Explore Central Louisiana

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Connected by the rambling Red River, the central Louisiana towns of Alexandria and Natchitoches offer visitors the excellent food and hospitality the Bayou State is known for, along with a generous helping of history.

The grand lobby of the historic Hotel Bentley.

Discover Alexandria

Founded in 1819, Alexandria offers plenty of sites, bites, and experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Sample delicious Cajun comfort foods and dessert-centric eateries across the city and its neighboring town, Pineville. In addition, make time to visit local markets, music events, the historic Creole homes and plantations along the Cane River National Heritage Trail, and the Hotel Bentley—where Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton met to plan the Louisiana Maneuvers that prepared American troops for World War II.

Fish Dupree with house-made fettuccine at Quebedeaux Cajun Café (left), and tamales at Mi Tierra Restaurante Mexicano (right).

Must-Dos in Alexandria

 ● Take in the state’s largest collection of North Louisiana folk art at the Alexandria Museum of Art.

● Learn about the Bayou State’s WWII heritage at the Louisiana Maneuvers & Military Museum.

● Be one with nature on a stroll through the nearby Kisatchie National Forest.

● See a working sugarhouse at the circa-1800 Kent Plantation House and Historic Site.

Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile


Since its founding in 1714, Natchitoches (pronounced “nack-a-tish”) has served as a major hub for the Cane River region. Its picturesque downtown historic district offers a taste of Louisiana’s unique foods, music, and culture. You’ll find several good restaurants and may want to try local favorites like signature meat pies and the Wookie—house-made fries topped with brisket and cheese. During the holidays, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival warms up the town with more than 300,000 lights, 100 set pieces, and fireworks each Saturday starting November 20.

The Wookie at Pioneer Pub, which combines house-made fries (left), and the Café Club Sandwich at Legacy Café (right).

Must-Dos in Natchitoches & Nearby

● Experience the heritage of St. Augustine Church, one the oldest Black Catholic communities in the U.S.

● See the greats at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

● Delve into rich history at Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

● Take a self-guided tour of the Natchitoches Historic District.


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