Tucked between the Kisatchie National Forest and the Sabine National Forest, and mid-way between Shreveport and New Orleans, Alexandria, Louisiana, has a lot to offer considering it’s so frequently overlooked. Nestled in a curve of the Red River, Alexandria oozes Southern charm and scenic beauty. It’s also bursting with cultural heritage, with streets lined with historic architecture and a thriving arts scene. From the historic Kent Plantation House to the former home of African-American poet Arna Bontemps, there’s plenty of history to sink your teeth into.
Various other historic sites and museums around the town offer visitors a detailed look back at the history and development of Alexandria. Whether you’re interested more in the founding of the city, or the modern-day arts and culture, you’ll have tons to keep you busy. If you’re more interested in spending your time exploring the great outdoors, then you have no end of opportunities to do so. Hiking trails wind through the neighbouring national forests, taking you through habitats abundant with local wildlife.
Alternatively, take advantage of the river that runs through the city for all the fishing and boating your heart could desire. There are also plenty of smaller inner-city parks for when you just want a picnic in the fresh air. No matter what you enjoy spending your time doing, Alexandria has plenty to keep you busy. In this article, I’ll take you through my top picks for what you should look out for. With this list of the 20 things to do in Alexandria, Louisiana, you’ll have no trouble planning your ideal itinerary.
- Alexandria, Louisiana
- Plan Your Trip
- 20 Best Things To Do In Alexandria, Louisiana
- 1- Look Around The Louisiana History Museum
- 2- Visits The Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site
- 3- Learn Something At Kent Plantation House
- 4- Admire The Works At The Alexandria Museum of Art
- 5- Browse Arna Bontemps African-American Poet Museum
- 6- Walk Along Pineville Riverfront
- 7- Soak Up The Sun At Kincaid Beach
- 8- Explore Kincaid Recreation Area
- 9- Look Around Louisiana Manoeuvres & Military Museum
- 10- Meet The Residents Of Alexandria Zoological Park
- 11- Relax In Bringhurst City Park
- 12- Take the Kids To T.R.E.E. House
- 13- Let Your Kids Play At The Children’s Exploration Oasis
- 14- Kick Back In Fort Buhlow Recreation Area
- 15- Explore Historic Camp Claiborne
- 16- Spot The Critters Of Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area
- 17- Follow The Wild Azalea Trail
- 18- Enjoy Nature At Indian Creek Reservoir
- 19- See What’s On At Rapides Parish Coliseum
- 20- Appreciate Local Creativity At River Oaks Square Arts Centre
20 Best Things To Do In Alexandria, Louisiana
1- Look Around The Louisiana History Museum
Kick off your trip by visiting the Louisiana History Museum.
Hosting artefacts from across the state showcasing the region’s development and heritage, the museum is the perfect intro to Louisiana’s rich culture.
Housed within the old public library, even the building itself is a slice of local history.
Go to 503 Washington St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
2- Visits The Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site
If you prefer your history in situ, then maybe a visit to the Forts Randolph and Buhlow site will be more up your alley.
The civil war era forts running along the waterside played a pivotal role in the Red River Campaign and were the base for over 800 confederate soldiers.
The visitor centre offers further insights into the significance of the various sites around the area.
For a more immersive experience, you can attend one of the frequent reenactments.
Find it at 135 Riverfront St, Pineville, LA 71360, United States.
3- Learn Something At Kent Plantation House
Another historic location around Alexandria that offers an immersive glimpse back at the city’s development is the Kent Plantation House.
Much of the old plantation is now a residential suburb, but the main house and several of the outbuildings are still standing and available for guided tours.
Built in the late 1700s, the Kent Plantation House is one of the oldest buildings in the area, so it’s a must visit for any history buffs.
Head to 3601 Bayou Rapides Rd, Alexandria, LA 71303, United States.
4- Admire The Works At The Alexandria Museum of Art
Perhaps you’re more of an art aficionado, in which case, you will want to pay a visit to the Alexandria Museum of Art.
The unique museum is housed within a converted bank, and you can still see many of the historic features on the façade.
The museum hosts a permanent collection alongside its rotating schedule of special exhibitions.
There’s even a packed calendar of classes and workshops for those who want to get more hands on.
Go to 933 2nd St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
5- Browse Arna Bontemps African-American Poet Museum
The home of notable poet and novelist Arna Bontemps is now a quaint museum welcoming visitors who want to learn more about his early life.
Although better known for his prominence in the Harlem Renaissance, Arna Bontemps was born in this very house in Alexandria, Louisiana.
The museum may be small, but it’s a must visit for anyone interested in the black history and arts heritage of the city.
Head into 1327 3rd St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
6- Walk Along Pineville Riverfront
When you want to take a break from exploring the concrete streets, head over to the Pineville Riverfront for a breath of fresh air and a stretch of your legs.
Running along the east side of the Red River, you’ll be graced with a beautiful view of the Alexandria skyline from across the water.
Walk trails running along the water’s edge or sit and enjoy the view from the grassy riverbank park.
Start at Pineville, LA 71360, United States.
7- Soak Up The Sun At Kincaid Beach
During the summer, you can head out into the Kincaid Recreation Area to seek out Kincaid Beach.
On a hot, Louisiana summer day, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the reservoir to perk you up.
The beach is a little bit remote, located right at the heart of the expansive forest park, so make sure to pack your own refreshments since there are no convenience stores nearby.
There are public restrooms, though, so that’s one thing you can relax about.
Head over to F S 200, Boyce, LA 71409, United States.
8- Explore Kincaid Recreation Area
Kincaid Recreation Area is a sprawling natural park, located just west of Alexandria, that is perfect for when you want to escape into the wild tranquillity of the forest.
The recreation area is riddled with hiking trails, so there’s plenty for you to explore.
There are also several campgrounds for if you want to spend a night under the stars.
And, if you just want to enjoy the scenery, but don’t feel up to an arduous hike, there are several roads leading through the trees for you to enjoy a relaxing drive with a view.
Go to 214 Kisatchie Ln, Boyce, LA 71409, United States.
9- Look Around Louisiana Manoeuvres & Military Museum
West of Alexandria, just on the other side of Pineville, is the military training centre, Camp Beauregard.
The camp is home to the Louisiana Manoeuvres & Military Museum, where visitors can marvel at an impressive collection of military equipment and paraphernalia.
As you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the host of military aircrafts and ground vehicles parked up outside.
Within the museum itself, visitors can enjoy viewing displays of vintage uniforms, weaponry, and personal effects.
March out to 623 G St, Pineville, LA 71360, United States.
10- Meet The Residents Of Alexandria Zoological Park
When it comes to family days out, you can’t beat a trip to the local zoo.
Alexandria Zoological Park is no exception, with tons to see and do to keep the whole family entertained.
Home to hundreds of animals, from big cats to exotic birds, you’ll spot all kinds of curious critters from around the world.
There’s also a packed calendar of events to get involved in, including Mardi Gras parties and winter lights shows, so make sure you check to see if there’ll be anything special going on during your visit.
Find them at 3016 Masonic Dr, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
11- Relax In Bringhurst City Park
The Alexandria Zoo is located within Bringhurst City Park, which makes this the perfect place to take a break either before or after visiting the animals.
The comfortable lawns of the park are perfect for a picnic, and will probably be much less crowded than the zoo’s cafes.
Even if you’re not headed to the zoo, Bringhurst Park is the ideal spot to relax.
Right at the heart of the city, it’s super convenient when you just want a few minutes enjoying the fresh air.
Head to 3016 Masonic Dr, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
12- Take the Kids To T.R.E.E. House
Need even more ideas for keeping the kids entertained? Take them over to T.R.E.E.
House, a children’s museum packed with exciting displays and activities to keep curious minds engaged.
Kids can spend their visit playing with science experiments, climbing over the play equipment, or trying on various careers for size in the role-play areas.
Open from 9am Tuesday through Saturday, it’s a great way to fill up an afternoon, with minimal planning or effort on your part.
Go to 1403 3rd St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
13- Let Your Kids Play At The Children’s Exploration Oasis
The Children’s Exploration Oasis is centred around role-play, with a range of different careers and daily life activities for children from toddlers to ten-year-olds to try out and practice.
This museum is only open Friday through Sunday though, and you’ll need to book a slot in advance.
Find it at 1016 3rd St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
14- Kick Back In Fort Buhlow Recreation Area
Stretching out to the north of Alexandria, Fort Buhlow Recreation Area is another fantastic option for when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Just the other side of the Red River, it is only minutes from the town centre, so it’s super convenient for when you just want a quick break.
Head out to Pineville, LA 71360, United States.
15- Explore Historic Camp Claiborne
A few miles south of Alexandria is the historic Camp Claiborne.
A military camp founded in the 1930s, Camp Claiborne was in active service through the second world war, but was decommissioned shortly after and the land returned to the jurisdiction of the Kisatchie National Forest.
Following the trails through the forest, you can still find some remnants of the camp, including the main entrance and some of the building foundations and stairways.
Go along to LA-112, Forest Hill, LA 71430, United States.
16- Spot The Critters Of Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area
When you really want to get away from it all and escape into nature, head out to the Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area.
A couple of miles northeast of Alexandria, you’re more likely to meet the wealth of local critters that call the area home than other people.
Head out to Deville, LA 71328, United States.
17- Follow The Wild Azalea Trail
Kisatchie National Forest has tons of hiking and biking trails for you to follow through the trees.
The Wild Azalea trail will take you right through the heart of the forest, eventually joining up with the Kincaid Recreation Area.
The lush woods are home to plenty of wild animals, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for all the local residents.
Start the trek at 352-398 Castor Plunge Rd, Woodworth, LA 71485, United States.
18- Enjoy Nature At Indian Creek Reservoir
If you prefer being around water, the forests around Indian Creek Reservoir might appeal to you.
The huge lake is especially popular in the summer, whether for fishing, birdwatching, or hiking.
If you’d rather just relax, there are several beaches around the lake, complete with restrooms and showers.
Head down to 100 Camp Ground Rd, Woodworth, LA 71485, United States.
19- See What’s On At Rapides Parish Coliseum
The city’s main events venue, Rapides Parish Coliseum hosts a range of performances and shows.
From sports and monster truck rallies to concerts and rodeos, there’s always something exciting going on.
It’s well worth checking ahead of time to see if there’ll be any events you’d be interested in checking out during your time in Alexandria.
Swing by 5600 Coliseum Blvd, Alexandria, LA 71303, United States.
20- Appreciate Local Creativity At River Oaks Square Arts Centre
Get familiar with the local creative talent by visiting River Oaks Square Arts Centre.
The arts centre provides studio space and gallery displays for resident artists working across a range of mediums.
Along with the regular exhibitions, there are also frequent classes and workshops run by the resident artists, so you can try your hand at creating your own masterpiece.
Find it at 1330 2nd St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States.
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