A city rooted in French culture, Baton Rouge is the capital city of Louisiana. For those seeking a fun and affordable city in the south, Baton Rouge is a fantastic option. While New Orleans is an acclaimed tourist destination in the Bayou State, Baton Rouge, LA, is a big city brimming with large and sprawling neighborhoods, perfect for raising a young family. If you're moving to Baton Rouge, you'll find useful information in this handy guide. We've compiled important tidbits about this southern city to make informed choices during and after your move. Our CubeSmart self-storage facilities cater to your storage needs, helping you keep your items as you begin your journey in a brand new city.
1. City Overview
When you move to Baton Rouge, you'll hear the word “parish,” instead of “county.” There are nine parishes in Baton Rouge, including Ascension, East Baton Rouge, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, and more. Translated as Red Stick or Red Pole, there’s an interesting history behind Baton Rouge’s name. Legend has it that the French explorers named Baton Rouge after crossing a red pole along the Mississippi River when they came here in 1699.
Baton Rouge has a decent public transportation system, with the Capital Area Transit System (CATS) being the primary public transport network serving the Baton Rouge area. A trolley service offers free transportation in and around downtown Baton Rouge, the Historic District, among other areas, offering a convenient way to see the popular attractions in the city. The public transportation network offers services throughout Baton Rouge, Southern University, and the Louisiana State University area. Even with good public transportation, people find owning a car is a convenient way to get around the city to run errands at your pace without having to adhere to fixed schedules of the public bus system.
One of the top perks of moving to Baton Rouge is enjoying the city's fantastic amenities at affordable prices. Some of the city's museums and libraries host several free entry days, ideal for families with young kids. Baton Rouge has tons of fun things to do and see, making it anything but a boring city. With a decent walkability score, there aren’t many bike lanes here. Downtown and Garden District are suitable for those looking for a walkable lifestyle.
A quaint feature of Baton Rouge is its unique culture, which is a mix of French, African American, Spanish, and Caribbean influences. There's a lovely mix of cultures in every aspect of the city, including music, arts, food, and architecture.
Moving to Baton Rouge lets enjoy a better lifestyle, thanks to its affordability. The cost of living here is 4 percent lower than the national average, with housing costs that are 13 percent lower than the national average and utility prices being 18 percent below average. If you're looking for a culturally vibrant city with a plush urban feel, which is also affordable, Baton Rouge fits the bill perfectly.
2. Real Estate Outlook
The median home value in Baton Rouge is around $183,000, lower than the national average, which makes owning your own home a reality. There are a variety of housing options to choose from when you decide to invest in a home here. Newly built modern homes, high-rise apartment buildings, and renovated historic homes ― there are endless possibilities for those looking to find their dream home in Baton Rouge. Renting is not as expensive as it would be in a big city as the average rent for a 1,000-square-foot apartment in Baton Rouge is about $1,000 per month. For affordable rents, consider neighborhoods, such as Dayton, Delmont Place, and Garden City, where it's possible to find apartment rentals for less than $1,000.
3. Baton Rouge Communities
The beauty of the capital city lies in the fact that each neighborhood has a distinct feel and character. Whatever be your preferences, Baton Rouge has several communities that will instantly make you feel at home. The ones we've listed below are popular with locals and are a great place to start your search when trying to find a nice place to live.
The most popular neighborhood in the city, the Garden District has a lovely old-world charm to it with historic properties and villas dating back to 1910. It has the vibe of New Orleans yet is quiet and comfortable with friendly neighbors. Ideal for families, young professionals, and retirees, this neighborhood has a close-knit community that hosts several enjoyable annual events such as St. Patrick's Day parade and Easter egg hunts. There are several top schools in the area, ideal for families with school-aged kids.
The oldest neighborhood in the city, Spanish Town is ideal for those wanting to experience the friendly vibe of a small town while living in a big city. Soak up the festive flavor with the biggest Mardi Gras party that happens here. Another perk of living here is that you're just minutes away from downtown, with museums, government offices, restaurants, and cafes within walking distance of this neighborhood.
For those looking for a swanky urban vibe, downtown Baton Rouge is a fantastic choice. Living here gives you easy access to the iconic landmarks in the city like the splendid Mississippi Riverfront and State Capitol building. There are apartments, condos, and single-family homes to choose from, giving you multiple housing choices.
4. Things to Do
Moving to Baton Rouge comes with its perks. One of them is an endless assortment of fun things to do and interesting places to explore. Baton Rouge is home to the Tiger Stadium, which is the sixth-largest football stadium in the nation. Hanging out at LSU's Tiger Stadium on game nights is a necessity when in Baton Rouge. There are lively tailgating parties that showcase the city's festive fervor and its friendly Southern hospitality – though it’s rumored that the opposing team’s mascot is often the theme for many tailgating menu items. If you love tailgating gatherings, head to the LSU campus, where you'll find residents lined up with tents and RVs. Plus, there are lots of local beer and fun food choices, creating a joyful vibe.
You'll love the warmth and friendliness of the people here, who are always in a celebratory mode. With many local festivals, it’s easy to sample Cajun and Creole cuisine, which is a staple in Louisiana. From crawfish and shrimp boils, barbecue cookouts to film festivals, and the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade, Baton Rouge is brimming with joyous events year-round. For music lovers, don't forget to visit the annual Blues Festival that has a mesmerizing lineup of blues and jazz every year. The best part about living in Baton Rouge is that there's always something exciting happening in town, so there's rarely, if ever, a dull weekend.
The food scene in Baton Rouge is sure to tickle your taste buds. Don't forget to check out local eateries serving spicy Cajun and Creole dishes, fresh seafood like crawfish, shrimp, and catfish. If you're looking for fine dining options, the city has plenty of options. From upscale steakhouses to casual cafes and bars and specialty restaurants serving vegan and organic recipes, Baton Rouge has a vibrant culinary landscape.
Several swamps and bayous surround Baton Rouge, offering plenty of outdoor recreation. Fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are popular outdoor activities, giving you a glimpse of Louisiana's beautiful wetlands.
5. Reasons to Move There
The top reason why young people are moving to Baton Rouge is because of its booming job market. There are several jobs in the expanding oil and gas industry, with several large oil companies setting up refining plants in the area or growing their existing operations. Baton Rouge's proximity to the Gulf Coast makes it an attractive destination for oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, creating plenty of jobs in this sector. There are also several opportunities in other segments, including manufacturing, chemicals, health care, and research.
Baton Rouge also has stellar primary and secondary schools, providing high-quality primary education. For students seeking top-notch higher education, Baton Rouge has world-class universities and colleges offering courses in various disciplines. LSU, Our Lady of Lake College, and Southern University are some of Louisiana's top-rated universities with their campuses in Baton Rouge.
An epicenter of Louisiana's unique culture and vibrant history, Baton Rouge offers a great mix of wonderful experiences and exciting opportunities. It's a terrific destination for those looking to experience the bustling energy of a large metropolitan area with a touch of rich culture and small-world charm.
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