In Arkansas, you will find acres and acres of parks and forests and endless miles of hiking and biking trails. There is also lots to see and do in the city, including great places to eat and landmarks to explore, and it all comes with Southern hospitality! I am proud to say I am a Little Rock local. Here are my top five recommendations for things to do in the capital:
1 | The Arkansas River Trail
If you like to be outdoors, the 88-mile River Trail is perfect. There is a 15-mile loop that runs through the city and along the banks of the Arkansas River. Also, there are several smaller loops and gardens to enjoy.
Pro Tip: There are three bridges — the Clinton Presidential Bridge, Junction Bridge and Broadway Bridge — that pedestrians can use to cross over the Arkansas River into North Little Rock.
2 | Museums
The Old State House Museum, the oldest surviving capitol building west of the Mississippi River, is my personal favorite. It has been the site of many important events in Arkansas history. Other museums in Little Rock include the Historic Arkansas Museum, Arkansas Arts Center, MacArthur Museum of Military History, Esse Purse Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, to name a few.
In the River Market District, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library is a must-see. Put political affiliations aside, if you must, and visit this amazing collection of artifacts, replicas and digital media dedicated to our 42nd president. The district also hosts the Museum of Discovery and Kilwins, both perfect outings for families. Live music is frequent because of the River Market Pavilions as well as the First Security Amphitheater.
Pro Tip: Park for free in the Clinton Presidential Library lot!
4 | Dining
Little Rock was recently named one of “Five Secret Foodie Cities” by Forbes Travel Guide. Little Rock’s craft brewery scene offers premier establishments, such as Flyway, Diamond Bear, Lost Forty and Stone’s Throw. Our family’s favorite restaurant is Iriana’s Pizza, located in the River Market District. If pizza is not your thing, try a delicious farm-to-table dinner at the Root Café or grab a steak at Samantha’s Taproom.
5 | Rock Region Metro Trolley
The trolley line is only 2.5 miles in length, but it goes through the historic downtown area and the River Market District and crosses the Arkansas River into North Little Rock. From the line, you can also easily walk to Dickey-Stephens Park and see a minor league baseball game. The trolley operators are city historians and will point out many interesting things along the route.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for surprise announcements of reduced or free trolley rates.
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