When French explorers came upon the site of BATON ROUGE in 1699, they found poles smeared in animal blood to designate the hunting grounds of the Houma and Bayou Goula tribes. The area on these shallow bluffs therefore appeared on French maps as Baton Rouge – “red stick”. Now capital of Louisiana and a key port, Baton Rouge is a relaxed city for its size. Even the presence of the state’s largest universities, LSU and Southern, has done surprisingly little to raise the town anywhere much above “sleepy” status.

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