Arkansas's capital city, Little Rock began on the Arkansas River and years later it's still the place to be with the bustling River Market District featuring restaurants, shops, bars, museums and hotels. Two focal points in the area are the Clinton Presidential Center & Park and the neighboring world headquarters of Heifer International. A recent addition is the Central Arkansas Nature Center. All three properties are "green" buildings and offer special tours. You can also visit the Little Rock Visitor's Center at Curran Hall and learn more.
The arts flourish in Little Rock, Arkansas with the Arkansas Arts Center, housing one of the most-acclaimed collections of works on paper in the country. Fine and casual dining are abundant, as are performing arts opportunities.
Like history? You won’t be disappointed. In addition to the Clinton Presidential Center, some of the other historic sites include Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Historic Arkansas Museum, Old State House Museum, Mount Holly and MacArthur Museum of Military History. Black history is explored at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and EMOBA, along with the Central High School Museum. A good way to get an overview of Little Rock, AR and its major attractions is onboard a Little Rock Tours state-of-the-art bus. The tours, which depart daily from the River Market District, feature knowledgeable guides and relevant Hollywood and news clips shown on screens throughout the bus.
Little Rock’s position in the center of the state also puts in on such historic trails as the Butterfield Overland Trail, the Southwest Trail, the Trail of Tears, and the Little Rock Campaign of the Civil War. These are part of the Arkansas Heritage Trails System.
Outdoor lovers won't be disappointed either with numerous city parks offering running/walking trails, fishing, ball fields and picnic areas. Just to the west of town is Pinnacle Mountain State Park, a day-use facility which offers a birds-eye view of the city from its summit. Overlooks at the park provide views of the water portion of the Trail of Tears route.
North Little Rock has been a town of many names. According to Ernie Deane’s Arkansas Place Names, the town has been referred to in the past as DeCantillon, Hunterville, Barling Cross and Argenta but in 1917, the community officially adopted its current name.
Located on the north shore of the Arkansas River, North Little Rock has a growing number of down-by-the-river attractions including the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, the Arkansas Queen Riverboat, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, Dickey-Stephens baseball park, the North Shore River Walk and the River Rail Trolley. Nearby Verizon Arena hosts concerts by major entertainers and other special events in addition to serving as home-base for the Arkansas Diamonds Indoor Football League team.
The downtown Argenta Historic District is also booming with restaurants and shops. New developments are offering both housing and entertainment options downtown. Don’t miss the Argenta Drug Company on Main Street. Built in 1887, it is the oldest continuously operating pharmacy west of the Mississippi.
In addition to downtown, the area which encircles the McCain Boulevard exit off the interstate provides a shopping mecca for visitors and residents alike. Central Arkansas’s largest mall -- McCain Mall – and numerous others such as Lakewood Village provide one-stop shopping. There is also a variety of antique malls are scattered throughout town.
A "must see" attraction is the Old Mill, an authentic reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill which appears in the opening scene of the 1939 classic movie, "Gone with the Wind." It is located in T.R. Pugh Memorial Park, at the corner of Fairway Avenue and Lakeshore Drive. The Arkansas National Guard Museum is devoted to the history of the Arkansas National Guard and Camp Robinson.
The city is rapidly gaining a national reputation as a sports center. Burns Park, covering more than 1,500 acres, has top-notch for tennis, soccer, golf, softball and baseball, plus disk and miniature golf. The North Shore Riverwalk is a lighted walkway and jogging/fitness trail running parallel to the Arkansas River. Interpretive panels found along the Arkansas River Trail commemorate the Cherokee Trail of Tears and similar forced migrations by the other Five Civilized Tribes. The Trail of Tears route is a part of the Arkansas Heritage Trails System.
During the summer escape the heat by visiting Wild River Country, Arkansas’s largest water park. There is something for every member of the family with such watery attractions as the Cyclone, the Pipeline, Vortex, the Accelerator, Black Lightning and White Lightning. Others include the Lazy River, River Rapids, Wave Pool, Tidal Wave and Lily Pad Walk. The Tad Pool has 11 children's areas.
North Little Rock is centrally located with I-30, I-40, I-440 and U.S. 67/167 all converging into the city.