Located along the Red River, the city of Alexandria is geographically situated at the exact center of the state of Louisiana and is the ninth largest city in the state.

With its historical buildings, art and history museums, bountiful natural beauty and annual celebrations of Mardi Gras, Red River Festival and boat races, Alexandria has something to offer to everyone and is a delight to visit any time of the year.

Founded in 1805 by a wealthy landowner named Alexander Fulton, the city was named after his daughter and was an important center for river trade and received the city charter in 1832.

A great portion of the city was burned down in 1863, during the civil war and every public record was destroyed.

Alexandria was rebuilt after the war and granted a new Charter in 1868.

Located in the heart of Louisiana, the city presents to its visitors a vibrant cultural and recreational center.

It is a place that brings together the whole of Louisiana- from culture to food and music.

It is also one of America’s “wilderness towns” and has one of the most beautiful and abundant forests in all of America which also makes it a home to many native wildlife species.

From zoos to museums to historical sites, Alexandria provides its residents and tourists a lot to explore. Here’s a list of 30 things you can do while in Alexandria.

30 Best Things to Do In Alexandria La

1. Kent Plantation House

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It is the oldest standing structure in Central Louisiana and was completed in the year 1800. It was built in French Colonial Architectural style and is now a museum that depicts the life and history of Louisiana.

What to do:

Tour the house and explore the Creole history, French Architecture, and outbuildings such as slave quarters, milk house and blacksmith shop and get to know the everyday life on the plantation along with special presentations such as original furniture, paintings, china, spinning wheel and wagon etc from families that used to live here.

Timings: opens from 9 a.m to 5 p.m from Monday to Saturday and remains closed on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Day. It charges a small entrance fee.

2. Alexandria Zoological Park

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Opened in 1926, Alexandria Zoological Park is home to more than 500 animals from more than 160 species from all over the world. It spreads over 33 acres and houses all sorts of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish etc. It also has a cafe for meals and a gift shop where one can find animal themed clothes, stuffed animals, jewelry, toys and books.

The zoo is a must-visit place when in Alexandria as it provides a recreational, educational and cultural experience at once and encourages people to be more connected with the natural world.

What to do:

Explore the natural world and have a wild day encountering Malayan tigers, African lions, Black Howler monkeys, American Black bears, Brazilian Tapirs, Red kangaroos, African Pygmy Hedgehogs, Ball pythons, Chinese alligator, Flame angelfish and many more. 

Timings: the zoo is open every day from 9 a.m to 3.30 p.m. The entire facility is wheelchair accessible and wheelchairs are provided on rent.

3. Silver Dollar Pawn and Jewelry Center 

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

One of the largest pawn shops in the south, the store is a popular tourist attraction. It has more than 100,000 historical items including the hearse that carried Martin Luther King Jr., autographs, props from movies, old coins, jewelry and other antique pieces.

What to do:

Look at their immense collection of unique and historic pieces.

Timings: opens from Monday to Saturday, from 8.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m and charges no admission.

4. Oak Wing Golf Course and Club

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It is a public golf course designed by one of the best golf course architects in all of America, Mr.Jim Lipe with 18 holes and is a perfect blend of Alexandria’s lakes and hills with its fairways. It is one of the best golf courses in Central Louisiana

What to do:

Tour the course and try your hand at golfing.

Timings: open throughout the week.

5. Louisiana History Museum

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Established in 1971, the museum is located in the building that was the Alexandria Public Library which was later designated as a library and museum with the aim to preserve Alexandria’s past for its future.

The museum has a wealth of historical objects that tell the story of Alexandria and Louisiana. It also exhibits a large collection of historic photographs, documents and vintage postcards. The museum also offers DVD series related to the history of Louisiana. 

The entry to the museum is free of cost and it offers both group and personal tours by appointment.

What to do:

Explore the various artifacts related to the history of Alexandria and Louisiana and learn about the history and culture of the Native Americans.

You can also browse the museum gift shop that has a two-volume DVD set that includes hundreds of photographs of Alexandria and Louisiana between the 1850s and 1960s.

It also offers archive photos as well as a DVD featuring the sights and sounds of the historic Bentley Hotel, the finest hotel in Central Louisiana. 

Timings: it stays open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. and is handicap accessible.

6. Lake Buhlow

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Spread over 280 acres, Lake Behold is a sight to behold and a popular site for outdoor recreational activities like boating, fishing and racing.

The lake is frequented by both bank and boat fisherman for its stock of channel catfish, bass and bream.

Also known as the “Fastest Lake in the USA”, it also holds various public events like 4th of July celebrations, fishing tournaments, car shows and the Louisiana Dragon Boat races, a 2500 year old Chinese sport that has 20-members paddling on one boat.

What to do:

Enjoy the picturesque view and have a picnic while watching the sunset or take part in activities like fishing, boating and hiking.

You can also visit Fort Buhlow, an American Civil War site, that is situated on the west end of the lake. 

Timings: the best time to visit it is during the spring when it is neither too hot nor too cold. 

7. Alexandria Museum of Art

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Opened in 1977, the museum holds exhibitions, outreach programmes and events with the aim to fulfill the cultural and educational needs of the community.

It is a great place for art lovers who can enjoy the displays of both local and international artists.

The collection is ever changing with new displays showcased along with an expansive collective of contemporary and folk art from Louisiana. 

The museum also holds free yoga sessions, musical concerts, movie screenings and fundraisers and offers unique, handmade items from local artists in the gift shop.

What to do:

Enjoy the visual displays of art by both local and international artists.

Timings: the museum opens from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m and on Saturday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. 

8. Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Located on the banks of the Red River, the forts were built during the civil war as defensive structures.

It offers guided tours where you get to know the history of Louisiana at war. Along with its history, it is also a popular place for bird watching.

What to do:

Walk the banks of the Red River, see the remains of an ancient dam and other historical artifacts as well as enjoy the natural scenic beauty around you. 

Timings: it is open from Wednesday to Sunday between 9 a.m and 5 p.m. 

9. T.R.E.E. House Children’s Museum 

If you are traveling with kids, this place is a must-visit.

It is a museum that uses stories, imaginative plays and other mixed media to encourage children to make meaningful connections and learn new things in a fun way.

It has trains, a dress-up room as well as an indoor treehouse for kids.

Other exhibits include a bank, grocery store, sheriff’s car, a free library etc.

With sections of the museum following different themes. They also have an outdoor playing area where the kids can enjoy some fresh air.

What to do:

This is a fun place to spend the day with your family.

The kids will have a lot of fun and make new friends while playing classic games. 

Timings: opens from Tuesday to Friday between 9 a.m and 3 p.m and on Saturday between 9 a.m and 4 p.m.

10. Louisiana Mardi Gras Parade

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

This parade is an annual event and every year, more than 120,000 people get together for it.

Scheduled 47 days before Easter, the parade showcases local culture and people come together to enjoy live music, delicious food and drinks, vintage car shows, motorcycle shows and costume parties.

What to do:

Be a part of the parade and become engrossed in the vibrant local culture.

Timings: the date and time schedule for the annual parade can be checked on the website.

11. Alexandria Farmers Market

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

The Farmers Market is the oldest farmers market in the country and opens once a week, on Saturday, for every week of the year no matter what.

It is a place that brings together the past and the present and gives one a chance to experience the local culture of Alexandria. 

What to do:

You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables from over 70 vendors, long with meat, cheese, bread, pastries , pasta, candles, soaps, flowers, jewelry and many more things. 

Timings: it opens from 7 a.m t0 2 p.m, on every Saturday of the year.

12. Rapides Parish Coliseum

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It was first constructed in 1965 and lies in the heart of Alexandria.

It holds world class arts and entertainment events including concerts, trade shows, circuses, rodeos and other live events and has the capacity to host 10,000 people.

It also offers meeting rooms for seminars, banquets, lecture series or birthday parties.  

What to do:

You can catch a live music or theater show or hold parties or watch games here

The schedules for upcoming events are uploaded on their website. 

Timings: the Coliseum opens 45 minutes before a scheduled event and it is advisable for the patrons to arrive at least 30 minutes before the commencement of the programme to find parking.

13. St. Francis Xavier Cathedral

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Established in 1834 as St. Francis Xavier Church, it was the only building spared from destruction during the civil war.

When the old building was burnt along with the records for the pre-civil war and civil war in 1895, cornerstone was laid for a new church and was occupied in 1899. 

The cathedral was designed in the gothic revival style and its rose windows are the largest in the state. The Cathedral is also a popular place for weddings.

What to do:

Spend some quiet time praying and exploring the beautiful interiors and hand-carved wood work of the cathedral.

Timings: the mass and devotion schedule for the week along with confession are uploaded on their website. 

14. Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It is a beautiful, state of the art theater which brings in audiences from all across central Louisiana and can hold more than 600 people.

It not only hosts art exhibits, ballets, jazz concerts, plays, orchestras, and musicals but also is a popular site for weddings, art shows, Mardi Gras events and other activities.

What to do:

It is a wonderful place for a few hours of evening entertainment watching live shows, meeting new people and having tasty snacks.

Timings: the tickets with show timings can be purchased from their website.  

15. Fort Buhlow Recreation Area

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Situated between Lake Buhlow and the Red River, it is the perfect place to spend some time outdoors. It is a popular spot for picnics, walking and hiking trails, boating and other recreational activities. It is also the perfect place to watch the sunset and click scenic pictures.

What to do:

Have a picnic, or a game of baseball or soccer, go boating or hiking and click lots of pictures with the wilderness.

Timings: it opens from 8 a.m to 7 p.m.

16. Louisiana Maneuvers and Military Museums

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

The museum is situated in a replica of the World War II barracks and showcases historical artifacts from the World wars.

It also pays tribute to the service members and people of Louisiana and aims to preserve the history of both the Louisiana National Guard and Maneuvers Exercise of WWII. 

It allows free entry and exhibits military uniforms, tanks, historical letters, personal items belonging to soldiers, guns, artillery, cannonballs, and several other items including photographs .

What to do:

Explore the various historical war artifacts and visit the research library that has more than 4000 volumes for browsing.

Timings: Ansel M. Stroud Jr. Military History & Weapons Museum  is open from Tuesday to Friday between 9 AM -and 5 PM; Louisiana Maneuvers & Military Museum is open on Saturday between  9 AM and 2 pm.

17. Rivers Oaks Square Arts Center

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Established in 1984, the center has multiple galleries and studies where it exhibits the works of regional artists.

Every year, it holds more than 25 exhibitions and is also home to several artists.

The resident artists here include photographers, sculptors, painters, etc. 

The center also has educational programmes to promote visual art and support artists and their works. 

What to do:

Explore the works of regional artists and visit the gift shop for contemporary and original art from local, regional and national artists.

You can also register for their art workshops. 

Timings: from Tuesday to Friday, it opens from 10 a.m to 4 p.m and on Saturday, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

18. Old Town Hall Museum

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

The Old Town Museum is the only museum in the state to be dedicated to municipal government and its history.

The museum was once home to the fire station, city court, jail, library, mayor’s office, judge’s chambers, police department, and utilities office.

What to do:

Explore the history of the municipal government. 

Timings: it offers free admission and can be visited from Monday to Friday between 8a.m and 12 pm.

19. Pamela’s Bayou in a Bowl

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

 Your visit to Alexandria is incomplete without visiting this nice and cozy restaurant.

It has various American cuisines on its menu along with your favorite comfort food like Mac and cheese and burgers.

Don’t forget to check out their signature desserts. 

Timings: it opens from Tuesday to Friday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m and on Sunday and Monday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

20. QuirkyArtz

It is a great place to take your kids to when visiting Alexandria.

They provide artistic services for everything ranging from kid’s parties to any showers and girls night out.

It hosts art events and also offers open workshops to everyone so that you can leave with your own work of art. 

What to do:

Have an artistic day filled and leave with a memorable experience.

Timings: they open two hours before the first session of the day. The details are provided on their website.

21. Key2Escape

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It is the first escape room in Louisiana and a fun way to spend your weekend.

In this room, the players are locked into rooms based on various themes and have to get out of it in an hour.

There are clues, hidden messages, puzzles that need to be solved in order to find the way out.

What to do:

Have a fun-filled night with your friend group and come out of it as a team. 

Timings: it is open on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m, and on Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m.

22. Kisatchie National Forest

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Thirty miles from the city and spread over 604,000 acres, it is a popular place for a lot of recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, picnic, mountain biking and watching the wildlife. It also makes for a good camping spot.

What to do:

Explore the scenic landscape. Relax and have a picnic and spend the night camping under the stars or have an adventure exploring the forest or taking part in the recreational activities.

23. Gone Wild Safari

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

If you love animals, this is your place to go. It is only eleven miles away from the city and in a secluded area so as to provide the animals with a comfortable and natural environment.

You get to take a bus tour and see a lot of exotic animals and interact with them.

You will see kangaroos, camels, ostriches, giraffes, zebras, deer, Indian peafowls, goats, tortoises and many more animals here.

It also has a snack bar and a gift shop.

What to do:

Spend time with all kinds of animals and have fun at the safari.

Timings: opens throughout the week from 9 AM to 5 PM

24. Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

Spread over 1800 acres, it is an operational farm and museum and the only plantation in the South that offers a full tour explaining the changes and their impact on a cotton plantation from the 1700s till now. 

The visitors come to know about the slave culture and the plantation system in America while they get to see the slave quarters, Native American mounds from the 1700s and the tools and antiques of the times gone by.

What to do:

Explore the history of the plantation and its historic buildings while getting firsthand knowledge about cotton farming. 

Timings: The plantation is open throughout the year. However, from November 16 to March 7, it can be toured by reservation only.

25. The Grand Theater 16

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It is the perfect place to visit to chill and get some entertainment. The theater has 16 screens and screens new releases as well as popular films.

You can also reserve seats beforehand from their online website. 

What to do:

Have a night out, eat popcorn and enjoy a good film.

Timings: open throughout the week, from 0 a.m to 11 p.m.

26. Treasure Chest Flea Market

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

This is a family owned, vintage shop where you will find things that are rare and unique.

They sell a lot of varied things- from candles to handmade decor to vintage clothes, antique tools, jewelry, handmade soaps and candles, retro toys, etc. the store has it all.

What to do:

Have a unique shopping experience and discover items that are one of a kind.

From handmade gifts to vintage furniture, there is a lot to explore in this store which will make for the most interesting experience.

Timings: it opens from Wednesday to Friday from 9.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m and on Saturday from 9.30 a.m to 4.30 p.m. 

27. 4 Seasons Bowling Center

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

This amusement center offers much more than just bowling. Along with a 40 lane center, it also has a full bar and grill, laser tag and a game room.

They also host corporate events and birthday parties.

What to do:

Have a fun evening with your friends and family at the arcade.

It offers free bowling for children between the age 2-15, if online registration is done beforehand.

Timings: it opens from 5 to 9 p.m from Monday to Wednesday, from 4 p.m to 12 a.m on Friday, from 11 a.m to 12 a.m on Saturday and from 1 to 8 p.m on Sunday.

28. Wayback’s Arcade

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

As its name suggests, this arcade will take you way back in time with its vintage games like pinball, pacman, and jungle hunt. It also has foosball, basketball, strength testers, racing games, air hockey and many more.

It hosts tournaments, parties and family nights and lets you play all day long for just twelve dollars. It also has a dining area for snacks between games.

What to do:

Spend hours playing old school games at a single price and have fun the old fashioned way.

Timings: from Monday to Thursday, the arcade opens from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, it opens from 11 a.m till midnight and on Sunday, from 1 p.m to 10 p.m.

29. Swamp Daddy’s Restaurant 

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It is a seafood restaurant and very popular for its Creole and Cajun food. 

What to do:

It is a great place to go to get a taste of the local food and flavor.

From boiled crawfish to other seafood specials like crab legs and shrimp on its menu, the restaurant also offers live crawfish that you can take home and boil and cook at home.

It also serves the bread pudding, a must have dessert and a Louisiana speciality

Timings: it stays open from Monday to Saturday, from 5 p.m to 9 p.m. 

30. Frosty Factory

Things to Do In Alexandria La 

It is a bar and also offers drive-through services.

The bar is famous for its Frozen Daiquiris and also offers other fun activities such as live karaoke, darts, football and air hockey.

It also hosts special events and activities such as pool and dart tournaments and live music and dancing. 

What to do:

It is a great place to go at night for some fun and drinks or just hang out with friends.

Timings: the bar is open every day of the week from 12 p.m to 10 p.m.

What county is Alexandria LA?

Alexandria is the parish seat of Rapides Parish, Louisiana. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How deep is the Red River in Alexandria LA?
The Red River has an average depth of 10 to 30 feet.

Q2. What river runs through Alexandria LA?
The Red River runs through Alexandria LA. The city is located on the south bank of the river.

Q3. How did Alexandria LA get its name?
The city was found by Alexander Fulton and according to some historians, it was named after the founder himself, while others claim that it was named after his infant daughter, Alexandria, who died around the time the city was banned out.