Fine dining, vibrant nightlife, fascinating history, and a unique blend of cultures - welcome to my hometown, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Nestled along the banks of the Red River, it's a city that has something for everyone.
I've lived here my entire life, and I still discover something new every day.
There's more to this charming Southern city than meets the eye - let me guide you through the best things to do in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.
Journey through Time at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
One of my favorite places to escape the hustle and bustle of city life in Louisiana is the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum.
This art deco haven is home to an impressive collection of paintings, frescoes, and dioramas, as well as a gallery brimming with Native American artifacts.
I remember the first time I stepped into the museum, I was absolutely taken aback by the level of detail in the dioramas.
It was as if I was transported back in time, able to see firsthand the events that shaped our great state.
I was particularly fascinated by the exhibit on salt mining.
Who knew that this seemingly mundane activity played such a significant role in Louisiana's history?
What's more, Louisiana State Exhibit Museum is well-designed and quiet, making it a perfect place to lose track of time.
There are plenty of sitting areas where you can sit back, relax, and absorb the beauty of the exhibits.
As a bonus, the restrooms are always clean, and, believe it or not, entry to the museum is free!
They do have a donation box at the exit, though, which I always make sure to contribute to as a token of appreciation for the wonderful work they're doing.
See Local Masterpieces at Bailey Art Gallery
In the heart of Downtown Shreveport, on the historic Texas Street, there lies a gem that combines small-town charm with big-city talent: the Bailey Art Gallery.
It's one-of-a-kind - nestled in a building that's over a hundred years old, lovingly restored by its owners who even reside just above it.
There's a sense of warmth and welcome that envelops you as soon as you step foot in the place.
The gallery is an homage to regional artist Gwen Norsworthy and is co-owned by Christine, an accomplished artist herself.
Every month, the exhibits rotate, showcasing a range of talents from up-and-coming local artists to those of regional fame.
It's an artistic hub that offers a platform for creative individuals to shine and connect with a wider audience.
My personal experiences at the Bailey Art Gallery have always been memorable.
I remember attending one of their opening exhibits and being absolutely blown away by the art pieces on display.
Every piece was unique, reflecting the artist's personal style and narrative.
It was an absolute pleasure to support our local artists and contribute to the thriving art scene in our town.
Here's the best part - the Bailey Art Gallery is more than just a space for viewing art.
The owners, staff, and even visitors make it a community.
They host receptions where you can sample delightful treats while admiring the art.
And the range of art prices means there's something for everyone, whether you're an avid collector or a novice in the world of art.
From artisan jewelry to main pieces, you're sure to find something that captivates your heart.
Marvel at the Architecture of the Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans
I've lived in the heart of Shreveport for years, and every time I pass by the Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans, it never fails to awe me with its divine presence.
Nestled in the busy streets, it provides a serene sanctuary and an oasis of calm.
I have been fortunate to experience the church's great service and participate in the many community activities they organize.
One evening, as I was heading home from work, I decided to pay a visit.
The door was locked as it was past the usual visiting hours. However, an employee noticed me and kindly agreed to let me in.
I was taken aback by the cathedral's beauty, adorned with intricate architecture and breathtaking stained glass windows.
The employee even gave me an impromptu tour, sharing the cathedral's rich history with me.
The serene atmosphere provided a perfect setting for reflection and prayer.
Being part of the community, I've had the opportunity to see the school run by the Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans as well.
The school is just as impressive, with a strong focus on holistic education, nurturing both the mind and the spirit.
To truly appreciate the beauty and tranquility of this place, you must visit it in person.
Catch an Event at R.W. Norton Art Gallery
I've lived in Shreveport my entire life, and the R.W. Norton Art Gallery has been one of my favorite spots to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood, it's a delightful little secret that's brimming with treasures.
It's a place where time slows down.
Where you can lose yourself in the myriad of stories told through the American and European art pieces, each meticulously curated and displayed.
The detailed plaques illuminate the significance of each piece, narrating its history, impact on art, and the artist's intentions.
It's like having a personal tour guide walking you through each era and style represented in the gallery.
R.W. Norton Art Galle isn't just confined to its walls, though.
Outside, the lush botanical gardens add another layer to the aesthetic experience.
It's like stepping into a painting yourself.
Forty acres of towering pines, magnificent oaks, and colorful blooms create a peaceful haven for contemplation and relaxation.
The gallery also plays host to a variety of events.
I remember the "Spring Fling" held on Earth Day last year.
The entire garden was alive with music, laughter, and the spirit of community.
And best of all?
Admission is always free, making it a cultural gem accessible to everyone.
Walk through Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park
There's something incredibly calming about walking through the Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park on a quiet afternoon.
The variety of trails here, ranging from deep forest paths to shorter loops, cater to everyone from seasoned hikers to families with young kids.
I've taken my own children there on several occasions, and they especially enjoy the easy short loop.
One of the park's highlights is its impressive visitor center, where you can find live exhibits that are both educational and fascinating.
From the wild birds to the reptiles, there's so much to learn and discover.
My kids, while not typically fond of hiking, always look forward to the live raptor shows and the outdoor aviary.
Seeing the majestic owls and eagles up close in the aviary is an incredible experience, despite the touch of sadness that these magnificent creatures can't roam free in the wilderness.
But the park isn't just about its wildlife.
Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park also offers a picnic area where families can enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the beauty of nature.
And for those who wish to learn more about the local flora and fauna, the information center is a treasure trove of knowledge.
The staff there are always friendly and helpful, and the exhibits are designed to be touched and explored, making it a truly interactive experience for kids.
What's more, all of these amazing experiences are absolutely free!
Meet Local Artists at Artspace
What's not to love about Artspace?
It's the kind of place where creativity thrives, and community gathers.
I've had the pleasure of visiting Artspace on numerous occasions, each time leaving with a richer sense of the vibrant art scene in our city.
Last December, I organised a Christmas party there for Martin Specialty Coatings, LLC.
I can tell you, it was the simplest event planning I've ever done - all I did was secure the entertainment.
The Artspace team handled everything else: decorations, food, drinks, you name it. Their efficiency was a breath of fresh air during the holiday rush.
Artspace is also my go-to for a casual art fix.
They always have an impressive array of local art on display.
The presentation and curation are always top-notch, making it feel like you're at a big city gallery.
I dream of attending one of their events or openings one day just to soak in that excitement and energy.
But what I appreciate most about Artspace is its inclusive environment.
Whether you're an art enthusiast or a newbie, there's always something to see or do.
It's a fantastic place to bring the entire family for a fun and educational day out.
Explore Industrial History at the Shreveport Water Works Museum
Ever since I discovered the Shreveport Water Works Museum, I felt like I was stepping back in time right in my own neighborhood.
Nestled in the heart of the city, the museum is a fascinating treasure trove of industrial history.
The place is a transformation of an antique water processing plant, now brimming with stories of the past.
As I meandered through the exhibits, I couldn't help but marvel at the old boiler from 1917.
Majestic in size and brimming with history, it was like a giant relic of a bygone era.
For my children, Shreveport Water Works Museum turned out to be a fun-filled educational jaunt.
The older two could satiate their curiosity about the old-time machines, while the youngest one was happy to wander freely and explore.
We even took the phone tour, which was incredibly captivating with its rich blend of facts and stories.
My kids particularly enjoyed turning the alarm on - a thrilling experience for them!
Adjacent to the Water Works Museum is the Railroad Museum. A visit to this museum topped up our day with more historical insights.
The museums are small but filled to the brim with artifacts and stories from the past.
Surprisingly, they don't charge an entrance fee, which is a bonus!
Exercise at Betty Virginia Park
Every chance I get, I make my way to Betty Virginia Park.
Just the thought of strolling through its winding paths makes me quicken my pace.
There's a certain charm in its sprawling 23 acres, a perfect blend of man-made and natural beauty that never fails to catch my breath.
My daily routine includes a brisk walk along the short trail.
It's not too long, but it's more than enough to get your heart pumping.
The trail is always neat and clean, making it a joy to walk or jog on.
Some mornings, I take it slow, opting to soak in the tranquility, sitting at one of the many picnic tables spread across the park.
The solitary moments of peace I find there are unmatched.
I have seen families enjoying picnics, children laughing and playing in the playground.
It's a sight that fills me with warmth every time.
There's an infectious joy that seems to spread through Betty Virginia Park, touching every visitor with its gentle embrace.
I've also seen church groups gather there, their serene prayers adding to the park's peaceful ambiance.
However, it's not just about the people.
The park is beautiful in its own right.
Its greenery, and the well-maintained spaces, they all add to the park's appeal.
Sure, it could do with a bit more landscape maintenance, and maybe the trails could be a tad bit longer, but these minor issues do not detract from its overall charm.
Discover Local History at Spring Street Historical Museum
Oh, what a treat it is living in Shreveport, right next door to a hidden treasure like the Spring Street Historical Museum.
Housed in the oldest building downtown, this museum has become my regular haunt.
There's always something new to learn about our city's rich history, thanks to the diverse exhibits and artifacts on display.
Spring Street Historical Museum staff are a joy to interact with, always eager to share their knowledge and answer any questions about the exhibits.
There's this one time when Claudia, one of the staff, walked me through the history of Shreveport as if she was narrating her own life story - it was quite an immersive experience!
It's these little interactions that make every visit here more meaningful and personal.
Have a Family Day at A C Steere Park
What better way to spend a Saturday than at A C Steere Park!
This tranquil city park is a favorite weekend spot for my family and me.
With a ball field, tennis courts, a splash pad, trails, and an accessible playground, the park offers something for everyone.
My children love the swings there.
There's plenty for them to choose from - at least six for the bigger kids and three for the toddlers.
Although they aren't huge fans of the slides, there's plenty more to keep them engaged.
It can get really crowded on Saturdays, but that only adds to the fun and lively atmosphere.
While my kids are off exploring, I love taking advantage of the walking/running path.
It's such a great addition to the park, and it allows me to squeeze in a bit of exercise while keeping an eye on the little ones.
A C Steere Park also offers a water area, perfect for cooling off in the summer heat.
Unfortunately, the area can sometimes be strewn with trash.
Overflowing trash cans and litter on the picnic tables can, unfortunately, mar the beauty of the park on busy days.
Despite this, the park remains a favorite spot for our family outings, and we look forward to our weekends at A C Steere.
Catch Stellar Performances at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
There's something extraordinary about stepping into a building that's been around for a century, and the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium certainly fits the bill.
The minute you step foot inside this historic circa-1920s venue, you are hit with a wave of nostalgia, a reminder of the rich history that traces back to the golden age of entertainment.
I recall the thrill of attending a Boyz II Men concert there. The energy in the room was electric, and the vibe was as harmonious as the voices on stage.
We had a great time meeting new people, singing along to familiar tunes, and simply soaking in the atmosphere.
But Shreveport Municipal Auditorium is not just about music concerts.
Its repertoire includes theatrical performances, comedy acts, and family shows.
Each event is a unique experience enriched by the building's architectural charm.
However, the seating can be a bit tight, especially on the balcony, and it does feel like you're sitting in your neighbor's lap.
But trust me, the experience more than compensates for a little discomfort.
One of my most memorable experiences at the auditorium was during a reenactment of "The Louisiana Hayride," a popular regional show from the bygone era.
I'd read and written about it for years, but finally being there, seeing it come alive on stage, was magical.
It's not just about the shows, concerts, or the acts. It's about living a piece of history in this one-of-a-kind venue.
Pet Animals at Adventure at Jubilee Zoo
What started as a leisurely weekend family outing transformed into an unforgettable experience at Jubilee Zoo.
The minute we set foot on the property, I could sense the excitement bubbling up in my children.
The vast rural landscape was crammed full of engaging activities, ranging from bouncy castles to quaint picnic spots.
As we ventured deeper into the park, we discovered an assortment of friendly animals waiting to be petted.
My children were over the moon, getting to feed baby goats and pet kangaroos and wallabies.
The sight of these exotic animals holding feeding cones with their tiny hands was nothing short of magical.
Everything at Jubilee Zoo was reasonably priced, from the admission tickets to the pony rides.
The staff too, went out of their way to ensure we had a memorable time.
However, what left an indelible mark was a service they offered called "Zoo to You."
Despite the initial excitement, I was taken aback by the condition of the animals during the setup at a school event.
The enclosures were cramped, and the animals looked uncomfortable, some of them even lacked access to water.
The indifference of the staff towards these issues bothered me to the core.
On a brighter note, Jubilee Zoo proved to be a great spot for children's birthday parties.
The staff was accommodating, going the extra mile to fulfill our requests and tastefully decorating the party area.
The petting zoo was a big hit among kids and adults alike, making my daughter's birthday bash a grand success.
Re-live the Victorian Era at the Spectacular Logan Mansion
Every city has its share of hidden gems; for us, it's the Logan Mansion.
Built in 1897, this Victorian treasure is more than just an architectural marvel—it's a step back in time!
My friends and I recently attended their Spirit Mansion event, and it was indeed a night to remember!
The hosts: Mistress Rose, Solomon, and Animal, outdid themselves with their spine-chilling tales and their creativity with creepy cocktails.
The atmosphere was both friendly and a bit raunchy, so it's not for the faint-hearted or the prudish!
We had a laugh riot with the chugging contest - a sweet grandma won, and her victory dance made our night!
The Logan Mansion also offers Airbnb services, which I took advantage of once.
The vintage furniture, the spotless rooms, and the overall air of antiquity were fascinating.
I must admit, though, I had a tough time sleeping.
The place does have a slightly eerie feel, but isn't that part of the charm?
Have a Museum Date at Meadows Museum of Art
A walk through the Meadows Museum of Art on the Centenary College campus is always a refreshing experience.
I'm captivated by both its simplicity and the rich collection.
Hosting around 1600 paintings, with works from notable artists such as the Frenchman Jean Despujols, it's a delightful destination for art enthusiasts.
The museum itself is modest in size, which, in my opinion, adds to its charm.
It never feels overwhelming, making it a perfect place for a quiet, thought-provoking afternoon.
Being located on a college campus also gives Meadows Museum of Art a lively atmosphere, and it's not uncommon to find students sketching among the exhibits, providing a wonderful sense of community.
The staff at the museum are exceptionally warm and helpful.
On one of my visits, an employee recommended another local museum which turned out to be just as enriching.
They also change their exhibits frequently.
This means there's always something new to see, making every visit unique.
Have a Quiet Walk around Shreveport's Riverview Park
I've strolled through many a park in my time, but none has captured my heart quite like Shreveport's Riverview Park.
This little nook of nature tucked into downtown Shreveport is a favorite of mine for a quiet walk or a few peaceful moments sitting on a bench, watching the world go by.
The comforting white noise of the river pairs perfectly with the lush greenery that surrounds the area, making it a tranquil escape amidst our bustling city.
But Riverview Park is not just for solitary contemplation.
It's quickly becoming an iconic spot in our downtown area, attracting families for picnics, avid readers with their latest book, and even photographers capturing unforgettable senior portraits.
When the city hosts one of the many events there, it's a sight to behold, with the Bakowski Bridge of Lights adding a magical touch to the scenery.
Not everything is perfect, though.
The defunct river cruise ramp is an eyesore that should be taken care of, and the fountain could use a little TLC.
But these small blights don't take away from the charm of the park.
The rose sculpture is a unique feature, especially at night when it's illuminated.
And the sensory garden and police and firefighter memorial are always highlights of my visits.
A Day at Shreveport Aquarium
Ever been so close to aquatic life you could almost feel the rhythm of the sea?
I discovered such an experience in my own backyard at the Shreveport Aquarium.
At first glance, it might seem smaller than expected, but the beauty lies in its compact, well-maintained space bustling with exotic sea creatures.
The joy I felt when I first stepped into this marine wonderland was immense. I could see vibrant sea anemones and starfish up close, even touch them.
Interactive spots are spread throughout the aquarium, adding an engaging and educational layer to the experience.
The highlight, though, is the chance to hand-feed the stingrays!
There's something so exciting, yet calming, about watching these majestic creatures glide through the water as they come towards you.
The staff at Shreveport Aquarium deserves special mention.
Their friendly demeanor and a wealth of knowledge about the marine life housed within the aquarium make the visit even more enriching.
Plus, the fact that a single ticket gives you access for the entire day means you can stroll through the exhibits as many times as you want.
Whether it's to marvel at marine life, learn more about the creatures, or just relax by the waterfront, a day at Shreveport Aquarium is not easily forgotten.
To top it off, the waterfront restaurant lets you dine with a view of the aquarium.
The memories of my day here are still fresh, and it's a place I gladly suggest to fellow residents and visitors alike.
It's a slice of the ocean right here in Shreveport.
Discover Local Transportation History at the Shreveport Railroad Museum
There's something captivating about the Shreveport Railroad Museum.
Tucked away in our city, it might be small, but oh boy, does it pack a punch!
Stepping inside is like boarding a time machine, whisking you back to the height of the Industrial Revolution.
It's a treasure trove of historical artifacts, each one telling a unique story.
The museum is a photographer's paradise with its well-preserved exhibits and the charming little train car waiting outside, ready to charm with its bygone era magic.
Our group of friends had an absolute blast exploring the place.
It awakened the childlike wonder in us, and we had more fun than we could ever anticipate!
The tour was like a comprehensive lesson in municipal history.
The guides at the Shreveport Railroad Museum were knowledgeable and enthusiastic, sharing interesting tidbits about the exhibits.
Some of the information they shared was so fascinating; it made me appreciate our city's history even more.
What stands out about the museum is that it's a labor of love by the staff.
It’s free to enter but relies on donations to stay open.
It's astonishing how they’ve managed to maintain such an intriguing place without charging a dime.
Play with Your Fur Babies at Shreveport Dog Park
One of the great gems of our city has to be our beloved Shreveport Dog Park.
Picture yourself walking amidst exquisite scenery alongside the river at least three times a week — it's my routine.
However, not everything is perfect.
A part of the walkway has been broken and closed off for over two years.
But the park's innate charm doesn't falter and continues to captivate me incessantly.
Shreveport Dog Park is not just for humans.
It's a delightful haven for our four-legged friends too.
The area is sizeable, allowing dogs to roam freely and play to their heart's content.
Every time I visit, I always find the people to be considerate and respectful.
There's this unspoken camaraderie among us dog owners that makes the experience even more enjoyable.
The dogs seem to pick up on this positive vibe, too, as they are always so playful and full of life.
It's a sight that never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Take Snaps around American Rose Center
I've been fortunate enough to live near the American Rose Center for several years now.
It's been a place of tranquility and peace where I can escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
The sprawling layout, with its 20,000+ plants, is a treasure chest of floral beauty nestled in a serene wooded area.
Every visit offers something new to discover.
From the moment I step into the garden, the fragrant aroma of blooming roses greets me.
A stroll along the winding paths takes me past a variety of roses in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Although some of the roses were affected by a late spring freeze, the garden staff is working diligently to nurture them back to health.
Their hard work and dedication are evident in the vibrant blooms that adorn the garden.
One of my favorite spots in the American Rose Center is the quaint chapel.
It adds a touch of old-world charm to the garden and serves as a quiet place for reflection.
Another highlight is the reflection pool, a soothing element that adds to the garden's tranquil ambiance.
The Klima Center, another gem within the garden, is an educational resource.
Although I agree that there could be more specific information about the different types of roses and their history, I appreciate the effort to share the importance of roses and their role in our ecosystem.
The newly redesigned garden circles tell the story of the rose in America.
Although not immediately clear without explanation, I find it adds a historical dimension to my visits.
Listening to the wind chimes while sitting on a bench, I can't help but feel grateful for this local sanctuary that provides a space to connect with nature and soak in its beauty.
Have a Fun-Filled Learning at Science at Sci-Port Discovery Center
If there's one place in the city that never fails to bring out the child in me, it's the Sci-Port Discovery Center.
This massive 92,000-square-feet complex is more than just a science museum, it's an immersive experience that kids and adults alike can enjoy.
One of the best things about Sci-Port is the interactive science exhibits.
Whether you're trying to understand the complexities of physics or the wonders of the natural world, these exhibits offer a hands-on experience that makes learning fun and easy.
I remember one time, I spent an entire afternoon there with my nephew and we had a blast exploring the different exhibits, playing with the interactive displays, and learning about everything from dinosaurs to space exploration.
The planetarium is also a must-visit.
But what I love most about Sci-Port is the IMAX dome theater.
The immersive IMAX experience is like no other.
I've seen some amazing films there, each one leaving me in awe of our beautiful world and the universe beyond.
Then there's the Play Street on the second floor, a delightful area that's perfect for younger kids.
It's never too crowded, making it a great place for children to explore and play without feeling overwhelmed.
Explore the Life and Works of a Local Artist at the Marlene Yu Museum
Have you ever stepped into a space that instantly transports you to a realm of vivid colors and intense emotions?
That's the charm of the American Rose Center
Just the other day, I walked into this airy, contemporary setting and was immediately engulfed by the vibrant large-format art of Marlene Yu.
Her artistic prowess is undeniably the pulse of this place!
Just as I was soaking up the ambiance, I noticed something peculiar about one of her masterpieces.
It was a stunning piece but strangely, it was hung upside down.
Curious, I peered at the paper underneath and sure enough, it indicated a different orientation.
I promptly brought it to the notice of two of the museum staff, hoping they would rectify it.
However, much to my surprise, nothing was done.
Somewhat disappointed, I moved on, letting the beauty of the other artworks dilute my discontent.
American Rose Center is not just a display of art though; it's a living entity that breathes creativity and forms an integral part of the Northwest Louisiana arts community.
Partnering with local artists and enthusiasts, it's a vibrant hub of cultural exchange.
The unique building adds to the aura, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers.
Catch a Game at Independence Bowl
I've been a fan of football for as long as I can remember; it's kind of a rite of passage in our local community.
There's something about the thrill of a touchdown, the camaraderie of rooting for the same team, and the sheer spectacle of the game that gets my blood pumping.
And the heart of all that action here in Shreveport, Louisiana, is the Independence Bowl.
The stadium is quite spacious.
You can feel the echoes of the cheers, the boos, the collective sighs of thousands of fans reverberating through the air.
And the people, there's something about football that brings everyone together, regardless of the condition of the venue.
But if you ask me, the Independence Bowl deserves so much more.
Independence Bowl deserves to be a beacon of football enjoyment, a spotless venue that matches the spirit of the game.
After all, a good football game is not just about what happens on the field, it's about the fans, the food, the atmosphere, the whole experience.
Test Your Luck at Sam's Town Hotel & Casino
One sunny afternoon, I decided to take a break from my routine and visit the Sam's Town Hotel & Casino in Shreveport.
Despite hearing mixed reviews, my curiosity got the better of me.
I must admit, the establishment is a bit old-fashioned, but there's an undeniable charm about the place.
The rooms are quite comfortable and reasonably priced.
I was surprised by the spaciousness of the bathrooms - a welcome bonus!
I spent some time exploring the casino.
While it is not as large or modern as some of the other casinos in town, it certainly has its own appeal.
The slot machines and table games are always a hit, and there's always a chance of a nice payout.
I guess the thrill of the gamble is what keeps me coming back to places like Sam's Town Hotel & Casino.
One thing that truly stood out was the bar service.
Located near the main atrium and music area, it was nothing short of excellent.
I ordered a cocktail, and boy, was it delicious!
The music, the drink, and the overall ambiance created a near-perfect evening.
Living in Shreveport has been an absolute pleasure.
Every corner of the city brims with its unique charm, be it our artsy spaces like Artspace, the Bailey Art Gallery, or the Marlene Yu Museum, or our historical gems like the Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans and the Spring Street Historical Museum.
Its rich history, vibrant art scene, numerous parks and green spaces, and eclectic mix of entertainment options make it a city that never ceases to surprise and delight.