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5 Things to Do in Bossier City, Louisiana … Besides Gambling!

I’m not much of a gambler, but my husband would gladly tell you a story about having to drag me away from the low-stakes slot machines at Lake Tahoe. I insist that my reluctance to leave had more to do with the generous free drinks I received than the slots themselves.

Disclosure: I am a writer for Hipmunk, and wrote this sponsored article for the #‎HipmunkCityLove Project.

Bossier City, Louisiana, across the river from Shreveport, is a city centered on riverboat casinos. If you enjoy the excitement of the slot machines, as I do, or prefer to play the tables (which I don’t), you might stay at a destination hotel with an attached riverboat casino such as Boomtown Casino and Hotel, or another Bossier City hotel available nearby. You might spend every night playing craps, poker or roulette to your heart’s content.

During the day, though, no matter how much you enjoy the thrill of the gaming tables, you just might want to take a break from the action and do something different. At many of the hotels, you have access to other facilities: you could work out in the health club, relax in the spa, or take a swim in the pool.

I know that I would want to venture away from the hotel and casino entirely and explore what Bossier City has to offer besides gambling. So I’ve compiled a list of activities in Bossier City that appeal to me:

1. Nature

colorful ducks swimming in Bossier City
Green-winged teal ducks at Red River Wildlife Refuge (Image via Flickr by US Fish and Wildlife Service)

For a real contrast to the bright lights of the casinos, I’d enjoy a visit to the Red River National Wildlife Refuge. Hiking trails wind through the park, and a boardwalk overlooks Lake Caroline. I’d do some birdwatching and look for deer, armadillos, or alligators. I’ve never seen an armadillo in the wild!

2. Shopping

If I was feeling flush, I’d be happy all day at the Louisiana Boardwalk outlets. Top brands like Levi’s, J. Crew, Nike and many more offer the kinds of savings I love on quality merchandise.

Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Bossier City
A view of Louisiana Boardwalk at Christmas, with the skyline of Shreveport visible in the background. (image via Flickr by Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau)

3. Art

I’d let myself be surprised, hopefully pleasantly, at the local art galleries. The East Bank Gallery exhibits works by top regional artists, while the Emerging Artist Gallery focuses on talented, lesser-known artists.

4. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras isn’t unique to New Orleans. The Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum features a huge collection of costumes and floats used for Mardi Gras in North Louisiana, including, if you visit at the right time, the floats that are under construction for the upcoming celebrations. This sounds fascinating, and avoids the drunken mayhem of New Orleans at Mardi Gras. It seems to only be open leading up to Mardi Gras. Try this link for information.

float with the theme of The Blues Brothers
Floats like this one, from Mardi Gras 2011, are on display at the museum. (Image via Flickr by Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau)

5. Medical History

The Talbot Museum sounds like one of those quirky little museums I especially enjoy. Focusing on the past 150 years of medical care, it features antique medical equipment, and there’s even a reconstructed operating theater from the 1940’s. 

So never mind the gambling; I can see myself going to Bossier City just for those last two: the Mardi Gras Museum and the Talbot Museum. Quirkiness beats gambling any day!

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