Shreveport

Shreveport, along with neighboring Bossier City, makes up the largest metro area in north Louisiana. It's also the cultural hub of the region, with a thriving arts scene, concerts every night of the week, the glitz and glamor of riverfront casinos, and a wide variety of restaurants ranging from fine dining to classic Southern soul food.

Shreveport is named for Capt. Henry Miller Shreve. In addition to his talents as a riverboat captain, Shreve was an accomplished inventor. Most notably, he invented a kind of "snagboat," which could break loose logjams and debris from waterways. The Red River, which divides Shreveport from Bossier City, was once filled with such logjams — one of them so large (150 miles) that it even had a name, the Great Raft. Shreve's invention broke apart and removed the miles of driftwood, freeing up the Red River for commercial and passenger traffic. By 1835, some of Shreve's crewmen had settled in what became known as Shreve's Landing, and, later, Shreveport.

These days, you're more likely to see families than boatmen on the Red River's banks. In fact, some of the city's main attractions are on or near the waterfront. The Shreveport Aquarium and Sci-Port Discovery Center entertain and educate children and adults alike. Downtown, there's always something going on at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, Strand Theatre and the casinos (Eldorado Resort Casino and Sam's Town Hotel & Casino). You can raise a toast to Capt. Shreve in Great Raft Brewery's expansive taproom, rub elbows with locals at restaurants downtown, or get a feel for Southern flavor at down-home joints on the outskirts of the city.

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