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Located on the banks of the rolling Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is a southern city with a unique personality and rich culture that reflects the seven different countries that have governed it over the course of its history. Baton Rouge is known for being home to Louisiana State University (or LSU, for short), and certainly, it has a strong educational sector – but it’s also known for offering many opportunities in the technology, medical, and research fields. Baton Rouge isn’t all business, though – it’s also plenty of fun. There’s a thriving arts and theatre scene here, and plenty of shops, restaurants, and recreational activities to enjoy too. Baton Rouge a southern city with plenty of personality, a welcoming spirit, and a place for everyone who wants to call it home.
A Look at Baton Rouge’s History
Baton Rouge was initially established as a military post by the French in 1719. Its name is derived from a long-ago expedition in which French explorers noticed a red cypress tree in the area stripped of its bark and marking the boundary between two hunting grounds. They called the tree “le baton rouge” meaning “red stick,” and the name stuck. After European settlers begin colonizing the United States, Baton Rouge was governed by seven different entities until it became the city that it is today – France, England, Louisiana, Spain, the Florida Republic, the Confederate States, and ultimately the United States. Perhaps the culture that had the most influence on the Baton Rouge area was that of France, and particularly the Cajun French people who remained in Baton Rouge for hundreds of years and have distinctly left their mark on the character of the area. Today, Baton Rouge remains a city full of unique personality and a rich history that it honors, but one that is also progressive, full of opportunity and possibility for all.
A Few Fun Facts About Baton Rouge
Read more fun facts about Baton Rouge here.
The LGBTQ Community in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge celebrates and supports its LGBTQ community with resources and local community centers, including:
Capital City Alliance is a community-based organization that is committed to engaging, promoting, and advocating for Baton Rouge’s LGBTQ community. This all-volunteer organization hosts events provides support and resources and encourages networking and community-building across the city.
PFLAG Baton Rouge is the city’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization. PFLAG is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the United States. For many years, PFLAG has played a critical role in providing education, advocacy, support, networking opportunities, and resources to LGBTQ communities across the country.
What’s the Weather Like in Baton Rouge?
Those who call Baton Rouge home can expect to experience plenty of rain – but also plenty of sunshine. Baton Rouge gets more than its fair share of rain – an average of 63 inches a year in fact – which is significantly more than the United States average of 38. On the other side of the coin, it gets no snow and more sunny days than average. Summers are hot and humid with the high in July averaging around 92° and winters are mild with the low averaging only around 40°. Generally, April, October, and November are some of the most pleasant months in Baton Rouge while July and August are the least comfortable because of the heat and humidity.
The Best Events in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge Pride is the city’s largest annual LGBTQ pride celebration, and it’s one that every resident and visitor will want to be a part of. The weeklong festival is full of activities and events intended to bring the LGBTQ community together, promote visibility, and celebrate all that it adds to the city.
Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Festival
It’s almost impossible to think of Louisiana without thinking of Mardi Gras – and Baton Rouge has a yearly Mardi Gras Festival that you won’t want to miss. Parades, dancing, parties – this is one festival that has it all, and it’s a great celebration of all that makes Mardi Gras a fun Louisiana tradition.
Where to Live in in Baton Rouge
Without a doubt, there are many wonderful neighborhoods in Baton Rouge. Two of the most popular neighborhoods for the LGBTQ community include:
Located near Louisiana State University, Spanish Town is known for being a neighborhood that is fairly open and diverse. As its name suggests, it is a neighborhood known for its Spanish-style architecture. It is an eclectic neighborhood with a welcoming feel known for being home to many artists, writers, and musicians, as well as a good blend of younger and older professionals too. It’s a very walkable neighborhood with plenty for residents to see and do throughout the week. The median sale price of homes currently listed in Spanish Town is $335,000.
Like Spanish Town, Beauregard Town is a very gay-friendly neighborhood characterized by historic buildings, inviting green spaces, and public squares with much to see and do. Beauregard Town is located adjacent to Spanish Town and is slightly more expensive, though also very welcoming, friendly, and fun.
Arts and Entertainment
The LSU Museum of Art is a can’t-miss stop in Baton Rouge for any art lover. The museum includes an impressive 13,000 square feet of space. Fourteen galleries display art from the southern United States, and all over the world. Whether you enjoy paintings, sculpture, pottery, media installations, or all of the above, you’ll find it here.
The Shaw Center for the Arts is a 125,000 square foot performing arts venue, museum, and education center located in downtown Baton Rouge. A variety of performances and productions are shown throughout the year. In addition to the excellent performances, visitors can also enjoy views of the beautiful Mississippi River, and an excellent meal at one of the restaurants located in the building too.
Parks and Recreation
Blue Bayou Water Park and Dixie Landing
Blue Bayou Waterpark and Dixie Landin' are very popular amusement parks located next to one another in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Blue Bayou is a water park and Dixie Landin' is a more traditional amusement park with a variety of rides for guests of all ages. No matter which park you choose, a good time is guaranteed!
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a 103-acre nature conservation park located in Baton Rouge, which truly highlights the unique beauty of the swampy bayous that characterize the city’s geography. Over a mile of paths and boardwalks link a variety of habitats in the park, and there are plenty of opportunities to view local wildlife too.
Baton Rouge Nightlife
George’s Place is a laid-back Baton Rouge gay bar known for its weekly karaoke nights, drag shows, strong drinks, and friendly atmosphere. It’s a great place to relax and spend an evening with old friends – and maybe even meet a few new ones!
Splash is a Baton Rouge LGBTQ Nightclub is a multi-room dance club known for its talented variety of DJs who spin lively music, and which regularly hosts drag nights and other themed events. If you’re looking for a place where you can have let loose and dance the night away in Baton Rouge, this is it.
Contact a Baton Rouge Gay Realtor Today
Baton Rouge is a wonderful city with so much to offer visitors and residents alike. If you’re considering calling Baton Rouge home, you’ll need to begin the search for the one that’s perfect for you. To do that, you’ll need the assistance of a realtor who knows and loves the city and who can help you find a neighborhood that will be perfect for you. If you’re ready to get started, contact a Baton Rouge gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!