More than 300 years of history run through Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. The state's second largest city, known as the Red Stick, offers an excellent launching point for three-day weekends or weeklong adventures. History buffs can go explore the Antebellum homes and plantations in the region, tour the World War II-era USS Kidd, or visit the 165-year-old Old Louisiana State Capitol dubbed the "castle-on-the-river." Foodies could fill a weekend brunching at numerous eateries, feasting on Cajun and Creole cuisine, and having drinks with friends at the bars and nightclubs along historic Third Street. Outdoor enthusiasts can get a taste of swamp life at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center while music lovers will enjoy the many festivals held year-round, including one of the nation's oldest Blues gatherings.