April 22, 2022 Baton Rouge, LA Day 2

We had a leisurely morning, ate breakfast, and made plans to do some sightseeing today. After a few phone calls, we were ready to head out around 10:30. Our first stop was to the post office just down the road for some extra stamps. Our second stop was to Walmart to pick up a few items, and then take the 16 mile drive to downtown. We got off of the Interstate and drove on Florida St. through the downtown district. This pizza joint had a cool name–Schlittz and Giggles.

The road took us right down to the waterfront at the Mississippi River to the Sing the River Sculpture.

We came to see the USS Kidd docked at the waterfront. We found a parking space right on River Rd. (we are so lucky with finding parking) and for 50 cents in an old fashioned parking meter we were able to walk around and see the sights. They have a beautiful park, Louisiana Memorial Plaza, on the waterfront where it is located.

We walked up the plaza to the top of the walkway along the river to view the USS Kidd. It was quite impressive. The USS Kidd was named after Rear Admiral Kidd who died aboard the USS Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This is the only Fletcher Class Destroyer that has been restored to the WWII configuration and open to the public.

There is also the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial and Museum there, but we didn’t visit it due to lack of time.

We walked along the river to the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino boat.

It had 3 floating building sections that led to the casino at the end. We walked through those buildings to check it out.

The casino was not very busy today. We left there and walked back out to the waterfront. There was quite a bit of driftwood laying on the shore along the river. Back on the waterfront, we could see down the river to the north where another riverboat was docked. The river looked a muddy brown.

From where we stood, we could see the bridge over the Mississippi River that we would have to drive over on Sunday when we leave Baton Rouge.

From the park, we could see the Raising Cane’s River Center across the street. It is an entertainment venue that includes an arena, ballroom, exhibition center, theater, and library.

We walked across the street and down a block to the Old Louisiana State Capitol building built to look like a castle.

We walked up the steps to get a look inside. We were greeted by a docent that explained the map and what there was to see. The spiral staircase inside the lobby was beautiful.

The light coming through the stained glass windows in the dome showed off their magnificent colors.

We started our self-guided tour on the lower level with the Governor’s Office.

Climbing up the staircase to the second level, we were able to see the Senate Chamber and the House Chamber.

The architect designed the capitol to have a Gothic look and it was built shortly after the Louisiana Purchase. The surviving structure dates back from 1823-1975. It was built to look like and function like a castle. It was destroyed during the Civil War and rebuilt. It is quite a beautiful piece of architecture. We left there as our time on the meter expired and drove the short distance north to the current Louisiana State Capitol building. We were unable to find parking close by, so we took a few pictures from afar. At 450 ft. tall with 34 stories, it is the tallest skyscraper in Baton Rouge, the 7th tallest building in Louisiana, and the tallest capitol building in the United States.

As we left the capitol area, we drove through the neighborhood and discovered the Historic Spanish Town area. The homes are on the National Register of Historic Places. They were very cute little duplexes with a lot of character.

It is quite a unique neighborhood and is well-known for its annual Mardi Gras parade–the largest in Baton Rouge. It is also the oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge. We could see remnants from past parades hanging in the trees and on the telephone wires–lots and lots of beads.

On our way back to the Interstate we passed the Governor’s Mansion, a beautiful Southern estate.

Our 20 minute ride back to the campground got us back in time for happy hour. We enjoyed our cocktails outside in the comfort of the shade with a cool breeze and a temp of 83. Auggie enjoyed his time outside with us. Our 2 neighbors next door moved on this morning, but we had only one new neighbor arrive while we were gone. I had to take a picture of this RV and its Jeep in our campground. They were named Ethyl and Lucy. Someone has a sense of humor.

We had a later dinner and took our walk around the campground. We walked past the pool and hope to try it out tomorrow if the weather cooperates.

We definitely got our exercise in today with all the walking we did. We enjoyed our time in Baton Rouge and we’ll sleep good tonight.

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