This website uses Cookies to offer you an enhanced browsing experience. Find out more about how we use Cookies.

USA Radio
Monroe, Louisiana

Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana: The Arts and Culture of Northeast Louisiana

By Heike Bachmann

Just when I thought I had seen it all in Louisiana, I discovered the Twin Cities: Monroe and West Monroe, scenically connected by the Ouachita River in the Northeast region of the Pelican State. With wonderful museums, vineyards, antique stores and restaurants, I found Monroe-West Monroe a great place to shop, eat and discover!

Discovering the Unexpected at Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

Did you know that for the first eight years, Coca-Cola was only available in a soda fountain bar? That is until in 1894, Joseph Biedenharn, a German, invented the Coca-Cola bottle. The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens honours the great inventor and business man who left an impressive home and art collection, which houses among other things an original Bible leaf hand-printed by another famous German: Gutenberg!

I don’t know what I enjoyed more there: the nostalgic Coke memorabilia, which includes the first Coca-Cola delivery truck, Biedenharn’s spectacular home, or the beautifully maintained English walled gardens. All I know is that a visit is a must.

Historic Aviation Treasures at the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum

Monroe definitely attracted great men! Located in the Selman Field Army Air Corps Navigation School, where 15,000 navigators were trained during World War II, the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum is named after Louisiana native Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, who headed up the famous Flying Tigers squadron.

In the military part of the museum, I found an impressive abundance of historic weaponry, uniforms and photographs dating from World War I to the present day. My favourite, however, was the exhibit in the aviation wing where the transformation of Delta Airlines from a regional crop-dusting service to a full-fledged passenger airline is chronicled. Who knew?

Masur Museum of Art

I visited the Masur Museum of Art based on a local recommendation. This was truly a treasure in Northeast Louisiana. The largest visual arts museum in the area, it is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Many of the exhibits are on a rotating basis, so there is always something new to see. I loved that many of the pieces are from regional artists – it gave me an elevated appreciation of the people who live and work here in the American South. There is a small permanent collection of about 500 pieces as well. What was especially unique about this museum is that it hosts children’s events, which is not something you see very often in an art museum.

Best of all? There is no admission charge!

Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum

Speaking of kids, if you’re in the area with your children, the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum has to be on your list. Kids can pretend to be a doctor (and even take care of babies in a mini neonatal intensive care unit), a dentist (there is a huge mouth to crawl into!) or check out a model of an inner ear. My favourite part was the little restaurant area set up to look and function like a real restaurant.

Monroe and West Monroe have so much to offer for arts enthusiasts of all ages!

For more information, please visit us

Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana

Welcome to Visit The USA!

Now that you have registered, you can save trip ideas to your suitcase.

Start exploring

Enter your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Please check your email.

Start exploring

The password on your account has successfully been changed. Please use your new password to login.

Start exploring

This website is set to 'allow all cookies' for the best user experience. By continuing without changing this setting, you are consenting to this. You may change your settings at any time at the bottom of this page.

More information about cookies

Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites.

We use cookies to make our website easier for you to use. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website.

If you choose to disable non-essential cookies, the website will:

  • Allow you to log in and remember you are logged in, while in session
  • Determine your country of origin in order to serve you the most relevant version of the site

This website will not:

  • Restrict welcome messaging to the first time you visit the site
  • Track any activity on the site for analytics purposes

More information about cookies