Places To Discover

Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana

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Places to Discover

Hear the tale of the man who first bottled Coca-Cola, explore hardwood forests and swamps on scenic hiking trails, and enjoy locally made craft beer and wine. These are just three of many things to do in Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana. Whether you’re looking to escape to the great outdoors or for a fun vacation for the whole family, you’ll find it here. Monroe-West Monroe’s attractions ranging from art galleries and a military museum to gardens, golf courses, and wildlife refuges, provide countless experiences that will have you coming back for more. Browse the following list of attractions in Monroe-West Monroe and add any that catch your eye to your travel itinerary to create North Louisiana adventure of your own.

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe
Step up to the soda counter to hear the tale of Coca-Cola’s bottling beginnings from an entertaining soda jerk. Then refresh with a 5 cent Coke and the nostalgia of early Coca-Cola memorabilia displayed in an indoor and outdoor setting of the Coke Museum. Walk among the wonderful collection of Coca-Cola artifacts including a delivery truck, signs, posters, bottles and Coke machines. Tour the elegant home of Joseph Biedenharn, first bottler of Coca-Cola, every room lovingly decorated by his daughter Emy-Lou Biedenharn, a renowned opera singer during the pre- World War II years. Stroll through the beautiful ELsong Gardens behind the home with over an acre of terraces, fountains, formal plantings and statues, interlaced amid French iron grillwork, tailored boxwood walkways, and year-round blooms all enshrined by an English-style brick wall. Explore the extensive collection of historically significant and unique Bibles, including a Gutenberg leaf, in the Bible Museum adjacent to the home. Also on permanent display is the impressive Russian Icon Exhibition. A variety of other exhibits from institutions such as the Smithsonian are displayed on a rotating basis. A wonderful retail shop with a variety of Coke merchandise, local souvenirs, jewelry and home decor is also on the premises.

Proven Grounds

140 Ernest White Road, West Monroe
Those with an adventurous spirit will love this ultimate 3 mile “Obstacle Trail Adventure.” The course includes intimidating terrain, sandy trails, rolling hills, muddy pits, and challenging obstacles. Proven Grounds also hosts 5k races, concerts, family events, and more.

Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office Training Center & Public Range

357 Sheriff Richard Fewell Road, West Monroe
The Public Range at the OPSO Training Center includes a Firing Range as well as an Archery Range. The Archery Range features a youth area, elevated shooting, and walk-thru bag & 3D range.

Ouachita River Cruises

231 Moon Lake Road, Monroe
Enjoy a cruise along the beautiful Ouachita River with Capt. John Brown as your tour guide. See nature like never before with a view from the water on a Mini or Regular Cruise. Mini Cruises are available every Saturday & Sunday from 3:00pm-8:00pm at Moon Lake Marina. Regular cruises lasting 60 minutes can be made by appointment. Private cruises and catering cruises are available for groups of 15 or more.

Frenchman's Bend Golf Course

1484 Frenchman's Bend Road, Monroe
This beautiful, semi-private, championship 18-hole, par-72 gold course features undulating greens, 5 sets of tees, driving range and restaurant. The tips play at 6,900 yards. Hint: Keep the ball down low as the wind is a factor on this course.

Lazarre Park

Corner of Hamilton & Thompson Street, West Monroe
Located over the levee along the Ouachita River, this park offers disc golf and a boat launch. It plays host to the Ronald McDonald House Annual Big Bass Tournament in May.

Restoration Park

700 Downing Pines Road, West Monroe
A beautiful 70-acre forest and wetland park with several overlooks and a 1.2-mile stone trail for jogging, walking, or relaxing. Surrounds a scenic lake with native cypress trees draped with Spanish moss.

Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge

Along the Ouachita River - Union & Morehouse Parishes, Farmerville
Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation & photography. Boat launch & accessible fishing pier. Scenic river road.

Russell-Sage Wildlife Management Area

Within the Bayou Lafourche flood plain -- 7 miles east of Monroe, Monroe

Ouachita Wildlife Management Area

In Ouachita Parish - 6 miles southeast of Monroe, Monroe
This bottomland hardwood forest restoration-in-progress is nestled on 8,747 beautiful acres and features three reservoirs located on an agricultural tract and offers crawfishing opportunities, as well as fishing for bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass. A camping area that is located on eight secluded acres is also available.

D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge

Highway 143 in Union Parish - 10 miles north of West Monroe, Farmerville
Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation & photography. Boat launch, observation tower & walking trails. Scenic Bayou D'Arbonne.

Mane Street Mini-Golf and Games

205 Mane Street, West Monroe
An 18-hole miniature golf course includes cascading waterfalls, old-fashioned water towers and a gristmill with a real spinning water wheel.

Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo

1405 Bernstein Park Drive, Monroe
This 80+ acre zoological park is full of family fun with animals, plants of all kinds, a winding waterway with a jungle cruise, and the ZOOasis Splash Pad! Over 450 kinds of animals from all over the world and over 1200 species of plants are here. A special Louisiana Purchase Exhibit features animals indigenous to the original Louisiana Purchase with wildlife ranging from the black bear, bison and elk to mountain lion and American Bald eagle. The Australia Exhibit features wallaroos, wallabies, emu, cockatoos, and a kookaburra. The interactive petting zoo is home to pygmy goats, miniature zebu cattle, miniature horses, four-horned sheep and more. A must-see!

Kiroli Park

820 Kiroli Road, West Monroe
160 acres of park with forested areas as well as large playing areas and the Raising Cane’s Dog Park, which is separated into two sections for large and small dogs. Jogging and nature trails, a fishing pond, beautiful gardens, covered picnic areas, and a theatre stage for performances. Home to the Ballet Under the Stars in the spring. A climate-controlled lodge is great for receptions and family reunions.

Forsythe Park

Corner of Riverside Drive & Forsythe Avenue , Monroe
A neighborhood park encompassing over 53 acres with picnic areas, a 9-hole golf course, putt-putt golf, tennis courts, softball, soccer fields, and children's park. Beach volleyball courts, a jogging path and a public boat launch are located over the levee along the Ouachita River. The Monroe Advocates for Safe Streets (MASS) have developed 6 bike trails through the City of Monroe based out of the park.

Chennault Park Golf Course

8475 Millhaven Road, Monroe
An 18-hole, par-72, 7,042-yard municipal course with flat wooded landscape. Driving range and carts with GPS systems. Check out the 2007 Buick Open Winner Brian Bateman's trophy display. Hint: Look out for the 18th hole - it's par-4 with water all the way down the right side.

Cheniere Lake Park

104 Cheniere Lake Road, West Monroe
Beautiful 3,000 acre lake, covered picnic areas, playground, boat launches and climate-controlled lodge available for weddings, receptions and reunions.

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

480 Richland Pl , Monroe
Immerse yourself in nature at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This majestic 4,500-acre expanse of lake, swamp, bottomland hardwoods, mixed pine and hardwood uplands is a wildlife habitat with all manner of plant species and everything from small alligators and turtles to coyote, deer and a wide variety of fowl. Delight in the beauty of herons, egrets, orioles and red-winged blackbirds from the wildlife pier or bird blind. Walk on a nature trail that meanders through a forested wetland. Marvel at the quiet beauty of the 1,600-acre lake from the quiet of your rented canoe with stately cypress and tupelo trees towering overhead. The Visitors’ Center, a restored 1880s Acadian house, offers interactive exhibits and a nature shop. Behind the center is a covered amphitheater for educational programs. Visit the Aquarium Room with live exhibits of native fish, reptiles, amphibians, and a Discovery Room with a variety of learning stations and reading materials. Other features include an arboretum with 150 labeled Louisiana native tree and woody shrub species, a photo blind, boat launch, canoeing, year-round fishing, and seasonal hunting opportunities.

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