The third most popular in Louisiana, Shreveport, is a beautiful and diverse city located on the Red River’s picturesque west bank. Founded in 1836, it developed significantly in the 20th century and became an economic hub and home to important innovations like the steam-powered water pumping system.
Shreveport is tightly connected to Bossier City and has a little bit of everything – fantastic casinos and entertainment, beautiful theatres and art galleries, historic museums, and charming parks. It’s also incredibly family-friendly with many educational opportunities, like the Sci-Port Discovery Center, and family fun, like the Jubilee Zoo. In Shreveport, you’ll also enjoy unbelievable Cajun food and the rich history of the South.
Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Shreveport (LA)
1. Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets
Fans of shopping and entertainment shouldn’t miss the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets, one of Louisiana’s biggest outlet malls and one of the area’s top attractions. It’s an outdoor shopping center that offers more than 60 options for retail shopping (with great deals), lots of restaurants, and plenty of entertainment. Both kids and adults can enjoy a fun ride on the center’s carousel.
You can have a fun day with friends and family by shopping, catching a movie, having a nice meal, or treating yourself to a relaxing SPA procedure. The mall is located on the beautiful riverfront and offers lovely views of the surroundings. If you’re feeling lucky, you can gamble at one of the six casinos situated right next to the mall.
2. Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport
Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport is a genuinely world-class resort with exceptional accommodation and plenty of options for entertainment and gourmet experiences. Located conveniently in the Shreveport Downtown, this site is close to all of the city’s most prominent attractions. Whether coming as a couple, a family or with a group of friends, this resort will fit everyone’s taste.
The casino, located within the resort, is one of the top gaming destinations in Louisiana. You can enjoy a 30,000-square-foot gaming floor where you’ll find the newest slot machines, table games, and even video poker available. The Eldorado Resort offers five restaurants so that the visitors can taste American and other countries’ cuisine. There are two lounges for nightlife enthusiasts – the Allure Ultra Lounge and the Celebrity Lounge – to dance and enjoy live music.
3. Shreveport Aquarium
Located on the Red River bank and close to the Texas Street Bridge, the Shreveport Aquarium is a year-round magical experience. It has seven galleries and is home to about 3,000 creatures. At this relatively smaller aquarium, you can learn about the environment in which the animals live. The aquarium’s knowledgeable staff will guide you through the adventure of meeting coral reef fish, clownfish, an Alligator snapping turtle, and many more.
There are many interactive and unique experiences, like virtual reality, touching, or even feeding the sea animals. One such experience is the Shore Explore, a gallery with simulated Oregon Coast-like tide pools with crabs, sea stars, anemones, and sea urchins. In another interactive gallery, Contact Cove, you can touch stingrays and get your hands cleaned by a cleaner shrimp. One of the aquarium specialties is a 30,000-gallon Ocean Tank with an acrylic tunnel to watch gray reef sharks. Some activities like feeding the rays and sluicing for gems require a small additional fee.
4. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino, Shreveport
Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino is a perfect relaxing spot for your vacation or a getaway weekend. Located on the Red River, a spacious hotel offers beautiful river vistas and has a full-service spa, an outdoor pool with a sundeck and a tub, and a few meeting venues.
The famous Sam’s Town Casino is an original 19th-century stationary paddlewheel riverboat. In the almost 30,000 square feet gaming area, you’ll find more than 1,000 gaming machines and around 30 table games for blackjack, roulette, and poker.
The property has four restaurants with various delicious choices from steak to seafood to an international buffet with traditional meals from all over the world. For a romantic breakfast, you can enjoy some tasty coffee and baked goods in the local café. The hotel’s live music venue holds exciting performances by local and national musicians, comedians, and other entertainers.
5. Sci-Port Discovery Center
Exciting and captivating for people of all ages, the Sci-Port Discovery Center is the ultimate go-to site in Shreveport. Visit this 92,000 square-foot science and entertainment center to have fun, educate yourself, and explore the thrilling world of math, science, and technology. Everybody will find a point of interest among 200 hands-on interactive exhibitions, educational programs, and live demonstrations.
You can visit the Sawyer Space Dome Planetarium equipped with a laser projector system and learn about space and the universe. Or you can check out a top-notch quality movie at the IMAX Dome Theater, the only such theatre in the whole state of Louisiana. For younger kids of 8 and under, there’s a Power of Play Children’s Museum – a small-scale lego version of Shreveport where children can play, learn and innovate. The center has free parking, a snack bar area, and Discoveries Unlimited gift shop for your convenience.
6. Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
Opened in 1974 on 350 acres of land, this horse racing track and casino has been the pioneer space of such kind in the area and one of the most popular attractions in Bossier City (10 miles from Shreveport). Built by Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has one of the most prominent horse tracks in the country and about 12,000 square feet of casino space.
Enjoy complimentary cocktails, coffee, and soft drinks while gambling at one of the 1,300 slot machines placed in the casino. After that, you can have a bite at one of the dining facilities on the spot.
The horse track is open year-round seven days a week and is home to Grade III Super Derby, one of the premier races in North America run each September since 1980. From May through September or October, you can see the thoroughbred meet, and a quarter horse meet from January through March, as well as the Tiznow Handicap race.
7. Mall St. Vincent
When you don’t feel like exploring the city or want to do something different, visit Mall St. Vincent. This enclosed shopping mall opened in 1976 on the site of St. Vincent’s Academy and has been carrying its name since then.
Whether on a shopping spree or looking for gifts for friends and family, you are sure to find something in one of 50 stores of the mall that vary from big-brand names to cute little antique shops. Later you can have a delicious lunch or dinner in one of the mall’s eateries. The best feature of this mall is its smaller size and lesser crowds. You can also check out the turtles and the fish in the little pond inside the center.
8. Splash Kingdom Waterpark Shreveport
The best way to spend time in Shreveport in the summer is to visit Splash Kingdom Waterpark. Enjoyed both by locals and out-of-towners, this fun place is part of the Splash Kingdom Waterparks chain that originates from Texas. In 2010, the park reopened under new leadership with lots of renovated attractions. With Christian motives like the park’s motto and the music, Splash Kingdom is very family-oriented.
There are cool attractions like the Flash Flood, Bonzai tower thrill slide, a 900 feet lazy river, and a 17,000 square feet wave pool for your entertainment. There are also two areas for kids and lots of tube and body slides. The park has cabanas for rent, a volleyball court, and picnic areas for those who’d like to relax more casually. If you prefer to eat freshly prepared food on the spot, there is a wide choice of delicious snack bars and cafeterias.
9. Shreveport Convention Center
Shreveport Convention Center is the second-largest convention center in Louisiana. The three floors offer 350,000 square feet of space suitable for any event, whether it’d be national championships, local or regional competitions, large expos, or conferences. The building, which now occupies four city blocks, used to be a mix of properties like a power plant and a railroad station.
Today, it’s an event space cherished by many. If you’re planning to visit or host an event there, do not hesitate as its downtown location is a significant advantage. It’s a short walk from the Red River boardwalk and a walking distance to the city’s casinos, shopping spots, and restaurants.
10. Betty Virginia Park
Betty Virginia Park, located in the middle of the South Highlands neighborhood in Shreveport, is a local treasure favored by tourists and locals. The park’s name has its own story, as Albert Colwell Steere and Elias Goldstein donated the park to the city in honor of their daughters named Betty and Virginia. The park is a natural outdoor venue for seasonal events like the Pumpkin Shine in October or the Crawfest in March. That’s when the place gets filled with live music and vendors offering exquisite local food.
The park is relatively small and lies on 23 acres of land. But when you visit the green lawns of this park, you’re likely to find many locals doing yoga, playing soccer, doing yoga, or picnicking. It’s an ideal place to stretch your legs and do some exercise on a 1,5-mile walking trail. There’s also a space for baseball or softball and a playground with two areas for younger and older kids.
11. Party Central Family Fun Center
Shreveport has no better place to have a memorable family day out than the Party Central Family Fun Center. This place has activities that adults, older, and younger kids will appreciate. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try out The Bungee Trampoline that shoots you out high, or have a small Go-Karts racing with family and friends. There is also miniature golf, a giant slide, bumper boats and carts, and even rock climbing. For those who’d like to work on their sports skills a bit, there are baseball and softball cages, too.
If you’re traveling with smaller kids, there are particular areas just for them to enjoy – a toddler play zone, a jungle gym, and a few swings. To fuel yourself, visit the local pizzeria where you’ll find not only pizza but also sandwiches, french fries, corn dogs, and meals designed for the little ones. If you’re in town on a Friday, take advantage of their Family Fridays to get a good deal. The group can enjoy pizza with sodas, admittance to the soft play, miniature golf, and many arcade tokens.
12. Red River National Wildlife Refuge
To connect with nature and explore the great outdoors not far from the city, visit the Red River National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 2001 to restore and preserve plants and animals, it’s a local nature area with many exciting activities. The Refuge Area itself is a continuing project that currently covers about 6,000 acres, as opposed to the primary goal of 50,000 acres.
Without any spending (as the admission is free), you get to enjoy 6.5 miles of walking trails, marked and dog-friendly. On your way around the park, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Red River and the local Lake Caroline. If you’re into fishing and the season is on, bring a signed permit and enjoy plenty of catfish, crappie, and bass. Be careful not to catch one of the alligators in the lake! There is also a good deal of wildlife viewing and birdwatching. Visitors can occasionally spot migratory birds, dragonflies, raccoons, white-tailed deer, armadillos, and hawks.
Inside the visitor center, there is an exhibition (a diorama) and a small gift shop. On every first Saturday of the month, the staff also offers a program for kids aged 3-5 called “Nature Tots.” That’s when the youngsters can walk along the trails and learn about nature by looking for clues, playing, and making handicrafts.
13. Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
Did you know that Shreveport has a rich music history? You can find out all about it when you visit the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, a historical performance and meeting venue located on Elvis Presley Boulevard. This art-deco style building emerged between 1926 and 1929 and is a memorial to all those who served their country in World War I. In 2008, the place earned the title of the National Historic Landmark.
The Muni, as the locals call it, was a starting point for many world-famous performers, such as Hank Williams, Neal Young, Johnny Cash, and of course, Elvis Presley. Outside in front of the building, you can take a picture with his and James Burton’s statues. Today it is home to a 3,200-seat auditorium used for all types of events – from concerts to Broadway shows. If you’re planning to participate in an event there, you’re in for a treat as the auditorium has phenomenal acoustics. You can also book donation-based private tours to learn about Shreveport’s music history.
14. Duck Pond
Get some fresh bread from the local bakery and head out to the East Kings Highway Park, or the Duck Pond as the locals and tourists know it. There you’ll find a pond full of ducks, geese, and even turtles, which you can feed. Duck Pond, or the Old River Park, is an iconic Shreveport feature, perfect for a laid-back outing for couples, families, and friends.
There are many benches and picnic areas where you can take a break and enjoy a delicious packed lunch. The kids will love the animals, as well as the playground with outdoor gym equipment and swings. For those who are eager to be more active, there are a few walking trails. Although the Duck Pond is not one of the oldest parks in the city, the lake is as old as Shreveport itself. The park is centrally located and is great to visit during the glorious Mardi Gras parade.
15. Red River Brewpub
Red River Brewpub is the first local brewery since prohibition and a popular choice of Shreveport’s gastronomic experiences. Located downtown, this former distribution company is now a small craft brewery and a tasting room. With their merch shop, a covered garden patio, and the views of downtown Shreveport, it’s a must-do on every traveler’s list. It’s also family-friendly, so the kids can entertain themselves at ping-pong tables, arcade games, and room to play around.
The brewery offers three flagship beers, a few small-batch options, and seasonal specials. For those who aren’t much into beer, there are cocktails, wines, and spirits available. Red River Brewpub has also launched The Smokehouse, a gastro-spot that offers locally sourced barbecue-style food. The menu is full of Southern classics with a twist. You can also take your lunch to go paired with a few canned beers.
16. Strand Theatre Corporation
Go back in time and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere in the Strand Theatre, an Official State Theatre of Louisiana. Opened in 1925 at the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Crockett Street, it used to be a movie cinema much appreciated in its time. The theater builders called it “the greatest theatre of the South” and “the million-dollar theatre.” In 1977, the theatre had to close due to financial hardship. That’s when the Strand Theatre Corporation, a group of interested locals, made an effort and restored it to its original beauty, after which the theatre reopened in 1984.
Nowadays, it is an exceptional venue for performing arts that hosts Shreveport Broadway Series, other off-Broadway shows, musicals, stand-up comedy shows, concerts, and even film screenings. Get yourself a ticket and get inspired by the exquisite architecture, incredible acoustics, comfortable seating, and great refreshment options of this attractive venue.
17. Mudbug Madness Festival
Mudbug Madness Festival isn’t just another popular tourist attraction. It’s one of Louisiana’s most significant events and one of the nation’s top 100 festivals. This three-day festival, which started in 1984, celebrates Louisiana culture, cuisine, and crawfish. Many vendors are offering their goods and crafts, activities for kids, games, and competitions.
You can participate in one of the largest Cajun festivals in the area on Memorial Day weekend each May. Revel in the celebration’s atmosphere and enjoy heavenly good food like crawfish, jambalaya, boudin, and more. Get ready for various artists – Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, and Jazz, that energize the crowd at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport.
18. American Rose Center
When in Shreveport, one shouldn’t miss one of its greatest treasures – The Gardens of the American Rose Center. You won’t find a more massive park dedicated to roses in the whole country. This impressive park is 118-large and lets you explore about 20,000 rose bushes of 100 different species in a total of 65 gardens. You can also enjoy some other plants like pine trees, camellias, and azaleas. Visit during the blooming season (April to June or September to October) and enjoy stunning roses, graceful sculptures, pools, and fountains.
The gardens host many events throughout the year, but the most wonderful atmosphere is during Christmas in Roseland. That’s when the park lights up, and the guests can experience hot chocolate with treats, Santa, a train ride for kids, carolers, and crafts and arts designed by local schoolchildren.
The gardens are a suitable place to walk, take some memorable pictures, and relax in the natural environment. You can also educate yourself on the American Rose Society’s sustainable growing techniques.
19. Jubilee Zoo – Petting Zoo & Play Place
The Jubilee Zoo, designed initially for kids, is a fun way to spend a day for adults, too. The park is about 20 acres big and offers multiple intriguing experiences – pony rides, safari hayrides, playgrounds, bouncing houses, and miniature zip lines. Everyone can enjoy the zoo’s picnic area with barbecue grills and concession stands for you to use.
The animals vary from more exotic, like camels and kangaroos, to more familiar ones, like horses and sheep. You’ll also see (and touch) goats, cows, domestic birds, zebras, and capybaras. The best feature of the park is the contact with the animals. You can milk a goat, pet bunnies, and feed almost all of the animals there. The admission fee includes a small feed cone, but you can buy an extra one.
20. Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park
The 160-acre Memorial Nature Park is an ideal combination of nature exploration and animal watching. Other than 5 miles of beautiful hiking trails and a breathtaking forest, there are live animal exhibitions both inside and outside. In the park’s visitor and interpretive center, you’ll encounter various reptiles, spiders, turtles, and even baby alligators. There’s also a classroom and a play area for kids.
Outside you can get to know flying squirrels, deer, and birds of prey like a bald eagle, a falcon, and owls. There’s no admission fee to the park, and you can always turn to a few naturalists on site who are very knowledgeable and will be happy to educate and answer any of your questions.
21. Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
Completed in 1939, Louisiana State Exhibit Museum has been attracting architecture enthusiasts and history fans ever since. Located on the Louisiana State Fairgrounds’ edge, the building is an architectural treasure with marble, granite, and a beautiful two-story fresco designed by Conrad Albrizio. Outside is a lovely courtyard with small gardens and a fountain for you to rest and take in the beauty.
Inside the museum, there are fascinating exhibits and artifacts of Louisiana history and culture. There are 20 state-of-the-art dioramas about life in Louisiana, all designed by H.B. Wright. You’ll also find lots of historical data about the Native Americans and the Civil War. Those eager to learn more can enjoy a topographical map by sculptor Duncan Ferguson, which depicts the geography of Louisiana’s natural, economic, and political history.
22. Shreveport Farmers’ Market
To get a real feel of Shreveport’s local life, go to check out the Shreveport Farmers’ Market that has been operating for almost 35 years. Every Saturday in the vast pavilion, you’ll see over 100 vendors selling meats, vegetables, fruits, herbs, plants all grown in Shreveport and the surroundings.
Look around to spot some other local produce such as sweets, hand-made soaps, and even pet treats. The market isn’t just a place to shop, but an actual community spot for people to socialize and enjoy their weekend together. Located in the Festival Plaza in the heart of the city, it’s a perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee and a start of your Shreveport’s adventure.
23. Shreveport Water Works Museum
Learn about Shreveport’s history and the standard of living 100 years ago in the Shreveport Water Works Museum, located at North Common Street. Opened in 2007, the museum has been home to a historic steam-powered water pumping station dating back to 1887. You can take a guided tour or explore it by yourself and learn about this engineering masterpiece that helped clean and deliver water to Shreveport’s citizens.
The main feature and one of the most exciting experiences in the museum is the Main Pump Room, with a remarkable display of an active and functioning steam-powered water pumping system. You can also see the boiler room, filtration systems, and the basins. All of the equipment was no longer up-to-date and shut down in 1980. Since then, it’s held the National Historic Landmark and National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark titles.
24. R.W. Norton Art Gallery
When traveling to Shreveport, one can’t miss the R.W. Norton Art Gallery, located on a beautiful 40-acre land in the South Highlands neighborhood. Founded in 1946 and opened to the public 20 years later, it is Shreveport’s largest museum treasured by many art-lovers for a reason. The museum accommodates outstanding American and European art pieces – over 400 paintings, sculptures, artifacts, books, and decorative arts. The highlights are galleries dedicated to Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, but you’ll also see works by Auguste Rodin, Paul Revere, and many Louisiana-raised artists. There’s something for everyone with swords and guns collection and a special section for kids.
After a delightful art encounter, check out the outside of the museum for another magnificent experience. The area offers beautiful landscaped botanical gardens featuring thousands of azaleas and other plants. The scenic views and an incredible flower aroma are best enjoyed in late March or early April when azaleas are blooming. There are also a few walking trails, about eight sculptures, enchanting waterfalls, and ponds.
25. The Blind Tiger
The Blind Tiger is Shreveport’s traditional hangout spot and an absolute local treasure. It’s a restaurant with a terrific bar, a relaxed ambiance, and rich Southern history. Located in downtown Shreveport in one of the city’s oldest buildings, The Blind Tiger has been serving mouth-watering Cajun food since 1992.
All food has an original Louisiana taste and a perfect Southern touch. Enjoy large portions of catfish, shrimp, burgers, and more. Make sure to try their raspberry pistolettes for dessert. When it comes to the bar, it’s a carefully curated dreamlike bar with awesome local brews, great wines, and spirits. They serve all signature drinks and specials in 16 or 32-ounce Mason jars. An absolute “must-try” is the Blind Tiger, a signature rum punch with a mix of sloe gin, amaretto, orange juice, and Bacardi.