Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a buzzing cultural and historical center situated conveniently along the Mississippi River. The capital of Louisiana, referred to primarily as Red Stick by locals, is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. Louisiana State University is here, which means that during football season, the town puts on one of the biggest tailgate parties in the country, large enough to rival New Orleans. In fact, seven colleges exist inside the city limits, explaining why a large portion of the population is students or recent graduates. The climate is warm to hot, the people are friendly, young, and motivated, and the food is delicious. There are so many reasons to live in Baton Rouge you'll be ready to 'geaux' in no time.
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Housing Statistics The divide between rented and owned homes is roughly even, and the vacancy rate usually hovers at around 10 percent. The annual residential turnover is just 16.92 percent, which is well below the national average that has annually been over 30 percent. People stay in Baton Rouge. This region has spent more money on infrastructure and revitalization in recent years than almost anywhere else in the country. They are growing. Recent estimates put the city population at 230,000 residents and climbing. The vacancy rate among apartments hangs closer to 6 percent; this is easily attributed to the number of new residents received each year in the form of students and transplants from nearby states. Home prices in Baton Rouge are significantly lower than the rest of the country. Baton Rouge's median home sale price in 2012 was $145,000. The U.S. national average was $210,000, and in the rest of the South, the average was $175,000.
Weather and Climate The city's climate is semi-tropical. Spring is pleasant and residents spend a lot of time outdoors. Summers are humid, like much of the southeastern United States, and hot. Indoor activities, restaurants, and clubs are the preferred places to be. Fall is comfortable, requiring only a light jacket, but brings heavy rainfall due to hurricane season. Winters are pleasantly mild and short.
Local Restaurants Louisiana is a mecca for food lovers. Everyone knows that the best Cajun food in the world comes from the Bayou State. Spicy jambalaya, succulent shrimp creole, steamed crayfish, and andouille sausage -- it's a culinary explosion. It doesn't stop there. The city also features locally-caught seafood prepared in any number of delectable ways. French cuisine from masters, using generations-old recipes, and down home southern cooking like pork chops and gravy, collard greens, and cornbread are popular. Every year, thousands of tourists visit the city to experience the only place this unique blend of flavors can be found. For a taste of your own, Christina's on St. Charles is the home of southern-style cooking with a reasonable price tag. Parrains, between Collegetown and the Garden District, is famous for the best seafood in the city, and for Cajun, it's very difficult to beat The Chimes near Spanish Town. Try the blackened alligator po' boy.
Neighborhood Guide There are almost too many neighborhoods in Baton Rouge to count. Over 60 separate and recognizable divisions exist within the city. Most center around a particular landmark. Many lie along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, like Spanish Town, which is also near the state capitol. Each neighborhood has a unique charm and distinction all its own. Some are new, resulting from the addition of subdivisions and increased attention to citywide growth. Others are centuries old, a testament to the very rich and storied history of the area.
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