If you had told me ten years ago that Shreveport would have an emerging foodie scene, fantastic weekend events for young adults, and a plethora of local shops that carry quality, on-trend fashion, I wouldn’t have believed you. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved the Port City, and most of my close friends can attest to the fact that I advocate for Shreveport as a great place to live and most certainly a great place to raise a family. But in recent years, I’ve noticed Shreveport heading in a different direction, and I love it.

I was born and raised in Shreveport and lived on River Road my entire childhood—there are three different River Roads and I lived on two. After high school, I decided to move away for college and haven’t lived in Shreveport for the past thirteen years. Although I don’t have a permanent residence there of my own, I’m still fully invested in the Port City. I currently work and live in Washington, DC, but I make it a point to stay in the loop with Shreveport happenings. Most mornings you can find me reading the Shreveport Times with a cup of coffee, and I’m always catching up on the latest issue of Shreveport Magazine while commuting on the metro for work.

Over the past few years, I’ve seen new life being breathed into the city. One of the first new spots to catch my attention was Rhino Coffee. Being a bit of a local coffee shop fanatic, when I saw that the old Sue Peyton’s bridal shop had been converted, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I was hooked after my first visit back in 2012. It’s now one of my first stops when I come into town. Rhino is a perfect example of what I love about the new Shreveport: taking something old that used to be such a well-known space and reinvigorating it with a fresh, new concept. I love that this new space has now become a gathering spot for locals, whether it’s to enjoy a cup of joe in one of the many charming nooks of the shop or chat over coffee and homemade scones in one of the many open, communal spaces.

Not only have I noticed hip, new restaurants opening up all across the city like Parish Taceaux and Ki’ Mexico, I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the number of young professionals who are moving back to Shreveport after college and graduate school. These are people who are not just looking to call Shreveport home as they begin to start a family and raise children. With exciting weekend events like Derby Day and the Cork Wine Festival, the resurgence of the Highland Jazz & Blues Festival, and a burgeoning creative scene with the hugely successful Moonbot Studios, the young adult demographic that used to stray from the city is now reveling in it.

While there will always be naysayers who don’t like the change and would rather have old Shreveport stay just the way it is, I’m happy to say that I couldn’t be more proud of the change going on in Shreveport right now. I adore the positive energy that is being piped into the city by folks like the duo behind Great Raft Brewing (how good is that Southern Drawl?!) and Grant Nuckolls, the man behind Twisted Root Burger Co., and a contributor to a ton of local happenings.

I enjoy every minute that I spend in Shreveport, and it’s a place that I look forward to being a permanent part of one day in the near future. But for now, I’ll keep spreading the word everywhere I go about the other great city in Louisiana.

ASHLEE’S FAVORITE SHREVEPORT STOPS

EATS

Shreveport Farmer’s Market

Frank’s Pizza Napoletana

Herby K’s

Rhino Coffee

Superior Grill

Marilynn’s Place

Twisted Root Burger Co.

Great Raft Brewing

Bistro Byronz

Guillo’s Fresh Produce

Strawn’s Eat Shop

Wine Country

SHOPPING

Imelda’s

Mint Julep

Sweet Caroline’s

Sportspectrum

The Paper Tulip

Chez Rivage

M.

Harper House

Cactus Trading Company

Chateau en Mae

John Pickens

The Village Washstand