25 Best Things to Do in Monroe, LA

Monroe, LA
DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

Monroe, Louisiana, often referred to as "The Twin Cities," is a quaint locale brimming with southern charm and hospitality.

The gentle ripples of the Ouachita River and the melodious blend of music during local festivals lend Monroe a unique allure for every visitor.

Each corner of the city narrates a tale of a vibrant past and a promising future.

This guide invites readers to embark on a journey, exploring the best things to do in Monroe, Louisiana, a place that captivates the heart.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Sharon Kammerer, Kathleen Tesch, Connie Jewett, Walter Keefe, David Patrick, James Hallum and Arron Oneal.

Encounter Animals at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo

A lion at Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
RyanThomasParker / shutterstock.com

When life gets monotonous in our small city, the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo becomes my little haven.

I find myself drawn to its 80-acre wildlife habitat in the heart of the city.

The zoo's exhibits are ever-evolving, the boat rides are always invigorating, and the children's zoo is a treasure trove of fun and learning for the little ones.

The zoo is not just an outing for me, it's more of an enriching experience.

I've seen how the staff there work hard to keep the place thriving.

The enthusiasm of my niece, who is just 12 years old, says it all.

Her eyes sparkle with sheer joy whenever she is aboard the zoo's train or boat ride.

It's not just a sightseeing experience for her but an adventurous journey she looks forward to every time we visit.

Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo's growth over the years is notable.

A hippo at Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
RyanThomasParker / Shutterstock.com

Despite this, there have been times when the animal exhibits were not as interactive as expected.

I think this has more to do with the sweltering summer heat of Louisiana than anything else.

If you're planning a visit during summer, the splash pad is a relief.

I remember taking my little one there, and his laughter while splashing around was infectious.

However, you might want to be careful with toddlers as the concrete lining can be a bit harsh on them.

One of the perks of being a regular visitor is the zoo's membership option, which helps save some money.

They also have a small park for those who want a break from animal watching and water play.

Above everything else, the well-shaded areas in the zoo are a blessing during hot sunny days.

Catch Mesmerizing Performances at Twin City Ballet Co

There's nothing quite like the magic of Twin City Ballet Co. I've been attending performances for years now, and every single one is an enchanting experience that captivates and inspires.

From a wide range of performances, from classical ballets to fresh, original contemporary pieces, this company consistently delivers high-quality shows that are a true testament to the value and beauty of dance.

I guarantee you won't regret attending one of their captivating shows.

Every time I leave a performance, I feel a renewed sense of appreciation for the art and the dedication of the dancers.

Twin City Ballet Co also offers a strong community presence.

They have youth programs that offer unparalleled dance education to young, aspiring dancers.

I've seen firsthand how these programs teach more than just technical skills.

They instill discipline, teamwork, and a strong work ethic in the kids.

They're shaping the future of dance while giving the present a touch of grace and elegance.

It's amazing how much local talent can flourish in a city like ours. Just take a look at the Levee Gallery right here in Monroe, Louisiana.

It's a place that has become my go-to spot whenever I need to soak in some artistic inspiration.

Visiting the Levee Gallery is a bit like embarking on a journey of diverse art mediums.

I've seen everything from abstract paintings to intricate sculptures, all created by the brilliant minds of north Louisiana artists.

It's a real testament to the vibrant artistic community that we have right here in our own backyard.

Every time I walk in, I'm blown away by the new artworks that are on display.

It's a revolving door of creativity that never fails to inspire and amaze me.

One of the things I particularly love about this gallery is that it not only showcases the talent of local artists but it also gives them a platform to gain exposure and recognition.

It's akin to having a little piece of a metropolitan art scene right here in Monroe.

And it's not just a place for artists either.

I've found some really unique pieces for my home decor here that I wouldn't have found anywhere else.

There's nothing like adding a touch of local artwork to your home to make it feel extra special.

Learn Stories of Heroism at Chennault Aviation & Military Museum

Welcome sign of Chennault Aviation & Military Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You haven't truly experienced Monroe, Louisiana, until you've visited the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum.

Nestled amidst the city's hustle, this museum is an oasis of history that takes you back in time to witness the feats of General Claire Chennault and local aviation and military history.

As an avid history buff, I found myself stepping into the pages of history as I walked through the museum's doors.

The exhibits are brilliantly curated, offering a wealth of information about various wars, right from the Civil War to Afghanistan.

The displays are not just your regular museum fare.

They are unique pieces of memorabilia that bring the past back to life.

I was particularly fascinated by the dedicated section on General Claire Chennault.

Exterior of Chennault Aviation & Military Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It provides an in-depth look at his career and contributions, making you feel as if you were there alongside him.

What truly sets the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum apart, though, apart from its rich collections, is the warmth and friendliness of the staff and volunteers.

They were more than happy to answer any questions and share interesting anecdotes, making my visit all the more enjoyable and educational.

I even managed to convince my three stepchildren to accompany me on one of my visits.

Much to my surprise, they absolutely loved it!

They were engaged, asking questions, and even said they wanted to learn more about military history.

If that's not a testament to the museum's appeal, I don't know what is.

Interior of Chennault Aviation & Military Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Solve Mysteries at Southern Escape Room

Yesterday, I decided to spice up my routine with a trip to the Southern Escape Room.

I must tell you, it was no ordinary day!

The escape room was a blend of thrill and fun; for a moment, I felt like I was starring in my own mystery movie.

The escape room was a labyrinth of puzzles and mysteries, each one unique and well thought out.

I was worried it might be too difficult, but with a bit of brain power and a few handy hints, I was able to crack the codes.

I had my kids along with me, and they couldn’t have been more excited.

The room was engaging for each of us, irrespective of our age.

They were bouncing around, solving riddles, finding clues, and having a blast.

It was a fantastic family bonding experience.

It was my first escape room adventure, but I assure you it won't be my last.

The adrenaline rush and the satisfaction of solving the puzzles were addictive.

The challenge was real, and it left me craving for more.

Beyond the fun and games, what stood out was the warmth and kindness of the staff.

They made me feel special and right at home - a trait I found they extended to everyone who walked through their doors.

Plus, Southern Escape Room was spotlessly clean; it was evident they took pride in maintaining their establishment.

Discover History and Beauty at the Biedenharn Museum & Garden

Exterior of Biedenharn Museum & Garden
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Strolling through my hometown, I often find myself drawn to the Biedenharn Museum & Garden.

It's not just an ordinary museum, it's a timeless piece of our community's history nestled within a century-old mansion.

The charm of this place begins the moment you set foot on its grounds.

I remember my first visit to this museum like it was yesterday.

The tour started with the captivating Coke Museum, where Antoine - a knowledgeable guide, explained the intriguing evolution of Coke bottling.

It felt like a journey back in time, learning about a global phenomenon that started right here in our city.

Once you've had your fill of fizzy facts, the tour leads you to the magnificent 1913 mansion.

Paula, another guide with an exceptional knack for storytelling, immerses you in the family's history and the architectural beauty of the house.

Each room is adorned with antiques, each telling a silent tale of the past.

Entrance to the Biedenharn Museum & Garden
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

But the surprises don't end inside; the English gardens outside are a sight to behold.

I often find myself losing track of time as I wander through the landscaped paths, taking in the symphony of colors and fragrances.

The Biedenharn Museum & Garden also hosts a Bible Museum, where Ralph shares his scholarly insights into religious art and history.

The collection includes a Bible illustrated by Salvador Dalai, a treasure for both art enthusiasts and scripture scholars.

As an added touch of nostalgia, you can even get a Coke for just 5 cents in the museum.

Be sure to bring your nickel, it's a small price to pay for a refreshing trip down memory lane.

Getting to explore four different areas and participate in two guided tours for just $10 is a steal.

Each visit to the Biedenharn Museum & Garden is a new learning experience, and a reminder of the rich history and beauty that lies within our city.

Fountain at Biedenharn Museum & Gardens
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Savor High-Quality Beer at Flying Tiger Brewery

If I were to describe my city in one word, it'd be 'unexpected.' And nothing captures that essence quite like Flying Tiger Brewery.

You wouldn't believe the number of times I've seen travelers stumble upon this gem, their curiosity piqued by the sight of our local hotspot.

The moment you step into the brewery, you are greeted by the tantalizing smell of fresh pizzas, their crust baked to perfection in the ovens.

I've lost count of the number of times I've savored these mouthwatering delights while enjoying a pint of their high-quality brew.

Flying Tiger Brewery boasts an impressive menu, which may appear simple at first glance, but every bite speaks volumes about the thought and effort put into it.

What sets this place apart, more than the excellent food and beer is the vibrant and inviting atmosphere.

From live music nights featuring local talents to the welcoming staff always ready to show you around, it's a place that truly captures the spirit of our city.

Make sure you ask for Nathan.

His quick tours of the brewery are packed with fascinating insights that will leave any beer enthusiast in awe.

Practice Wildlife Photography at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Boardwalk at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Bonita R. Cheshier / shutterstock.com

A walk through the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge can be a magical experience.

As I stroll along the boardwalk, the cypress knees and Spanish moss lend an ethereal quality to the surroundings.

The swamp below is teeming with life, from all kinds of birds to fish and, yes, even gators.

The refuge is a wetlands preserve, home to a variety of flora and fauna.

The walkways through the swamp provide an amazing opportunity to view this diverse ecosystem up close.

The canoe trail offers a different perspective, allowing you to experience the bayou from the water's surface.

One of my favorite activities here is photographing the wildlife from the photo blinds.

Welcome sign of  Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Brandy McKnight / Shutterstock.com

The blinds are strategically located for optimal viewing and offer the chance to capture some truly stunning images.

The abundance of birds, deer, and gators makes it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

The trails throughout the preserve are interesting, with their good info signs providing detailed insight.

They are not too long, perfect for a leisurely walk.

And each trail offers a fresh perspective on the diverse habitats of the refuge.

One thing that adds to the charm of Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the sight of lily pads with their flowers dotting the water's surface.

Although I've yet to catch a glimpse of an alligator in its natural habitat, the anticipation of possibly spotting one adds an element of excitement to every visit.

A butterfly at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Bonita R. Cheshier / Shutterstock.com

Embark on an Epicurean Adventure at Parish Restaurant & Bar

Ah, Monroe! There's a hidden jewel nestled right in our very own city, shining brightly amidst the southern charm. It's none other than Parish Restaurant & Bar.

Setting foot inside Parish is stepping into a world of culinary exquisiteness.

A blend of vibrant and eclectic décor greets you the moment you walk in, setting the stage for a dining experience that is simply unmatched.

The staff is an impressive ensemble, exhibiting skillful mixology and impeccable service.

One particular evening, I found myself under the expert guidance of Tomas.

As he led us through the menu, every suggestion he made was nothing short of a gastronomic masterpiece.

Each visit unravels a new surprise.

For instance, the Korean Pork Belly with Scallops served as my introduction to the world of fusion cuisine - a beautiful symphony of flavors that was as pleasing to the palate as it was to the eyes.

The scallops are cooked just right, tender, and juicy, while the halibut bears the perfect seasoning.

Desserts are not to be overlooked either.

Their Banana Pudding and Fig Bread Pudding are delectable delights that round off the meal perfectly.

But Parish isn't just about the food.

It's an experience.

An experience that lingers, making you crave for more.

The attention to detail, the ambiance, and the service make it a place where every meal is a celebration.

A celebration that is worth every penny spent.

Yes, a visit to Parish Restaurant & Bar might mean shelling out a bit more than your average eatery.

But trust me, it's well worth it.

For in return, you get an unforgettable epicurean adventure right in the heart of Monroe.

So, next time you're planning a night out or a special occasion, don't forget to make a reservation at Parish.

You won't regret it.

Discover Local Talent at the Masur Museum of Art

Exterior of the Masur Museum of Art
Larealtor, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Strolling the serene, uncrowded halls of the Masur Museum of Art offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

This compact art museum, housed in a circa-1914 building, has become a favorite spot of mine to unwind and immerse myself in various forms of art.

The museum's constant rotation of new exhibits keeps things fresh and exciting.

One can never predict what artistic treasures they might stumble upon during a visit.

For me, the anticipation of discovering a new favorite artist or art piece adds an element of thrill to each visit.

Masur Museum of Art isn't just about viewing art either.

A variety of educational programs and events are offered regularly.

These provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the world of art, to learn, to understand, and to develop a greater appreciation of the different art forms.

During days when the weather is pleasant, I take my time to enjoy a leisurely walk around the museum's outside grounds.

The intriguing architecture of the building and the landscaped gardens that surround it make the museum as aesthetically pleasing on the outside as it is on the inside.

Treat Yourself to the Food and Hospitality of Warehouse No 1 Restaurant

Whenever I'm asked about the best places to dine in the city, the first name that pops into my mind is Warehouse No 1 Restaurant.

This place is a testament to Louisiana-style gastronomy, offering the most scrumptious seafood and steaks around.

Nestled by the river, the rustic ambiance of this eatery, coupled with a riverside deck, makes it an irresistible dining spot for both locals and tourists.

Memories of my last Saturday evening there still linger.

I remember sauntering in around 5:30 pm, and after leaving my name for a table, I was courteously ushered to the bar to enjoy a chilled drink.

It was a brief 30-minute wait, yet it felt as if time flew by.

The server was incredibly polite and attentive, ensuring we were comfortable and our needs were met throughout the evening.

While the back patio can get a tad warm, it's the perfect spot to enjoy the Warehouse No 1 Restaurant's breathtaking river views.

The blend of industrial and classy decor creates an engaging atmosphere that's hard to match.

Not to forget, the food here is nothing short of delectable.

I've tried their baked oysters and Redfish Louisianne, and I must say, they've nailed the flavors each time.

The Redfish Louisianne, especially, is a delight to savor with its bed of corn grits, blackened redfish, and a generous smothering of crawfish etouffe.

Moreover, the jalapeno hushpuppies and the redfish atchafalaya are must-tries.

The portions are generous enough to leave you satiated yet craving more.

If you've room for dessert, don't miss their creme brulee - it's simply divine!

The only drawback, I'd say, is their strawberry cheesecake, which didn't stand out as much as I'd have liked.

Bring Your Little Ones to Explore Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum

Exterior of the colorful Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every weekend, I seek out new adventures for my little ones, and I found a gem right here in our city - the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum.

This vibrant haven is a child's dream come true.

Brilliant hues greet you at the door, and from that moment on, it's a whirlwind of interactive exhibits and hands-on learning.

What's more, the staff is always friendly, offering helpful insights to make our experience even more memorable.

We've spent countless hours exploring the museum - from puppet shows that spark their imagination to a mini fire department that instills a sense of heroism and bravery.

My younger one, in particular, loves the baby section, where he can crawl around and explore to his heart's content.

He's always engrossed in the different textures and colors, and I often have to lure him away with promises of lunch.

Science is a major highlight at this place.

There are numerous exhibits that provide hands-on experiences.

Whether it's touching different materials or solving fun puzzles, my children come out of the museum having learned something new every time.

Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum also hosts a variety of events.

The kids' play cafe area is a hot favorite among all three of mine.

It's a bustling hub of activity where they can interact with other kids and learn social skills.

And let me not forget to mention how immaculately clean and ordered everything is, from the exhibits to the bathrooms.

This is one of the few places where I can let my kids loose without having to constantly worry about their safety.

Plus, where else can you find a bathroom that earns the title of "suspicious" for being too clean?

Catch an Event at Bayou Park

There's no place quite like Bayou Park in our city.

Nestled within the confines of the university campus, it's a popular spot for all sorts of events.

There's always an element of surprise when you visit - one day, you might stumble upon a lively community event, and the next, you'll find peace in its quiet corners.

The park seems to have a constant hum of activity, and I love that.

I feel the most connected to the community when I'm here, surrounded by both old faces and new ones.

My most memorable visit was for the heron reveal hosted by ULM.

It was a joyous occasion that brought everyone together.

We were all excitedly waiting for the grand reveal amidst the lush greenery of the park.

There was an air of anticipation that was infectious, and when the heron was finally unveiled, the park erupted in applause and cheers.

It was a celebration of community spirit and unity, and I was proud to have been a part of it.

Bayou Park is not just for big events.

On any given day, it's a lovely place to unwind and relax.

You can take a leisurely stroll along the walking trails or just sit and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

The sight of the heron, standing tall and majestic, is now a constant reminder of that wonderful day.

Catch a Sporting Event at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum

Exterior of Fant-Ewing Coliseum
JonRidinger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I can still remember the first time I walked into the Fant-Ewing Coliseum, it took me a few seconds to take it all in.

The massive structure, the spacious seating, it was like nothing I'd ever seen.

And don't even get me started on the graduation ceremonies!

They're always a sight to behold, with proud parents and excited students filling every available seat.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe sure knows how to put on a show.

I'm considering going back to Fant-Ewing Coliseum for a basketball game because, well, it's been a while.

Interior of Fant-Ewing Coliseum
JonRidinger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you're ever in the neighborhood, you can check them out.

Of course, you might want to call ahead and learn about their schedule.

You wouldn't want to end up in the middle of a graduation ceremony, would you?

Unless, of course, you're the one graduating.

In that case, congratulations, you're in for a fabulous time!

Far view of Fant-Ewing Coliseum's exterior
JonRidinger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unlock History at the African American Museum

Just last week, I decided to spend my Sunday exploring my own city's hidden treasure, the African American Museum located in Northeast Louisiana.

When you've lived here as long as I have, it's easy to overlook the historic charm right in our own backyard.

But let me tell you, this museum is a local gem.

I arrived to find that they weren't officially open since most museums around here take a day off on Sundays and Mondays.

But the stars must've aligned in my favor because who do I run into but a retired Captain from our Fire Department?

He was kind enough to let me have a look around, even though it was technically their day off.

African American Museum is a treasure trove of history and culture, telling stories of African-American heritage through a diverse array of exhibits.

The guide on duty was not just gracious but also incredibly knowledgeable, making the entire visit a remarkable learning experience.

I couldn't help but wish I had taken more pictures of the historical items on display.

Each one was a fascinating glimpse into the past, and I regret not capturing more of them to look back on.

What really caught my eye were the beautiful artworks by the renowned artist Don Cincone.

His paintings are rich and vibrant, each one a visual testament to African-American culture.

I was completely taken by his work and the beauty it added to the museum.

Cheer for the Warhawks at Malone Stadium

The field of Malone Stadium
JonRidinger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every fall, I find myself drawn to the pulsing energy of Malone Stadium, the heart of football in our city.

For me, it's more than just a football stadium.

It's a place where memories are made, victories are celebrated, and community spirit is ignited.

On game days, you can feel the excitement building all around Malone Stadium.

The air is thick with anticipation, and the roar of the crowd is deafening.

Exterior of Malone Stadium
Billy Hathorn, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I've spent many evenings here, cheering on our Warhawks as they take on their rivals.

There's a special kind of magic that comes alive when the stadium lights turn on, and the first whistle blows.

Whether we win or lose, there's something incredibly satisfying about standing shoulder to shoulder with my fellow townsfolk, united in our support for our team.

Even on those chilly fall evenings, there's a warmth that comes from being a part of something bigger than yourself.

Watch Events at Monroe Downtown Rivermarket

There's something truly remarkable about the Monroe Downtown Rivermarket.

One memorable evening, on the 3rd of July, I decided to witness the fabulous spectacle of fireworks from the rivermarket.

The place was teeming with people, all excited for the show.

Yet, despite the crowd, everything was orderly and well-organized.

Walking around, I could see security personnel dutifully ensuring everyone's safety.

This gave me a sense of security, making the entire experience even more enjoyable.

If you're worried about the restroom situation during such big events, don't be.

I found clean, usable restrooms just across the street - with four rooms to choose from and no long lines!

But the Monroe Downtown Rivermarket isn't just about the big events.

It's a wonderful place to unwind, especially with family.

There's nothing quite like sitting along the riverside, watching the sunset, and simply soaking in the tranquility of the moment.

And let's not forget the 4th of July fireworks!

They are a sight to behold, lighting up the night sky in an array of dazzling colors.

Have a Retail Therapy at Pecanland Mall

Exterior of Pecanland Mall
Limontes1125, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It's amazing how a place can hold so much nostalgia.

The Pecanland Mall holds a special place in my heart, as it does for many other locals who remember it in its prime.

It's an old-fashioned mall we've had since 1985, sprinkled with department stores, a food court, a movie theater, and even a family restroom.

Pecanland Mall has a certain charm, a buzz that you can't help but feel when you step inside.

It's the hum of possibility, a myriad of shops and eateries waiting for you to explore.

The surrounding shopping center is a haven for options.

Interior of Pecanland Mall
PCHS-NJROTC, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whether I need to pick up groceries, snag the latest electronic device, or even shower my pet with some new toys, I find myself drawn to this area time and again.

From high-end fashion to budget-friendly boutiques, this mall has something for everyone.

The food court is always brimming with enticing aromas from various cuisines, and comfortable seating offers a perfect respite after a long day of shopping.

The movie theater, though not the biggest, has been our go-to place for Friday night flicks.

I've enjoyed many blockbusters there with my family, and the tickets are reasonably priced.

Enjoy Bouncing Fun at Altitude Trampoline Park

My kids and I have been frequenting the Altitude Trampoline Park in Monroe for a while now, and I can say without a doubt that it's one of our favorite places to be.

There's something magical about seeing the kids leap into the air, their faces filled with pure joy, as they bounce off the trampolines surrounded by 8-foot-high bounce walls.

It's a sight to behold!

One of the things I appreciate the most about Altitude Trampoline Park is the cleanliness and exuberant atmosphere of the place.

It's evident that the owner and staff take pride in maintaining a clean, safe environment for all.

Their hospitality is something else - they always make us feel welcome, and this has made us regular patrons.

The membership option is a total winner!

For a mere $10 a month, my girls get to bounce their hearts out for up to 2 hours every day.

What’s even more commendable is the excellent customer service provided by the ladies at the front desk.

They are always helpful and courteous, which adds to the overall positive experience we have at the park.

Step back in Time at Cooley House

Exterior of G.B Cooley House
Rswood, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When I first laid eyes on the Cooley House, I found myself absolutely falling in love with the building.

Its unique charm and architectural finesse had an allure that was hard to resist.

Built between 1925 and 1926, this extraordinary dwelling was once the abode of Gilbert Brian ‘Captain’ Cooley.

Every inch of the house tells a story of its own and proudly carries the legacy of its past, making it an embodiment of history in the midst of our bustling city.

Walking past it, you can't help but admire the intricate design and the detailed work that went into it almost a century ago.

It stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of that era, a jewel that enhances the beauty of our city.

The Cooley House is not just a house, it’s a living piece of history, an art piece frozen in time, and a source of pride for our community.

Have a Blast at Spartan Adventure Park

If there's one thing I love about living here, it's the chance to spend a day at Spartan Adventure Park.

This place is all about fun, laughter, and excitement.

The atmosphere is always clean, and the staff are always friendly, making every visit a pleasure.

One of my favorite things about the park is the pizza.

It's just the bomb!

I've never tasted anything quite like it before.

Apart from the attractions, the food alone is enough to keep me coming back.

The workers really understand kids, and they know how to make us feel right at home.

I must admit, though, I wish they'd add wings to their food menu.

That would be the ultimate win!

It's always a good time at Spartan Adventure Park.

I've created some wonderful memories there, and I look forward to many more.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Get Active at Forsythe Park

The grounds of Forsythe Park
Sam Brandon / Shutterstock.com

Ah, the joy of spending a sunny afternoon at Forsythe Park!

An excellent spot for a family outing, the park is a local favorite for children and adults alike.

This designated children's park, located in Monroe, isn't just your regular playground.

It boasts of a range of play facilities that keep the kids engaged for hours.

Waters of Forsythe Park
Sam Brandon / Shutterstock.com

I remember this one time when we held our family reunion at the park; the place was just teeming with life.

The sports fields were bustling with energy.

A couple of us decided to show off our golfing skills at Forsythe Park's golf course while the younger lot was busy exploring the climbing units.

The bathrooms were clean, adding to our overall comfortable experience.

Discover Local History at Layton Castle

Every city has its hidden gems, and for us, it's the historic Layton Castle.

One afternoon, I decided to explore this piece of our local heritage.

From the moment I set foot in the castle, I was captivated by the grandeur of the past, reflected in the exquisite interior furnishings displaying superior craftsmanship.

The ornate Italian marble, lovely chandeliers, and inlaid furniture were all testimonies of a bygone era of Southern living.

The castle's richness does not only lie in its architectural beauty but also in the fascinating stories it holds.

During a riveting presentation by an actual descendant of the original owners, I learned about the family's extraordinary relationships with prominent figures like sculptor Edmund Williamson and NY playwright Speed Lampkin.

There were also mentions of the family's connections with former slaves, treated with respect and dignity, providing a fresh perspective on our city's history.

Layton Castle is not simply a static monument; it continues to breathe life into our local culture with traditional events like ballroom dancing and fundraisers for Grace Episcopal Church.

For those interested in the progression of industries, the historically significant pigeon house and wine cellar reveal developments in bottle manufacturing.

The well-maintained grounds, featuring an on-site cemetery, are a great place for a stroll, with the castle's greenery remaining vibrant even in winter.

Here, you can also discover how the castle has adapted to modern times, offering apartments for rent and hosting parties.

There's something truly surreal about celebrating within the walls that have witnessed centuries of history.

As a lover of history and architecture, I highly recommend a visit for an informative and engaging afternoon.

Take Snaps at Restoration Park

A couple walking along Restoration Park
Hegearl / Shutterstock.com

Every city has its own little secret, and for West Monroe, Lousiana, it's the Restoration Park.

Tucked away in the heart of the city, this former strip mine has been transformed into a lush wetland habitat.

It's a testament to the power of nature and our ability to change, bringing a strong environmental message to all who visit.

Every weekend, I find myself lacing up my sneakers and heading down to the park, camera in hand.

The park may not be vast, but it's absolutely brimming with life.

From the diverse plant species that pepper the landscape to the unexpected wildlife encounters, every visit is an adventure.

The sight of a deer prancing about in the underbrush or a bird taking flight from the treetops never fails to amaze me.

The park's size also means that it's easily accessible and perfect for a quick nature immersion without having to venture out of city limits.

Nature trail at Restoration Park
Hegearl / Shutterstock.com

One of my favorite activities in the park is the trail walk.

The loop around Restoration Park is a delight.

The trail, well-marked and mostly shaded, provides a serene backdrop for my morning walks.

I often bring my dogs along as well, and we'll spend hours exploring this little slice of wilderness in the city.

Speaking from experience, there's something truly magical about being in this park.

Walking under the leafy canopy, listening to the chirping of the birds, and feeling the cool breeze on my face, it's easy to forget that I'm still in the middle of West Monroe.

The park is a testament to the resilience of nature and how, with a little effort, we can restore and preserve our natural heritage.

Walk Your Fido at Kiroli Park

I'm a regular visitor to Kiroli Park, and let me be the first to tell you this place is much more than just a park!

It's a 150-acre preserve that promises to keep you captivated with its myriad offerings.

On any given day, you'll find me on the tennis courts, challenging my friends to a competitive match.

I've never had to wait for a court - they are numerous and always in excellent condition.

After a refreshing game, I often like to take a leisurely stroll around the park, enjoying the tranquility that the scenic trails bring.

If you have a canine companion, Kiroli is a haven.

The park's dog park is always bustling with activity, providing a safe space for your furry friends to run, jump, and play.

My dog loves our weekend visits, and I've noticed a significant improvement in her well-being since our regular visits.

Kids are not left out of the fun either.

Kiroli Park boasts several playgrounds where children of all ages can let their imaginations run wild.

I've hosted many family reunions and birthday parties at the park, and I can vouch that it's the perfect place to create lasting memories.

The park is also home to a pond that's perfect for fishing.

There's nothing more relaxing than spending a quiet afternoon by the water, rod in hand, waiting for the catch of the day.

Not to mention the people working here, who go above and beyond to ensure visitors feel welcome and safe.

Just a dollar gets you into this wonderful park.

It's worth every penny, and I assure you, it will become your go-to place for recreation and relaxation, just as it has become mine.

Final Thoughts

Monroe, Louisiana, is truly a hidden gem that overflows with a distinct culture, history, and a vibrant arts scene.

Whether you're an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a nature lover, you won't run out of things to do and places to explore in this charming city.

The city offers a blend of culture, history, art, food, and so much more, making every visit truly memorable.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.