While many seasoned travelers are familiar with Louisiana, new visitors to the Ark-La-Tex often ask "Where is Shreveport?"
Shreveport is the largest city in north Louisiana, and is the educational, commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex Region. The states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet at the Three States USGS Monument just north of Vivian, Louisiana. Shreveport is the seat of Caddo Parish, and located across the Red River from Bossier City, and sits at the intersection of I-20 and I-49.
Travelers also want to know "What is there to see and do while in Shreveport?"
Museums, art galleries, gardens, and annual events such as the Louisiana State Fair and the Independence Bowl make Shreveport a regional tourism destination. The Norton Art Gallery, Sci-Port Discovery Center and the Strand Theatre are just a few of the local attractions.
The Shreveport waterfront along the river is the home of restaurants, museums, an aquarium, retail stores, convention facilities and gaming casinos.
Educational institutions include Centenary College of Louisiana, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana Tech University Shreveport, Southern University at Shreveport, and Louisiana Baptist University.
The R.W. Norton Art Gallery houses an exceptional collection of art spanning more than four millennia. Since its opening in 1966, the museum has become particularly well-known around the country for its impressive collections of works by those titans of western art, Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.
It is a teaching museum that uses the art to encourage community participation in thoughtful interpretations and discussions.
Surrounding the Norton Art Gallery are 40 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and botanical gardens, where tens of thousands of plants, including several thousand of introduced and native azaleas burst forth in spring. The gardens are set among gentle swells of land, shaded by tall columns of venerable pines and oaks.
For more information, visit the website of the Norton Art Gallery.
Sci-Port Discovery Center is a 92,000 square-foot science and entertainment center featuring hands-on exhibits, programs and demonstrations.
The Center provides a fun, educational environment for people of all ages to explore and actively engage in the world of mathematics, science and technology. Sci-Port serves to spark curiosity about the world around us, provides hands-on tools for using scientific discovery in everyday life, and encourages a passion for life-long learning.
The IMAX Dome Theater at Sci-Port is the only IMAX Dome Theatre in the state of Louisiana. IMAX’s large film format combined with a curved screen three stories tall means the audience doesn’t just watch a movie – they are immersed in it!
It is located at 820 Clyde Fant Parkway.
For more information, phone 318.424.3466 or visit the website of the Sci-Port Discovery Center.
The historic Strand Theatre at 619 Louisiana Avenue dates to 1925 and today is the site of a variety of performances, films, musicals and other events.
Sitting in the heart of downtown Shreveport, the beautiful Strand Theatre anchors the arts district now known as the West Edge. A one-of-a-kind classic, the Strand Theatre rivals the world’s finest opera houses. After extensive restoration the Strand reopened in 1984 to a SRO crowd, and has presented the highest quality entertainment for 33 seasons. Most recently, Shreveport’s own Academy Award winning William Joyce called the Strand “A Palace of Dreams.”
For more information, visit the website of The Strand Theatre or phone 318.226.1481
The Shreveport area celebrates and enjoys Mardi Gras! The next Mardi Gras in Shreveport is scheduled for February 13, 2024.
For more information on Shreveport Mardi Gras parades and events, view the full schedule at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau.
There is also a good recap of Shreveport Mardi Gras parades, parties and other events at the website of TV station KTBS including parade maps.
The Shreveport Aquarium opened in 2017 and is located at 601 Clyde Fant Parkway in Downtown Shreveport.
The aquarium features more than 3,000 animals representing more than 270 different species including sharks, rays, octopus, crabs, jellyfish and much more.
For more information, visit the website of the Shreveport Aquarium.
The Robinson Film Center (RFC), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization based in Shreveport, educates, enriches and entertains through the power of film.
RFC exhibits independent, international and classic cinema daily in two movie theaters, with a full-service bistro and special events space upstairs.
RFC provides film history and media literacy classes for all ages, focusing strongly on K-12 students and senior citizens. The organization also supports outreach programs that promote and strengthen the state’s film industry.
The Center also provides event and catering services for events ranging from banquets and wedding receptions to coffee breaks and brunches. Located on the second floor, across from Abby Singer's Bistro, RFC offers a 2,326-square-foot multipurpose space for events.
For details, schedules and membership, phone 318.459.4122 or visit the website of the Robinson Film Center. The RFC is located at 617 Texas Street in downtown Shreveport.
The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium is a historic performance and meeting venue at 705 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Shreveport, just west of downtown. The highly detailed Art Deco building was constructed between 1926 and 1929. It is noted for its intricate brickwork and lavish interior and has been coined as the finest example of Art Deco construction in the State of Louisiana. It is the locale where Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and other stars of the 1950s and 60s performed with the Louisiana Hayride, drawing large numbers of fans to the area.
Today, the Auditorium is host to a variety of events that interest the entire community, which include sporting events, touring acts, live local concerts, and family shows. The building is named a National Historic Landmark.
Tours of the "Municipal" are available ... phone 318.841.4236, and visit the website of the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium.
Shown below are images of the Municipal Auditorium taken by the Louisiana Destinations Staff, and a video about the Louisiana Hayride from Louisiana Travel.
Shreveport and Bossier City are home to four major riverboat casinos:
Louisiana Downs Casino & Racetrack, a first-class thoroughbred racetrack with slot machines, is located on the east side of Bossier City at the junction of I-20 and I-220.
The Red River Revel is an annual event held at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport.
The Red River Revel began in 1976 as the Junior League of Shreveport’s Bicentennial gift to the citizens of the region. The goal of the festival is to provide the general populace a celebration of the finest visual and performing arts experiences.
In addition to bringing in hundreds of visual and performing artists each year, the festival attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors each year.
For more information, visit the official website of the Red River Revel
Just across the Red River from downtown Shreveport is the Louisiana Boardwalk, located at 540 Boardwalk Boulevard, a beautiful shopping mecca. It features dozens of upscale shopping venues such as Wet Seal, Dress Barn, Fossil, Lane Bryant and much more. Dining opportunities include Hooters, Copelands Cheesecake Bistro, Salt Grass Steakhouse, Joe's Crabshack and other restaurants.
For more information, visit the website of the Louisiana Boardwalk
Greetings from Shreveport, LA, Home of Barksdale Field
Another major element of the Shreveport-Bossier City economy is Barksdale Air Force Base, long a major Strategic Air Command (SAC) facility. Construction began on Barksdale Field in 1931, and the facility was dedicated on February 2, 1933.
Since that time, the base has hosted a number of key operational and training elements of the Air Force. Today, it is serves as Headquarters of the Eighth Air Force, among other units, and is one of only two air bases at which B-52 Stratofortress bombers are stationed.
A popular event at Barksdale AFB is the Defenders of Liberty Air Show.
The most recent 2023 Defenders of Liberty Air Show was held on March 25-26, 2023.
Read more about Barksdale Air Force Base
The Barksdale Global Power Museum (formerly known as the 8th Air Force Museum) is located at Barksdale AFB and is a major national repository of historic Air Force airplanes. It is free and open to the public, accessible via the Barksdale north gate. Visit the museum's website for details on how to obtain an access pass.
Among the aircraft collection are the B-29 Superfortress, B-47E Stratojet, B-52 Stratofortress, B-17G Flying Fortress, KC-135A Stratotanker, F-84F Thunderstreak, FB-111A, Lockheed SR-71 and other vintage aircraft and related equipment.
The Barksdale Global Power Association operates independently of Barksdale AFB and supports the facility thru a variety of projects, events and services. The GPM Association is not part of Barksdale AFB and is a separate organization that operates independently.
Dedicated in 1979, the facility is visited by 50,000 visitors annually. We have visited there, and highly recommended it.
Read more about the Barksdale Global Power Museum and how to obtain access passes
Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
The American Rose Center
Mudbug Madness is a festival celebrating Louisiana crawfish & cuisine, along with great entertainment on three stages for all ages. It is held held at Festival Plaza in Downtown Shreveport.
Part of the festivities at Mudbug Madness in Shreveport (Photograph courtesy of the LA Office of Tourism)
What began in 1984 as a two-day street festival in downtown Shreveport is now one of Louisiana’s largest and most popular Cajun festivals, featuring renown Cajun, Zydeco, Blues and Jazz artists, mouth-watering Cajun cuisine, raucous contests, and fun for all ages.
Now the festival held each Memorial Day weekend, and Mudbug Madness is nationally recognized as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events, drawing more than 50,000 people in one day.
Mudbug Madness created renewed interest in Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage and the event’s original organizers are proud to have brought a little bit of south Louisiana fun north to Shreveport.
For more information, visit the official website of Mudbug Madness
One of the oldest festivals in the South, Holiday in Dixie in Shreveport celebrates the beginning of spring and the Louisiana Purchase. Held in Festival Plaza, this popular event includes a 10-day carnival, parade, treasure hunt, live music and family fun.
For more information, visit the official website of Holiday in Dixie
The mission of the State Fair is to promote the industrial and agricultural resources of the great State of Louisiana and to provide a better quality of life for its citizens through education and entertainment.
The State Fair Grounds are located on I-20 west of downtown Shreveport. The next fair is scheduled for Ooctober 26 - November 12, 2023.
For more information, visit the official website of the State Fair of Louisiana
The annual Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl held in December in Shreveport features two of the nation's top NCAA Division I teams. The Independence Bowl’s history spans four decades, with the inaugural game being played in 1976. The stadium seats more than 50,000 fans.
The next Independence Bowl is scheduled for December 16, 2023 at 8:15pm CT.
For detailed information about the game, visit the official website of the Independence Bowl
More Shreveport Area Information
Ever since the Red River was cleared and made newly navigable by Captain Henry Shreve, who removed a 180-mile long logjam, Shreveport has exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit that remains strong even today.
In 1994, the Red River was again made navigable, this time by the U.S. by the Army Corps of Engineers with the completion of a series of lock-and-dam structures and a navigation channel.
Today, Shreveport-Bossier City is again being developed as a port and shipping center.
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