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 shopping just as much as they love cheering on the Bulldogs!
Kick the weekend off with a trip to Railway Coffee in downtown. Railway proudly serves its own locally-roasted coffee, along with scones, muffins, and other tasty breakfast options. The cozy and eclectic atmosphere is a perfect place to visit with friends, relax with a book, or plan out your weekend activities. Once you’re nice and caffeinated, head out to explore charming Downtown Ruston and the many pieces of public art in the district, including The Bulldog Project. Be sure to carve out a few minutes to stop and do a mini photoshoot in front of one of downtown’s colorful murals.
Ruston’s walkable downtown is the ideal place to shop and stroll, boasting a variety of locally-owned shops and boutiques all within a few blocks of each other. Some of the must-visit shops include Chartreuse Pear, The Collective, Cotton Top Print Shop, The Fashion of Ruston, Fine Line Supply, Garden Baby, Goldie Boutique, and No. 9 Books & Records. A full list of downtown stores can be found here. All that shopping is sure to work up your appetite. Take a quick walk across the tracks to Uptown Downtown for lunch and treats. From light wraps to specialty grilled cheese sandwiches, their menu has something that is sure to hit the spot. Another must-visit shopping destination is Mitcham Farms Peach Store, where peachy products are in no short supply. Be sure to ask if they still have their homemade peach ice cream available - it’s a life-changer.
Go ahead and break out one of the new outfits you bought for dinner and drinks at Trio’s, known for their Mediterranean-inspired menu and gourmet specials. In addition to an impressive menu, Trio's also offers a fantastic bar that serves beer, wine, champagne, and specialty cocktails. Also be sure to check our calendar of events to see what's happening that weekend, including any home game weekend celebrations.
The best way to start a Saturday morning in Ruston is at the Farmers Market. This open-air market features fresh produce, meats, eggs, honey, jams, salsas, baked goods and other locally-made items. You can even fuel up with coffee and breakfast options from area vendors. The market is open year-round every Saturday from 9:00am-1:00pm.
We recommend hanging around 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 over to Ponchatoulas, a staple of Downtown Ruston. This Louisiana Tech alumni-owned restaurant offers Cajun classics and southern specialties in a family-friendly atmosphere.
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! There are plenty of places in the area to kick back and watch the game. Eat, drink, and enjoy the game from the comfort of your favorite Ruston restaurant/bar.
After cheering on the Bulldogs, you’ll probably be ready for some post-game snacks and drinks. Dawg House Sports Grill and Daq’s Wings and Grill are both fun options for keeping the gameday festivities going. Good food, cold drinks, and live music is the usual Saturday night scene at these two local establishments.
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 Beau Vines for a delicious Sunday brunch. The menu offers classic brunch dishes and some with a signature twist. Aside from truly delicious food and wonderful service, Beau Vines provides a relaxing atmosphere that’s perfect for an easy Sunday.
We hope you enjoy your gameday weekend experience, complete with some great, local shopping. Be sure to come visit again soon!
For more information on any of these attractions, or for other trip ideas, visit www.experienceruston.com.