If you’re itching to take a quick road trip where you can park your car and put the keys away for a few days, make your way to Ruston, Louisiana to experience our charming, walkable downtown. Ruston’s thriving downtown offers unique shopping, history, culture, and numerous culinary experiences to help make your getaway a memorable one.
Below you will find an itinerary that allows you to park your car, unpack your bags, and enjoy a weekend stay in beautiful Downtown Ruston.
Start your morning off with a coffee
What better way to begin your day than with a freshly brewed cup of coffee from one of the two locally-loved coffee shops located downtown. Walk over to Railway Coffee or The Depot to enjoy your morning (or afternoon, we don’t make the rules) brew.
Then make your way to breakfast
For breakfast on Saturday morning, we recommend checking out Grown and Grazed for a meal full of local flavor and ingredients. Before you’re homeward bound on Sunday, stop and check out the brunch at Park Ave Diner. Get the french toast, you’ll thank us later.
When you’ve worked up an appetite for lunch
For lunch, we suggest Ruston’s own microbrewery, Utility Brewing. The house-made beer pairs perfectly with their wood-fired craft pizzas. On a pretty day, be sure to grab a table on their charming patio. Another crowd-pleasing option for lunch is the Heard Freighthouse Food Park, which offers multiple dining options from burgers to sandwiches to BBQ. Each of the on-site food trucks put a unique flair on their dishes, making it a true culinary experience. Pro tip: mix and match your meal from all the food trucks to get a taste of everything.
For a post-lunch dessert
What better way to follow lunch than with a sweet treat? Uptown Downtown has a wide selection of gourmet desserts that any sweet tooth will drool over. The salted caramel brownie is something out of this world.
Finish your downtown eating adventure with dinner
After a day of walking around and enjoying all that downtown has to offer, head to Ponchatoulas, where you can get a true taste of Louisiana cuisine. Their menu features all the Cajun classics like gumbo, etouffee, poboys, and more. In more of a pizza and pasta mood? Head to Roma Italian Bistro for an Italian dinner in a cozy atmosphere. On a nice night, we suggest outdoor dining - a perfect date night option.
Downtown Ruston has built a reputation as a hub for the arts in Northeast Louisiana. Talent is around just about every corner of Downtown Ruston in the form of eye-catching murals and public art installations like “The Bulldog Project.” During your weekend getaway, make a point to walk around and find all of the public art that is located downtown, while snapping Instagram-worthy photos along the way.
There is always live entertainment to be found in Downtown Ruston, whether it be a local musician playing at a restaurant, a show on the Dixie Theatre stage, or a performance during an event in Railroad Park. Sundown Tavern and Utility Brewing have weekly live music, so be sure to check their Facebook pages to see who will be taking the stage. And don’t forget to check our calendar of events to see all the upcoming performances in the area.
North Louisiana Military Museum
Take a five-minute walk from the heart of Downtown Ruston to find one of the most impressive collections of military history in the region. The North Louisiana Military Museum features an extensive collection of war relics and memorabilia and even has a few aircraft and war vehicles on site.
The shopping scene in Downtown Ruston is top-notch, making shopping a must-do while you’re in the area. Whether you like to shop for your wardrobe, your home, or your hobby, the shops in Downtown have something for everyone. For your closet, we recommend The Fashion of Ruston, Chessy’s Boutique, and Boutique Barr. For your home, pay a visit to Park Haus or Chartreuse Pear. As an added bonus, the Ruston Farmers Market is located downtown and offers an amazing selection of fresh produce and homemade goods every Saturday from 9am-1pm.
One of our favorite things about downtown is all the fun events you can experience throughout the year, from beer crawls to sidewalk sales to holiday festivities. Downtown's biggest event of the year is the Louisiana Peach Festival, which takes place on the first Saturday in June. It’s a must-attend event, so if you’re planning a summer trip, this is the weekend to pick. For more downtown events, head over to our calendar.
Show off Your Skills
If you’ve got a competitive side, there are some fun experiences to be had in Downtown Ruston. Sharpen your ax-throwing skills over at Bayou Axe, where they provide fun for all ages and allow for a little bit of friendly competition.
Nestled in one of our historic Downtown Ruston buildings on North Vienna Street lies the Ruston Lofts. These guest-house-style accommodations offer one common area and three private rooms all designed in a sleek, modern style, making it the most dreamy place for your weekend getaway. And the best part of staying downtown is that you can park your car and leave it there until you (sadly) depart at the end of the weekend. For a full list of area accommodations, click here.
We hope this itinerary helps you plan your weekend getaway to Downtown Ruston. For more info on the downtown area, check out our downtown page, and be sure to follow Downtown Ruston on Facebook and Instagram. See you downtown!