Top 15 Things to Do in Shreveport
From a day at the aquarium to fantastic Louisiana food, you'll find something for everyone in Shreveport.
The Shreveport area, tucked up in the northwestern corner of the state, is a grand mix of some of Louisiana's best southern food, casinos, culture and music. Start planning your trip to Shreveport with these suggestions of things to do.
1. The Agora Borealis
The Agora Borealis’ founder, Katy Larsen, comes from a family of artists. Her friends are artists. She’s an artist. So it’s only natural that she’d be the type of entrepreneur to build an art gallery and market in a historic building in downtown Shreveport. This is northern Louisiana creativity at its most local, where you’ll find paintings, pottery, sculptures and more alongside furniture and jewelry. The Agora Borealis also regularly hosts events and art openings, so even if you’ve visited before, you’ll likely find something you’ve never seen before — all the more reason for repeat visits.
2. Orlandeaux’s Café
Formerly known as Brother’s Seafood — the oldest continuously operated African-American family-owned restaurant in the United States — Orlandeaux’s Café and its previous iterations have been serving Shreveport guests “Just the Way You Like It” since 1921. And how does Shreveport like it? Cajun and Creole-style, of course! Try the zesty gumbo, piled-on po’boys, a plate of famous stuffed shrimp or fish dipped in the restaurant’s legendary tartar sauce.
3. The Shreveport Aquarium
More than 3,000 animals call the Shreveport Aquarium home, many of which are just getting their proverbial feet wet. The state-of-the-art facility opened at the end of 2017 to great fanfare, marking a new era in Shreveport’s ongoing revitalization. Located on the city’s beautiful downtown riverfront, the aquarium focuses on immersive experiences, inviting families to walk through a specialized dome gallery where you can see some of the facility’s hundreds of species swim above your head. And that’s just one of many memorable features of the Shreveport Aquarium. Replica shipwrecks, dark ocean caves and numerous touch tanks await visitors.
4. Asian Gardens of Shreveport
The Asian Gardens of Shreveport is a lush oasis represents 15 different Asian countries, inviting guests to stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens full of plants, flowers, statuary and more on multiple levels.
5. Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
Built in the 1920s featuring elaborate brickwork and a lavish interior, the Art Deco-inspired Shreveport Municipal Auditorium actually served as an army barracks before becoming known as an internationally famous performance hall. That happened in 1948, when a new weekly music program called “The Louisiana Hayride” began shining a light on up-and-coming artists who would later become big stars. Just how big? Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley himself played here before becoming household names. James Brown, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King have graced the stage here, too. Today’s rotating lineup includes concerts, theatrical performances, dance shows and more inside these same historic walls.
6. Shreveport Casinos
Shreveport and neighboring Bossier City are home to numerous casinos with fine food and upscale amenities. On the Shreveport side of the Red River you’ll find Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino and Eldorado Resort Casino and many more. Classic casino games — blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and poker — are on hand, as well as hotel accommodations, live music venues and spas. Learn more about the many other casinos in Shreveport.
Artspace is not just a gallery or museum. It’s a venue for creativity in all forms. The self-described “arts center” host concerts, exhibitions, poetry readings and more, with a constantly changing roster of events that showcase creatives from hundreds of northern Louisiana artists, plus works from those far beyond the Shreveport city limits — works from Cuba, Ireland and other international destinations have been previously featured.
8. Fatty Arbuckles
To experience a taste of nightlife in Shreveport, stop by Fatty Arbuckle's - one of Downtown Shreveport's oldest standing Lounges. The pub features live entertainment, a large selection of whiskeys, rare bourbons, an an extensive rotating craft cocktail menu. Schedule a private whiskey tasting, or just stop by for a libation and a good time.
9. Southern University Museum of Art
As the only museum in North Louisiana dedicated to preserving the art and culture of the African and African American Diaspora, the Southern University Museum of Art makes art, artifacts and other treasured collections easily accessible to the public. A permanent collection highlights works from the countries of West Africa, while traveling and pop-up exhibits showcase local, regional and national African American artists as well.
10. Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
You can tell you’re somewhere special before you even step inside the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum’s galleries. The Art Deco-era museum’s portico, built in the late 1930s, features massive frescoes that introduce visitors to the themes of the museum itself — Louisiana’s history of labor and the economic forces that made the state’s culture so unique. The museum’s galleries feature remarkably detailed dioramas depicting life in the swamps, sugarcane and rice plantations, factories and oilfields. Other dioramas and artifacts tell visitors of Louisiana’s rich Native American history, plus the state’s place in the War of 1812 (the final battle of which was fought in New Orleans) and the Civil War. Displays depicting Louisiana’s natural environment round out the experience.
11. Herby K’s
No visit to Shreveport would be complete without a meal at Herby K’s. Dining at this historic restaurant — it’s the city’s oldest — is more than a meal. It’s a rite of passage. The place is most famous for its open-faced Shrimp Buster po’boy, a butterflied fried shrimp sandwich served on toasted French bread and served with fries, slaw and the highly addictive Shrimp Buster sauce.
12. Local Breweries
Louisiana has been undergoing a craft beer Renaissance for the past few years, and thanks to Great Raft Brewing, Red River Brewing Company and Flying Heart Brewing, northwestern Louisiana has been at the forefront. Take a brewery tour, taste a beer (or two) in the taproom, or stop by for live music and other fun events.
13. Explore the Great Outdoors
While Shreveport and Bossier City form north Louisiana's largest metro area, there's plenty of gorgeous surrounding natural areas worth exploring. Your range of outdoor adventures is great — whether you spend a day fishing on the Cypress Black Bayou or Caddo Lake, or go zip-lining over alligators at the Gators & Friends Adventure Park. There is a little something for everyone. Learn about more outdoor adventures in Shreveport-Bossier.
14. R.W. Norton Art Gallery and Botanic Gardens
“Diverse” is perhaps the best way to describe the R.W. Norton Art Gallery. Its massive collection of art, rare books, decorations and garden plants are anything but garden variety — everything from John James Audubon nature prints to 16th century tapestries to an astounding azalea collection. Don't leave without checking out the stunning botanical gardens!
15. Shreveport's Festivals!
In addition to all the excitement listed for you above, don't miss Shreveport's amazing festivals that take place all year-round. The annual Mudbug Madness Festival celebrates the love for crawfish, Red River Revel Arts Fest celebrates local food, music and art and the CORK Wine Festival samples more than 80 wines from around the world.