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 June 23-24, 2017), 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 favorites:
1. Autrey House Museum, Dubach
This monument to the region's past is 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.
2. Eddie G. Robinson Museum, Grambling
College football fans should be familiar with the name Eddie G. Robinson, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I football history. His namesake museum, on the grounds of Grambling State University, is home to football memorabilia that honors the legendary coach.
3. The IDEA Place, Ruston
Families with curious kids should check out The IDEA Place, a collection of exhibits, aquariums, hands-on learning activities and the Louisiana Tech Planetarium.
4. The Lincoln Parish Museum, Ruston
Elegance and history come together at this Ruston museum. Furnishings that make up the museum's permanent collection date as far back as the Victorian Era, and display cases feature artifacts that tell the story of how Lincoln Parish used to be. It's a community affair, too: items found throughout the museum were donated by those with connections to the parish. Take note of the "Walls that Talk" murals that depict seven scenes from Lincoln Parish history. The oldest artifacts in the museum are ancient American Indian pottery and tools used by the Caddo tribe. Find these and other Lincoln Parish treasures just a few blocks north of historic downtown 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.
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, Ruston
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.
8. Dixie Center for the Arts, Ruston
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. Louisiana Military Museum, Ruston
With artifacts from nearly every conflict in American history, the Louisiana Military Museum offers visitors insight into the history of Americans at war. Life-sized displays show what life was like on the battlefield, and weapons, flags, training gear and aircraft round out the experience.
10. Mitcham Farms, Ruston
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.