There are few things more exciting than the Louisiana Tech football season here in Ruston. It’s a special time of year when students, alumni, locals, and fans from all over the country come together to watch the Bulldogs take the field. While you’re in Ruston for the game, we want you to make the most out of your trip by experiencing the local attractions and culture of Louisiana’s College Town. We’ve created an itinerary for those who love the outdoors just as much as they love cheering on the Bulldogs!
There’s no better way to start your visit than with a hot cup of coffee and a homemade pastry from Common Goods Co. Conveniently located right off I-20, it is the perfect place to stop for breakfast on your way into town. You can also grab your breakfast to-go and head to Hideaway Park, where you can enjoy your meal under a covered pavilion followed by a morning stroll around the walking path or a relaxing hammock session. If you’re looking for a little more activity, the park also features an 18-hole frisbee golf course and a 7-acre pond for fishing.
Next stop: Ruston’s walkable historic downtown, where you’ll find unique shops, local restaurants, and several outdoor art installations to discover, including The Bulldog Project. Be sure to take a minute and snap a photo in front of one of the many colorful murals in the district! If you’ve worked up an appetite, walk on over to the Heard Freighthouse Food Truck Park, where you can choose from several local food trucks serving up burgers, sandwiches, barbecue, and other specialty items. The park also features an outdoor dining area with covered picnic tables, which makes for the perfect place to dine on a nice fall afternoon.
After lunch, take your pick from several outdoor adventures in the piney hills. You can enjoy an afternoon of biking or water activities at the pristine Lincoln Parish Park, which boasts world-class bike trails, a 1.25-mile walking path around the beautiful lake, a sandy beach, and several fishing piers. If you’re really looking for an adventure, set up camp at one of the park’s primitive or RV campsites for the weekend. If observing nature is more your speed, then grab your binoculars and head to the James Lake Birding Trail, where you can unplug and connect with nature from a peaceful viewing platform overlooking the lake and all its wildlife.
The perfect way to end a fun-packed day is with good food and drinks, of course. Portico’s open-air patio is a perfect dining location year-round, often featuring live music on the weekends. The menu boasts delicious southern staples with a twist, in addition to top-notch wine, beer and specialty drink options. Also be sure to check our calendar of events to see what's happening that weekend, including any home game weekend celebrations.
Get geared up for game day with a morning walk on the Rock Island Greenway, a multi-use path that stretches 5 miles across the city. This scenic path is great for a casual walk, run, or bike ride. Along the Greenway, you’ll also find the Ruston Fitness Court on California Ave., perfect for a quick outdoor workout.
We recommend returning to downtown to shop and grab a bite to eat before the game. If you need a last-minute game day outfit, be sure to swing by FanBase for all your official Louisiana Tech merch. For lunch, head to Utility Brewing Co., Ruston’s only microbrewery known for its craft beer and specialty pizzas. They also have delicious salads if you’re looking to keep lunch on the lighter side.
Avoid game-day traffic and stadium lots by staying parked downtown and taking advantage of the Tech Trolley. This shuttle service picks up in Railroad Park and takes fans to and from Joe Aillet Stadium for tailgating activities and the game, running continuously each hour, completely free of charge. Get to the stadium early for tailgating in Bulldog Village, an experience you must not miss during game days in Ruston.
No tickets? No problem! Head to Dawg House Sports Grill to watch the game on the big screen with other LA Tech fans, all while enjoying great eats and drinks.
After cheering on the Bulldogs, catch the Tech Trolley back to downtown, where the game day fun continues. Champs Sports Bar and Sundown Tavern are both great options for post-game snacks and drinks. For continued football watching, we suggest grabbing a table at Champs. For celebratory cocktails on the patio, head over to Sundown.
While the game day festivities may be wrapped up, there’s no rush to head out of town. Sleep in a bit, then make your way to Trio’s for a delicious Sunday brunch. Their brunch menu features all the classics, in addition to several house specials and brunchy cocktails. If you feel like a little fresh air, enjoy your meal on their breezy patio.
We hope you enjoy your game day weekend experience, complete with a little outdoor adventure. Be sure to come visit again soon!
For more information on any of these attractions, or for other trip ideas, visit www.experienceruston.com.