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The West Monroe Area

West Monroe, Louisiana was originally inhabited by the Ouachita tribe and sits on the Ouachita River; adjacent to its twin city, Monroe, which is a separate municipality.  The cities were established when Fort Miro was built on the Ouchita River; lead by Don Juan Filhiol.  It was later named Monroe (after James Monroe) in 1819.  West Monroe was named in 1914; once the city was established west of the city of Monroe.

The original Coca-Cola bottler, Joseph Biedenharn, was located in Monroe and was a pioneer in the area.  His daughter was also active in the community with cultural and artistic contributions through her foundation.

Forsynthe Park, was the site of the first Zoo in 1924; launching with a mere 15 animals and has since moved to a massive 80 acre facility with more than 500 animals and a boat ride that engages visitors on a tour of natural habitat exhibits.

Monroe was the biggest flight navigator school in the U.S.; playing a major role in World War II.  It was also the home of the Flying Tigers founder, General Claire Chennault.  The Flying Tigers’ official name was the 1st American Volunteer Group and were part of the Chinese Air Force and included pilots from the United States Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps.

Hotel Services & Amenities

Join us at the La Quinta Inn & Suites West Monroe for a night of tranquil rest in a comfy pillowtop bed for an ergonomic sleep experience.   Before dozing off, wind down by watching some premium entertainment on a flat panel television or surfing the net while connected to our reliable WiFi high speed Internet. 

In the morning, brew up a cup of coffee to get you going and spruce yourself up with the hair dryer, iron and ironing board available in each guest room.  Then stroll on down to the dining area, grab a plate or bowl, and fill it with your choice of waffles, hot or cold cereal, bread, muffins, fresh fruit, pastries, or bagels.  Wash it down with milk, coffee, or juice.

Attractions Near West Monroe

One visit to the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens and you’ll leave with a whole new appreciation for Coca-Cola.  There you can learn the story of the origins of Coca-Cola’s bottling operations, tour the home of the first Coke bottler, view retro Coca-Cola exhibits, and enjoy a Coke in probably the only place you can buy a 5¢ bottle.

Nature lovers can explore the habitat and wildlife at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge – a 4,500-acre stretch of lake swamp.  There you can walk the nature trail observing alligators, turtles coyotes, deers, and a multiplicity of birds along the way.  Rent a canoe and venture out into the 1600-acre lake for a wondrous view of the natural setting.   If that’s not enough, plan a second stop at the D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge for some hunting, fishing, and wildlife exploration along scenic walking trails.  There’s a ton more wildlife to see at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo in Monroe.

Cheniere Lake Park is the perfect place for a family outing.  Enjoy a meal in the shaded picnic areas and boating and other recreational water activities out in the 3000 acre lake; or perhaps spend the day picnicking, playing Frisbee golf, softball, or enjoying the view along the trail at Chennault Park.  There, Golf lovers can play 18-holes on 500 acres of incredible greenery or maybe try the Frenchman’s Bend Golf Course instead.

History buffs should check out the exhibits and artifacts at the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum Louisiana – one of the last standing structures from the World War II Selman Field Army Air Corps Navigation School.

If you have an eye for architecture, a visit to the Cooley House will provide a rare and gratifying glimpse of residential Prairie School construction.  If you enjoy that, plan on visiting Layton Castle, one of only seven nationally registered castles.  This historical structure still contains much of the original 19thcentury décor.

The kids will enjoy a fun time climbing the rock wall, playing arcade games, and running around the indoor playground, and blasting their “enemies” on the laser tag course at the Excalibur Family Fun Center.  Forsynth Park is yet another mega outdoor recreational facility that includes picnic areas, a 9-hole golf course, putt-putt golf, tennis courts, softball,, soccer fields,  kiddie park.  Over the levee, along the Ouachita River is where you can enjoy water activities with beach volley ball courts and a boat launch.

If you’ll be bringing the dog(s) along with you to our pet-friendly hotel, we recommend Kiroli Park; where there is something for everyone; a kids area; jogging and nature trails for the adults, and Raising Cane’s Dog Park for the dogs.  The whole family can enjoy the day picnicking, fishing, and spending time together in a beautiful setting. 

Plan a date night at the Landry Vinyards for some cheese, bread and wine sampling.    Bring along your picnic blanket or folding chairs and spend quality time relishing music hillside at the Outdoor Concert Series.   If there’s a flick you’ve been wanting to see, catch a matinee or close out the day with a good movie at Cinema 10.

Other area attractions to consider are MAD Gallery, Mane Street Mini-Golf and Games, Market at 7thSquare, Masur Museum of Art, Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum, Northeast Louisana Delta African American Museum, Ouachita River Art Gallery, Ouchita River Cruises, Ouchita Wildlife Management Area, Palace Gallery, Restoration Park, Revolution Park Racing & Entertainment Complex, RiverMarket, Russell-Sage Wildlife Management Area, The Sugar Gallery, Trenton Street Golf Course & Driving Range, Twin City Motorsports Park, ULM’s Museum of Natural History, Uncle Robert’s Orchard, Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, Upstairs Gallery, and West Monroe Motocross.

As you can see, there’s a ton of attractions and we recommend you make the most of your visit by booking an extra day or two at our West Monroe hotel in order to make time to visit them all!