Central Louisiana has become known as "The Crossroads", a place where all of Louisiana comes together - from culture to food to music.
The eight parish area embraces the influence of the French, Spanish, Czechs, Germans, Native Americans, Africans and Anglos which settled here.
Rich in history, the Alexandria area is second to New Orleans for the number of places listed on the National Historic Register. Before and during World War II, The Hotel Bentley (c.1908) in Alexandria, because of its proximity to Fort Polk (then Camp Polk), Camp Beauregard, Camp Livingston and Camp Claiborne, served as host for military strategists such as Major General George Patton, Lieutenant Colonel Omar Bradley, Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lieutenant Henry Kissinger.
Like many parts of the South, Central Louisiana grew up with strong ties to agriculture. Today, cotton, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, corn and soybeans are among the crops being farmed.
Quiet towns, open spaces and affordable housing attract people of all ages to Central Louisiana. CLECO, Procter & Gamble, Plastipak, Calvary Industries, Union Tank Car and Martin Companies are just a few of the corporations that have established large facilities in the area because of our business and family friendly atmosphere.
Surrounded by the Kisatchie National Forest, bikers, hikers, hunters and nature observers find themselves in heaven. Numerous lakes and bayous such as Cane River Lake, in Natchitoches Parish, Iatt and Nantachie Lakes in Grant Parish, and Kincaid and Cotile Lakes in Rapides Parish offer a wide variety of boating and fishing opportunities.
Northwestern State University is a member of the Southland Conference and offers a variety of collegiate sporting action including football, basketball, baseball, softball and track and field. Louisiana College in Pineville also offers sporting action through its football, basketball, baseball and soccer programs. LSU at Alexandria offers a baseball program. Of course, many Central Louisianians travel to Baton Rouge for LSU sports and to New Orleans for Saints and Hornets games.
Perhaps one of the area's biggest attractions is its central location. Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and all of Louisiana are easily accessible to the area. The addition of Interstate 49 and four-laning of highways 165 and 167 have helped to ease the flow of traffic through Central Louisiana. Work on four-laning Highway 28 continues and once completed the route through Louisiana will become part of the Gulf Coast Strategic Highway connecting Interstate 55 in Brookhaven, Mississippi to Interstate 45 in Huntsville, Texas.
Alexandria International Airport serves as the aviation hub for the area. Located at the former England Air Force Base, the airport is served by Continental Airlines, ASA Delta Airlines, American Eagle and Northwest AirLink with connections through Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Memphis.