If you are thinking of taking a trip to Louisiana, then Shreveport is one destination for you to consider. It is a city in the northwest of the state that is known for music, culture, casinos, and southern food. When visiting this city, you will find lots to keep you entertained, and there is something to suit all tastes and ages. So that you can decide how you would like to spend your time in this location, here are the 20 best things to do in Shreveport, LA for first-timers.
20. Take a Tour of the Touchstone Wildlife and Art Museum
An unusual attraction to visit while in Shreveport is the Touchstone Wildlife and Art Museum. There are thousands of stuffed and mounted animals on display at this museum, and they are set in replicas of their natural habitat. Each of the displays features a hand-painted backdrop. In addition to the taxidermy, there are exhibitions of Native American artifacts and war memorabilia.
19. Learn About Music History at the Stage of the Stars Music Museum
Shreveport is known for its links to the music industry, and the best place to learn more about this is at the Stage of the Stars Music Museum. This attraction is located on Elvis Presley Avenue, which is the perfect setting for an attraction of this kind. Elvis Presley and Lead Belly are just two of the artists that this museum showcases. Visitors can enjoy stories about the legendary people and places in this area that have influenced the American music scene. An interesting element of a visit to this museum is learning about the Louisiana Hayride, which is a radio broadcast that contributed to many artists launching their careers in the music industry. There are some interesting items of memorabilia in the display about the Louisiana Hayride.
18. Explore Local History at the Spring Street Museum
The Spring Street Museum is one of the oldest structures in the city as it was built in 1865. Over the years, this structure has served a variety of purposes, including being both a bar and a bank. Its history as a bank is still evident as the house features a heavy and ornate door. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can learn about the history of Shreveport through various exhibitions, artifacts, and interactive activities. It is worth noting that it is free to tour this museum, so it is an excellent option for those who are visiting the area on a limited budget.
17. Visit the Shreveport Railroad Museum
Open since 2013, the Shreveport Railroad Museum focuses on the use of steam in transportation throughout history. It is housed in one of the auxiliary buildings at the Shreveport Water Works Museum, so you can enjoy both activities on the same day. It is a project operated by the Red River Valley Railroad Historical Society. The museum displays artifacts, documents, memorabilia, and photographs relating to the railroad industry. Other activities to enjoy include train rides and activities relating to the operation of trains.
16. Go to the Shreveport Water Works Museum
This museum is both a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. It is located on North Common Street, and it was formerly a pumping station that was established in 1887. The original filters and pumps are still in place, and it is an unusual example of a steam waterworks. Visitors to this attraction have the option of taking either a guided or self-guided tour of the facility. The guided tour is the better option if you want to learn about the operations and history of the waterworks.
15. Go to the Sci-Port Discovery Center
Visitors to the Sci-Port Discovery Center can expect a fun and interactive experience. People of all ages can explore science, maths, and technology through a range of interactive activities that are both educational and fun. The aim of the hands-on activities is to encourage the curiosity of visitors so that they can learn about the world around them. In addition to the interactive activities, there is also an IMAX dome theater and a planetarium. At the IMAX dome theater, visitors can enjoy a unique experience as the film engages viewers in a realistic and thrilling manner.
14. Visit the Pioneer Heritage Center
A fantastic place to visit to learn about the history of the area is the Pioneer Heritage Center. This attraction focuses on the pioneers who settled in northwestern Louisiana. It covers where the pioneers came from, how they adapted the area to meet their needs, and how the pioneers lived their daily lives. Founded in 1977, the Pioneer Heritage Center offers visitors guided tours through various structures that show how the pioneers lived. Visitors can also learn about the cultural history of northwestern Louisiana and the state’s natural environment.
13. Enjoy Live Music at the Noble Savage Tavern
The Noble Savage Tavern is one of the best venues to visit in the evenings. They have special on throughout the week, and there is live music every night. The music varies to suit a range of tastes, so you might see rock, Americana, or blues bands playing, depending on when you visit. There is a wide selection of beers on tap, and they are known for their fun cocktails. The venue also serves food, and the menu is diverse with many unusual combinations you will not find on other menus in the area.
12. See the Animals at Jubilee Zoo
A fantastic day out for all the family is a day at Jubilee Zoo, says Vacation Idea. This zoo is unusual as it only has animals that are safe to interact with people, so don’t expect to see lions and tigers at this attraction. Visitors are actively encouraged to interact with the animals by feeding and petting them. Other things to enjoy at this attraction include a safari hayride, a carousel, inflatables, and a playground.
11. Go to Barksdale Global Power Museum
Barksdale Global Power Museum is devoted to both efforts to deter war and to the United States’ success in battle. Visitors can learn more about the Strategic Bombardment’s history at the Air Force Global Strike Command, and their involvement with the 8th Air Force and the 2nd Bomb Wing. There are six galleries of exhibits that tell the story of Strategic Bombardment, but the highlight for visitors is the array of aircraft on display.
10. Learn About Local History at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
Those who want to learn more about the history and culture of Shreveport and Louisiana should head to the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum. It is housed in an Art Deco-style building that was built in the 1930s. The museum’s portico features frescoes that depict themes that continue within the museum. A highlight of the museum is the dioramas that depict various scenes relating to life in the area. These include swamps, rice plantations, sugarcane plantations, oilfields, and factories. Other parts of the museum cover the role of the state in the war of1812 and Native American History. Further displays cover the state’s natural environment.
Artspace is not just an art gallery, it is also an arts center that encourages creativity. There are exhibitions throughout the year that showcases the work of artists, both local and international. The venue is also used as a space for concerts, dance performances, poetry readings, and much more. You should investigate what is on at Artspace before visiting Shreveport to find out if there is anything going on that appeals to you.
8. Have Fun at The Blind Tiger
While many of the tourist attractions are things to enjoy in the day, you can also have plenty of fun at night in Shreveport. A top spot to visit is The Blind Tiger, which is a legendary hangout in the downtown area of the city. As well as drinks and music, you can also enjoy something to eat. This venue has its own restaurant, which serves Cajun and Creole food.
7. Visit the Southern University Museum of Art
A popular attraction amongst art enthusiasts visiting the city is the Southern University Museum of Art. It is the only museum in North Louisiana that is dedicated to preserving the culture and art of the African and African American Diaspora. The permanent collection has art and artifacts from West Africa. Throughout the year, there are temporary and traveling exhibitions. These usually showcase the work of local, regional, or national African American artists.
6. Watch a Performance at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
If you want to watch a live performance during your visit to this city, then the best place to do so is at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Throughout the year, the jam-packed schedule of performances includes plays, musicals, dance shows, and concerts. It is best to check what is on in advance of your stay and to book tickets in advance if there is a performance that appeals to you. The building is also interesting to see as it was built in the 1920s in an Art Deco-style. It was initially used as an army barracks before it became an internationally renowned performance hall.
5. Enjoy Creole and Cajun-Style Food at Orlandeaux’s Café
There are some excellent dining establishments in Shreveport, and many of these serve the southern food for which the city is known. One of the most famous places to eat is Orlandeaux’s Café. This café opened in 1921, and it is now the oldest continuously operating family-owned African-American café in the United States. The Creole and Cajun-style food served by this establishment have been described as outstanding by former diners. It is best known for its gumbo, stuffed shrimp, po’boys, and fish with homemade tartar sauce.
4. Have Fun at the Casinos
Shreveport is famous as a casino destination, and many tourists head to the city just to spend time in its casinos. Although there are man casinos to enjoy, two of the best are the Eldorado Resort and Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino. At these casinos, you can enjoy all the classic casino games. They both also boast various dining options, live music venues, bars, spas, and a range of other upscale amenities. If you intend to spend a lot of time in the casinos, then they are both good options for hotel accommodation.
3. Stroll Around the Asian Gardens of Shreveport
If you want to spend time outdoors in a peaceful and relaxing environment, then you should visit the Asian Gardens of Shreveport. This attraction is a lush oasis that is designed to represent 15 Asian countries. The gardens are beautifully landscaped, and they feature a diverse range of plants, flowers, and trees. It is split over several levels, and there are statues to admire at various points. There are various events held in the gardens throughout the year that represent Asian culture, food, music, and dance.
2. Go to the Shreveport Aquarium
One of the best family attractions in Shreveport is the Shreveport Aquarium. It is home to more than three thousand aquatic animals, and it has been open since 2017. Visiting the aquarium is an immersive experience as there are replicas of dark ocean caves and shipwrecks. The highlight for many visitors is walking through the dome gallery with marine life swimming overhead. Children also enjoy the various touch tanks around the aquarium.
1. See the Art at The Agora Borealis
According to Louisiana Travel, the best thing to do in Shreveport, LA for first-timers is to see the art at The Agora Borealis. It is an art gallery founded by Katy Larsen, who is from a family of artists and who is friends with many other artists. The gallery is in a historic building in downtown Shreveport, and it boasts exhibitions of paintings, jewelry, furniture, sculptures, and pottery. Throughout the year, this venue also hosts various events and art openings.
Written by Liz Flynn
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