Nestled along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is more than just the capital of Louisiana; it's also home to one of the most prestigious universities in the South - Louisiana State University (LSU). This vibrant and culturally rich city has earned its reputation as one of the best college towns in the country, thanks to a unique blend of academic excellence, a thriving local community, and a strong sense of school spirit. In 2018, Louisiana landed on the list of Southern Living's best southern college towns twice, with Baton Rouge ranking fourth and New Orleans taking the 15th spot in the top 20 list put out by Southern Living. In this blog, we'll highlight what makes Baton Rouge the best college town
Academic Excellence at LSU
Any great college town begins with a stellar university, and Baton Rouge certainly has that in LSU. Founded in 1860, LSU has grown to become a powerhouse in both academics and athletics. With numerous nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge research initiatives, and a diverse student body, LSU attracts students and faculty from all over the world. The university's beautiful campus sprawls over 2,000 acres and is a hub of activity year-round.
The vibrant campus life, academic achievements, and competitive sports programs contribute significantly to Baton Rouge's unique charm. With the arrival of students each semester, local businesses have warmly embraced this surge, nurturing a robust bond between the city and its academic institutions.
Tailgating and Live Music Scene
What truly makes Baton Rouge one of the best college towns, as highlighted by Southern Living, is the electrifying tradition of tailgating. LSU football games are not just sporting events; they're massive celebrations of school spirit, camaraderie, and delicious food. Tailgating parties pop up all around the LSU campus, creating an unforgettable atmosphere that brings the community together like nothing else.
Moreover, Baton Rouge boasts a vibrant live music scene that's deeply intertwined with the city's culture. From jazz and blues to indie rock and country, there's live music to suit every taste. Venues like The Varsity Theatre offer unforgettable performances, allowing students and residents to enjoy the rhythm of the city.
Local Business Owners and Baton Rouge Pride
One of the things that sets Baton Rouge apart as a college town is the incredible support of local businesses. These businesses have played a pivotal role in fostering a sense of community and pride among residents and students alike.
Sweet Baton Rouge: Where Local Meets LSU Spirit
At the forefront of this movement is Sweet Baton Rouge, a locally-owned business founded by Meredith Waguespack. Meredith's vision was simple but powerful: create a brand that celebrates Baton Rouge and LSU culture. Sweet Baton Rouge's collection of t-shirts is especially beloved by the community. These shirts are more than just clothing; they're a symbol of pride, worn with enthusiasm by students and residents alike. From classic LSU tiger designs to Baton Rouge vignettes, Sweet Baton Rouge captures the essence of the city in every piece of merchandise.
Local Artisans and Entrepreneurs
Beyond Sweet Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge boasts a thriving community of artisans and entrepreneurs who craft everything from hand-painted LSU-inspired artwork to locally sourced goods. Throughout the year, numerous art markets offer local artists a platform to showcase their products. These events not only celebrate the city's rich agricultural heritage but also provide a valuable opportunity for local vendors to display and sell their products.
No visit to Baton Rouge would be complete without indulging in the city's culinary delights. The local food scene is a testament to Baton Rouge's rich culture and diverse heritage. From mouthwatering Cajun and Creole dishes to Southern comfort food, there's something to satisfy every palate. Restaurants like Parrain's Seafood Restaurant, The Chimes, and Louisiana Lagniappe offer a taste of the region's delectable cuisine, making Baton Rouge a food lover's paradise!
Baton Rouge is undoubtedly a remarkable college town, offering the perfect blend of academic excellence, community spirit, local pride, and delicious food. The passionate local business owners play a significant role in nurturing this sense of belonging and unity. So, whether you're a student, an alumni, or a resident, Baton Rouge's unique charm, culinary delights, and thriving local businesses will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your heart.