Monroe Louisiana is located along Interstate 20, about halfway between Shreveport and Jackson, Mississippi. The beautiful Ouachita River winds through town, marking the border between the Monroe and West Monroe. Both of the communities are filled with interesting things to do and places to explore, in addition to an array of restaurants and hotels, everything you need to create well-rounded vacations.
One of the Monroe attractions has a connection to Coca-Cola. Businessman Joseph Biedenharn was the first bottler, finding success with the fizzy favorite. His estate in Monroe's garden district is now one of the most interesting things to do in Monroe. On a visit to the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, you'll have the chance to take a guided tour of the family home and the Coke Museum. Joseph's daughter, Emy-Lou, herself an accomplished opera singer, spent many years cultivating the gardens. After you've seen the exhibits, you can take all the time you want to wander through the lovely Elsong gardens. Don't miss the chance to enjoy a Coke for a nickel, just like the good old days.
If you enjoy connecting with history, there are many more Monroe attractions you can add to your vacations. The elegant Layton Castle, built in 1910, is open for tours and special events, and several museums are welcome visitors, too. The Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum offers a full calendar of exhibits and cultural programs, as do two other Monroe attractions—the Masur Museum of Art and Ouachita River Art Gallery.
The Louisiana University at Monroe's Natural History Museum has added a saltwater aquarium and cast of the famed Tyrannosaurus Rex nicknamed Sue, the best preserved specimen ever found. The original is on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. Young visitors will also enjoy their time at the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum. The older set will enjoy some of the best antique shopping around at shops throughout Monroe Louisiana.
While the indoor attractions are interesting, there's a wide array of outdoor things to do in Monroe. Thousands of acres of Louisiana's bayou are waiting to be explored. At the Louisiana Purchase Zoo, you will find hundred of native animals in their natural habitats as well as some exotic species. Visitors can hop aboard a pontoon boat to take a closer look at the lemurs and local birds, and wagon rides are available too. Throughout the year, the zoo hosts a variety of events, including an Easter safari and the Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival in October.
Monroe Louisiana has earned a reputation as a sportsman's paradise. The Ouachita River that meanders between the two towns is one of the best places around for bass fishing, especially between October and March. Several major tournaments bring the top anglers to Monroe. Beyond the river, hunters and ATV riders will find plenty of places to experience their favorite pastime. Restoration Park in West Monroe is beautiful place to take a stroll and admire the bayou scenery.
Golf in Monroe is another option for things to do in Monroe on your Northern Louisiana vacations. With the pleasant year-round weather, you could take to the links in any season. Several different courses, will varied terrains, challenge experienced golfers and beginners a like. And with the low green fees, you can spend a lot of time on the links without paying a lot.
No matter what you plan for your day, you'll plenty of places to relax after the sun has set. With a full range of Monroe hotels to suit every budget and restaurants to suit every taste, customized vacations are waiting for you.