Owned by the same family since 1927, Fertitta's Delicatessen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The deli is famous for the Muffy, a toasted muffuletta sandwich with Papa Fertitta's secret olive mix, $15 (feeds two hungry people). The ambience and setting are priceless. 1124 Fairfield Ave. 318-424-5508, www.papafertitta.com. Another local spot is the Cotton Boll, a circa 1930s diner serving Southern soul food only until 3 p.m. (or earlier if the food runs out). Most dishes are under $10. 1624 Fairfield Ave. 318-221-9397.
Parents magazine named Sci-Port one of the Top 10 science centers in the nation for families and children. Located along the downtown riverfront, Sci-Port houses Louisiana's only Imax Dome Theater and the world's first open-access, interactive laser planetarium. General adult admission is $13; $18 including Imax entry. 820 Clyde Fant Parkway. 1-877-724-7678, www.sciport.org.
Round-trip rates of $438 to Shreveport require a one-week advance purchase; nonstop Delta/ASA regional jet service.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Shreveport West is minutes from Independence Stadium, home of the Independence Bowl, and several casinos are within 10 miles. The hotel features an outdoor pool and fitness center. Standard rooms range $104-$134, including Wifi and hot breakfast bar. 5420 Interstate Drive. 318-686-8328, www.hiexpress.com.
Upscale Bella Fresca features diverse menu choices served in a lively and charming setting. Starters $10-$14; entrees $23-$29. Start the evening with a Bombay Sapphire martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. 6307 Line Ave. 318-865-6307, www.bellafresca.com.
The city's hardcore fans of the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs hockey team rarely miss a game. Their enthusiasm is as much fun to experience as the match on the ice. Catch a Central Hockey League game at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City through March. Single-game tickets range $15-$34. www.mudbugshockey.com.
Round-trip, walk-up economy class rates to Shreveport start at $813; nonstop Delta/ASA regional jet service.
The Courtyard Shreveport-Bossier City is a convenient location after a day of Boardwalk shopping. The modern lobby features complimentary WiFi and the Bistro, open for lunch and dinner. Spacious accommodations include luxury Marriott bedding and a refrigerator. Rates $129-$219 per night. 100 Boardwalk Blvd., Bossier City. 318-742-8300, www.marriott.com/shvsb.
For more than 60 years, family-owned Ernest's Orleans Restaurant has lured locals with menu highlights like marinated crab claws and red snapper, prime steaks and the freshest wild Louisiana seafood in the city. Entrees $16.99-$41.99. After dinner, dance to local acts in a 1950s-style atmosphere. 1601 Spring St. 318-226-1325, www.ernestsorleans.com.
Across the Red River from downtown Shreveport is the picturesque setting for the 2,500-foot long Louisiana Boardwalk Promenade, the area's unique shopping, riverfront dining and entertainment destination. Neon lights and fiber optic cables transform the Long Allen Bridge connecting the two towns into a work of public art. Take in the Vegas-style casino and entertainment action (with tickets averaging $35-$55 for performers such as Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and the B-52's) at Sam's Town Casino & Hotel and Eldorado Casino & Hotel, as well as at Horseshoe Casino, DiamondJacks Casino & Resort and Boomtown Casino & Hotel in Bossier City. www.shreveport-bossier.org/casinos.