If you have heard of West Monroe you have probably watched a little show called Duck Dynasty. Both West Monroe and Monroe are located roughly an hour in a half from Shreveport. Ironically, I have worked on the Duck Dynasty series so I have been to both cities before.
However, working in a place and exploring in a place are two completely different things. It felt strange coming back but in a good way! I was able to do all the things that I never had a chance to do previously. I learned more about these areas this time around than I had in 6 months when I was living and working there.
It’s a close community of people who really care about you. People who will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. It’s a place where people will open the arms and their doors to you. That’s what makes West Monroe and Monroe special, it’s a community known for their hospitality.
Where to Eat and Explore!
I had no idea that there was a vineyard in West Monroe. I was thrilled when I found out that there was. Landry Vineyards was established in 1999 and is a family owned business. It’s run and operated Jeff, Libby and their 4 sons. They handle and run every aspect of this vineyard. They even give wonderful tours which will take you through what their day to day operation is like from growing the grapes, to pruning to bottling. They operate in a 20 + acre site. Most famously known for their Blanc Du Bois wine. This wine is made from a white European American hybrid grape. After meeting both Jeff and Libby you can see how much passion and love that they put into their winery. This place is definitely worth the trip even if you don’t happen to be in the area!
Biedenharn Museum & Gardens:
This garden stands for Emy Lou’s Song. It was developed by Miss Biedenharn once she returned to Monroe. This Garden is absolutely stunning in every single way. Which after learning more about Emy Lou you can understand how impeccable and extravagant that her taste really was. It consists of plants, flowers, and sculptures. The garden even has a Wagnerian Fountain! Its definitely a one of a kind personal garden which is not only beautiful but also romantic.
Historic Biedenharn Home
Joseph Biedenhard was the first person to bottle Coca Cola. He built his home in Monroe in 1914. This house is offers tours which explain the house and it’s decor as you walk by. You will see original pieces of furniture, fine china and authentic decorations. Joseph’s daughter Emy-Lou was well traveled and had a very successful singing career in Europe. She was artistic and creative and the pieces that are inside of her home reflect her personality. There is even a music-box which still works! It’s a wonderful fine tour and especially fro those who love history and antiques.
Fairly new this museum opened in 2008. It consists of historical Coca Cola memorabilia. It even shows you what the bottles are like before they are blown up. Did you know that when Coca Cola was originally invented it was used for medicinal purposes and you were only able to find it at your local pharmacy? Take a trip through time with America’s most loved beverage.
Miss Kay’s Sweets & Eats:
As some of you already know Miss Kay is the loving mother to the Duck Dynasty clan. She’s married to the notoriously out spoken Phil Robertson. Miss Kay is one of the best cooks that you will ever meet. Everything she has ever made is so wildly delicious. There is no surprise that she decided to open up her own restaurant. I was so excited when I was told about this and was able to try some of Miss Kay’s favorite recipes. I tried the chicken pot pie and it was absolutely delicious! This place is always packed so make sure you come early to grab a seat and try one of the best meals/desserts that you will have down south!
This is one of the best restaurants in historic downtown Monroe. It’s know for it’s ambiance and southern food. When I came back to Monroe I was like I have to come back here and have their duck wraps. It was even better than I remembered it to be. There food is so good that they even sell out of items on a daily basis. So make sure you get here early enough to enjoy what this restaurants has to offer. If you are a fan of fancy drinks definitely try their Ole Smokey. They will smoke this bad boy right in front of you!