From Alexandria to Pineville to Ball to Colfax, the many communities and municipalities of central Louisiana prove there is an appealing aspect of the region for everyone. Families, retirees and businesspeople all love to call this area home for its arts and culture, outdoor recreation and much more.
Also recognizing the region’s appeal, Forbes magazine selected Alexandria—the parish seat of Rapides Parish—as one of the top three places to retire in America. Alexandria was highlighted for its low cost of living and low tax burden, with the city’s warm climate and excellent air quality also playing into the selection.
There are several opportunities for receiving a post-secondary degree, without leaving the Alexandria area. LSU Alexandria and Louisiana College offer excellent baccalaureate programs that attract students from around the world. Alexandria is also home to the Central Louisiana Technical Community College, which offers associate degrees, certificates and diplomas that prepare people for high demand occupations. The college continuously monitors emerging trends and can change programs to meet the needs of the business community.
The city’s rich arts scene, including the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Museum of Art, River Oaks Arts Center, the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center and local theater groups provide popular spots for those of all ages.
The fully accredited Alexandria Zoological Park delights family members of all ages. The T.R.E.E. House Museum in downtown Alexandria is an interactive venue in which children explore, learn and play. The Kent Plantation House, one of the oldest standing structures in the state of Louisiana, offers a glimpse of the French, Spanish and American cultures that have influenced Louisiana. All three flags fly over the entrance
Other Central Louisiana municipalities have also won national accolades. Bloomberg Businessweek selected the town of Ball as the best place to raise kids in Louisiana in 2011. The publication highlighted many attractive aspects of the town, including low crime rates and appealing city services—such as a green waste program and senior citizen center.
The nearby Kisatchie National Forest provides 600,000 acres for hiking, biking, birding and camping. The town of Woodworth offers visitors and residents multiple trails to hike, as well as the Alexander State Forest, which brings many outdoor enthusiasts to the area. A series of lakes provide opportunities for boating, fishing and kayaking. Hunting is also a favorite pastime in central Louisiana.
Other municipalities in the central Louisiana footprint include the town of Boyce, Cheneyville and LeCompte; the villages of Forest Hill and McNary; and the unincorporated communities of Deville, Libuse and Tioga.
When Rapides Parish continued to expand, the northern portion of the territory was split off in 1869 to form Grant Parish. Its parish seat, Colfax, is home to the annual Louisiana Pecan Festival—which celebrates the area’s pecan-filled heritage during the first full week of November.
Also within Grant Parish are Dry Prong, Montgomery, Georgetown, Creola and Pollock; as well as the unincorporated communities of Bentley, Packton, Rochelle, Selman and Verda.
Whether big or small, these municipalities have played an important part in Louisiana’s rich history. Each share the beauty of the Red River and the kindness of its people, making even the farthest corners of central Louisiana an inviting place to call home.