Road trips through Louisiana usually include Baton Rogue and New Orleans, but you don't want to miss the northern cities of Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana. Welcome to Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana.Just don't get the two confused. There is a bitter rivalry, especially amongst the local sports teams. At first glance you might not see it, but there are plenty of fun things to do in Monroe and West Monroe.Slow down to southern time (similar to island, lake and beach time) and savor each meal and experience you have.Things to Do in Monroe LA.Nature lovers, shoppers and history buffs rejoice– there are loads of indoor and outdoor adventures to tackle when you visit Monroe and West Monroe. From gorgeous gardens to the history of Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and beyond, you will never be bored. Biedenharn Museum and Gardens.The Biedenhard is quite possibly the largest tourist attraction in Monroe. There are actually four parts to this museum-the historic Biedenharn home, the Bible Museum, the ELSong Gardens and the Coke Museum.History of the BIEDENHARN MUSEUM AND GARDENS.Joseph A. Biedenharn was the first man to bottle Coca-Cola. He did not invent Coke, but he figured out how to bottle this beloved America soda for the masses. He was also one of the original investors in Delta Airlines. He obviously had a bit of money.His daughter, Emy-Lou was a famous opera singer in Europe, who came home to live out the remainder of her life with her family.She entertained in the family home, bringing an eclectic style and new vision for the gardens. Her taste was more of a European flavor, (her dad was raising pigs and chickens in the backyard) and that just wouldn't do.ELSong Gardens.Visitors are free to wander the gardens on their own, but a guided tour is required of the home.Bible Museum.Guests can also roam through the Bible Museum, which is home to a beautiful collection of historic Bibles and religious art, some on loan from larger museum collections.The Coke Museum, located two doors down, tells the story of how Coca-Cola was first bottled. The museum has a nice collection of memorabilia from the past as Coke went from soda shops to mainstream American life.If you want to wander around looking for your dream home, Monroe’s Garden District is the place to do it. Not only can you pick from over a dozen styles of home in one neighborhood, but the prices are pretty good too.Take in the gardens around the homes, how close they are to Forsyth Park, and dream about living that southern gal life.In a tiny pocket of downtown Monroe, right on the train tracks, you will find the local artists community. A few murals have gone up on the buildings, but more importantly, this is where First Thursday happens in Monroe.If you aren’t familiar with First Thursdays (many cities also have First Fridays), this is when galleries, artist studios and museums open their doors to the public for free. Monroe’s CRAWL happens every other month starting in February. Check the schedule. If you’re in town, make sure to pop over. There is no better way to get to know a new city than through its artists.The bayou is pretty synonymous with Louisiana. We think of Cajuns, gators and swampy terrain. It’s a bit more than that though, especially in northern Louisiana.The Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect spot to bring your RoeLa Roaster latte for a morning hike around the cypress swamps and the pier over Black Bayou Lake. You can look for ducks, alligators, snakes, turtles, fish, and even red-tailed hawks.In the warmer months, you can rent canoes and kayaks to take out onto the bayou.When it gets colder, and the boat house shuts down for the season, you can take one of the numerous hiking trails around the park.