Introduction to Monroe, Louisiana
Monroe is located along the Ouachita River and is the parish seat for Ouachita Parish. It's the primary distribution base for the region's farmers. According to National Geographic, the Ouachita River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the entire world. The region is known as "Sportsman's Paradise," and is the location of the first Coca Cola bottling plant.
Before the Louisiana Purchase was completed, the Monroe area was a prominent trading center. In 1780 the French arrived and created a settlement named Prairie de Canots. Jean Baptiste Filhoil was selected by the Spanish Crown to be in charge of the region and in 1790 Filhoil constructed a prominent fort. Soon, agriculture was thriving and was a primary industry. In 1915 natural gas was discovered in Ouachita Parish and it became a significant factor for the economy. During the 1920's the paper industry was flourishing.
- Antique Alley is a notable attraction for North Louisiana.
- Ike Hamilton Expo features primarily equine events.
- Layton Castle was the former home of a Swiss settler. Later, it was covered with red bricks and now has the appearance of a European castle.
- Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo includes natural habitat for animals and one of the best collections of small primates in the country. Train and boat rides are available.
- Monroe Civic Center.
- Rebecca's Doll House showcases more than 2000 antique dolls.
- Northeast Louisiana Arts Council.
- Ouachita River Art Gallery.
- Aviation Historical Museum of Louisiana.
- Biedenharn Museum and Gardens.
- Aviation & Military Museum of Louisiana.
- Masur Museum of Art.
- Northeastern Louisiana Delta African Heritage Museum.
- University of Louisiana at Monroe's Museum of Natural History showcases mineral specimens from all over the world, dinosaur fossils as well as Indian artifacts.
The Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge includes pristine wetlands and provides opportunities for canoeing and fishing and features numerous exhibits. The beautiful Kiroli Park includes trails, gardens and fishing ponds. The Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge provides locations for hiking, fishing and hunting. The scenic Ouachita Wildlife Management Area provides fishing opportunities and includes a camping area. The Louisiana Folklife Festival is a notable event which features music, a variety of food, various crafts and celebrates tradition. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the numerous golf courses.
The city is home to the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Delta Community College.
The Monroe Regional Airport provides air transportation. The Monroe Transit System offers bus service throughout the city.