Ruston Louisiana is a charming small town in North Louisiana. Charise and I used to live there, and we still miss the people and the scenery. The Ruston area is home to two colleges, rolling hills, a peach orchard, and friendly locals. Beyond the surface, you'll find an active, outdoorsy town, with delicious restaurants and great shopping. Don't let Ruston’s small size fool you; there is a ton to do there. Here are some sights you shouldn't miss while spending a weekend in Ruston.
First off, you'll need a place to stay. Ruston is a smaller town, but it's home to most of the hotel chains that you know, like Holiday Inn and Marriott. The hotels are clean and functional, but we prefer to stay in AirBnB's whenever we can. We enjoy having a whole apartment to ourselves, and we usually make good use of the kitchen. We found a modern apartment right downtown, and we made it our home base for the weekend.
Every trip needs coffee, and Railway has some of the best in town. They roast their coffee on-site and offer a wide selection of milk alternatives to choose from. During our weekend, I think we stopped in for coffee about a half dozen times, at least. The coffee and atmosphere are great. They also have several excellent options for breakfast, so it’s a complete start to the morning.
Oat milk lattes and banana toast
Railway Coffee is just steps away from all the shopping in Downtown Ruston. After you've caffeinated up, head out to do some exploring. There are several unique shops in the area. Some of our favorites are Fine Line, Chartreuse Pear, and No. 9 Books and Records.
Fine Line is an art supply and print shop. Even though we don't live in Ruston anymore, we still use these guys to do all of our photography prints. They also have a section dedicated to local artists who sell their stickers, paintings, and other creations. Chartreuse Pear specializes in vintage-inspired home goods. They have some seriously unique items that you won't find anywhere else. No. 9 is your classic used book and record shop, except that they actually have used books you want to read. The selection they have is impressive because they take time to curate what they purchase to resell. Plan to spend some time wandering around downtown since these three shops merely scratch the surface of all the shopping you can do there.
Downtown is also home to the charming Dixie Theater. It hosts plays and musical performances all through the year. While we were in town, there was a production of the Music Man going. Hopefully, while you're passing through, there will be a show so you can see this beautiful old theater.
Downtown Ruston has so much to offer. A block away from the Dixie Theater is an excellent food truck park called "The Heard." Food trucks are crazy popular right now, so we stopped in for lunch. If food trucks aren't your thing, check out our guide to four other amazing food options in Ruston. We wanted to sit outside, so we set up shop at a picnic table and ordered a selection of foods to try. We chose food from Bad Wolf BBQ and Grown and Grazed. As the name implies, Bad Wolf is a BBQ truck and Grown and Grazed focuses on sandwiches and burgers with locally sourced ingredients. The food was delicious! Then we capped off lunch with some nitrogen ice cream at Yolo Nitro. Everything was so good! With full bellies, we set off to try and work some of it off.
If you want to get out and get moving, Ruston is the place for you. For mountain biking, you should head to Lincoln Parish Park to ride nationally rated trails. Not only did we previously live in Ruston, but we also got married in this beautiful park. It was fun to visit again but this time we took some bikes out on the challenging trails. If biking isn't your thing, you can trek through the woods on foot or take a dip in the pond.
Our wedding photo by Erin and Geoffrey Photography
Another hiking location is Huckleberry trails. At the entrance to the park is a playground that's great for kids. Hike a short distance, and you'll come across a giant metal sculpture just sitting in the woods. It's a unique feature, and if you're in Ruston, you should definitely check it out.
The Lambright is an indoor activities center on the campus of Louisana Tech. Purchase a day pass, and you can hit the gym, bowl a few rounds or climb up a massive rock wall. We had so much fun here. We didn't know anything about The Lambright when we lived in town. If we did, we would have been there all the time. If you want to stay active, Ruston has some fantastic options.
Ruston has several top of the line restaurants. We made an entire top 5 list you can view here. If you're looking for a great steak while you're in town though, you should head to Beau Vines. The atmosphere is just as dark and relaxing as a steakhouse should be. There is also a large open grill in the middle of the dining room, where you can watch the steaks on the grill. The steaks are great but leave room for dessert because the cheesecake is a great way to finish off your dinner.
Filet with crab and au gratin potatoes
If you are looking to stay out a bit and enjoy some libations, you've got plenty of choices. We created a complete guide to Ruston cocktails you can view here. But Sundown is a great place to relax with your friends after dinner. Sit outside in the courtyard or belly up to the bar. A nightcap at Sundown is a great way to finish off a weekend in Ruston.
We enjoyed our time living in Ruston, and we still miss it. It was nice to come back and visit as tourists for a weekend. There is so much to see and do in Ruston. You'll have a great time yourself. Hopefully, our guide is helpful. Did we miss anything? What are your favorite things to do in Ruston, Louisiana? Let us know below in the comments.Tags: Things to Do