Shreveport has its own unique style as the third-largest city in Louisiana (New Orleans #1, Baton Rouge #2.)
I’m sharing more about some of the top tourist attractions, buildings with a rich history and lesser-known hidden gems in the area.
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Where is Shreveport, Louisiana?
Shreveport is located in Northwest Louisiana, around 20 miles from the Texas border and 40 miles from the Arkansas border.
Shreveport is only 5 minutes from Bossier City located across the Red River. The Shreveport area is often referred to as the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan area.
See the Elvis Presley Statue Outside the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium
705 Elvis Presley Ave., Shreveport, LA
Elvis fans will definitely want to make a stop to see the Elvis Presley Statue located in front of the Shreveport Municipal Memorial building.
To the right of the Elvis Presley statue is a statue of James Burton who played lead guitar for Elvis.
James also played lead guitar for other legendary artists including Ricky Nelson and wrote and played the famous guitar licks on the song “Susie Q” by Dale Hawkins when he was only 15.
The Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium has a rich history when it comes to previous performers.
The auditorium dates back to the late 1920s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2008.
The art deco construction of the building is known as one of the best in the state of Louisiana.
This venue continues to be a great place to watch live music featuring musicians and acts from a variety of genres.
What’s the Connection Between Elvis Presley and The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium?
The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium introduced Elvis Presley to the world here in 1954 during a weekly show called The Louisiana Hayride featuring songwriters, performers, and singers.
The Louisiana Hayride started in 1948 and became known as “The Cradle of the Stars.”
Many performers who are now household names got their start here including Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Kitty Wells, George Jones, Johnny Horton, and Hank Williams.
Elvis was only 19 years old when he performed on the Louisiana Hayride for the first time on October 16, 1954.
He was signed to a contract to play regularly through the rest of 1954 and 1955.
As his popularity and touring schedule grew his time at the Louisiana Hayride diminished with his last regular appearance on March 31, 1956.
Take a Backstage Tour of The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
705 Grand Ave, Shreveport, LA
The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium Tours are offered for both public and private groups.
Tour guides give you behind-the-scenes access to areas of the building along with stories about the legendary acts who have performed at the venue.
Stand on the Same Stage Where Legendary Musicians Have Performed
Legendary Artists who’ve played at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium include :
- Elvis Presley
- Jimi Hendrix
- Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter
- James Burton
- James Brown
- Aretha Franklin
- Bobbie “Blue” Bland
- B.B. King.
It was incredible to stand on the same stage shared by so many amazing artists and envision what it was like for them to perform in front of an audience at the venue.
Public Tours of Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
Public tours last 1 hour and require a minimum of 2 guests per tour and a maximum of 20 guests per tour. The cost is $20 pp and you can view the upcoming tour schedule here.
Private Tours of Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
Private tours are available by request.
The tours last 1 hour and require a minimum of 8 guests and a maximum of 30 guests. The cost is $20 pp.
Contact Brandi Jenkins via phone at (318)-841-4236 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Special Exhibit Space with Memorabilia From Iconic Musicians
Another treat during our tour was seeing the exhibit space with memorabilia from an assortment of iconic musicians.
You’ll find clothing, pictures, and other items from Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Elvis, and more.
Enjoy An Unforgettable Meal at Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge
1601 N Spring St, Shreveport, LA
Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant & Cocktail has been treating guests to unforgettable meals for over 25 years.
The menu at Ernest’s features the finest prime steaks, a fusion of Sicilian -Italian cuisine, Cajun, and creole flavors.
Chef Ernest Palmisano honors his Sicilian-American roots in his dishes.
His father, Ernest Palmisano Sr., moved to Shreveport from New Orleans and owned the original “Ernest’s Supper Club” on the Shreveport riverfront, and his mother previously worked in famous New Orleans restaurants.
You’ll definitely want to order Ernest’s Famous Marinated Crab Claws. Keep some extra bread nearby to soak up any leftover toppings. Trust me on this!
Our gumbo and several of our drinks had a flambe presentation so you might want to have your camera ready for each course.
Reservations are recommended but are not required and can be made via phone (318)-226-1325 or online through Open Table.
Guests are treated to a thoughtful presentation of each dish and cocktail paired with incredible hospitality, service, and flavors to match.
The sweet ending to our meal was the Strawberries flambe prepared table side.
Explore the Shreveport Aquarium
601 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport, LA
The Shreveport Aquarium is a fun place to visit for the whole family.
There are over 300 species and 1,000 animals inside the 21,000-square-foot aquarium.
You can view exotic animals up close and learn more about their natural habitats.
It’s recommended to allow 1-2 hours to go through the aquarium and to purchase your tickets in advance to get your desired timeslot. You can also save on your general admission tickets by purchasing online.
There are several opportunities for guests to engage with the aquatic life at a closer range through their touch pools.
During your visit, you can touch sting rays, anemones, sea stars, and moon jellies.
Be on the lookout for Shark Talk & feedings with the Whitetip Reef Sharks on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 2:30.
Enjoy FREE Admission at R.W. Norton Art Gallery
4747 Creswell Ave, Shreveport, LA
Visitors at the R.W. Norton Art Gallery can view a collection of art spanning more than 4,000 years.
The art museum is free to visit but you’ll want to check the days of operation before you go.
Over 400 paintings by more than 100 artists and hundreds of sculptures in a variety of mediums. The museum boasts an impressive collection of western art by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.
The art in each gallery isn’t limited to just the walls. (There are 24 exhibition rooms)
The unique floors of each of the art galleries also make each room fun to discover.
If you visit during the Mardi Gras season you may notice a few of the sculptures that have been given additional Mardi Gras flair.
After you visit the art museum make sure that you check out the 40-acre grounds and botanical gardens filled with 15,000 plants and outdoor sculptures of wildlife.
Flower lovers will be delighted to see 100 native and hybrid varieties of azalea throughout the property during the spring.
Tour and Taste Craft Beer at Great Raft Brewing
1251 Dalzell St, Shreveport, LA
Great Raft Brewing is the first craft brewery in Shreveport since prohibition.
There is a range of beer styles to choose from made with local and seasonal ingredients when possible with selections from Belgian ales to German lagers.
FREE Brewery tours are available on Saturday afternoons at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. You don’t have to sign up in advance.
During our visit, we sampled some of their delicious brunch menu items in the tasting room along with a flight of beer.
If you want to pair a beer with your meal the staff can provide you with recommendations.
See the Giant Dalmatian With Glowing Spots
801 Crockett St, Shreveport, LA
“Art” is a 19- foot tall Dalmatian who can be seen outside guarding Central Artstation housed inside former Central Fire Station.
The giant dalmation is solid white during the day and has 254 colorful spots that light up at night.
See One of the Largest Publicly Funded Murals in the United States
Located on the north side of Cotton St. between Marshall and McNeil St.
The mural “Once in a Millennium Moon,” by Meg Saligman is 14 stories tall and covers 30,000 square feet on two outside walls.
This mural was a passion project that involved the community.
Here are some of the stats that brought the huge mural to life:
- 20 years
- 165 public events
- 50,000 brush strokes
- 1,500 gallons of paint
- 2,500 paint cloths
- 2,600 community painters
- 4,000 community collaborators
Stock Up for Mardi Gras and Beyond at Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts
615 Benton Rd, Bossier City, LA
You can find a little bit of everything at Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts, including Cajun food, Louisiana decor, Mardi Gras flair and flavors, and more.
If you are looking for a great Louisiana gift to bring back you can’t go wrong with Cajun seasoning & spices or hot sauces.
This is a great place to stock up on beads and souvenirs during the Mardi Gras season.
Find a One of a Kind Mask at The Enchanted Garden
2429 Line Ave, Shreveport, LA
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind mask for Mardi Gras this gift shop IS the perfect place to go!
There are custom mask designs for men and women that are comfortable to wear.
Some of the masks are designed with a holding stick or there are other masks that you can tie from behind.. or you can display your beautiful mask at home as home decor.
Each unique fantasy mask is created exclusively by Dennis Beckman for The Enchanted Garden.
One of the best things is that Dennis can create a mask customized for your outfit.
If you have a special occasion coming up you can bring in the outfit or share a picture with him.
He also makes beautiful headbands if you want to dress up an outfit but don’t want to wear a mask.
A Fun Stop for Movie Lovers at Robinson Film Center
617 Texas St, Shreveport, LA
Robinson Film Center features independent, international, and classic films daily in two movie theaters. The film center has a lot of educational programs for cinephiles of all ages including grades K-12 and senior citizens.
On the second floor, you’ll find a bar and full-service menu at Abby Singer’s Bistro, Shreveport’s only public dining balcony. Food or drinks from the Bistro can be ordered before your movie begins and delivered to you inside the theater.
If you visit Tuesday- Friday you can take advantage of Happy Hour from 4-6pm with specials on drinks and appetizers.
Films made in Shreveport, LA
Louisiana is a popular state for films thanks to financial incentives, diverse locations, and warm weather year-round.
Shreveport was a filming location for the following shows and movies:
- True Blood
- Interview with a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
- Olympus Has Fallen
- X-Men Origins: Wolverwine
- Texas Chainsaw
- The Great Debaters
- The Guardian
- The Highwaymen
- Mr. Brooks
You can see the 25 most popular movies filmed in Shreveport here.
Outside The Robinson Film Theater, there are “The Sidewalk Superstars” who have contributed to the local arts community.
You can read more about “The Sidewalk Superstars” honorees here.
Robinson Film Awards hosts a monthly and annual IMDb Qualifying Independent Film Festival with a public screening event.
A MUST Stop for Music Lovers at Little Shop of Music
1055 Louisiana Ave, Shreveport, LA
Little Shop of Music is a place where you can shop for ALL THINGS music related.
It’s also a space where music lovers and musicians can gather over their shared passion.
Owner Scott Auer’s vision for Little Shop of Music is to be a hangout spot, record store, and place to connect to local music.
This record store has a little bit of everything including vintage guitars, stereo equipment, art, vinyl, CDs, turntables, and more.
There are also listening rooms available where you can play your favorite record.
Patrons are also welcome to try out the guitars and amps in the guitar room.
Be on the lookout for special music events and listening parties on their Facebook page.
120 Texas St., Shreveport, LA
The Long/Allen Bridge known as “The Texas Street Bridge” was built in 1933 and connects Shreveport and Bossier City over the Red River.
At night the bridge becomes a public work of art with 13,000 LED lights spread across 2,982 feet of the bridge.
The bridge lights colors change throughout the year. You can check the light schedule here.
Visit the Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum
2101 East Texas Street, Bossier City, LA
The Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum features over 10 years of Mardi Gras history including costumes, floats, and memorabilia in a 10,000 exhibit space that doubles as a special event space.
This museum boasts the largest collection of Mardi Gras royalty costumes in the northern hemisphere and second largest collection in the world!
If you visit around Mardi Gras season make sure that you check out the Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Parade.
Additional Fun Things to Do in Shreveport, Louisiana
- Sci-Port Discovery Center – ( A 92,000-sq.-ft. science-themed complex with interactive exhibits, a planetarium & an IMAX dome theater) – 820 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport, LA
- Louisiana State Exhibit Museum – 3015 Greenwood Rd, Shreveport, LA
- American Rose Center – ( rose garden )8877 Jefferson Paige Rd, Shreveport, LA
- Barksdale Global Power Museum – (Military museum at Barksdale Air Force Base) Barksdale AFB 88 Shreveport Rd, Bossier City, LA
- The Strand Theatre – (beautiful opera house built in 1923) 619 Louisiana Ave, Shreveport, LA
- Shreveport Water Works Museum – (The last known steam-powered municipal water treatment plant in the United States that dates back to 1887) 142 N Common St., Shreveport, LA
- Asian Gardens of Shreveport (beautiful community garden in downtown Shreveport)- 800 Texas Ave, Shreveport, LA
- Jubilee Zoo – (Petting Zoo & Play Place) – 6402 LA-1, Shreveport, LA
- Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets (Entertainment Center Complex with shopping, dining, nightlife, casinos, and kids entertainment) – 540 Boardwalk Blvd, Bossier City, LA
- Betty Virginia Park – (The 23-acre public park offers a walking trail, picnic area, playground, and baseball/softball fields.) 3901 Fairfield Ave, Shreveport, LA
- Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park – 8012 Blanchard Furrh Rd.
- East Kings Highway Park – Known by locals for the duck pond
- Splash Kingdom Oasis – (Outdoor pool, splash pad 7670 W 70th St, Shreveport, LA
Celebrate Mardi Gras in Shreveport, Louisiana
You don’t have to travel to New Orleans or Baton Rouge to have a great time around the Mardi Gras season. Shreveport is known for its parades in Northern Louisiana.
If you get the opportunity, you’ll definitely want to check out as many Mardi Gras events in Shreveport as possible and you might even want to make them an annual event.
Annual Festivals in Shreveport
Shreveport also has a variety of annual events to look forward to each year.
- Mardi Gras – multiple events
- Red River Revel Arts Festival– Festival Plaza
- Shreveport Blues Festival
- African American History Parade Celebration
- Robinson Film Awards – Annual IMDb Qualifying Independent Film Festival
Thanks again to Shreveport- Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau for hosting my visit.
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