What to do and see in Monroe, United States: The Best Places and Tips

July 18, 2017 Kandra Bartel

Monroe (historically French: Poste-du-Ouachita) is the eighth-largest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the parish seat of Ouachita Parish. In the official 2010 census, Monroe had a population of 48,815. The municipal population declined by 8.1 percent over the past decade; it was 53,107 in the 2000 census. After a recheck in 2012, the Census Bureau changed the 2010 population from 48,815 to 49,147. Mayor Jamie Mayo, however, maintains that the Monroe population is more than 50,000 and indicated that he will pursue a continued challenge to the count.
Restaurants in Monroe

1. Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

2006 Riverside Dr, Monroe, LA 71201-4268 +1 318-387-5281
Excellent
75%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 130 reviews

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

Built in 1913 by Joseph A. Biedenharn, visitors can tour this historic home and magnificent Elsong Gardens located on the estate.

Reviewed By OnTheRoadAgain1056 - Las Vegas, Nevada

I started in the museum where you start with a short intro video. The tour guide explained the museum and then there was a tour of the house with another tour guide. Both tour guides were very good. Your free to walk around the gardens...MoreGlad you enjoyed the Biedenharn. We think we are a great place and are happy you felt it too. I will share your review with our staff!

2. Kiroli Park

820 Kiroli Rd, West Monroe, LA 71291-4945 +1 318-396-4016
Excellent
88%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 98 reviews

Kiroli Park

Reviewed By DIvemaster1990 - West Monroe, Louisiana

Really beautiful park with lots of stuff to do. New kid's playground area is great and there are several excellent walking trails. Special areas for birthdays, parties are easily accessible. Many special events occur there such as Celtic Fest, LDWF fisihing tournaments, etc. Costs almost nothing to get in.

3. Chennault Aviation and Military Museum

701 Kansas Ln, Monroe, LA 71203-4775 +1 318-362-5540
Excellent
77%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 109 reviews

Chennault Aviation and Military Museum

Located in one of the last standing buildings from the World War II Selman Field Army Air Corps Navigation School, the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum highlights northeast Louisiana's impact on aviation and military history. Admission is always free. Exhibits feature weaponry, uniforms, photographs, documents and other artifacts. A growing collection of military aircraft is located outside. All branches of the U.S. military are featured, from World War I through the present day, and there are also exhibits on Selman Field (which trained over 15,000 navigators) and Delta Airlines (which was born in Monroe from a regional crop dusting service). An extensive exhibit is dedicated to the life and times of Gen. Claire L. Chennault (a northeast Louisiana native) and his Flying Tigers fighter group.

Reviewed By larrybard - Philadelphia, PA

Very effectively presented exhibits, often "personalized" insofar as they relate to local service members. Good diversity, ensuring that visitors of all ages will likely be interested. Tour guide at time was quite excellent -- extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable. (Indeed, far better than the video.)

4. Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

480 Richland Place Dr, Monroe, LA 71203-8868 +1 318-387-1114
Excellent
81%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 79 reviews

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Reviewed By Hola624 - Monroe, Louisiana

Highly recommend a visit here for multiple reasons. They offer top notch educational activities @ no charge to the public. They have excellent hiking trails. There is so much to see here. I love hiking the trails with my family or solo. There's always an opportunity to see nature. They also have fishing and kayak and canoe rentals.

5. Duck Commander Gift Shop

117 Kings Ln, West Monroe, LA 71292-9430 +1 318-387-0588
Excellent
43%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
5%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 530 reviews

Duck Commander Gift Shop

Reviewed By 478jerryf - WEST MONROE, United States

This place is easy to find--thru 2 stop lights off the interstate and you are there! Our friends and relatives that come into town always want to go to the store. They have purchased much of the property around the main building for a very large parking lot but also a couple of houses across the street. They generally have a big semi-truck trailer parked outside that has the Duck/Buck Commander logo and pics of the main characters in the TV show. It is a big store--looks just like the warehouse place with the Duck Commander sign outside you see in the TV series (everyone takes a picture in front of the sign). Lots of merchandise inside, mostly clothing from their various brands (e.g., Duck commander, Buck commander, & one I had not seen until recently--"Strut" Commander--turkeys ). Things range from cookbooks to Uncle Sy cups, to duck calls (of course), to things from Willie's daughters products, There are some places to get a picture with like a big Bear statue cut from wood (if I remember correctly). There are a few bargains like $5 t-shirts from various events (e.g., Stock Car race in Texas they sponsored). Most things are priced relatively reasonably priced (~$20-25 for a t shirt) and they do have some very inexpensive trinkets for kids and memorabilia. Never seen anyone from the show anywhere near the building but will occasionally see these folks around town. They can't go to the places they used to frequent due to the attention they draw. That said, they are generally very polite when people approach them and they are pretty much like they are on TV (except for Uncle Sy who can be very quiet for an extended period). In my opinion, these are generally good people who have done well with sharing their life and fun ideas with everyone and merchandised the fire out of their brands. If you are a fan of the show, then this is a great place to go to get a few things for yourself and gifts for others--5 stars. Just don't expect anyone from the show to be hanging around. My 3 rating is perhaps low based upon the fact that I generally have to take people there several times a year and it really is just a part of the big warehouse that has been turned into a storefront. You might be able to spend 30 minutes looking around if you want to see everything.

6. Restoration Park

700 Downing Pines Rd, West Monroe, LA 71292-8018 +1 318-396-4016
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 43 reviews

Restoration Park

Reviewed By jboone2017 - Jennings, Louisiana

Very pleased with this discovery! Always happy to find a good place to stretch my legs just off the interstate. Parked at lot along frontage road. Safe neighborhood. Head clockwise to get the the most interesting part of the walk soonest, i.e. the boardwalks crossing the wetlands. 15 minute loop trail along level gravel. Saw many birds. Kudos to the city for turning a former gravel pit into a community asset.

7. Antique Alley

Trenton Street, West Monroe, LA 71291 +1 318-388-3920
Excellent
64%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 33 reviews

Antique Alley

Reviewed By Analise83 - Oahu, Hawaii

We were passing through Monroe and my dad wanted to come out here and check out one of the stores and I'm always up for doing a little antiquing.

We didn't get to spend a lot of time here but we did enjoy what we managed to do. In a nice turn of events my dad found an antique Bible that he thought he was going to have to drive up to Hot Springs to get so it was nice he found it here instead.

Also checked out the tea and spices shop and picked up some jasmine tea for me and a tropical fruit tea to send to a friend of mine.

Everybody was very friendly and helpful.

One thing I noticed is there didn't appear to be a public restroom for the "Alley" (and I couldn't find a reference to one on the website). Luckily one of the shops we visited did have one available for public use but most stores had signs saying otherwise. Would suggest you make a pit stop before visiting. :)

8. Masur Museum of Art

1400 S Grand St, Monroe, LA 71202-2012 +1 318-329-2237
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 14 reviews

Masur Museum of Art

The Masur Museum of Art is the largest visual arts museum in Northeast Louisiana. Housed in the former home of the Masur family, the museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our mission is to support and foster visual arts in our community through quality exhibitions, educational programs, and our permanent collection. Because admission is always free, all members of our community can expand their horizons through the museum's many and diverse offerings. The Masur Museum of Art presents an ongoing schedule of temporary exhibitions that are supported by a wide variety of educational programs for children and adults. We offer art classes, summer art camps, workshops, lectures, and artist talks. In addition, we have pARTy 318 for young professionals, Studio 318 for our patron members, and the annual Off the Wall fundraiser. The Masur Museum of Art operates as a partnership between the City of Monroe, which owns and maintains the building, and the Twin City Art Foundation, which supports exhibitions, educational programs, and collections. The museum is a division of the City of Monroe's Department of Community Affairs

Reviewed By Practicalmatters

The Masur Museum is a city sponsored museum with grassroots support from the arts community and art patrons. The Masur Museum was a private residence that was donated to the City of Monroe by the Masur family. Along with a permanent collection, the museum has visiting exhibits and regular art showing that is the basis of the young professionals social scene in Monroe. Become a patron to get on the guest list for all patron events.

9. Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum

323 Walnut St, Monroe, LA 71201-6711 +1 318-361-9611
Excellent
59%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 12 reviews

Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum

Reviewed By volcanotrekker2014 - Monroe, Louisiana

Located in a spacious building with abundant parking, the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum is a favorite place for children to visit. The different exhibits appeal to many scientific interests of children of all ages. There are places for adults to sit while keeping their children in view. My only difficulty has been getting children to leave as this is a very kid friendly locale.

10. The Spice & Tea Exchange

229 Trenton St, West Monroe, LA 71291-3145 +1 318-388-3920
Excellent
78%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 9 reviews

The Spice & Tea Exchange

Come In and Smell the Spices! The Spice & Tea Exchange® offers food lovers, chefs, and tea enthusiasts a unique shopping experience filled with culinary delights. Explore your inner chef and shop over 140 fine spices, 75+ hand-mixed seasoning blends, sugars, salts, loose-leaf teas, and accessories. Create your own gourmet gift, or choose from a variety of gift boxes and recipe samplers!

Reviewed By Scott P - Jackson, Tennessee

I buy the majority of my spices at Penzey's so that is what I measure other spice shops against.
Karen, the owner of this franchise location, was very helpful. She carries a wide variety of the more common spices, a few teas, speciality salts and peppers. My interest was drawn to her sugars. I bought salted caramel and vanilla turbinado to try in my coffee. I would warn the prices are a bit steep even compared to other spice shops.
Another bonus is the location. There are bars and antique stores all around this area.

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