20 Best Things to Do in Ruston, LA

Ruston, LA
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From a small parish, Ruston has come a long way to becoming a splendid city in Louisiana.

The city’s name stems from a combination of its land donor Robert Russ and the common word "town."

Ruston's collection of quaint shops, fantastic museums, and tranquil spots make it a charming place to visit.

There's a little bit of everything in Ruston.

You can find exciting entertainment, serene places to unwind, and intriguing destinations to learn from.

It's also pleasantly known as the Peach Capital of Louisiana, hosting annual fruit festivals in June.

If you'd like to know more about the city, here are the best things to do in Ruston, LA:

See a Show at Dixie Center for the Arts

Marquee of Dixie Center for the Arts
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Witness the talents of top-class performers from the national and international stage in a beautiful, historic building.

Located at Vienna Street, Dixie Center for the Arts is a premium location for films, theater, music, and arts.

You can trace its origins back to 1928 as "New Astor Theater," a venue for silent films.

With the help of locals, the theater remained open though it has undergone changes and renovations to suit modern times.

Still, Dixie Center for the Arts retained its original architecture to keep its historic feel as close to the original as possible.

They feature diverse types of artists, which include upcoming musical artists and award-winning performers.

From classical plays to musical concerts and live bands, the premium acts you'll find in this theater vary every time.

Make sure to watch one of their performances in Ruston.

Get Active at Ruston Sports Complex

Ruston Sports Complex is a state-of-the-art facility with spacious, premium facilities for popular sports.

It spans an estimated 185 acres and features amenities for various games, including baseball, softball, tennis, football, and soccer.

Coupled with stadium seating, walking trails, playgrounds, and a small pond, there's plenty to explore in Ruston Sports Complex.

Whether you're a spectator or a player, the Ruston Sports Complex can offer you something to pass the time.

They also have a concession stand that sells tasty snacks and drinks to replenish your stamina.

See what this complex has to offer at Champions Way, Ruston.

Explore the Exhibits at the North Louisiana Military Museum

North Louisiana Military Museum serves as a memorial to US conflicts, including World War I, World War II, the Civil War, and the War on Terror.

The museum has collected and displayed more than 10,000 artifacts.

The items vary from photographs, soldier outfits, weapons, typewriters, and other vital antiques related to the wars.

Their display order follows the events where they saw action, carefully curated between two floors and an outdoor exhibit.

At the outdoor exhibit, there are extraordinary selections of aircraft, artillery, and battle vehicles like tanks and armored personnel carriers.

Located along Memorial Drive, this museum is a great way to learn about what soldiers had to go through in wartime.

Admission to the museum is free, so stop by and honor American war veterans.

Enjoy a Feast at Utility Brewing Company

Utility Brewing Company offers a wide selection of pizzas and beer made straight from scratch in Ruston, Louisiana.

You can enjoy them in a comfortable atmosphere inside the establishment or at their outdoor patio.

Utility Brewing Company is a place to unwind as you dine on their homemade meals and drink handcrafted beer or cocktails.

Sometimes, they offer live entertainment from diverse musicians who typically play country music.

If you're looking for a casual place to relax with good food and great refreshments, then head to the Utility Brewing Company.

Connect with Nature at Huckleberry Trails Park

Along Magnolia Avenue, you'll find a nature-centric oasis for the whole family.

Huckleberry Trails Park is a tranquil park in Ruston that boasts woodland features spanning 23 acres.

It contains a fun playground, rentable pavilions, and accessible nature trails to explore in the forest.

Dense trees surround the area, creating an outdoorsy feel for the whole location and a perfect place to connect with nature.

It's one of Ruston's hidden treasures, tucked away within the shade of trees.

Have a picnic, wander through the woodlands, and search for animal wildlife.

You'll find plenty to do in the peaceful Huckleberry Trails Park.

Give it a chance!

Wander Ruston Main Street

Ruston's Main Street is a historic part of town, composed of old buildings and establishments.

Main Street is an ongoing city project to preserve this historic district while also improving its economy and livelihood.

They aim to make this district the commercial heart of the city.

Whether it's shopping, dining, or entertainment, Ruston's Main Street has an establishment to cater to your needs.

Walking along the street will show you beautifully restored buildings, historic architecture, and a broad array of retail shops.

This main street is also home to Railroad Park, which hosts several live events and gatherings for the community.

Sip a Nice Cup of Joe from Railway Coffee

Street sign of Railway Coffee
UpAheadDesign, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whether you want a venue to study, chat with friends, or just a place to enjoy quiet time, Railway Coffee has your back.

They roast their beans inside the shop, ensuring a fresh batch of coffee with each order.

Besides freshly brewed coffee, they also have an assortment of teas, hot chocolate, and homemade pastries to snack on while you sip your drink.

Railway Coffee has earned great success, enabling them to expand its small shop.

Now, they have more facilities like the drive-through stall and novelty store.

If you're ever in Ruston, visit this quaint local shop.

Shop Local at Ruston Farmers Market

The Ruston Farmers Market is the perfect destination to shop for local delicacies.

Founded in 2008, this market showcases the agricultural prowess of Ruston as a city rooted in farmable land.

Besides those products, the Ruston Farmers Market also features non-edible items like glassworks, wood-carved pieces, and books.

It's also rich with homemade products like baked pastries, spicy salsa sauces, and meals from diverse cuisines.

This thriving local market emerged with the help of North Louisiana Farm Fresh, a non-profit organization in the state.

If you're interested to see the market, it opens on Saturdays.

Support Louisiana's local community by shopping at the farmers market.

Relax in Sundown Tavern

At Park Avenue, Sundown Tavern sits as one of the top bars in Ruston, Louisiana.

It features a rustic vibe with casual indoor seating and an outdoor patio, depending on your preferences.

The laidback atmosphere is perfect for a chill night out, alone or with friends and family.

As a tavern, they offer a wide selection of cocktails, spirits, and craft beers made from local and national sources.

They also have a varied menu containing small plates, salads, main courses, and kiddie meals.

Sundown Tavern often hosts live music concerts with diverse musicians from local, regional, and national backgrounds.

With that said, don't miss out on this casual bar.

Ride Your Bike at Rock Island Greenway

Formerly a railroad, Rock Island Greenway has become a famous spot for bikers.

In 1947, the greenway was once a railroad, which became a vital part of Ruston's development.

Now, people go there for walking, running, and hiking since it spans about six miles and passes by many types of scenery.

Both rural and cemented paths traverse native forests, cool creeks, and pleasing farmlands.

Rock Island Greenway connects you through neighborhoods, commercial businesses, and amusing amenities in Ruston.

It's a great way to explore some of the city's destinations.

If you want to give this place a shot, the trailheads start near the intersection of Kentucky Avenue and Chautauqua Road.

Browse Ruston Artisans

Opened in 2015, Ruston Artisans was the first online shop that sold unique artworks to buyers on the Internet.

In 2017, they decided to open a physical store and expand their business into an exceptional venue.

Local artists go there to display their skills and craftsmanship.

While they get most of their works from local artists, Ruston Artisans also features works from around the world.

Browse carefully curated works and paintings with different themes and mediums.

You can also consult with staff who can help you pick up a notable work, especially if you're still new to the art scene.

This gallery offers a convenient way to look into the art and culture of the Ruston community.

Locate them at Alabama Avenue within the town's charming historic main street.

Play a Round at Ultrazone Paintball

Loads of social fun and entertainment await your group at Ultrazone Paintball.

It's one of Ruston's top destinations for family-friendly fun in an authentic outdoor environment along Shaman Road.

Paintball is an exciting game to play with friends, family, and co-workers.

What's excellent about Ultrazone Paintball is they use "low impact paintball," which means that even kids as young as six years old can join the fun.

You also get to play outdoors.

Trees can provide you with cover, and a few wooden platforms abound on the premises.

They'll give you all the necessary gear to stay safe, as well as the guns and paint.

Compared to other paintball venues that require you to play inside their centers, paintball in the forest makes for a fresh, unique way to immerse in the game.

Give it a shot.

Rest in the Cottage of Ruston

For a serene and quiet getaway, this cozy cottage at Kavanaugh Road is perfect for you.

Equipped with a queen-sized bed, love seat, and television, the Cottage of Ruston Bed and Breakfast offers a peaceful haven.

It's adorned mainly with white decor, from the walls and ceilings to the bed, cabinet, and other types of furniture.

The owner wanted the place to seem like a small piece of heaven and a discreet location to rest from your busy lifestyle.

You get to have the whole cottage to yourself and your guests.

In the morning, they'll also provide you with a complimentary breakfast, continental style.

This cottage may be tiny, but it offers peace from the stress of modern life.

Hike the Trails at Lincoln Parish Park

Lincoln Parish Park offers a comprehensive list of amenities that the public can freely enjoy without charge.

It's home to a playground for children, pavilions, benches, and picnic tables scattered around the park.

There's also a scenic trail that takes you around the banks of a beautiful lake where you can also fish.

However, the most popular feature of Lincoln Parish Park is the ten-mile mountain bike trails that cyclists of all levels love.

It's a mix of both easy and challenging terrains that can excite travelers who enjoy biking.

You can also try hiking, picnicking, and fishing at the park.

Visit this location at Parish Park Road when you get the chance.

Taste Fusion Cuisine at Log Cabin Grill & Market

Along Farmerville Highway, you'll find Log Cabin Grill & Market, a Tex-Mex eatery that also doubles as a market.

Established in 2005, this grill has served locals and travelers hearty meals like steaks and pork chops.

They also added some Mexican meals like chimichangas and fajitas.

Log Cabin Grill & Market offers a fusion between Texas and Mexican cuisine, giving you loads of unique options to choose from.

The spot is inside a rural location with a mellow atmosphere so that you can dine comfortably.

Their success drove them to expand and branch out with a market that sells all kinds of meat, sauces, drink mixes, and desserts.

That way, you can eat at home as if you're dining in Log Cabin Grill & Market.

Try this unique local eatery in Ruston, Louisiana.

Bring a Picnic To R.L. Cook Park

Share a delicious picnic lunch with your loved ones and take advantage of the relaxing atmosphere at R.L. Cook Park.

The 28-acre park features a shaded picnic area with tables to use for lunch or snacks with your family and friends.

After sharing a delicious picnic, you can explore the nice walking trails for scenic strolls and exercise.

There's also exercise equipment around the walking path if you need to stretch out those muscles and maintain your body goals.

Also, if you have little ones, they too can have their time of life at the playground where they can play and interact with other kids.

R.L. Cook Park is located at Kavanaugh Road.

Have a Good Read at Lincoln Parish Library

With a great selection of books and other printed materials, you sure can have a good read at Lincoln Parish Library.

In addition to books, The library keeps an excellent collection of audiobooks, DVDs, Blu-rays, e-books, movies, music, and many more.

These are available to kids, teens, and adults in many different genres perfect for reading, research, and study.

The library also hosts events and programs for all ages like Reading Clubs, Storytimes, and more.

Take solitude in the comfortable corners of Lincoln Parish Library and enjoy a good read!

You can find the library on North Trenton Street.

Watch a Movie at Celebrity Theatres

Don't miss out on a newly released movie while in Ruston, and head to Celebrity Theatres; a Louisiana movie house showing first-run films.

The theater features comfortable stadium seating and top-quality sound, making the movie more enjoyable and cinematic.

It also offers matinee and senior citizen discounts perfect for families traveling to Ruston with elderly parents or any other family members.

You can also grab delicious snacks and drinks at the concession to go with the movie.

Celebrity Theatres is located at Celebrity Drive.

Buy Unique Gifts at Chartreuse Pear

Before you head back home, make time to take a trip to Chartreuse Pear; a charming boutique and gift shop featuring unique finds.

Established in 1999, the shop offers beautiful selections of soaps, jewelry, candles, accessories, home decor, clothing, skincare, and customized linens.

As you enter the shop, you'll feel the vintage chic vibe that the owner Brenda Lee has put on; inspired by her passion for antiques and vintage.

Choose from these gorgeous finds as a gift for your loved ones and for yourself.

Drop by Chartreuse Pear at West Park Avenue.

Have a Taste of Louisiana at Ponchatoulas

Specializing in cajun and creole fare, Ponchatoulas gives the best native Louisiana dishes.

For most locals and tourists, delicious is an understatement when it comes to the classic fare that the restaurant serves.

Try its popular Cajun and Creole dishes, including crawfish etouffee, shrimp po' boy, gumbo, boudin, shrimp etouffee, and jambalaya.

Also, its red beans and rice, bread pudding, stuffed catfish, and mushrooms are a must-try!

Ponchatoulas was established in 1996 and also features live music on weekends.

Visit Ponchatoulas at East Park Avenue.

Final Thoughts

Ruston is a city in Louisiana with tiny bits of everything, such as entertainment, dining, shopping, history, nature, and more.

It has indeed come a long way from a small parish.

No matter your tastes, you will find something to like in Ruston, Louisiana.

Just keep an open mind!

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