Baton Rouge | World’s Best Cities

Baton Rouge

The music scene in the Louisiana capital is electric, with some locals referring to Baton Rouge as the birthplace of Swamp Blues. Certainly, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, dating back to 1981, remains one of the most celebrated in the country. Historical landmarks like the Old State Capitol and extravagant events like Mardi Gras infuse the city with visitor money and local pride—at least in non-pandemic times—as does Louisiana State University. The city is working hard to raise its profile itself, landing in our Top 10 for two Promotion subcategories—#8 for Facebook Check-ins and #9 for Instagram hashtags—earning it an overall #13 ranking in a category that tracks user engagement with a city on social channels and traveler sentiment. There’s good reason to nab attention: tourism brings in approximately $958 million to the Red Stick every year. Other economic pillars are energy production, advanced manufacturing, and audio engineering. The most notable new investment comes from ExxonMobil, which is expanding its Baton Rouge Polyolefins Plant. The project is valued at between $500 million and $1 billion, which is part of its larger $20 billion Growing the Gulf effort, predicted to create up to 600 jobs during construction and plenty of permanent roles upon completion in 2021.