By Tori Davis
Everyone needs an escape, but you don’t have to travel far to find yours. Outdoor adventure, unique shopping, local flavor, and a thriving arts culture are practically in your backyard. Here’s a look at what to do, see, and eat in the area. For an unforgettable getaway, make yourself at home in Ruston!
Explore Lincoln Parish Park
Adventure awaits at this pristine park featuring one the country’s best biking trails for cycling enthusiasts. A walking path, 30-acre lake, multiple fishing piers, and cozy picnic areas can be enjoyed by those looking for a slower pace. There’s even a waterfall tucked away behind the tree line that makes for a perfect photo backdrop!
Experience Downtown Ruston
Whether you enjoy shopping unique boutiques, indulging in local flavors, or discovering public art, you’re sure to find entertainment in Downtown Ruston. Pay a visit to Fine Line Supply, The Collective, or Garden Baby for local art and handmade goods. Also located downtown, the Ruston Farmers Market is a must-visit weekend destination featuring local produce, meats, and other homemade goods
Take an Art Class
Looking for a creative, hands-on experience? Take an art or craft class at one of Ruston’s local galleries, including Ruston Artisans and Walker & Co. in Downtown Ruston. The only thing better than getting in touch with your artsy side is walking away with a handmade souvenir!
Have a Paintball Party
For the thrill-seeking staycationer, you can’t go wrong with a private party at Ultrazone Paintball. Ultrazone will supply the gear and paintballs, you just bring yourself and a competitive spirit. Families and groups are sure to make countless memories at this active and fun attraction.
Art Shows & Exhibits
Lincoln Parish is home to several galleries and venues that regularly host a variety of art exhibits. Seasonal and traveling shows are often on display at Ruston Artisans, the FJ Taylor Visual Arts Centeron LA Tech’s campus, the Dunbar Art Gallery on GSU’s campus, and Lincoln Parish Library. You’ll also find exhibits from local artists at Fringe Gallery, Dixie Center for the Arts, Gallery 210, and other local businesses. For a full list of shows and exhibits, click here.
Eddie G. Robinson Museum
This museum, located on Grambling State University’s campus, is truly a hidden gem of the area. The museum celebrates college football’s “winningest” coach and recognizes the outstanding contributions he made to football and to the nation. Visitors to the museum can learn more about Robinson’s life through interactive exhibits, photos, testimonials from players, and more.
Ruston prides itself on its thriving arts culture and community of talented artists and makers. You can see their work first-hand at any of the murals throughout town, a handful of which can be found within just a few blocks of downtown. Another public art installation you don’t want to miss is The Bulldog Project. Grab a bulldog brochure from the kiosk downtown and make an afternoon out of locating all 11 bulldog statues.
Common Goods Co.
Conveniently located right off I-20, Common Goods is a great spot to start your culinary experience in Ruston. This local bread bakery serves up fresh loaves of bread, unique toasts, tasty sandwiches, breakfast items, and more homemade treats. They also have a great coffee menu that shouldn’t be missed!
Heard Freighthouse Food Truck Park
Looking for options? Check out Ruston’s own food truck park located in Downtown Ruston and enjoy flavor-filled, locally-produced dishes. The options include BBQ with the Bad Wolf BBQ crew, craft burgers from Grown and Grazed, or specialty sandwiches and sides from Staple Sandwich Co.
A trip to Ruston’s only microbrewery should definitely land a spot on your staycation itinerary. Enjoy one of their craft pizzas that’s perfectly cooked in a wood-fired oven, or try one of their fresh and flavorful salads. For the full experience, order a flight of their homemade brews or one of their handcrafted cocktails.
Accommodation options in the area include a number of hotels all within ten minutes of the universities, downtown Ruston, and local attractions. Lincoln Parish Park also offers RV campgrounds with full hook-ups at each site and primitive camping areas with access to electricity and free WiFi.