When you visit Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana, there are some must-sees. Here is a quick list of five experiences to try this summer.
Experience acclaimed festivals that celebrate everything from Mardi Gras and craft beer to barbecue and the arts. Most festivals are held at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport and are family-friendly. Upcoming festivals include: Mudbug Madness Festival (May 26-29); Let the Good Times Roll Festival (June 17-19), Sunflower Trail and Festival (June 18), KTBS-3 Independence Day Festival (July 4), Highland Jazz and Blues Festival (Sept. 17), Louisiana Film Prize and Louisiana Music Prize (Sept. 29-Oct. 2), Red River Revel Arts Festival (Oct. 1-8), Brew: A Premier Beer Tasting (Oct. 15) and State Fair of Louisiana (Oct. 27-Nov. 13).
Get a taste of history at any of the three craft breweries – Great Raft Brewing, Red River Brewing Company and Flying Heart Brewing. The name Great Raft Brewing may be a bit perplexing to craft beer lovers who aren’t from Shreveport. The local brewery takes its name from the Great Raft, a 150 mile-long log jam that once impeded navigation of the Red River. The raft was cleared by inventor and steamboat captain Henry Miller Shreve, from whom Shreveport takes its name. Red River Brewing Company in Shreveport also references the legendary log jam with the name of their light German lager, Heliopolis. Heliopolis was the name of the “snag boat” that Captain Henry Miller Shreve invented to help dislodge large concentrations of dead wood. Flying Heart Brewing in Bossier pays homage to the fire station that once occupied the building. Patio tables with fire hydrants add to the appeal.
Try your luck at Shreveport-Bossier's six riverboat casinos and one "racino" offering 24-hour excitement for gaming enthusiasts. The newest casino, Margaritaville Resort Casino, has added a laid back vibe to the gaming scene promising its 5 o'clock happy hour everyday, all day. So whether you love a good slot machine or enjoy table games such as craps and black jack, you can bet on having a good time.
Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp are a local delicacy that originated in the kitchen of the Freeman and Harris Café, an eatery that, at the time of its closing, was one of the oldest black-owned restaurants in the United States. Large shrimp are stuffed with Creole dressing, deep-fried and served with spicy tartar sauce. Try them at Eddie’s Restaurant, Brother’s Seafood or C&C Café in Shreveport.
Spend an hour or a day at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Bossier City shopping, dining or catching a movie. The nearby hotel and Margaritaville Resort Casino make it convenient to stay and play. Scoot over to downtown Shreveport and check out The Agora Borealis, an artisan marketplace, that sells locally made products such as art, clothes, food, jewelry and upcycled items from artists who live and work in the region. Also some local museums have some of the most incredible gift shops. Tucked inside Artspace gallery, you will find Giftspace, which features local hand-made jewelry, pottery, books by local authors and much more.