflecting on the water before heading home.