Explore north Louisiana with a visit to Monroe-West Monroe on the banks of the Ouachita River and Bayou Desiard, where you’ll find good eats, treasure hunts, breathtaking nature trails, and museums perfect for sating any curiosity. It’s easy to fill an entire weekend, but here’s a look for the foodie in you.
Settling In Friday
Begin with lunch at Standard Coffee Co. with its satisfying café nibbles and a laid-back atmosphere, then tour the home of the first Coca-Cola bottler at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, which also boasts a selection of interesting and unique Bibles. Delight your artistic side with a lecture, class, or presentation at the Masur Museum of Art. Let curiosity be your guide at nearby Antique Alley, where you’ll meander through blocks of boutiques with home décor, jewelry, clothing, and antiques. Unwind at the Flying Tiger Brewery’s large outdoor green space and then head to dinner at Warehouse No. 1 to fulfill your Louisiana seafood cravings and more.
Be sure to leave room for their Key lime pie.
An Appetite for Saturday
A cup of java and homemade muffins at The Coffee Bean will get your day started. History buffs don’t want to miss the military aircraft at the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum, named after the leader of the famous World War II Flying Tigers squadron, Louisiana native General Claire Chennault. Art lovers will marvel at the works of expressionist artist, Don Cincone, at the Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Delta Heritage Museum.
If you’re ready to go beyond the walls of a museum, take a walk on the wilder side at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo. This more than 80-acre zoological park stretches through animal exhibits, park grounds, and gardens. Set your lunch destination for JAC’s Craft Smokehouse, Monroe’s first smokehouse restaurant, with everything from sandwiches to large meat plates. Still craving the outdoors? Bring a picnic to the Landry Vineyards for live music, dancing, or even a grape stomp, if you plan your trip just right. Follow with a dinner at Parish Restaurant where you’ll find ribeye and coconut panna cotta dessert on chef Cory Bahr’s locally sourced menu.
Fond Farewell on Sunday
Alex Latin Food Restaurant is the perfect spot for a farewell brunch where you can savor sandwiches and sweet, luscious tres leches, with a cup of their popular Cuban coffee. For a final excursion, immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Stroll through mixed pine and hardwood uplands or rent a canoe to quietly skim a 1,600-acre lake with towering cypress and tupelo trees. The wildlife habitat and conservation learning center are perfect for watching local wildlife or birds. Relive your trip over seasonal brews and craft pizzas at at Flying Heart Brewing & Pub, open every day year-round.
Historic museums, sprawling gardens and peaceful bayous, and comfort food that’s good for the soul—you’ll find it all in Monroe-West Monroe, and you’ll be glad you did. Refine your itinerary with this personality test, and see what’s waiting for you in Monroe-West Monroe.