Visit The Clinton Presidential Library
The Clinton Presidential Library and Park should be #1 on your must-visit list. The 20,000 square-foot library and museum space houses everything from Clinton family memorabilia to a replica of the Oval Office. Distinctive photos, special gifts from global heads of state, and an extensive archive detailing Bill Clintons day to day life in office will interest history buffs and those with a fascination for presidential power.
Home Of The State’s Best Bbq
Little Rock has some of the best BBQ in Arkansas, and your first stop should be Sims Bar-B-Que. The original Sims dates back to 1937 and though its moved locations, its still serving up the same tangy, sweet sauce that has attracted locals and celebrities for generations. Peruse the walls for photos of the famous foodies that have frequented this truly local restaurantdon’t leave without getting the ribs.
Free Family Mini Photo Sessions In Little Rock
- When: Sunday, November 21st at 9:00 a.m.
- Where: 20919 Denny Rd, Little Rock, AR 72223
- What: Were a small, female-run company of 22 team members whose mission is to make professional photography more accessible to the community while providing stability and opportunity for freelance photographers. All of our 30 minute mini sessions are free to book and take place out… Learn More
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Macarthur Museum Of Arkansas Military History
Located on East 9th Street in the heart of downtown Little Rock, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History is a museum that focuses on the states military heritage, which it celebrates through rotating exhibits displayed in the birthplace of Douglas MacArthur, the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal.
Opened in 2001, the museum is an educational facility that contains a mixture of permanent and temporary exhibits of artifacts, documents, photographs, uniforms, and more. Temporary exhibits include Undaunted Courage, Proven Loyalty: Japanese American Soldiers in World War II and Vietnam, Americas Conflict. There are self-guided tours and docent-guided group and school tours.
503 East 9th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas, Phone: 501-376-4602
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Stop By The Old State House Museum
The Old State House Museum was Arkansas first capitol from 1836 until 1911 when the current capitol was completed. As the oldest standing state capitol building west of the Mississippi River, the museum showcases American history. For example, its where Bill Clinton announced his campaign for presidency and celebrated his victories on election night in 1992 and 1996.
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Wander Through The River Market
The River Market is open seven days a week. However, it is one of the best things to do in Little Rock, Arkansas on Tuesdays and Saturdays. This market seems to be the busiest on those two days. While wandering through the market is free, you must be prepared to spend a little money. After all, this market is filled with shops and restaurants. You definitely wont be able to avoid buying at least one small thing!
Go For A Hike At Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Just over 15 miles northwest of downtown Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain is the best place to visit for a little outdoor fun. The mountain stands well over a thousand feet above the surrounding river valley. Two hiking trails that lead to the summit provide unbeatable views, and miles of other multi-use trails wind through the nearly 2,500 acres of state park property.
Other popular activities and amenities at this day-use state park include interpretive programs, boat launches, and picnic sites. Camping is not available at Pinnacle Mountain, but more than 100 campsites can be found in Maumelle Park less than five miles away.
Address: 11901 Pinnacle Valley Road, Little Rock, Arkansas
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Stop By The Governors Mansion
Stop by the Governors Mansion, which Arkansas governors have called home since 1950 and where Bill and Hillary Clinton once resided. Many people do drive by this National Register of Historic Places mansion in a vehicle, but cycling will give you a different sense of the neighborhood its in and this mansions location, which is somewhat unassuming.
Pet Animals At Heifer Village + Urban Farm
Before my first visit to Little Rock, Id never even heard of Heifer International. Maybe I have been living in a bubble but since I went, Ive seen it mentioned everywhere. Heifer International is a non profit organization that instead of just gifting food to people in need once, they help and educate communities by providing them with animals that will produce what they need in the future.
Long term, this helps communities be more self reliant. Sort of like the if you teach a man to fish analogy. If you visit their website, you will have an opportunity to donate money or even gift an animal like a chicken, for eggs, or a cow, for milk to an area in need. How cool is that?
We refuse to stop until every person is living a dignified life with access to nutritious food, resources, education, healthcare and money saved for emergencies
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Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum can be found alongside the Arkansas River in North Little Rock. The main attractions at this naval museum include two floating vessels involved in World War II – a tugboat recognized as a Historic National Landmark, and a USS Razorback submarine that was present in Tokyo Bay when Japan formally surrendered the war.
Visitors can take a guided tour on and into the operational submarine, getting a good sense of the inner workings of the ship. On dry land, the museum and North Shore Riverwalk also display memorials and a peace garden.
Address: 120 Riverfront Park Drive, North Little Rock, Arkansas
The Arkansas River Trail System
The Arkansas River Trail System is an 88-mile long loop through the state that winds through Little Rock, Maumelle, North Little Rock, and Conway. The trail goes from the Clinton Presidential Bridge through North Little Rock, Big Dam Bridge, and Little Rock before returning to the Clinton Bridge.
The Trail links 38 parks, six diverse museums, several passes by Big Rock Quarry, the Medical Mile gathering place, the Presidential Library and Museum, Dickey Stephens Ball Park, and many other points of interest. The trail is actively used by thousands of cyclists, hikers, skaters, joggers, and other people who enjoy the verdant outdoors. Mostly flat, the trail offers recreational opportunities for all ages.
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Educate Yourself At Central High School National Historic Site
One of the top things to do in Little Rock and one of the most important historic sites in the country is Central High School National Historic site. This site is the epicenter of Little Rocks 1957 school desegregation crisis and a must see when visiting Little Rock.
Visitors can reserve a ranger led tour of the school, which is still an operating high school. If you prefer a self guided tour then start with the visitor center for interpretive information and photos. Visit the nearby gas station where reporters called in their stories during the crisis and tour the memorials that educate and remind us that weve come a long way but still have work to do.
If not us, then who?
If not now, then when?
rep. john lewis
- The gas stations and phone reporters used
- memorial to the students involved
Hu Lee International Gate And Garden
H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden is an impressive gate and garden which is located at the far end of Main Street Bridge just at the center of Little Rock.
This gate and garden serves as a symbol of friendship between South Korea and America, it is also a symbol of the ancient tradition of martial arts.
The gate and garden is named after American Taekwondo Association Eternal Grand Master HaengUng Lee.
Master Lee is considered the grandfather of martial arts in all parts of the World.
You can easily identify the gate when you see it for it is painted in traditional Korean colors. Visit the garden if you desire to escape the bustle and hustle of the city streets.
You will find a reflective pool which is situated in the center of the garden and front of a walk of black granite, you will find a bust of the Eternal Grand Master Lee.
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Eat Delicious Arkansas Grown Food
Good food is so celebrated in Arkansas, theres even an Arkansas Restaurant Hall of Fame. Some of the inductees can be found in Little Rock. Restaurants like the Lassis Inn, Frankes Cafeteria and Burges Hickory Smoked Turkeys are famous for the food they serve. You can visit them and plenty of other wonderful restaurants in Little Rock. The Arkansas Restaurant Hall of Fame even has an app you can download so dont miss any of them.
A visitor to Little Rock can find anything from fine dining to soul food and everything in between. And I absolutely love the farm to table movement in Little Rock. Since Arkansas is an agriculture state, emphasis has been put on keeping those Arkansas grown products in the state for superior quality foods and beverages and you can taste it!
Community Theatre Of Little Rock
The Community Theatre of Little Rock was founded in 1956 and it is arguably the oldest and finest theatre in Central Arkansas.
It is located in the Studio Theatre and lobby bar where since its inception, It has presented over 200 mini stage production.
You can watch one of their superb production with your loved ones. Do check out their website for upcoming events as you plan your vacation to Little Rock.
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Things To Do In Little Rock: Heifer Village
Located in the Heifer International Headquarters in Little Rock, Heifer Village is a mix of galleries, interactive hands-on exhibits, activities, and videos that showcase the concept Heifer uses in its efforts to end hunger and poverty. It is a place where visitors, often school groups, can learn about major global issues and what they can do about them.
Since 1944, Heifer has assisted over 22.6 million families from more than 125 countries to help them improve their quality of life and become self-reliant. Visitors can take part in a half-hour guided tour of the village or browse on their own. There is also a communal garden in the complex.
1 World Ave., Little Rock, Arkansas, Phone: 855-343-4337
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Say ‘cheers’ At The Capital Hotel Bar
End your day with a drink at the historic Capital Hotel, which dates back to 1870 and is located in downtown Little Rock. Called “the front porch of Little Rock, this landmark hotel has hosted political greats throughout history including President Ulysses S. Grant and even served as the local headquarters during Clintons tenure as President. The bar at One Eleven Capital Hotel is an upscale retreat where classic cocktails mix with local flavors.
Whether you can fit one or all of these adventures into your trip to Little Rock, dont forget to ask the locals for their suggestionsyou never know what you might discover. Here’s what happened when I toured nearby Hot Springs, Arkansas, with a local guide.
This article was written by Darley Newman, the Emmy-nominated host of Equitrekking on PBS and host and producer of Travels with Darley, coming to PBS this fall and available online now on AOL and Budget Travel.
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Visit Heifer’s Urban Farm
Did you know there’s a little oasis right downtown where you can feel like you’re out in the country? At the Heifer Urban Farm, located behind Heifer Village, you can visit pigs, goats, alpacas, chickens and turkeys. The 3-acre area, which opened in late 2016, is also home to a community garden, beehives and butterfly garden. For more information, click here.
Best Things To Do In Little Rock Arkansas
Plan a weekend trip to Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas where you will find unique historic attractions, great museums, romantic inns and scenic parks. Go for a stroll in Riverfront Park, visit beautifully restored houses at the Historic Arkansas Museum and ride in the River Rail Electric Streetcar. Best things to do in Little Rock, AR, with kids include the Little Rock Zoo, the Bernice Garden and the Museum of Discovery. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
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Have Fun At The Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery
One of the cool things to do in Little Rock with kids is having fun at the Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery. This amazing thing to do in Little Rock with kids will have you seeing all types of fish and other waterfowl. You must begin at the Visitor Center, so you learn about everything you will be seeing during your visit.
Sip Award Winning Spirits
Rock Town Distillery offers visitors to Little Rock a chance to sip award winning whiskey and gin. Owner Phil Brandons story of sheer determination to make great whiskey is almost as good as the alcohol itself. As part of Little Rocks Locally Labeled passport, Rock Town offers tours, a tasting room and a store where you can pick up your favorite whiskey, gin or flavored vodka.
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Free Things To Do In Little Rock Arkansas
Little Rock is an incredible city and there are so many things to do there. If you are planning to vacation in this part of the state, you will be happy to know that there are many fun things to do in Little Rock, AR. After you have explored the many museums, you can check out the bridges and the great outdoors. Just dont forget to check out all the different coffee shops and eat all the delectable cuisine in between all your adventures!
Why You Should Go
Were starting this list with the center of Little Rocks historical landmarks. The Capitol Building currently boasts an intricate limestone exterior, a gold leaf cupola, and a monumental dome that filmmakers use as a substitute for the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Indoors, the Capitol currently features exhibits, while its grounds showcase monuments and memorials representing the states significant historical and contemporary events.
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Walk Along The Big Dam Bridge
The Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the US. This is one of the must-see Little Rock attractions. You will find this bridge over the Murray Lock and Dam and the Arkansas River. This bridge connects fourteen plus miles of riverside trails. While you can say this is one of the best things to do in North Little Rock, it is basically the best thing to do in the entire city.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site was the site of struggles over school desegregation in 1957. Nine African-American teenagers were entering their first day of school at a time when desegregation of the schools was just beginning. That day went down in the history of the Civil Rights movement as being a pivotal event.
The U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division was brought to Little Rock to escort the nine students into the school on the next day. Little Rock Central High is still an active school, and the only way to tour this historic site is by reserving a ranger-led tour ahead of time.
Address: Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive and Park Street, Little Rock, Arkansas
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