Like many, maybe your only experience with Louisiana so far is that vacation you took to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans. And while you had fun, you're not sure you could live there. Shreveport and Bossier City, forgotten by the tourist hordes, are just as interesting and offer more bang for the buck. Move to Shreveport and discover a calmer, quieter side of Louisiana.
Bringing kids to the area? You will love the family-oriented atmosphere. The Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City is a good example of what the Shreveport-Bossier City area has to offer. A new facility along the river, it includes a huge Regal theatre, a Bass Pro Shop, and many outlet stores such as the Banana Republic Factory Store, the Gap Outlet, and the Nike Factory Store. As they grow into teenagers, your kids will spend countless hours here. But that will be all right with you, because you'll know your kids are safe and having fun.
Families will also enjoy being close to some of the most exciting college football action in the country: the Independence Bowl, held every year around the holidays in Independence Stadium. Buy tickets early, and enjoy your short commute to a college bowl game.
Getting outside is also a time-honored part of Shreveport's culture. The best place to do that is at Cross Lake, over 8500 acres of water, ripe for boating, water-skiing, and fishing. As in anywhere in Louisiana, watch out for alligators. If the kids are fascinated by the local fauna, though, you can take them to an alligator conservation center, where they will (safely) encounter these beasts of Louisiana waterways.
This city on the Red River has always been pleasantly confused about its past: does it belong to Texas or Louisiana? Perhaps Arkansas? Aspects of all three states found their way into this city, leaving behind a rich cultural melange that rivals even New Orleans. In November you're looking forward to the Jazz Festival, just as much as your southern neighbors look forward to their jazz events, and in the spring you're celebrating your country heritage at Holiday in Dixie. Add in the local Mardi Gras celebration, and the fall arts festival, known as the Red River Revel, and you have a recipe for a vibrant, multicultural, and always entertaining local culture. Our advice? Don't worry about what part of the area you think you'll like-- try to experience it all!
If the future is on your mind, you'll be reassured to know that the local economy is strong and surprisingly diverse. One of its more striking features is the noticeable presence of the film industry in town. Did you know movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the biopic Ray, All the King's Men, and Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, were all filmed right here in Shreveport? The city has also played host to TV shows such as True Blood, The Unit, and the Gates. The LSU Health Sciences Center, one of the largest medical centers in Louisiana, is located here, making health care another important industry. Finally, oil and gas sustained the city for many years, and after a brief decline, the industry is up and running again.