Now that Vanderbilt is currently slated to face NC State on Dec. 26 in Shreveport, Louisiana, you may be wondering what the city is like as you book your trip. The Hustler breaks down what to know and what to do during your time in the city when you’re not watching the Camping World Independence Bowl.
Population, according to the latest census
Johnnie Cochran: Defense attorney for OJ Simpson
Terry Bradshaw: Four-time Super Bowl Champion for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Brittney Rogers: Miss Louisiana USA in 2003
Nicolas Cage Hearts Our Shreveport
In 2011, Nicolas Cage starred in two movies that were filmed in part in Shreveport, including “Drive Angry” and “Trespass.” Critics gave “Drive Angry” a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said “Being stoned or otherwise buzzed might help.”
Tom Charity of CNN raved, “Great title–shame about the movie.”
Finally, Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe declared, “It must be handed to Nicolas Cage. He continues to boldly go where few actors willingly do: the Dumpster.”
But, don’t let Cage’s questionable career decisions cloud your view of the lively film industry in Shreveport. Louisiana has the third-largest film industry in the U.S., behind California and New York.
Viva Las Shreveport
Shreveport is home to several casinos, including Eldorado Resort Casino and Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall. Nearby Bossier City also hosts casinos, including Boomtown Bossier City and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
Search for Bigfoot
Located about 20 miles northwest of Shreveport, Caddo Lake has been the location of frequent Bigfoot sightings over the years. Stop by the Whole Foods on E 70th St., pack up your picnic, grab your binoculars and spend a riveting afternoon looking for likely apocryphal bipeds!
Distinct local flavor
In between games of blackjack at Sam’s, you can’t go wrong with a stroll around local neighborhood Highland-Stoner Hill. Stop my Monjuni’s, a Louisiana-based Italian joint, or local favorite Mabry House Restaurant for some higher class fare to satisfy those munchies.
During the Civil War, Shreveport served as the capital of Louisiana, when it was a Confederate state. The Army of Trans-Mississippi also set up there, which made it an important site in the mid-1860s. A monument honoring the Confederacy outside the courthouse in Shreveport has brought controversy over the past few years.
Where to eat
Herby-K’s Restaurant: “Herby-K’s is one of those classic hole-in-the-wall spots with a legendary reputation.” – Southern Living (2006)
Crawdaddy’s Kitchen: “It amazes me how truthful people are in writing reviews. This was an awesome meal. Started with red beans and rice and jalapeño cornbread. Husband and friend had alligator bites, crawfish etouffee, gumbo and fried crawfish tails. My sister and I had the ribeye! Wonderful meal. It is very deserving of the number 1 status!!!” – Twins2Garner, Yelp Review
Real BBQ and More: “Real BBQ & More is a simple roadside barbeque stand in southwestern Shreveport where pit master Harvey Clay is smoking the kind of brisket that would impress the ‘cue connoisseurs in his Central Texas hometown of Midland.” – Louisiana Life Travel
Things to do in Shreveport
If you’re going to have some extra time in Shreveport before or after Vanderbilt’s bowl game, you’ll want to explore the city. The R.W. Norton Art Gallery is a free museum, which is currently featuring two exhibits: Enlist! Art Goes to War, 1914-1918 and Scarlett Passions, Bellocq’s Storyville.
For those of you who are more scientifically inclined, Sci-Port, Louisiana’s Science Center is located in Shreveport. The center holds nearly 300 current exhibits in math, space and science, in addition to an IMAX theater and laser space Dome Planetarium.
The Touchstone Wildlife & Art Museum is a popular Shreveport destination, home to an impressively large and diverse taxidermy collection.
Over 21 years of age? Be sure to check out some local breweries serving up some quality craft beer in the area. First head to Great Raft, which currently features nine beers on tap, as well as others in bottles. Beer Advocate recommends At Arm’s Length, an American Pale Lager, which the “Bros” rate a 93/100.
Next hurry on over to Red River Brewing Co., where you can test a flight of their signature beers, including hay ryed, session 18, heliopolis and Penalty Bock.
How to get to Shreveport
So now that we’ve sold you on the vibrant metropolis that is Shreveport, you may be wondering how to get there. Might you want to fly into Baton Rouge? New Orleans? Monroe?
It’s a little more direct than that.
If you want to reach Shreveport, your best option might be Shreveport Regional Airport. They offer direct flights to and from a number of major cities in the United States, including Atlanta and Las Vegas. You may need a quick connecting flight, but Shreveport’s airport is there and is probably the quickest way to the city.
However, if connecting flights aren’t your thing, then Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport is a few hours away.
That’s right, Shreveport is just a three-hour drive from Dallas.