Baton Rouge Neighborhoods, Locations and Districts
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana - LA, USA)
Baton Rouge literally means 'red stick' and was derived from the practice of demarcating areas using poles dipped in animal blood. Although this resulted in the pegging out of the central district of the town in 1699, it wasn't until 1849 that Baton Rouge became the Louisiana state capital.
Today it's a diverse city with a lively riverfront precinct and two historic districts, Beauregard Town and Spanish Town. It's also home to Louisiana State University and Southern University. Visitors will also be interested in the outlying districts, where many of the famous plantation houses are.
Located in East Baton Rouge, Beauregard Town is the finest example of an outstanding turn-of-the-century, middle-class neighborhood. It has been well preserved with its tree-lined boulevards, fountains, plazas, squares and formal gardens. Covering about 100 acres / 40 hectares, the area contains approximately 400 historical structures and makes for a wonderful walking tour of this decidedly European area of the city.
Modern Baton Rouge is located east of the river, with its orderly grid streets, high-rise buildings and numerous shops, lunch venues and discreet bars. Many of the government buildings are found here and the area is bordered to the north by the Old State Capitol building, with its trademark Art Deco high-rise. The Old Governor's Mansion is found in the southern reaches of this district.
Lining the banks of the Mississippi River, the Riverfront area is the focus of entertainment and evening activity in Baton Rouge, with plenty of lively bars, restaurants, theaters and music venues - particularly jazz. Parklands are found immediately adjacent to the river, from where this mighty American river can be appreciated with its tourist steamboats and modern barges.
Spanish Town resulted from Spanish victory over the English in September 1779, and was established as a garrison for foreign occupation. Since 1805, the suburb has gone through several development phases resulting in sub districts such as Aubert Town, Industry Town and University Park. Today they survive as some of the most historic neighborhoods in Baton Rouge, displaying a definite European style. It is here too that the annual Mardi Gras is held in Baton Rouge every January.
West Baton Rouge Districts
Across the Mississippi are the suburban districts of West Baton Rouge, where you can experience urban suburbs of a typical southern town. There are few historic attractions here, but it is a good opportunity to see the real Baton Rouge.