The capital of Louisiana will come as a surprise to passengers who expect the city to be a smaller version of New Orleans. Baton Rouge, aka "Red Stick," is much stodgier than its downriver cousin, more focused on government and bureaucracy than laissez les bon temps roule. Aside from the bars near Louisiana State University -- several miles away from the downtown pier where most riverboats dock -- the city has little nightlife and unlike other parts of the state, no indigenous music tradition.
That's not to say that a stop here is a waste. Baton Rouge is not that far from the bayous of Cajun Country, and excursions taking passengers out to visit the swamps (and see an alligator or two) are popular. Louisiana politics are decidedly more colorful than those elsewhere in the U.S., and the state's Capitol building has its own notorious history; former governor Huey P. Long, aka "The Kingfish," was assassinated there in 1935. A city tour of Baton Rouge also includes a stop at the aforementioned LSU where people can meet the university's mascot, a live tiger named Mike (the current cat, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, is extremely popular with a live cam and an Instagram account).
Riverboats dock on the Mississippi River at a levee that has been renovated with walking and bike paths. Attractions within walking distance include the U.S.S. Kidd, the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino and the Old State Capitol.