LSU Tigers: Top Things to Do in Baton Rouge on Gameday

by Dustin Schutte
(Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Outsider has teamed up with On3 to create the most in-depth Gameday Guides.

LSU Gameday Guides: Bars | Restaurants | Activities | Parking | Tailgating

Tradition, culture and football. That combination is what makes college football so unique — and there may not be a city that combines that trio quite like Baton Rouge. If you’re heading into town to see the LSU Tigers in action on an autumn Saturday, be sure to bring your party hat and an overnight bag — you’re in store for one of the best experiences in the SEC.

We spoke with Billy Embody of The Bengal Tiger to get some unique insight into some of the best gameday experiences around Baton Rouge. Whether you’re coming into town on gameday or planning to stick around for a few days, you’ll find there’s more than enough to keep you occupied in the “Red Stick City.”

Arriving Early?

Enjoy the Outdoors at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

  • Location: 10503 N. Oak Hills Pkwy
  • Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM (Tuesday-Saturday), 12 PM – 5 PM (Sunday)
  • Price: $2 (Ages 3-17), $3 (Ages 18-64), $2.50 (Ages 65+), FREE (Ages 2 and under)
  • Website

Alright, Outsiders, we’re starting off our trip to Baton Rouge with something specifically for you. In a state known for its bayous, making a stop at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center feels like an authentic journey for anyone who enjoys being outside.

Bluebonnet is a great place to spend time, whether you’re heading to Baton Rouge alone or with the whole family. It offers over a mile of gravel trails and boardwalks, as well as animal exhibits and natural artifact displays. With a fee of just $2-$3, depending on age, this a great place to explore the outdoors in Louisiana before gameday.

Go Aboard the USS Kidd Ship & Museum

  • Location: 305 S. River Rd.
  • Hours: 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM (Daily)
  • Price: $8.36 (Ages 5-12), $12.53 (Ages 13-59), $10.45 (Ages 60+ and Veterans)
  • Website

History buffs making the trip to Baton Rouge won’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity along the Mississippi River. While in town, you can step aboard the only Fletcher-class destroyer that has been restored to its World War II configuration.

The USS Kidd has been a museum open to the public since 1983. Part of what makes this experience so unique is that the destroyed was commissioned into service during World War II and the Korean War. It gives visitors a chance to see what life was like aboard the ship, as well as providing in-depth history lessons for all those who step aboard.

Get Goosebumps on a Haunted Ghost Tour (Red Stick Adventures)

  • Location: 300-399 Lafayette St.
  • Hours: 7 PM – 9 PM (Weekdays)
  • Price: $37 (Adults), $26 (Children)
  • Website

Let’s face it, no trip to Louisiana would be complete without some sort of ghostly encounter. Baton Rouge might not have the same spooky reputations as New Orleans, but you can still enjoy some haunted tours before gameday at LSU.

For those brave enough to explore Baton Rouge’s eerie history, Red Stick Adventures offers weekday ghost tours. These adventures last approximately three hours and visiting the city’s “most macabre destinations.” Along with learning about the city’s history and seeing some of these sinister spots, the tour also utilizes paranormal investigative equipment.

You really get quite the bang for your buck!

Stroll Around the LSU Lakes Trail

Sometimes, you just want a stress-free, low-key activity before heading to Tiger Stadium for gameday. Maybe you’re hoping to just take in the scenery around campus before a sea of purple and yellow floods into town. Not to worry, the six lakes surrounding LSU’s is the perfect environment for a relaxing visit.

“For the outdoor people, the walking trails around the lakes at LSU are a popular spot.”

Billy Embody, The Bengal Tiger

Enjoy a lengthy stroll around the six lakes: City Park, Erie, College, Campus, University and Crest. With four miles of walking trails, you’ll get to enjoy the simple sights and sounds from around LSU’s campus. It’s a peaceful way to spend an evening in Baton Rouge.

Hit Up the Breweries Across Baton Rouge

Alright, beer lovers, this section is for you! Like most college towns across the country, Baton Rouge has its fair share of breweries, giving visitors an opportunity to sample some of the best beverages in town. Here are some of the best breweries located in and around Baton Rouge:

Brewery and LocationHoursGo-To Beer

Agile Brewing

14141 Airline Hwy Ste. 4J
Monday-Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday-Thursday: 2 PM – 9 PM
Friday-Saturday: 12 PM – 9 PM
Sunday: 12 PM – 6 PM
Rally Cap Brewing Co.

111212 Pennywood Ave.
Monday-Thursday: 3 PM – 9 PM
Friday-Saturday: 12 PM – 10 PM
Sunday: 12 PM – 8 PM
First Pitch

Tin Roof Brewing Co.

1624 Wyoming St.
Monday-Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday-Thursday: 3 PM – 9 PM
Friday-Saturday: 12 PM – 9 PM
Sunday: 12 PM – 8 PM
Road House

Cypress Coast Brewing Co.

5643 Government St.
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: 2 PM – 8 PM
Friday-Sunday: 12 PM – 10 PM
Sunday: 2 PM – 7 PM
Mid City Blonde

Le Chien Brewing Co.

101 S Hummell St.
(Denham Springs)
Sunday-Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday-Thursday: 5 PM – 9 PM
Friday: 4 PM – 11 PM
Saturday: 2 PM – 11 PM

For a Gameday Experience in Baton Rouge …

Check Out Mike the Tiger’s Habitat

  • Location: 16 N. Stadium Dr.
  • Hours: All Day
  • Website

Live mascots run wild in college football, but none are quite as intimidating as Mike the Tiger. Whether you’re an LSU fan, supporting the opposing team are just a college football junkie in town, seeing this jungle cat in his habitat is one of the coolest things you can do on a gameday.

“It’s really cool to see Mike to roam around. It always draws a big crowd on gameday.”

Billy Embody, The Bengal Tiger

Mike’s habitat is situated between Tiger Stadium and Pete Maravich Assembly Center. This 15,000 square foot environment contains a live oak tree, a waterfall, a stream and plenty of vegetation. If you’re lucky, Mike will be up and moving, helping give LSU a nice pre-game boost before hitting the field.

Because of its location, you can stop and see Mike at any time on gameday. It’s not something you’ll want to miss.

Relive LSU Sports History at the Jack and Priscilla Andonie Museum

  • Location: 3828 W Lakeshore Dr
  • Hours: 9 AM – 4:30 PM (Monday-Friday), 9 AM – 2 hours before kickoff on gameday
  • Price: $3 (Adults), $2 (Seniors), $1 (LSU employees, students and high school students)
  • Website

Alright, LSU die-hards, the Jack and Priscilla Andonie Sports Museum is the place for you. OK, we’ll let other fans take a trip through the school’s athletics history, as well. This is a fun gameday adventure for the whole family and a place where the Tigers are always roaring.

The museum contains 13,000 pieces of LSU Athletics history, featuring all of its varsity sports. You can catch glimpses of championship trophies, game-worn headsets and plenty more while enjoying your history lesson on Tiger sports. There are also two dozen televisions that feature some of the most iconic moments in the schools history — past and present.

Snag a Beer (or Two) at The Chimes

  • Location: 3357 Highland Rd. & 10870 Coursey Blvd.
  • Hours: 11 AM – 11 PM (Daily)
  • Website

If you enjoy the occasional (or perhaps more than occasional) adult beverage on gameday, stopping by The Chimes is an absolute must. It’s been an LSU staple for over 25 years and offers one of the most expansive beer menus on tap.

“The Chimes is a staple at LSU and in Baton Rouge. They’ve got a rooftop bar that I’d recommend, too.”

Billy Embody, The Bengal Tiger

The emphasis at The Chimes is to drink local brews. With dozens of local beers on tap, you can’t really make a bad decision — unless you bypass this Baton Rouge favorite altogether. You don’t have to stay long, but you’ll regret it if you don’t swing by for a pint.

Enjoy the Craziest Tailgate Scene in the SEC

  • Location: All over campus

Folks at LSU know how to enjoy themselves on gameday. The scene around Tiger Stadium — and all over campus for that matter — before the Tigers take the field is one of the best in college football. It’s like a fraternity party that stretches across a five-mile radius, and that might be underselling it.

“LSU fans can be very welcoming. You can probably walk up to any tent, say you’re from out of town and you’ll probably get offered a beer or bourbon cocktail.”

Billy Embody, The Bengal Tiger

Walking around campus and seeing the different setups is definitely worth your time. Pop-up tents fill the entire campus layout while smells of barbeque, jumbayala, gumbo, whole hog and gator (seriously) fill the air. Who knows, while you’re taking in the atmosphere, you might even get invited in for a cold beer or a barbeque sandwich, too.

See Your Favorite LSU Players at the Victory Hill March

  • Location: N. Stadium Dr.
  • When to Arrive: 90 minutes before kickoff

As kickoff creeps closer inside Tiger Stadium, you’ll want to make your way towards Victory Hill, especially if you’ve got little ones with you. This is an opportunity to see the band, Mike the Tiger (the costumed mascot) and your favorite LSU players and coaches up close.

Fans line up along Victory Hill to high-five, fist bump and cheer on the team as they head into the stadium before the big game. The purple-and-yellow sea creates one of the most electrifying pre-game atmospheres in college football. The march starts 90 minutes before kickoff, but be sure to arrive much earlier to ensure a good spot.

Enter Tiger Stadium Early for Callin’ Baton Rouge

  • Location: Inside Tiger Stadium
  • When to Arrive: 30 minutes before kickoff

Have you ever heard 102,000 people sing the same song in perfect unison? Well, get into Tiger Stadium early and you’ll get that awesome experience — especially if you’re in town for a big game.

LSU plays Garth Brooks‘ hit song Callin’ Baton Rouge before every home game during the college football season. It’s the perfect tune to get fans geared up and ready for the Tigers to take the field, while also showing plenty of pride in the city.