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Hemmed in as it is by endless industrial plants, Baton Rouge may not look like much from the road. Yet government-history enthusiasts will want to stop here on their way through the south Louisiana countryside. The state capital has several interesting and readily accessible sights, including the attractive capitol grounds and an educational planetarium. This is the city from which the
colorful, cunning, and often corrupt Huey P. Long ruled the state; it is also the site of his assassination. Even today, nearly 80 years after Long's death, legends about the controversial governor and U.S. senator abound.The parishes to the north of Baton Rouge are quiet and bucolic, with gently rolling hills, high bluffs, and historic districts. John James Audubon lived in West Feliciana Parish in 1821, tutoring local children and painting 80 of his famous bird studies. In both terrain and traits, this region is more akin to north Louisiana than to south Louisiana—which is to say, the area is very Southern.
A cluster of plantation homes all within a half-hour drive, a lovely, walkable historic district, renowned antiques shopping, and a wealth of...