alexandria-la

Five Things I Learned About Alexandria

***DISCLAIMER: On this trip I received all of my meals, snacks, and drinks courtesy of the Alexandria/Pineville Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Janohn’s. Although these meals were complimentary to me, all opinions are 100% my own***

When thinking of major cities in Louisiana, no one ever thinks of Alexandria. I completely get it because until recently, no one would’ve thought of Shreveport. Depending on where someone is from, they probably still haven’t heard of Shreveport so I’m pretty sure they haven’t heard of Alexandria. As a Shreveport native, I’ve discovered that I have slept on Alexandria for far too long. The city, only 90 minutes outside of Shreveport, is definitely packing some punches and should be on everyone’s list to visit.

A few Saturdays ago, I decided to hop in a snazzy 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and hit I-49 to experience the area with the Alexandria/Pineville Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau. On my way there, I had a conversation about when I would return back to Shreveport. I told my friend I would be back that night because it’s only a 90 minute drive after all. He asked me “but what if you have too much to drink?” My response? I won’t have too much to drink because I don’t think Alexandria has any nice hotels. By the end of this trip, I was eating my words and thoughts about the Alexandria area. After this quick yet exciting visit, I can’t wait to see more.

alexandria-la

1. Alexandria has a super cool Cultural Arts District in downtown. It houses some colorful street art installations as seen above, multiple performance venues, and more. Museums like the Arna Bontemps African American museum call this district home. Annual events like ArtFete, seasonal ArtWalks and more go down in the district. This is definitely an area worth checking out.

Tamp & Grind, Alexandria, LA

Tamp & Grind, Alexandria, LA

2. Coffee lovers have several local choices for their fix. On my visit we went to Tamp & Grind. I knew that this was “the spot” before we even went in because several people were outside chilling. There was music, there was singing, there was living the downtown coffee house life.

3. Alexandria has beautiful and interesting homes and neighborhoods. We toured the Alexandria Garden District, home of an annual tour of homes event which is Saturday, December 10. According to Garden District Neighborhood Foundation of Alexandria, LA, “Garden District represents a period of prosperity and growth in Alexandria from 1905 to 1950.  The majority of buildings are typical early twentieth century styles, predominately Craftsman and Colonial Revival.” You can also find a bottle house in this area.  The bottle house was constructed by Drew Bridges who used bottles from his drugstore. There are about 3,000 bottles used as masonry units with railroad ties used as the framing structure.

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4. Alexandria DOES have some nice hotels! Because we were in the downtown area, I was able to explore the brand spanking new Holiday Inn Alexandria-Downtown. This is honestly probably one of the nicest Holiday Inns I’ve ever seen. Talk about GORGEOUS! If you’re ever in need of a hotel room in Alexandria, this is your spot!

5. Rapides Parish as a whole has some AMAZING food!

Little Cakes with Big Attitudes Alexandria, LA

Little Cakes with Big Attitudes Alexandria, LA

Homemade Pop Tarts Little Cakes with Big Attitudes Alexandria, LA

Homemade Pop Tarts Little Cakes with Big Attitudes Alexandria, LA

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tart, Little Cakes with Big Attitudes Alexandria, LA

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tart, Little Cakes with Big Attitudes Alexandria, LA

Like any “professional” foodie, we decided to have dessert first and visited Little Cakes with Big  Attitudes. This super cute cupcakery is home to square shaped cupcakes and homemade pop tarts. I asked if there was a story behind the square shaped cupcakes, but no one had an answer. It really didn’t matter though because I was so blown away by the homemade pop tarts. After eating this deliciousness, I can never eat a store bought pop tart again. I’ve been turned on and turned out!

Stuffed Avocado, Janohn's, Boyce, LA

Stuffed Avocado, Janohn’s, Boyce, LA

After dessert we made our way to Janohn’s in Boyce. I first heard of Janohn’s via a Facebook ad that showed this ridiculous 46 ounce Tomahawk steak. I’m a steak lover so I knew the next time I was in the area, I needed to try this place.

Cowboy Skillet, Janohn's, Boyce, LA

Cowboy Skillet, Janohn’s, Boyce, LA

 

Orange Martini, Janohn's, Boyce, LA

Orange Martini, Janohn’s, Boyce, LA

After a major internal battle, I decided not to get the tomahawk but I did enjoy a delicious Cowboy Skillet which was a flat iron steak with rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes. It was yum! The bartender had to twist my arm (ha!) to try this orange flavored martini. It was super refreshing and if I weren’t getting on the road afterwards, I would’ve enjoyed a few more.

Oops I Dropped My Ice Cream, Janohn's, Boyce, LA

Oops I Dropped My Ice Cream, Janohn’s, Boyce, LA

My dessert was almost too pretty to eat, Oops, I Dropped My Ice Cream Cone. It was just that, aboard of a “dropped” ice cream cone. Dinner was absolutely fantastic and next time I’m in the area, I’m going back for the Tomahawk.

Have you been to Alexandria, LA?

 

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Jada
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13 Comments

  • LaShina December 06, 2016 02.36 pm

    Great read! Thanks for sharing. May have to add Alexandria on my turn around trip list to check that stuffed avocado out! OMG yum!!!

     
    • Jada December 08, 2016 08.09 am

      That stuffed avocado was BOMB!

       
  • Brett agney December 07, 2016 02.28 pm

    I’ve lived in Alexandria for about 12 years now and I love the recent revitalization of our downtown. With having Walmarts in the area businesses downtown went bye bye. Over the past decade many new businesses have sprung up and constant downtown events have really made an impact on how much the citizens of Alexandria love where we live. It’s listed top 5 happiest places to live and I’m very happy here. Everyone should visit.

     
    • Jada December 08, 2016 08.09 am

      I love it too Brett and I agree that everyone should visit.

       
  • Jessie Smith December 07, 2016 03.18 pm

    One thing you didn’t note, is that every time there is some time of “fest” or celebration, it is almost impossible to drive downtown. Business people can’t park close to work or their employees or even drive down the street to their place of business and sometimes they need to bring stuff there to off load. The streets get blocked off. I was thinking of opening a business downtown in a couple of years but I think I’ll stay on the north side of the river with it.

     
    • Jada December 08, 2016 08.08 am

      I didn’t feel it was necessary to note that since the exact same thing happens in every city when there is a large event or celebration in downtown, Shreveport included.

       
      • Lance Perkins December 08, 2016 09.56 am

        Nicely handled Jada.

         
  • Melissa Orris December 08, 2016 07.14 am

    Thank you, Jada for giving us a Chance! I’ve lived here in Alexandria since before I can remember. So glad you loved it and come back soon ☺

     
    • Jada December 08, 2016 08.08 am

      Melissa, every time I have come to Alexandria, I have enjoyed it. You will definitely see more of me. It’s a sweet city.

       
  • Arlene Sharp December 08, 2016 10.06 am

    I know you can’t visit every area/neighborhood in Alexandria in one visit but I wish you had the opportunity to venture outside of the down town and garden district area ad see how most Alexandrians live and entertain. It’s a great city full of culture and delicious foods. You need more than a day to experience our great city. From Acadian Village to West Point, Bayou in A Bowl to Wildwood Pizza, Holiday Inn to the beautifully remodeled Bentley, Cheatham Park to Compton Park. Im happy you’ve decided to come on back and see all that Alexandria has to offer.

     
    • Jada December 08, 2016 10.08 am

      I agree that I need to spend more than a day in Alexandria. This wasn’t my first trip there and I will definitely be back. I have visited the Bentley, two years ago and on this trip. I didn’t mention it on the post though.

       
  • Susan Risley December 08, 2016 12.48 pm

    Great article and is greatly appreciated. Any reason the Bentley Hotel which is a beautiful historical landmark downtown Alexandria was not mentioned?

     
    • Jada December 08, 2016 01.00 pm

      When I visited the Bentley, we were given explicit instructions that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the lobby. If I can’t take pictures of it, I’m probably not writing about it.

       

About Me

Hi I'm Jada! I'm a blogger and freelance writer. I love all things related to travel, food, and entertainment.

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