Downtown Alexandria is booming again. The hub of Central Louisiana has two recently opened hotels near its Riverfront Center, a 35,000-square-foot conference center right on the Red River. These amenities, along with Alexandria’s prime location in the smack-dab middle of the state, are making more and more people notice the new opportunities in Alexandria along with the great things to do that have been there all along.
One of the hotels is the newest incarnation of the historic Hotel Bentley, an Alexandria landmark and a proud name in local hospitality. Once the only four-star hotel in Louisiana outside New Orleans, the Bentley hosted movie stars shooting nearby and military brass in the area for the World War II-era Louisiana Maneuvers military preparedness exercise. Newly refreshed, the hotel is in a prime location to serve as home base for exploration of downtown Alexandria and the broader attractions of Rapides Parish. Shop, explore the walking trails by the river, or stroll to one of the many casual and fine-dining options that have popped up in the downtown area.
After you feed your body, feed your mind at downtown museums. The Alexandria Museum of Art features changing and diverse collections, including the state’s largest collection of Louisiana folk art. The Arna Bontemps African American Museum & Cultural Arts Center celebrates the life of Arna Bontemps, an Alexandria-born writer who participated in the blossoming Harlem Renaissance before becoming an important archivist and collector of African American history and cultural artifacts. The Louisiana History Museum covers the entire span of Louisiana history in forty large exhibits—and we mean all of it since it begins in prehistoric times, with an explanation of why there were no dinosaurs in Louisiana.
To plan your visit to Alexandria/Pineville and the surrounding communities, check out the resources available at alexandriapinevillela.com.