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Written by David Jones on May 3, 2017
Baton Route, Louisiana is a beautiful place to vacation, but as with any unfamiliar destination, it’s important to prioritize health and safety during your trip. And unlike your standard urban setting, Baton Rouge poses some unusual danger – from falling Mardi Gras beads to flash flooding, don’t be caught unaware.
Water Safety 101
Baton Rouge is a waterfront region set on the Mississippi and you’ll want to spend some time exploring the trails or touring the historic USS Kidd, a retired Navy destroyer. These are great ways to spend an afternoon – kids and history buffs alike love checking out the ship and the rushing Mississippi is a sight to behold. If you’re going to spend time down by the water, though, be sure to observe the key principles of water safety.
First, children should never be left unattended near water – even if they can swim. The Mississippi moves fast, but even if you’re just by the hotel pool, it only takes seconds for a child to drown. Second, beware of bugs, especially by the Mississippi. They can carry illnesses so opt for a strong bug spray.
Finally, choose your waterfront exploration activities with caution. Always look into the safety records of tour companies; maritime accidents are very serious and you want to choose tour guides with well-maintained boats.
Although Baton Rouge is a lovely place, it’s not known for being the safest destination. In fact, in a ranking of US cities, Baton Rouge rated as safer than only 4% of other cities. This can be especially risky for out of town visitors who don’t know the neighborhoods and appear to be easy targets.
Visitors should always be aware of their possessions and shouldn’t leave items unattended. We recommend locking up valuables in the hotel safe and not carrying too much money on your person at any given time. The more highly aware you remain of your surroundings – not staring down at your phone while walking, not paying attention in crowds – the safer you’ll be.
It’s generally a good idea to drive when traveling in Baton Rouge – the public transit isn’t the friendliest around and you’ll have an easier time seeing the sights – but be careful when driving at night. Stick to the main roads and always park in well lit areas. Even compared to the rest of Louisiana, Baton Rouge has a much higher rate of violent crime, so you don’t want to be caught alone in the dark.
Baton Rouge may not have the cachet of New Orleans when it comes to Louisiana travel, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Baton Rouge has a fantastic food culture, historic architecture, and a number of great museums just waiting for you to explore.