Part of the Delta belt of the American South, Monroe is situated along the banks of the Ouachita River and has a rich trading and cultural history. With its riverside trading outposts, cotton farming background, and the deep Southern hospitality culture, Monroe is one of the most interesting cities to visit in the USA. Places of natural interest like the Black Bayou Lake, aviation and military-related landmarks, countless museums, gardens, parks, and restaurants add to the tourist attractions of Monroe. Plan your perfect itinerary with the help of our handy Monroe attractions list. Scroll down to find out more about the things to do in Monroe, Louisiana.
1. Kayak the waters of Black Bayou lake
Located within the city of Monroe, the Black Bayou Lake is a refuge that is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Visitors can explore the many channels of the lake via kayaks. Under the shade of the tupelo and cypress trees, you can spot a variety of birds and reptiles that are unique to the region. If you are lucky, you might even spot a bald eagle nest. Kayaks can be easily rented here or you can bring your own kayaks too.
Friends of Black Bayou
Address: 480 Richland Place, Monroe, Louisiana
Website: Friends of Black Bayou
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4pm; Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm
Price: 20-35 USD
2. Learn about American aircrafts at Chennault Aviation and Military Museum
Opened in 2000, the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum is the perfect place to spend a few hours learning about the rich aviation and military history of the region, particularly Northeast Louisiana. It features exhibits on military personnel and aircraft that were used in all the wars that the U.S. participated in – from World War I to Iraq to Afghanistan. You can browse through the exhibits at your own pace or take a guided tour of the museum.
Chennault Aviation and Military Museum
Address: 701, Kansas Lane, Monroe, Louisiana
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 4pm
3. Expand your knowledge about the African-American culture at the African American Museum
Also known as the ‘Northeast Louisiana Delta African Heritage Museum’ (NLDAAHM), this unique African American museum has several rotating art exhibits from regional and local African-American artists. The museum also conducts events and seminars to educate visitors about the civil rights movement and spread awareness about the African-American heritage in the Northeast Louisiana area. At this museum, visitors can view artifacts like furniture and kitchenware, cotton farming tools, life-size models of famous African-American leaders, etc.
African American Museum
Address: 1051, Chenault Park Rd, Monroe, LA 71203
Website: African American Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 3pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Price: 5 USD onwards
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4. Explore the surroundings of Biedenharn Museum and Gardens
Enjoy strolling through the gardens, touring the museums or taking in an event or concert at the beautiful Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe. The property features lush green indoor and outdoor ELSong gardens that are lined with local and exotic trees and plants. Visitors can also take in the comprehensive Coca-Cola exhibits and memorabilia at the Coke Museum and admire the beautiful assortment on Bibles at the Bible Museum on the premises. Tours of the historic Biedenharn home are also available.
Biedenharn Museum and Gardens
Address: 2006 Riverside Dr, Monroe, LA 71201
Website: Biedenharn Museum and Gardens
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Price: 4 USD onwards
5. View dinosaur fossils and exotic skins at ULM's Museum of Natural History
With its superb exhibits related to paleontology, biodiversity, archaeology, and geology of the region, the Museum of Natural History located within the University of Louisiana at Monroe is a great place to learn about the natural history of North Louisiana. Visitors can expect to see models and fossils of dinosaurs, rocks, and gems, mounts of animals from Asia, Africa, and North America, as well as, exotic snake skins, sea shells, insect displays, millennia-old pottery, tools, etc. Guided tours provided by volunteers are available at the museum.
ULM's Museum of Natural History
Address: University Avenue on the ULM campus, Hanna Hall, First Floor, Monroe, LA 71209
Website: ULM’s Museum of Natural History
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 4pm; Fri: 10am - 12pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm (closed on Sun & the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sat of the month)
6. Taste the unique blends of beer at Flying Tiger Brewery
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Paying homage to Louisiana native and commander of the Flying Tigers, General Chennault, Flying Tiger Brewery produces craft beers with names reminiscent of Monroe’s long association with aviation and military. Try their popular beers like Man At Arms, Heroic Hops IPA or Warhawk Kolsch. They also have multiple rotating beers in their taproom like the Final Resting Place, Jucee, etc.
Flying Tiger Brewery
Address: 506 N 2nd St, Monroe, LA 71201
Website: Flying Tiger Brewery
Opening hours: Wed: 4pm - 7pm; Thu: 4pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 1pm - 11pm (closed on Sun - Tue)
7. Gaze on hundreds of animals at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
Housing hundreds of exotic and local animals, birds, and reptiles, the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo is a popular tourist attraction in Monroe for kids and adults alike. The beautiful property has animals from around the world, including tiger, baboons, macaws, tortoises, snakes, bison, etc. A children’s zoo, safari boat ride, and a café are situated on the zoo grounds too.
Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
Address: 1405 Bernstein Park Rd, Monroe, LA 71202
Website: Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 4.50 USD onwards
8. Stop by the Masur Museum of Art for incredible artworks
Set up inside a Tudor-style house from 1929, the Masur Museum of Art is the largest visual arts museum in Northeast Louisiana. The museum’s permanent collection has 500 pieces of original art from regional artists, as well as several commissioned series of artworks. Visitors can admire the artwork in the newly renovated galleries of the museum.
Masur Museum of Art
Address: 1400 S Grand St, Monroe, LA 71202
Website: Masur Museum of Art
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
9. Let the kids learn art and more at Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum
At Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum, the little ones will enjoy learning through a range of exhibits specifically designed for them. Kids can be the President or a secret service agent at The White House exhibit; learn the workings of a restaurant at The Kid’s Café; or be a doctor or nurse at the Discovery Hospital. A special brain-building space for kids of three years and under is also available at this museum. Special art and craft events are regularly held at the museum too.
Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum
Address: 323 Walnut St, Monroe, LA 71201
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 2pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Price: 6 USD
10. Enjoy a meal in the rustic interior of Warehouse No. 1 Restaurant
Warehouse No. 1 Restaurant lies right beside the beautiful Ouachita River. Guests can dig into scrumptious seafood or juicy steaks while dining in the rustic indoor dining area or at the deck outside. The century-old restaurant building has retained many of its traditional charms like original floors, corrugated tin walls, massive exposed beams, etc.
Warehouse No. 1 Restaurant
Address: 1 Olive St, Monroe, LA 71201
Website: Warehouse No. 1 Restaurant
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 11am - 2pm, 5pm - 9pm; Sat: 4pm - 9:30pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
11. Go window shopping at Pecanland Mall
Take a break from all the sight-seeing, and visit the Pecanland Mall for some window shopping. Built on a former pecan farm, Pecanland Mall has many popular brand name stores like Belk, Dillard’s, Foot Locker, Bath & Body Works, Zales, etc. Shops and stores stocking all kinds of goods like accessories, electronics, apparel, sports, etc. are located at Pecanland Mall.
Address: 4700 Millhaven Road, Monroe, LA 71203
Website: Pecanland Mall
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm
12. Watch live acts at the Strauss Youth Academy of the Arts
As Louisiana’s premiere youth theatre, Strauss Youth Academy of the Arts (SYAA) in Monroe puts up many entertaining performances that can be enjoyed by everyone. From Shakespeare plays to Broadway hits to variety shows – SYAA is the ideal place to watch live acts in Monroe. Visitors can enjoy fully staged theatrical productions featuring local students trained at the SYAA.
Strauss Youth Academy of the Arts
Address: 1300 Lamy Ln, Monroe, LA 71201
Website: Strauss Youth Academy of the Arts
13. Marvel for hours at the Levee Gallery of Fine Arts
Opened in 2017, the Levee Gallery of Fine Arts features rotating exhibits of local, regional and contemporary art by established as well as emerging artists in Monroe. Besides fine art, the gallery also has pottery, furniture, fabric and glass art, etc. on display. With so much to see, you can easily spend many hours marveling at the artwork in this gallery.
Levee Gallery of Fine Arts
Address: 1617 N 18th St, Monroe, LA 71201
Website: Levee Gallery of Fine Arts
Opening hours: Tue - Wed: 11am - 5pm; Thu: 11am - 7pm; Fri: 11am - 4pm; Sat: 11am - 3pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
14. Listen to live music at Enoch's Pub and Grill
Live this Thursday 8-11pm! He’s famous for singing rock ‘n roll, but his momma’s from Ireland, so it’s anybody’s guess...Posted by Enoch's Irish Pub & Cafe on Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Grab a Guinness and enjoy a live musical performance at Enoch’s Pub and Grill in Monroe. This Irish bar has a lively atmosphere amplified by fantastic live music provided every night by local bands and artists. Constantly rated as one of the best bars in Monroe, Enoch’s Pub and Grill has good food, great hospitality, an amazing selection of drinks and the best part is that the bar is open till late at night.
Enoch's Pub and Grill
Address: 507 Louisville Ave, Monroe, LA 71201
Website: Enoch’s Pub and Grill
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 2am; Sat: 3pm - 2am (closed on Sun)
15. Order comfort food at Restaurant Cotton
Specializing in serving creative Southern cuisine, Restaurant Cotton has a rich and colorful history that is reflected very well in its vibrant menu. Guests can tuck into delicious comfort foods like biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, collard greens, and more at this beautiful Ouachita River restaurant. Locally sourced ingredients give the food at Restaurant Cotton an extra dose of flavor.
Address: 101 N Grand St, Monroe, LA 71201
Website: Restaurant Cotton
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5pm - 9pm; Fri: 5pm - 10pm; Sat: 10am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 10pm; Sun: 10am - 2:30pm
16. Play golf at the Chennault Park Golf Course
While in Monroe, enjoy a round of golf at the 18-hole Chennault Park Golf Course that is open to the public. With year-round turf conditions, this golf course provides an enjoyable golfing experience in scenic settings. Golfers or amateurs of all levels can enjoy playing on this course. Disc golf is also available at the Chennault Park Golf Course.
Chennault Park Golf Course
Address: 8475 Millhaven Rd, Monroe, LA 71203
Website: Chennault Park Golf Course
Opening hours: 7:30am - 7:30pm (daily)
Price: 9 USD onwards
Experience Monroe, Louisiana
There is so much to see and do in the vibrant city of Monroe that it can get quite confusing to fit in everything into your schedule. Arm yourself with our suggestions of the things to do in Monroe, Louisiana, and save time and effort so that you can experience Monroe to the fullest.
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