This list is the perfect guide to fun and adventure in central Louisiana. Outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife fanatics, art aficionados and everyone in between can find a venue or event that has something they’ll enjoy and bring them back for more.
Visit the Alexandria Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for more travel information.
Dotting the downtown Alexandria streetscape are several venues where culture and the arts come alive. The Alexandria Museum of Art, the River Oaks Square Arts Center, the T.R.E.E. House and Children’s Museum, the Arna Bontemps African-American Museum and the Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center are all must-sees. Pops in the Park with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra and various other events taking place at the Alexandria Amphitheater are a great way to absorb some culture and the beauty of the area. www.louisiana-arts.org
Learn about the rich history of Alexandria and Pineville by taking a self-guided walking tour of the downtown areas. 50 sites, many of which are on the National Register, take you from the civil war era, through the Art Deco period, to modern. Brochure
Observing wildlife up close is what the Alexandria Zoological Park is all about. Guests can explore habitats such as the Land of the Jaguar and Australian Walkabout, learn about swamp and bayou creatures in the award-winning Louisiana Habitat Exhibit, or kick back and relax as you take in the sights of the zoo from aboard the Bayou Le Zoo Choo Choo! Special events like Les Fest in September, Zoo Boo in October and Holiday Light Safari in December shouldn’t be missed. www.thealexandriazoo.com
Follow the path of Solomon Northup during his twelve years as a slave in central Louisiana. Northup was an African-American farmer and musician from New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1941. His story is told in the film, “12 Years a Slave.” Visit the Epps Plantation House, now on the campus of LSUA, that Northup helped build. Or go geocaching and locate the buried treasure at 15 sites in Rapides, Avoyelles and St. Mary Parishes. www.alexandriapinevillela.com/northuptrail
Attention all history buffs! The area is packed with a rich and intriguing history. Some of the most notable locations to visit to uncover that incredible heritage include Fort Randolph & Fort Buhlow State Historic Site, Old Town Hall Museum, Rapides and Mt. Olivet cemeteries, as well as the Alexandria National Cemetery in Pineville. In Alexandria, historic St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, the Hotel Bentley and the Alexandria Genealogical Library are excellent stops. The Alexandria Garden District features a Holiday Tour of Homes sure to make all merry and bright. www.alexandriapinevillela.com