Nestled in the state of Louisiana or the Pelican State, Monroe is a beautiful city with tonnes of places to see and things to do. Monroe is the eighth-largest city in the United States of America, with a population of nearly 50,000 people. The city has many attractions that make it a popular and fun spot for your next vacation. From museums and sculptures to zoos and wildlife refuges, this fantastic city has it all. The food scene is also incredible; you will find some of the best waterfront restaurants serving delectable food and drinks. So if you like escaping into nature or experiencing the vibrant cultures, Monroe will be a pure delight and will surely win over your hearts with what the city offers. Here are 15 of the best things to do in the lovely town of Monroe in Louisiana.
Stroll Around The City
Monroe is a gorgeous picturesque town with lots of stunning places to see and lovely things to do. The city is delightful with splendid architecture that will win you over. Monroe is the eighth largest town, but that does not make it not worth exploring on foot. Make sure to visit as much as streets and neighborhoods on foot as possible. Because only then will you understand and appreciate the scenic glory and energy of Monroe. You will also find places that are only known to the locals. You will also discover great eateries with fantastic food along the way. Long and peaceful walks in the city like a true local will refresh your mind, body, and soul.
Visit the Lovely Biedenharn Museum & Gardens
Located along the Ouachita River in Monroe, Biedenharn Museum & Gardens was built in 1913 by Joseph A. Biedenharn, the man who first started bottling of Coco-Cola, as a private home. The home and garden are now open for the public to visit, and the estate also has two museums with historical artifacts and memorabilia. Those two museums are- the Coco-Cola Museum and the Bible Museum. The Coca-Cola Museum contains everything related to the legendary company known worldwide, and the Bible Museum includes several biblical works of literature and various bibles. The house has original grandeur furnishings that deserve to be seen by everyone. The garden or the ELsong Garden is a beautiful formal English Garden with several thematic areas, such as the Four Seasons Garden, a Musical Grotto, and the Oriental Garden. The elegant and well-maintained alone is very impressive, with flowers blooming year-round. Make sure to visit this gem of a place to enjoy the history, art, and beautiful outdoors of Monroe.
Enjoy a Coke For Only 5 cents at the Coca-Cola Museum
As seen above, the Coca Cola Museum is located in the estate of Biedenharn Museum & Gardens. But it is worth mentioning as an attraction of its own. Monroe was the first city in the world that started the bottling of the now-famous soft-drink and brand all around the world, Coca Cola. The museum is fascinating and very well worth visiting. You will get to know about the beginnings of Coke and how the process of the bottling works. After learning about the history, you can walk around the museum to see all the artifacts and memorabilia on display. You will also see one of the original delivery trucks used to sell the first bottled coca-cola. You will also see various original vintage wrappers of the bottles on display. After the museum tour, make sure to enjoy a chilled coke only for 5 cents in the old-fashioned glass bottles from the old non-electric vending machine. Visit this museum to see how the beloved Coke got its start from and enjoy a Coke bottle only for 5 cents.
Visit the Fascinating Chennault Aviation & Military Museum of Louisiana
Located in Selman Field Army Air Corps Navigation School, the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum of Louisiana celebrates and highlights the impact of General Claire Chennault and northeast Louisiana on the military and aviation history of the United States. The museum showcases the artifacts and exhibits related to aviation and military history, such as uniforms, documents, photographs, weapons, and much more. The museum displays all the U.S. Military branches, from World War I to the present day, along with an extensive exhibit dedicated to the life of General Claire Chennault. You will also see huge military aircraft outside the museum. You can take guided tours of the museum to know more about the museum from knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guides. The entry in the museum is free, and it is open from Tuesdays through Saturdays, and the museum's timings are from 9 am to 4 pm.
The Magnificent Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
You cannot miss the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge when you come to the Pelican State. It is a protected wilderness area that is very popular among locals and tourists alike to relish and appreciate the beautiful natural green space of Monroe. The wildlife refuge consists of a 1700-acre lake, an educational center, an arboretum, a visitor's center a prairie area, wildlife pier, a pavilion, an amphitheater, nature trail, a boat launch, and much more. This beautiful green space is filled with diverse plant life and wildlife. You can spot several woody plants of Lousiana and native wildflowers and grasses and several animals, including red-winged blackbirds, turtles, coyotes, deers, and alligators others. You can enjoy hiking in nature trails or enjoying birdwatching or enjoying boating in the lake or enjoying a picnic with sweeping views to enjoy, among many other activities, to appreciate Monroe's lush nature. Visit this breathtaking refuge to experience the splendid natural wonders of Lousiana and relax in a tranquil and serene environment.
Spot Animals at Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
Located on the Bernstein Park Road, Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo is an 80-acre garden and zoo with more than 500 animals from over 200 different species. The garden is very well maintained and beautifully landscaped with different plants and trees, and it also has a greenhouse that you can walkthrough. The zoo exhibits several animals in various exhibits, such as The Australian Exhibit contains wallabies, cockatoos, wallaroos, emus, a kookaburra, and more. Other animals you can spot around the zoo are tigers, lions, zebras, baboons, bears, peacocks, kangaroos, leopard, gibbons, parrots, and many more animals. You can also attend a boat tour to see the animals that are not visible from the regular walking paths. You can even pet goats, zebus, sheep, horses, cattle, and many more animals in the petting zoo. The zoo is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm, and the entry fee is only $4.50. Visit the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo to see many beautiful animals and see the lovely gardens.
Stop by the Northeast Louisiana African Heritage Museum
Northeast Louisiana African Heritage Museum is a small museum located in the Monroe's Chenault Park. The museum was found in 1994 and aimed to preserve the African Heritage of Louisiana. It hosts several social and cultural events that are open to the public to educate the community about African Heritage. The displays and exhibits showcase the 60s' civil rights movement. Along with teaching the visitors, the museum also supports local artists by regularly organizing art shows featuring local artists. Visit the Northeast Louisiana African Heritage Museum to learn about Louisiana's African Heritage and see amazing works by local artists.
Visit the Cooley House
The Cooley House was built between 1925 and 1926 for Gilbert Brian 'Captain' Cooley. It is located in Monroe's Historic District, and it was designed by the renowned and acclaimed architect Walter Burley Griffin. The house was very modern and unique at the time it was built. It has a steam shower, a sunken tub, a central vacuum system, steam heating, the original cork floor, a detached carport, and more. The house is one of the last examples of the Prairie School residential architecture in the South and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
See Visual Arts at Masur Museum of Art
Masur Museum of Art is Northeast Louisiana's most significant visual arts museum. It is situated in a stunning Tudor-style former home, the old home of the Masur family. It was built in 1914 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The museum aims to promote and support the visual arts of the local community of Monroe. It has displays and exhibitions, and it also educates visitors through its educational programs. The museum is home to art by various renowned artists including Robert Motherwell, Mary Cassatt, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin. Salvador Dalí, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Thomas Hart Benton, and many more. The Lower Gallery in the museum screens various films and hosts artist talks and lectures as well. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, and its timings are from 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening. Visit the Masur Museum of Art to see works of various noted artists and learn about the visual arts a bit more.
Stop at the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum
Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum is an interactive children's museum with educational and engaging exhibits and displays to help kids learn fun and exciting. The kids can engage in various activities to learn about the world. They can try a job as a waiter in the Kids' Cafe, visit the hands-on hospital, drive an ambulance, go to health hall and see what doctors and nurses do, among many other activities. The kids can also encase themselves in big bubbles in the bubble maker activity. The museum is open every day except Wednesday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Visit the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum with your little ones and watch them have tonnes of fun while learning valuable things and lessons.
Highest Quality Fairtrade Coffee at RoeLA Roaster
Located in Downtown Monroe, RoeLA Roaster is a coffee roasting company whose primary focus is to sell the best type and quality of coffee in the world. The company sources its highest quality coffee beans from responsible producers who grow the best possible coffee beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico. You can buy excellent fair-trade coffee from the RoeLA Roaster in Monroe. You can also buy their coffee online from their website. However, if you want a cup of coffee made with their beans, you can go to Now Save, at 18th and Forsythe.
Dine at the Warehouse No 1 Restaurant
Overlooking the scenic banks of Ouachita River, Warehouse No 1 Restaurant is located in Downtown Monroe and is probably the city's most famous spot to dine. The restaurant serves America, French, Cajun, and Creole food in a rustic setting with a stunningly gorgeous backdrop. The menu is vast and diverse and caters to its large customer base with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. This place is famous for its correctly done steaks accompanied by wine from their extensive and impressive collection. But do not forget to try fried button mushrooms, cajun shrimps, fried green tomatoes, and blackened redfish when you dine at the Warehouse No 1 Restaurant.
Chilled Beer at Flying Tiger Brewery
Flying Tiger Brewery is a beautiful brewery in the city of Monroe that makes and packages its beer on-site. The brewery serves various delicious flagship beers in their spacious taprooms. You can enjoy your chilled beer on the patio outside when the weather is perfect. The brewery does not serve food; however, there is a food truck always outside from where you can buy quick bites to accompany your beer. Visit the Flying Tiger Brewery to enjoy the best craft beer in Lousiana.
Stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites
Hampton Inn & Suites offers the best possible amenities and comfort to the guest to make their stay as worthwhile. The facilities provided by the hotel include a fitness center with a gym, meeting rooms, business centers, car hire, indoor pool, and so much more. Stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites to make your perfect trip even more perfect.
Monroe is a fantastic city filled with Lousiana's culture, history, and nature, which makes it the perfect destination for all. What are you waiting for? Visit Monroe, and do not forget to tell us your favorite thing from the list and make sure to do and see all these things when you visit this lovely, picturesque city.