In September 2003, a magnificent exhibit came to the Alexandria Museum of Art called the Heart of Spain. The city was celebrating its period of Spanish heritage by displaying these amazing works by the Spanish masters. There was a huge media hype because the city of Alexandria seemed an unlikely place for these priceless world-famous treasures to...more
Alexandria's historic plantations include the Kent Plantation House. Kent Plantation was built in 1796 and is one of the oldest standing buildings in Louisiana. The grounds still contain eight outbuildings including the slave quarters, a blacksmith shop, kitchen and sugar mill. The plantation is located at 3601 Bayou Rapides Road, Alexandria, and...more
2006 marked the return of the 4th Alexandria Aces team which plays in the independent United League. Though the current team is relatively new, Alexandria has hosted several teams called the Aces over the years. The original Aces began in 1934 and played until 1957. In 1972 a new AA Aces team was created as a minor league affiliate of the San Diego...more
The Alexandria Zoo is a nice place to visit. There are many animals to see from alligators to zebra. In the center of the zoo is a cafe where you can order cool treats like snow cones, ice cream, or fountain drinks. After seeing all of these wonderfull animals I like to take my son on the train ride around the park to enjoy everything one last...more
Like eggs, no two people like their Mardi Gras done the same way. But if you have children or can't imagin taking on New Orleans then Alexandria just might hold the solution. The City of Alex holds a Mardi Gras blast to remember. Which includes 3 parades, One on Fat Tuesday, A childrens on one day and a huge Parade the next. There are also plays,...more
6015 Old Boyce Rd, Alexandria, Louisiana, 71303, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
6124 West Calhoun Drive, Alexandria, Louisiana, 71303, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
2001 North Bolton Ave., Alexandria, Louisiana, 71303, United States
Good for: Couples
OK this is one of those stories that has happened to all of us, we just never like to admit it. My husband and I stopped here for lunch on a Sunday afternoon, before visiting the zoo. We were headed to the counter to the bill when my husband says to me, "Honey, You put my credit card in your wallet yesterday after grocery shopping." So i reach into...more
First of all let me tell you that our favorite pizza place has always been Cici's. I can tell you that as a chain they are some best pizza places in the world not to mention the fact that it's a great place for children's parties. Where else can you get all you can eat pizza for 3.99 and have it made anyway you want. This Cici's is the exception to...more
I can't tell you about nightlife in Alexandria because I was traveling with a 4-year-old child and couldn't check anything out for myself. However, I have received e-mail from other VT members that assure me that there are plenty of places to enjoy yourself! I didn't get a chance to visit them, but keep in mind that there are also casinos within reasonable driving distance.
If you are like me then shopping for plus sizes can be a nightmare. I have composed a list of places I shop in Alexandria adn what they carry. Simply Fashion- my favorite store, carries attire for most situations, including super Plus, Also shoes, jewlery, and ethnic attire Catherines-More upscale clothing, buisness or church, some nice formal...more
Once you get fully acquainted with the area, you can shop your heart out. You won't find the stores if you're staying in the downtown area. You really do need to get in the car and cruise until everything becomes crystal clear, but you'll be pleasantly surprised. The Alexandria Mall and its surrounding stores have plenty to offer. Numerous chains...more
8 Reviews and Opinions
The Southern dialect spoken in central Louisiana -- they call the region 'Cenla' -- is very pleasant to the ear and quite easy to slip into as you speak with the locals. It's definitely not the same dialect or terminology you hear in New Orleans. Alexandria has its own TV stations -- even one with a livecam -- and one commentator's remark stuck with me. He said 'You've chosen to raise your children in central Louisiana.' This would tend to indicate that families, like my cousins who came from southern California, are gravitating toward this area, perhaps bringing outside accents and influences with them. That's a positive sign for future improvements in this part of the country!
Alexandria was portrayed to me as a high-crime area. Since I originally reported this, it's only fair to add that VT members who live in Alexandria take great exception to this. I'm just relaying what happened during our visit.
The cab driver who took us to and from the Alexandria Zoo firmly warned me not to leave the hotel after 5:30 pm. He kept using the expression, 'the town's in lockdown' which made me pretty nervous. My cousins drove us around various neighborhoods and kept pointing out dangerous parts of town and crack houses everywhere. The latter appeared to be squatters occupying deserted shotgun shacks. I noticed a continuous police presence all around, and that security at the hotel was pretty obvious as well.
On Saturday morning, we did go for a little stroll only to discover that none of the downtown businesses or coffee shops near the hotel were open. In fact, most of the storefronts were closed or had 'for rent' signs in them. The most disconcerting one we saw was the storefront belonging to the local chamber of commerce, which gave us a bad feeling about the local economy.
Alexandria has been obviously hard-hit since the closure of the Air Force base, which also changed the makeup of the city's population. There is, however, an active plan in place to rebuild the base into an industrial park and to transform the former military residences into private and senior citizen housing. From what I saw, it seems to be working, and hopefully this will turn things around.
Meanwhile, please use caution and don't venture away from well-lit protected areas!!
I didn't get a tourist trap vibe in Alexandria at all. The town seems to be trying to rebuild its fallen economy by appealing to conventioneers more than traditional tourists. I wasn't even able to get any postcards during my stay until I found them at the Pineville Wal-Mart in the next town! Check out this group shot of my daughter with our Louisiana relatives taken in the lobby of the Hotel Bentley; too bad you can't see the spectacular murals on the ceiling!
It rains often and without warning in Louisiana so bring rain boots, a rain coat and an umbrellia. It is normally very warm and humid here so dress in layers, shorts are a must but I also suggest a light jacket because spring and fall are sometimes prone to cold snaps and could also become cool at night. I always suggest comfortable walking shoes...more
It depends what the purpose of your trip is. If you're a conventioneer, bring a carry-on for business suits. If you're headed to the bayou, you won't need such formal gear. RUBBER BOOTS!! Central Louisiana is a muddy place, to put it mildly! Hunting and fishing abound, so pack for whatever you like to do. Louisiana is called the 'Sportsman's...more
With all the negative publicity New Orleans gets about the unrestrained revelry during its Mardi Gras celebrations, many cities in the South strive to provide a safe, family-friendly alternative. Alexandria does a good job with their Mardi Gras offerings. There is a separate parade just for children, followed by the main parade the next day. On Fat...more
Favorite thing: Our favorite activity was the Alexandria Zoo. Now I'm not big on schlepping around zoo parks in the hot sun with my 4-year-old, but we arrived a day earlier than our family expected us and we had time on our hands. As it turned out, I enjoyed the Alexandria Zoo every bit as much as my daughter did. Our favorite spot was where we could feed the catfish ourselves by purchasing food from a coin-operated dispenser and throwing it into the water!