Alexandria/Pineville Holiday City Guide: Eat, Shop, Stay, and Play like a Cenla local!

We’ve made our list and checked it twice so we could share this Holiday Guide with you.  Don’t miss the “local tips” that should help make YOUR visit to Cenla merry and bright!


With more than 140 restaurants to enjoy in the area, we’ve probably got you covered whether you’re in the mood for dine-in, take out, or delivery. We’ve highlighted a few here but a broader list of the restaurants can be found here

Spirits Food & Friends – A local institution since 1967, Spirits serves up delicious food and rockin’ live music with a side of southern hospitality. Try the award-winning Knob Creek burger or ask about their weekly specials. 

Main Street Truck Park features enough variety to satisfy every eater, an atmosphere where good times roll, and an experience that will keep you coming back for more! Check out their Facebook page for weekly schedules. With fresh farm stand vendors, live music and yard games, this funky new spot definitely lives up to its’ motto – “Nothing but Good Vibes!”

Jim Deggy’s– What started as a wood-fired pizza truck has grown into a permanent location with a fun and laid back atmosphere. Experience Cajun flavors merged with traditional Neapolitan and “New York” style pizzas, a great selection of cold beers on draft, and decadent dessert calzones. 

Little Cakes with Big Attitude is serving up big holiday flavor with seasonal specials including Chocolate Mint or Attitude Adjustment cupcakes, Frozen Hot Chocolate and more.   With online ordering, drive through and curbside pickup, Little Cakes makes it a breeze to find your holiday sweets and treats!  

Local tip: After a busy weekend of holiday shopping, unwind at Huckleberry Brewing Co for CENLABRATION 2020 on December 18-19, a two- day festival with new beer releases, live music on the outdoor stage, holiday vendors market, food trucks, and more! Cheers!


Looking for a thoughtful gift or that “just right” holiday décor? Southern Chic, Terra Home, and John Ward Interiors are just a few of the unique boutiques that have been decking the halls and filling the stockings of local shoppers for a decade or more! 

A few of their most popular picks this year: 

Southern Chic – Don’t miss the ever-popular and timeless holiday style of Southern Chic’s fresh cedar wreaths!  The scent of these locally-made wreaths is unforgettable! 

Terra Home – Hand painted images of local landmarks tell the story of the area and allow you to take a little bit of Central Louisiana with you wherever you go! Check out these small keepsakes of the schools, churches, and sentimental storefronts of yesterday and today such as Suburban Gardens, The Hotel Bentley, St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, and Louisiana College.

John Ward Interiors – Handcrafted ornaments are always a welcome addition to your own collection or that of a loved one.  The selection at John Ward is incredible every year! Their festive décor and sophisticated table settings are sure to add a little extra sparkle to your holiday entertaining. 

Local tip: Don’t let the name fool you, Rick Ferguson Flowers offers much more than flowers! Enjoy shopping his artfully curated collection of gifts and décor…oh, and ALWAYS say “yes” to the gift wrapping! 


The grand Hotel Bentley is a beautiful piece of living history centrally located in Downtown Alexandria. Enjoy a holiday meal at The Bentley Room, cocktails at the historic Mirror Room, step back in time at the mini-WWII Museum or bring your littles to the  Teddy Bear Christmas Tea with Mrs. Claus!

Local tip: No matter your price point, we have a number of overnight options with most of the major hotel chains represented such as The Holiday Inn, Best Western Convention & Suites, as well as several RV Parks for your consideration. Learn More


This December, Alexandria’s downtown Arts District is making spirits bright with a yuletide lineup of concerts and events! Whether you’re seeking a dazzling date night or looking for a new way to celebrate with family and friends, we highly recommend you add these events to your “Must-Do” List:

Holiday Events at The Jewel Box – The Jewel Box is a festive pop-up in downtown Alexandria that will host multiple “bright and sparkly” events throughout December for children and for grown-ups who still believe!  Get tickets now for Donuts with SantaCookies with Santa, and Christmas Tea.  Grown-ups can check out ticketed cocktail events like Wine & Cheese TastingsHoliday BrunchHuckleberry HolidazeHot Toddies, Bubbles & Nibbles, Oh My! Perfect for your next date night or a holiday celebration with friends. 

“Christmas Inside Out” with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra – Coming to downtown Alexandria on Sunday, December 6th, the Rapides Symphony will be performing a program of holiday classics and new favorites for patrons inside and out! For more information and to secure your spot, visit rapidessymphony.org/holiday2020 . 

Holiday Farmers and Makers Market– Looking for a thoughtful holiday gift or maybe hoping to find something to tuck in your own Christmas stocking? On Tuesday, December 8th 3pm-6pm the Alexandria Farmers Market will be full of talented artisans and farmers selling locally grown produce, seasonal offerings and handmade holiday gifts! 

Holiday Concert at the Alexandria Museum of Art – On Thursday, December 10th , the Alexandria Museum of Art will be hosting its’ annual holiday concert outdoors complete with candlelit tables, holiday treats and décor including the famous holiday luminaries! Enjoy a jazzy holiday program featuring the vocal stylings of Nashville Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Connye Florance accompanied by renowned Nashville pianist Kevin Madill. Purchase tickets here. 

Lagniappe Theatre Event Center presents “Christmas in Neverland” – On Saturday, December 19thLagniappe Theatre Event Center presents Christmas in Neverland, a whimsically magical ballet following Peter Pan and the lost boys on a Christmas adventure to save Santa from Captain Hook! This Christmas time revue will showcase Get to the Pointe Ballet Academy students in all age groups. Purchase tickets here.  

Virtual Events– Get in the holiday spirit from the comfort of your home with virtual events such as the Alexandria Senior High Virtual Christmas Concert , A Calvary Christmas Home Edition, and “Beef Tips for the Holidays” LSUA AgCenter Virtual Cooking Program

Local tip: Looking for more fun, free activities for the entire family? Take a drive through tour of Alex Winter Fete’s “Wonder Lane” or the holiday light display at England Airpark. Enjoy FREE gallery admission for the month of December at the Alexandria Museum of Art and FREE Family Movie Night at the Alexandria Mall.Oh, and don’t forget to snap a selfie at the glowing iconic water towers in the City of Alexandria, City of Pineville, and on the LSUA campus!  

To plan your holiday in Alexandria/Pineville, click here

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