Looking for a weekend escape to welcome sweet springtime? Head to Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana, for festive seasonal events, sunny garden strolls, and sprawling wildlife along the Ouachita River. Satisfy your tastebuds with Cajun and Creole cuisine paired with a spectacular riverside view, and then dance the night away at a concert set against a flourishing vineyard.
This weekend, March 17-19, head to the Monroe Civic Center for the Junior League of Monroe’s Annual Spring Market. Browse a wide variety of vendors, selling everything from clothing and home décor to food and jewelry. In celebration of the market’s 25th anniversary, this weekend is also packed with special events. The festivities start on Friday with Sip & Shop. Be among the first to gain access to the market while you enjoy complimentary Champagne. That evening, partake in Girls’ Night Out, featuring live music, drinks, and food. On Saturday, enjoy brunch and mimosas as you peruse the market before general admission opens. The Easter Bunny stops by on Sunday, so bring your little ones for a photo op.
On Friday, March 17, visit Biedenharn Museum and Gardens between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the Out to Lunch Tacos and Tulips event featuring delectable fare from Blue Taco Food Truck. Pay $4 more upon entry to dine in the gardens, surrounded by the tulips beginning to bloom. Wrap up lunchtime with a self-guided tour of the gorgeous outdoor rooms.
Can’t make it this weekend? The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens is a wonderful location to enjoy any sunny day. After touring the historic home, stroll the brick paths and immerse yourself in beautiful greenery and colorful flowers. Cool down beside the fountain with a glass bottle of Coca-Cola for only a nickel! Before you leave, be sure to visit the Coke Museum and the Bible Museum.
Experience the natural beauty of Monroe-West Monroe at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The spacious pier allows for a quiet morning walk or visitors may sit on a bench to enjoy the vista. Use the free viewfinders to get a close-up look at turtles, birds, alligators, and other wildlife.
There’s nothing better than delicious Bayou State cuisine with a spectacular view of the beautiful Ouachita River. Enjoy the scenery, the best Cajun and Creole cooking, lunch specials, and weekly live music at Trapp’s. Ask for a table outside, order Mom Bourque’s Seafood Nachos, a seafood platter, and enjoy the spring weather. Trapp’s also serves po’boys, burgers, potatoes, and grilled offerings. Don’t miss Mardi’s famous bread pudding and whiskey sauce for dessert.
Get your thrills May 5–7 at the Red White & Blue Airshow. Gates open at 4 p.m. for the twilight shows May 5 and May 6. The daytime show on Sunday starts at 11 a.m. Food vendors galore will be on-site; don’t forget your chair and sunscreen.