Although Monroe, Louisiana is a small town, it has a ton of places to see and things to do. And, it is only a seven hour drive from Atlanta via I-20. That’s close enough to go for a weekend or for a week long vacation. Here are some of the attractions you will find in Monroe.
Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
The Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo would be at the top of my list to visit in Monroe. The zoo has a flock of Flamingos, which I think are so pretty! There are more than 450 species of animals at the zoo, with exhibits that include those animals indigenous to the original Louisiana Purchase. You’ll see Bison, Black Bears, and Elk and more. I can’t wait to see the Australian Exhibit with all the animals that only live in that country. The Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Tickets costs are: Adults $4.50, Seniors $3, Children $3, 2 & under are free.
Market at 7th Square
The Market at 7th Square is open year round, and offers a great variety of produce depending on the season. Early spring brings Strawberries and bedding plants. In Summer, expect to see things like corn, tomatoes, squash, peas, peppers, butter beans, okra, watermelon, muscadines, and peaches. During the Autumn months you’ll find sweet potatoes, and your pumpkins for Halloween Jack O’lanterns or yummy pies. This is the kind of place I look for when I travel, to find locally grown vegetables and fruits, either to eat while I am in the area, or to take home and freeze. They are open Monday thru Saturday, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and are located at 1700 North 7th Street in West Monroe, Louisiana.
After you’ve been by the Market at 7th Square for your fruits and vegetables, you must go see Landry Vineyards. Family owned and operated, Landry Vinyards was established in 1999. The first vineyards were established in Folsom, La. where the winery was also located. Hurricane Katrina destroyed that first vinyard. After that, the family moved their business to West Monroe. The 20 acre site includes a new winery, vineyards and beautiful tasting room. They offer a wide range of wines from Bayoutage Red Blend, Bayoutage White Blend, Peach Muscadine, Blackberry Merlot, Chardonay, and more. They are open Monday thru Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and offer tastings and tours of the winery. 5199 New Natchitoches Rd, West Monroe, Louisiana 318-557-9051
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Want to go fishing on Black Bayou? Here is your chance to experience Louisiana wildlife up close. Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a 4,500-acre lake, swamp, bottomland hardwoods, mixed pine and hardwood uplands is a wildlife habitat with all kinds of plant species and everything from small alligators and turtles to coyote, deer and a wide variety of birds. You can rent a canoe and go fishing, or just look at the wildlife that lives in the refuge. Refuge is open daylight hours. Visitor Center open 8-4 weekdays; 9-5 Sat.; 1-5 Sun. Get more info here.
Whether you stay a weekend or for the week, you’ll find lots to do in Monroe, Louisiana. Get more information here.