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Old 09-29-2008, 05:20 AM
 
12 posts, read 168,094 times
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I will be traveling through central and northern Louisiana in a few weeks and am interested in visiting some small, quaint, charming high-quality towns in northern or central Louisiana. Towns with 15,000 or less in population with historic districts, old homes, nice shops in the downtown area. Could anyone out there please point me in the right direction? College towns are always a good starting point - for example - is Grambling a nice college town? Thank you.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
794 posts, read 2,340,767 times
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Natchitoches. That's a good start.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:49 PM
 
Location: pine tree monotony
2,420 posts, read 4,132,033 times
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Minden is a nice quaint small town. Very clean and orderly, neat as a pin. Some boulevards lined with trees and old homes. Downtown is cool with the brick streets. Nearby is an old colony called Germantown; home of religious fundementalists from Germany who settled there in the 1830's I believe. Highway 159 is a pretty scenic drive up thru north part of Minden and up near (old) Caney Lake. Be sure to take exit 47 off I-20 to drive into Minden. Just for your info, the city is dry for alcohol. If you drink, Dixie Inn nearby has Liquor, beer and wine. Just thought I would include that.
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
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Hands down, West Monroe is the biggest small town u would ever run into. It seems larger than the population shows, but it has some very interesting spots. The Antique Alley in there downtown is incredible, looks like Street in New Orleans. Condos, apartments, and mansions, restaurants and bars, cleaner communities all dowtown. The highly forever ranked and famous West Monroe High School Rebels. West Monroe is very charming. Now Monroe is across the River, but thats a bigger story. Natchitoches is epitomize the the charming and quiet aspect
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
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I went to Arcadia (just west of Ruston and right off I-20) a few years back, a sleepy little town with antique shops and old buildings. I thought it was worth a look-their claim to fame is that Bonnie and Clyde met their demise close by.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:05 PM
 
Location: pine tree monotony
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Just had another idea for a town-Columbia, 30 miles south of Monroe (US165). Population only a few hundred, but it looks much bigger. Cool downtown with the "Watermark Saloon", live entertainment there, lots of shops, a good Mexican Restaurant, etc. The town sits on the Ouachita river and is located where the valley ends and the hills begin. Very strange topography for a town in Louisiana, Columbia proper surrounded by hills and up the hill is Columbia Heights/ Banks Springs. With 2 supermarkets and a few more restaurants including fast-food, the town "looks" bigger than it really is. It is the parish (county) seat of Caldwell. A blues and bbq festival is held there every year as well as a river festival around early May. The b and bbq takes place in late summer.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
401 posts, read 645,356 times
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Although Ruston is 20,000, I still find it nice and quaint (I lived there for eight years). Unlike many small towns in the area, it has a vibrant, walkable business district. The interstate strip development - even as far back as the 70s and 80s - had not affected its vibrancy in the slightest, so there's plenty of well established businesses there.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: pine tree monotony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUISIANA'SLEGEND View Post
Hands down, West Monroe is the biggest small town u would ever run into. It seems larger than the population shows, but it has some very interesting spots. The Antique Alley in there downtown is incredible, looks like Street in New Orleans. Condos, apartments, and mansions, restaurants and bars, cleaner communities all dowtown. The highly forever ranked and famous West Monroe High School Rebels. West Monroe is very charming. Now Monroe is across the River, but thats a bigger story. Natchitoches is epitomize the the charming and quiet aspect
Yes, antique alley is pretty cool and quite a large district. Go eat at Bailes Landing for some good La food. New Orleans po-boys and diff La cuisine is served there.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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I can add St. Martinsville. There is the evangline oak on the bayou tech made famous by longfellows poem. There is the Church of the acdians;St Matrin De Tour.As I recall it is the oldest cathoolic church in america Very beauiful for a town that size. Also the museum with all the names of the people who came from Nova Scotia by date of arrival and interesting the original spelling. If you can go I also recommend the Grand Couteau academy that has been a girls schools since 1831. There you will feel like your are indeed still in the south of the civil war and before.In fact when we were their I saw a young girl polishing her saddle as they are allowed to bring horses and I foze in my tracks because she looked just like a young Elizabeth Taylor;stunning.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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I've lived in or around Ruston for most of my life. It's a small college town with everything you could need in a place that size. It has a good hospital - delivered both my boys there (by choice!), decent public schools (graduated from RHS, myself) and good private schools, and lots of event kind of stuff goes on there: Tech games, local and major live bands at Rabbs, Peach Festival, etc. There's also a new movie theater in town near the good shopping areas, a couple of area parks, plenty of banking options, and the north end of town is experiencing a business boom. Lots of little businesses cropping up along the north service road.

If there's something you need that you can't find it Ruston, you can hit 1-20 E and be in Monroe/West Monroe in no time flat, and as someone already said - there's a lot to be had in a small city like Monroe. I personally love it there. OR, you can hit 1-20 W from Ruston and go straight to Shreveport. I think it's about 70-80 or so miles west. Likely you'd end up with close ties to all three places if you lived in the area. That's how it has been for us.

As for living in Ruston, most people I've noticed are pushing out toward little suburban towns directly around it like Choudrant, Vienna, and even Dubach to avoid in town living.

Arcadia is a nice little area to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. They have Bonnie and Clyde Trade Days there one weekend a month - a HUGE outdoor flea market type thing. Also tons of antique shops in the historic downtown. Very fun to visit. They have a tiny VF Factory outlet mall with about 5 or so stores in it, also. Aside from that, there isn't much in town by way of everyday shopping: McDonalds, Subway, a few gas stations, a grocery store, and a Fred's dollar/discount store. You'd likely have to hit 1-20 and go to Ruston or Minden to do your shopping.
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