10 Ways to Spend a Day in Ruston and Lincoln Parish
Historic sites, award-winning bike trails and spectacular state parks are just a few of the highlights of this north Louisiana destination.
North Louisiana charm meets outdoor adventure and sweet treats in Lincoln Parish. The parish seat, Ruston, is best known as the Peach Capital of Louisiana. You can see — and taste — why the city got that name at the Louisiana Peach Festival (held each June), and at the Ruston Farmers Market, held every Saturday in the spring, summer and fall.
Peaches aren't all Lincoln Parish is about, though. Historic sites, award-winning bike trails and spectacular state parks are just a few of the other highlights of this north Louisiana destination.
Here are 10 of our favorite things to do near Ruston:
1. Autrey House Museum
The Autrey House Museum in Dubach is a monument to the region's past, believed to be the oldest structure in Lincoln Parish, dating to 1849. This historic log home, hand-hewn and built to last, is a reminder of life on the north Louisiana frontier. The building's interior is closed for renovations throughout 2021, but you can still get a feel for this well-preserved home's history by checking out its exterior and the nearby plaque.
2. Eddie G. Robinson Museum
College football fans should be familiar with the name Eddie G. Robinson, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I football history. The Eddie G. Robinson Museum, located on the grounds of Grambling State University, is home to football memorabilia that honors the legendary coach.
3. Ruston Artisans
Get to know north Louisiana’s arts scene by visiting Ruston Artisans, a downtown creative hub. With a programming schedule full of classes and social events, in addition to the impressive art exhibitions, Ruston Artisans is a thriving part of the community.
4. Downtown Shopping and Dining
Ruston is a college town, home to Louisiana Tech University and nearby Grambling State University, and its youthful vibe can be felt in the city’s downtown shopping and dining district. Along Vienna and Trenton streets, as well as the adjacent downtown boulevards, you’ll find the locally famous Utility Brewing Company, the legendary Sundown Tavern, awesome coffee at The Depot Coffee House and Railway Coffee, and a variety of restaurants, such as Ponchatoulas and Grown & Grazed.
5. Lincoln Parish Park, Ruston
Catch a breath of fresh air without leaving Ruston at Lincoln Parish Park. RV sites, a paved walking path, swimming, fishing — all are right here within a few minutes' drive of north-central Louisiana's largest city. The most talked-about draw to Lincoln Parish Park is the 10-mile-long mountain biking trail that crisscrosses its wooded hills, well-suited for both beginners and pro cyclists. In fact, TripAdvisor ranks the trails as the top destination in Ruston.
6. Jimmie Davis, Lake Claiborne and Lake D'Arbonne State Parks
North Louisiana is a haven for outdoorsmen, with fishing, hunting, disc golfing, biking and hiking at Jimmie Davis State Park in Chatham, Lake Claiborne State Park in Homer and Lake D'Arbonne State Park in Farmerville.
7. The Revelry
The 10,000-square-foot outdoor deck, four fully stocked bars and live music offerings make The Revelry the place for a night out in Ruston. While events have been scaled back due to Covid-19 restrictions, The Revelry’s in-house restaurant remains open.
8. Dixie Center for the Arts
The Dixie Center for the Arts resides in the restored Dixie Theatre, built in 1928, has plenty of stories to tell. In the venue's heyday, visitors could see silent movies for just 10 cents. Today, after a decade-long restoration, the Dixie plays host to theatrical performances and live concerts.
9. Ruston Farmers Market
Support the region’s robust agricultural community — and get some souvenirs to take home — at the Ruston Farmers Market. Locals and visitors alike get together over hot cups of coffee from Railway Coffee, while shopping from the selection of farm-fresh produce and travel-friendly products like jams, skin care products and crafts. Stick around for the live music, and take a walk down to Vienna and Trenton streets to check out local shops and restaurants.
10. Mitcham Farms
Mitcham Farms is not just a store in Ruston. It's an institution. Founded in 1946 by J.E. Mitcham, the farm has blossomed into a renowned producer of peaches that helped Ruston earn its reputation as the Peach Capital of Louisiana. Visit the farm's on-site store during your visit, and you'll find peachy products such as jellies, fruit butters, salsas, gift baskets and more. If you're looking to take a piece of Louisiana home, you won't find a sweeter souvenir than Ruston peaches.