What to do in Ouachita Parrish

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

Tour the elegant home of Joseph Biedenharn, first bottler of Coca-Cola. Walk through the beautiful ELsong Gardens behind the home. Explore the extensive collection of historically significant Bibles in the Bible Museum adjacent to the home. Also on display is a collection of Russian Icons. The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens is located at 2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe. Call (318) 387-528. Open 10 am to 5 pm Tue-Sat. www.bmuseum.org

Biedenharn Coke Museum

Just two doors down from the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens is the Coke Museum where you can still buy a Coke for 5 cents. An extensive collection of early Coca-Cola memorabilia and artifacts are on display, including a delivery truck, posters and signs. Be sure to stop by the gift shop for Coke merchandise, local souvenirs and home and garden items.

Chennault Aviation & Military Museum of LA

The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum highlights three historical chapters in the nation’s and Monroe’s history: the Navigation School that trained over 15,000 navigators during the World War II years; the birth of Delta Airlines from a regional crop dusting service; and Louisiana native General Claire Lee Chennault’s Flying Tigers fighter squadron. 701 Kansas Lane, Monroe (318) 362-5540 Open: 9 am to 4:30 pm Mon-Fri, 11 am to 5 pm Sat, closed Sun. www.sos.louisiana.gov/camm

Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo

The Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo is a fun filled family outing with animals, many in naturalistic habitats. The grounds feature beautiful landscaping and exotic plants of all kinds, a winding waterway with boat rides. The attraction features over 450 kinds of animals from all over the world. A special Louisiana Purchase Exhibit features animals indigenous to Louisiana. Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo is located at 1405 Bernstein Park Drive, Monroe. Call (318) 329-2400. Open: 10 am to 5 pm daily; Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. www.monroezoo.org

NELA Children’s Museum

The NELA Children’s Museum is a splendid place where adults and kids can learn and grow together. Permanent exhibits range from the Firehouse/Health Hall to Bubbleworks. Great traveling exhibits from across the U.S. are featured throughout the year, too. The NELA Children’s Museum is located at 323 Walnut Street, Monroe. Call (318) 361-9611Open: 9 am to 2 pm Tue-Fri; 10 am to 5 pm Sat www.nelcm.org

Masur Museum of Art

The Masur Museum, set in a 1920s Tudor-style home features a permanent collection of paintings, prints and sculpture, as well as six to eight annual art exhibitions of work from museums and artists nationwide. Art lectures, gallery talks, special presentations, art classes and workshops are conducted year-round. Masur Museum is located at 1400 South Grand Street, Monroe. Call (318) 329-2237. Our hours are Tuesday - Friday from 9-5 and Saturday 12:00- 5. We are closed on Sunday and Monday. www.masurmuseum.org

NELA Delta African American Heritage Museum

NELA Delta African American Heritage Museum features an array of artifacts from Northeast Louisiana. Also on display are life-like models of famous African American leaders as well as an archival section featuring local African American leaders. The museum also features changing art exhibits featuring local and regional African American artists. The NELA Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum is located in the Chennault Park at 8477 Millhaven Road. Call for appointment (318) 323-1167 www.nldaahm.com

Ouachita River Art Gallery

The Ouachita River Art Gallery is great find if you’re looking for original, unique art created by local and regional artisans in an exciting variety of mediums! An annual art extravaganza is held each November. Workshops are offered at various times throughout the year. The gallery is located at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe. Call (318) 322-2380 Open: 10 am to 5 pm Tue-Sat www.ouachitariverartgallery.com

Landry Vineyards

Landry Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery located in the hill country of Ouachita Parish. Visitors can sample wines with cheese and bread, while enjoying the picturesque views. Don’t miss their concert series with live music on the beautiful grounds. Landry Vineyards is located at 5699 New Natchitoches Road, West Monroe. Call (318) 557-9050 Open: Tasting Room is open 11 am to 5 pm every Saturday. www.landryvineyards.com

Revolution Park

Serious about having fun? Than consider heading to Revolution Park. The concrete oval at the 55-acre, 4,000-seat complex at Revolution Park is the only NASCAR-affiliated track in Louisiana. The park also schedules concerts and other events on non-racing weekends or weeknights. The park is located at 8850 Frontage Road in Monroe. Call (318) 812-7223. www.revolutionparkentertainment.com

G.B. Cooley House

The Cooley House is a rare example of residential Prairie School architecture in the south. The home was designed and built for entrepreneur Gilbert Brian “Captain” Cooley by internationally acclaimed architect Walter Burley Griffin in 1925. Griffin worked with architectural legend Frank Lloyd Wright who defined the Prairie School of American Architecture style. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Top 10 Most Endangered Sites by the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation. It is open for tours by appointment. Contact the Masur Museum at (318) 329-2237 for an appointment.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Forsythe Park

Forsythe Park is a 53-acre neighborhood park with picnic areas, a 9-hole golf course, beach volleyball courts and a jogging path. A public boat launch is located just over the levee along the Ouachita River. Forsythe Park is located at the Corner of Riverside Drive & Forsythe Avenue, Monroe. Call (318) 329-2440.

Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge

Delight in the scenic beauty of Louisiana and discover how the area must have looked before man arrived on the scene. The 4,500 acre refuge is a majestic expanse of hardwood bottomland and mixed pine and hardwood uplands, a 1,600-acre lake and swamplands. The wildlife refuge is home to all manner of creatures, including alligators, turtles, deer and a wide variety of fowl. The wildlife pier or bird blind offers the best wildlife viewing areas. To get the best view, rent a canoe at the visitor center, a restored 1880s Acadian house. Highway 165 North in Monroe. Call (318) 387-1114.

Charles Johnson Children’s Park

Charles Johnson Children’s Park is located adjacent to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo. The park features a paved walking trail, picnic tables and a children’s playground that allows you to let your child play while you are getting an excellent workout. Located on Bernstein Road in Monroe.

Chennault Park

500 acres laced with full-grown oaks, 18-hole golf course, frisbee golf, a softball field, picnic areas, a paved walking trail, and the CenturyLink Northeast Louisiana Soccer Complex. The park is home to the Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum. Chennault Park is located at 8475 Millhaven Road, Monroe. Call (318) 329-2454

Kiroli Park

Kiroli Park is a 160-acre park with forested areas as well as large playing areas, Jogging and nature trails, a fishing pond, beautiful gardens, covered picnic areas, and a theatre stage for performances. The park is home to the annual Ballet Under the Stars. Kiroli Park is located at 820 Kiroli Road, West Monroe. Call (318) 396-4016

Restoration Park
Enjoy seventy acres of beautiful urban forest and wetlands. The park features a 1.2 mile stone walking trail, five scenic overlooks, restrooms and two bridges. The park surrounds a scenic lake with native cypress trees. The Monroe –West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau is located just next door. 601 Constitution Drive in West Monroe.

Area State Parks

Poverty Point State Historic Site is a National Historic Landmark and one of the most important archaeological sites and the largest prehistoric earth works in North America. Estimated to have taken 5 million hours of labor to construct, the site has been dated to between 1650 and 700 B.C. The park is approximately 60 miles from Monroe located at 6859 Highway 577, Pioneer, Louisiana 71266. Call 888-926-5492 Email: povertypoint@crt.la.gov

Lake D’Arbonne State Park includes a 15,250-acre lake with five fishing piers, a visitor’s center, a swimming pool, tennis complex, campsites, and vacation cabins. The 655-acre park is approximately 28 miles from Monroe and located at 3628 Evergreen Road in Farmerville, Louisiana 71241. Call 888-677-5200 Email: lakedarbonne@crt.state.la.us

Jimmie Davis State Park offers two boat launches, a fishing pier, waterskiing, a playground, biking treks and cabin along with a dining hall. The area is a haven for bird watching and photographers. The park is approximately 32 miles from Monroe located at 1209 State Park Road, Chatham, LA 71226. Call 888-677-2263 Email: jimmiedavis@crt.la.gov

Golf Courses

Chennault Park Golf Course
8475 Millhaven Road
Monroe, LA 71203
(318) 329-2454

Calvert Crossing Golf Course
515 Hodge Watson Road
Calhoun, LA 71225
(318) 397-0064

Frenchman’s Bend Golf Course
1484 Frenchman’s Bend Road
Monroe, LA 71203
(318) 387-2363
www.frenchmansbend.com

Municipal Golf Course in Forsythe Park
2500 Sycamore Street
Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 387-2396

Trenton Street Golf Course & Driving Range
2411 Trenton Street
West Monroe, LA 71291
(318) 361-9345

Seasonal Events

January/February

Ag Expo
Mardi Gras Krewe of Janus Parade

March-May

Junior League Spring Market
Ballet Under the Stars
Antique Alley Open House

June-August

Miss Louisiana Pageant
Waterfront Festival and 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza

September/October

Cottonland Cluster Dog Show
DeltaFest
Celtic Fest
Boo at the Zoo

November/December

Antique Alley Open House
Christmas on the River
Art with a View
Christmas Parade

*Downtown Gallery Crawls are held the First Thursday of every other month starting in February.

Click here for additional relocation information.

Click here to go to the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau Website.