Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Pineville, LA

  • Published 2023/03/24

Across the breathtaking Red River lies the mid-sized city of Pineville, Louisiana.

This city owes its name to a plethora of verdant pine trees scattered around the hills that overlook the Red River.

Pineville combines small-town appeal with thriving city attractions.

Historic sites, precious nature, museums, and entertainment venues are just a few things you can explore in this diverse city.

It’s also next to Alexandria, making for a leisurely road trip to the neighboring city’s destinations.

In Pineville, you can have both the tranquility of a small town and fun and fascinating destinations.

Here are the best things to do in Pineville, LA:

Learn about the Civil War at Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site

Welcome sign of Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site

Herodotus2go, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Randolph & Buhlow’s history dates back to 1865 when Confederates built the fort to defend against Union soldiers.

They built forts and cannons around the area with about 800 soldiers on guard.

Now it’s a popular tourist destination in Pineville, equipped with a welcoming visitor’s center and historical exhibits about Civil War battles.

Visitor's center of Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site

Herodotus2go, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Outdoor facilities include an elevated boardwalk that loops around the forts and an open field for Civil War reenactments.

You can find the site close to the Red River at Riverfront Street.

Whether you want to learn about American history or have a stroll through pleasant nature trails, Forts Randolph & Buhlow is a must-visit spot in Pineville.

Have a Feast in Buckets Crawfish and Seafood

Head to Buckets Crawfish and Seafood for an authentic Pineville experience.

They offer literal buckets of seafood, piles of fresh shrimp, catfish platters, oysters, and crawfish tails for your enjoyment.

This place is heaven for seafood lovers.

Try the hand-mixed cocktails like Bloody Mary and Huckleberry Finn to complement the meals.

With fresh seafood, a homey atmosphere, and refreshing drinks, it’s no surprise that Buckets Crawfish & Seafood is one of the most popular restaurants in Pineville.

Give it a try!

Unwind at Buhlow Lake

Gorgeous sunset over Buhlow Lake

Karen Gauthier 0809, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Expect loads of land and water recreation and fun public events at the charming Buhlow Lake in Pineville, Louisiana.

Established in 1956, this lake spans 282 acres and offers a wide array of water-related activities like boating, fishing, and kayaking.

Buhlow Lake also features an assortment of paved paths you’re free to explore.

The calm waters of Buhlow Lake

Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Animal wildlife, sunsets, and airplanes are some typical views you can get in this calming lake destination.

You could also check for public events like boat racing, fishing tournaments, fireworks, and music concerts.

Families, friends, and lone travelers can unwind in Buhlow Lake amid nature’s calming, pleasant feel.

Browse the Exhibits in Louisiana Maneuvers & Military Museum

This military museum showcases game-changing improvements in US military strategy in one of Louisiana’s training camps.

Constructed in 1995, Louisiana Maneuvers & Military Museum offers a collection of historical documents, artifacts, clothing, flags, and other related items.

Some items in this museum came from a nearby hotel’s temporary exhibit, which they donated for a permanent display of the famous Louisiana Maneuvers.

Outdoor, there are plenty of cool war mobiles and aircraft to admire, including tanks, cannons, helicopters, and jets.

Find this museum in Camp Beauregard.

It’s a great way to learn about military insights that gave the US a tactical advantage in battles.

Admission to the museum is free.

Experience Pineville Nightlife in the Hangar Club

The Hangar Club is one of Pineville’s top destinations for an unforgettable night.

With booming music, flashing lights, a bar, and a spacious dance floor, the Hangar Club has all the critical ingredients for a lively night.

Dance the night away to live music and entertainment from DJs and rock bands as you sip on your mixed cocktails and drinks.

Don’t worry if dancing is not your thing.

You can play darts, pool, and a jukebox that could better suit your preferences.

If you’d like some thrill in Pineville, give the Hangar Club a chance!

Explore Local Shops at Downtown Pineville

Cars driving along Downtown Pineville

Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Pineville is part of the city’s main street, featuring an array of old-style buildings and local store brands.

It’s also home to Main Street Truck Park, an events area where local businesses come together to sell their products.

There are many options to choose from, such as groceries, food truck meals, desserts, and other products, depending on the week’s theme.

Plus, the stalls often change with each upcoming event, so there’s always something new to try.

Online shopping may be the current trend, but nothing can beat exploring what the local community has to offer.

Watch the Sunset at Pineville Riverfront

Pineville Riverfront offers scenic, up-close views of the famous Red River.

Mud and thick sediments give the calm waters of this river a unique reddish-brown color.

Walking along the banks of the Red River is a calming experience that gets better during sunrise and sunset moments.

Public events like music concerts and live entertainment are also sometimes held on Pineville Riverfront.

The peaceful and tranquil atmosphere surrounding the riverfront is one of the main reasons why people frequent this destination.

If that’s what you’re looking for, head over to Pineville Riverfront, close to Riverside Drive.

Try the Activities at Fort Buhlow Recreation Area

Located at Recreation Road, the Fort Buhlow Recreation Area provides access to the Red River through boat launches and a boat dock.

The main activities here involve land-related ventures like hiking, a cross-country course, a disc golf course, and a few sports fields.

There are picnic shelters, tables, and grills to have a simple, relaxing day out in the sun.

The wooden boardwalk passes through lush trees and shrubs and has plenty of markers to guide you on your path.

Like other natural destinations in Pineville, Fort Buhlow Recreation Area also makes for beautiful sunsets and stunning photos.

Play Retro Games in Wayback’s Arcade

Relive your childhood in Wayback’s Arcade as you play a wide selection of modern and retro games.

Play arcade games, pinball tables, novelty games, and retro console games in Wayback’s Arcade.

The game screens light up the dim atmosphere; see the cool graffiti and some fun posters hanging on block walls.

There are also food stalls within the premises, selling easy-to-eat food like pizzas and ice cream.

Wayback’s Arcade is your ticket back to those sweet childhood days.

Bring Your Kids to Kees Park

Welcome sign of Kees Park

Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kees Park has plenty of facilities to keep you and your children entertained.

Colorful playgrounds, cooling splash pads, and fun swings are often a hit for the children.

Meanwhile, parents can relax in the park’s gazebos, picnic tables, or benches while watching their children.

Kees Park is a calming place perfect for a casual day out in the sun.

It’s also free of charge, though pets are not allowed in the playground.

Spend the Night in Country Inn & Suites by Pineville

This inn offers guests a safe and convenient place after hours of roaming around Pineville and exploring its splendid attractions.

Situated along Monroe Highway, Country Inn & Suites is a three-star hotel that can provide outstanding service and cater to your basic needs.

They also have bonus facilities like the gym and outdoor pool, which you’re free to enjoy once you’ve checked into the hotel.

They also have a pleasant restaurant which can serve you breakfast to dinner.

Country Inn & Suites, overall, is an elegant yet comfortable hotel to stay in while visiting Pineville.

Browse Great Deals in Treasure Chest Too

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Treasure Chest Too embodies the quote as a flea-market venue, selling a wide selection of vintage items and little trinkets.

With new items added frequently, you never know what you can find in the store, and every trip becomes a unique experience.

Their assortment includes furniture, glass bottles, teacup sets, vases, plates, and many other random products, all priced within an affordable range.

Who knows?

Your next purchase might be a rare and precious antique.

Visit the Alexandria Museum of Art

Established in 1977, the Alexandria Museum of Art engages the community with solid and emotional pieces of innovative artworks.

Alexandria Museum of Art has come a long way since then, having made several expansions and renovations to the building to satisfy guests’ diverse tastes and preferences of guests.

More than 800 artworks are available in this museum’s permanent exhibits and showcase special exhibits that change seasonally.

Most of the local artworks in their permanent collection were carefully curated to depict Louisiana culture, history, and traditions.

You can either explore the museum alone or join a group tour with a seasoned curator who’ll tell you facts and history about the artworks.

They also offer free admission every second Saturday of the month.

See the Animals at Gone Wild Safari

For a fun, family-friendly attraction, look no further: Gone Wild Safari is an attraction for the whole family.

The zoo opened in 2010, but the idea began from a passion for saving injured, abandoned animals.

Soon, the idea evolved into purchasing exotic animals from across the world.

Now, the safari boasts of hosting more than 100 familiar and exotic animals in their care.

There are also plenty of ways to meet those animals up-close through interactive facilities like their petting zoo, parakeet enclosure, and toucan pavilion.

You can also pan for minerals in Gone Wild Safari.

Find rare treasures from 48 varieties of gemstones and 30 types of old fossils, some of which are over 15,000 years old.

With their cute animals and fun, engaging facilities, you can’t miss Gone Wild Safari.

Get Your Coffee Fix at CC’s Coffee House

Coffee gets even more delicious and satisfying during road trips, and CC’s Coffee House doesn’t disappoint when you visit Pineville.

This Louisiana-based coffee chain serves freshly brewed coffee in a relaxed setting and a warm atmosphere, where you can spend a few hours sipping your favorite cup.

You can also pair your coffee with its delicious pastries, including croissants, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and a great selection of breakfast sandwiches.

And of course, its Signature Turtle Mochassippi is a must-try!

CC’s Coffee House is located on Highway 28.

Read a Book at Rapides Parish Library Libuse Branch

If you need to get your reading routine going while traveling, Rapides Parish Library Libuse Branch on Highway 28 East got your back!

Take refuge in the library’s comfortable reading nooks, where you can peacefully enjoy your reading session for an hour or more.

Established in 2017, the library keeps a great selection of books, magazines, e-books, music, movies, newspaper, and many other educational resources.

All kids, teens, and adults have their own spaces at the library and can join different programs that the library hosts.

Rapides Parish Library Libuse Branch also features computers to use, as well as meeting rooms and two study rooms.

Play Golf at The Reservation Golf and Country Club

For traveling golfers, you can have your time of life playing golf at The Reservation Golf and Country Club.

The 9-hole golf course features fairly challenging greens and fairways in a nice layout and warm atmosphere.

It also hosts golf tournaments and Frisbee players can also play a few rounds.

The Pro Shop has discs in stock if you’d like to get one for yourself for future rounds of Frisbee.

Also, while waiting for your round, you can hang out and use one of the picnic tables on-site.

The Reservation Golf and Country Club is located off Western Hills.

Support Local Vendors at Pineville Farm Stand

Local vendors and farmers gather at Main Street to sell their locally grown and artisanal products.

Lots of fresh produce like vegetables, fruits, herbs, plants, homemade jams and jellies, delicious food, and other locally-owned products are showcased at Pineville Farm Stand.

Also known as Main Street Truck Park, it’s one of the must-visit spots in downtown Pineville for families visiting the area, especially since there are kid-friendly activities for the little ones to enjoy.

You’ll also love that Pineville Farm Stand showcases live music and plenty of good vibes!

By buying their products, you’re supporting these local artisans and farmers.

See the Address by President Lincoln Historical Marker

The Address by President Lincoln Historical Marker contains the speech of the 16th president of the United States during the Consecration of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in 1863.

The Gettysburg National Cemetery is the final resting place of the soldiers who died in the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.

It won’t take 5 minutes for you to check it out, but it’s worth the visit to relive the history and how the fallen soldiers sacrificed for everyone’s freedom.

The Address by President Lincoln Historical Marker was erected on East Shamrock Street.

Also, there are other historical markets close to the area if you’re up to checking them out.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Hike the Trails at Kisatchie National Forest

Backbone trail at Kisatchie National Forest

William Dillingham /

Kisatchie National Forest is the ultimate destination for an outdoor adventure.

Louisiana’s only national forest harbors a diverse collection of natural lands and waterscapes like dense woods, lakes, and fishing ponds.

There’s gorgeous scenery everywhere you look; unique plants and animal wildlife are scattered around the premises.

The waters of Kisatchie National Forest

William Dillingham /

Well-marked nature trails also make it easy to hike in Kisatchie National Forest, and there are plenty of options to choose from.

You’re also free to roam around and try some of the popular activities in the forest, like biking, camping, fishing, and picnicking.

If outdoor adventures interest you, you can’t miss out on Kisatchie National Forest.

It’s 33 minutes away from downtown Pineville.

A rock with the word LOVE written on it at Kisatchie National Forest

William Dillingham /

Final Thoughts

Pineville’s charm is its small-town allure and diverse city attractions.

From fun venues like zoos, arcades, and nightclubs to leisure attractions like nature parks, museums, and local shops, the city of Pineville has them all.

Don’t skip out on the humble city of Pineville, Louisiana!

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