Little Rock is the capital and the largest city of the state of Arkansas. The Metropolitan area had 724,385 people in the 2013 census estimates. The slightly larger Combined Statistical area had 898,683 people in the 2013 census estimates. The city proper had 193,524 people in 2010.
Little Rock lies at the center of the state, more-or-less where the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains, and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (the "Delta") come together. Traveling east from Little Rock, you traverse flat land nearly all the way to the Mississippi River; traveling west you quickly enter hilly country.
Little Rock is Arkansas's largest city, as well as the state capital and major economic center (although northwestern Arkansas, with Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and major trucking firms, is rapidly gaining). Little Rock is home to the state's only medical school, as well as one of the two branches of the University of Arkansas law school.
Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called La Petite Roche (the "little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The original historic "little rock" was later dynamited and used as a foundation for a railroad bridge, but its location can be visited in downtown's Riverfront Park.
Little Rock is located at the first high that upstream travelers on the Arkansas River came to, and so was a logical place to found a settlement. When it became apparent that the original capital of Arkansas Territory, Arkansas Post, was too subject to flooding, the seat of government was moved to Little Rock in 1819.
Temperatures range can reach above 90°F (32°C) in the summer, peaking in August and September, to below freezing in December and January. The most pleasant times of year to visit are fall and spring; the changing of the leaves in fall is particularly enticing.
Newly renamed Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (IATA: LIT), lies just east of downtown Little Rock, about 10 minutes from the Clinton Presidential Library. It is served by all major airlines. Southwest Airlines is the airport's largest carrier with service to seven destinations. The airport has a single, 12-gate terminal building.
Airlines and destinations
- American: Charlotte, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington Reagan National.
- Delta: Atlanta, Detroit, Memphis.
- Frontier: Denver.
- Southwest: Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby, Las Vegas, Phoenix, St. Louis.
- United: Chicago O'Hare, Denver, Houston George Bush Intercontinental.
- See also: Rail travel in the United States
Amtrak serves Little Rock with the Texas Eagle between Los Angeles and Chicago, however the schedule is not optimal nor reliable. The westbound train from Chicago is scheduled to arrive at 3:10AM, and the eastbound train from L.A. by way of Dallas is scheduled to arrive at 11:34PM. The impressive Little Rock Union Station is a reminder of a bygone era and is located at 1400 W Markham St, west of city centre.
Little Rock is located at the intersection of Interstates 40 and 30, about two hours west of Memphis, five hours east of Oklahoma City, and five hours northeast of Dallas. I-530 and U.S. Route 167 also lead into the city.
Interstates 430 and 440 nearly encircle the metropolitan area, and I-630 runs from downtown westward to end at I-430.
- Greyhound ,118 E Washington, +1 501 372-3007)
- Megabus. Service from Dallas and Memphis. Bus stop is in a parking lot on the southwest corner of Cumberland St and E 6th St. Fares from $1 and up.
In November of 2004, in time for the grand opening of the Clinton Library, Little Rock's River Rail Trolley system was completed. Children ride free; adult fare is $1 per ride, or $2 for a day pass. The trolley will take you to most of the major downtown attractions, as well as across the Arkansas River to downtown North Little Rock.
You can pick up a River Rail schedule from any of the hotels or downtown attractions. It passes by every 15 minutes or so. The trolley is a fun, easy way to get around downtown Little Rock.
If you'd like to see more than Downtown, a car is your best bet.
While taxis aren't as common a sight in Little Rock as they are in Dallas or Atlanta, they are available. You'll definitely be able to find one at the airport, and probably you'll see one pass through downtown if you're patient. A better plan would be to call in advance. You can call Capitol Cab at (501) 570-9999.
If you're renting a car: I-630 runs from east/west from downtown to the edge of west Little Rock; for most attractions you won't go too far north or too far south of 630.
Be aware while driving that east Little Rock is pretty much flat, whereas west Little rock can get extremely hilly.
Unlike the River Rail Trolleys, the city bus travels city-wide. One way fare is $1.35 for adults.
Little Rock has a large population of cyclists. There is a large mixed use pedestrian and bike loop connecting both North Little Rock and Little Rock's downtown corridors. There are bike rental places such as River Trail Rentals, +1 501 374-5505, that are located along the Arkansas River Trail .Try the juncttion bridge, or the Big Dam Bridge, which is the longest bridge in the world dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists.
Proceed with caution while traveling downtown in the River Market area. There are no dedicated bike paths other than the Arkansas River Trail, and the River Rail Trolley tracks have deep ruts which can knock off cyclists not paying attention.
East Little Rock
The eastern edge of Little Rock is sparsely populated but is a vital economic area, as Little Rock National Airport and Little Rock River Port are both located here.
- Little Rock Audubon Center, 4500 Springer Blvd. Headquarters of the National Audubon Society's Arkansas chapter and a nature education center complete with a 400 acre park.
Many of Little Rock's most interesting attractions are found in its downtown area.
- Arkansas State Capitol, 500 Woodlane St. M-F 7AM-5PM. Completed in 1915, is of some interest as it was modeled after the U.S. Capitol, and as a result, it has been used in several movies. If the legislature is not in session, you may visit the Senate and House chambers. The Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Arkansas Law Enforcement Memorial, and a monument honoring the Little Rock Nine are located on the grounds. An interesting tidbit of trivia: the capitol occupies the former site of the state penitentiary.
- Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 401 President Clinton Ave, ☎ +1 501 918-3056. The largest facility dedicated to the study of Arkansas history, housed in two historic buildings (built in 1882 and 1914) adjoined by a present-day structure. The Main Library of the Central Arkansas Library System is next door.
- Central Arkansas Library System Main Library, 100 Rock St, ☎ +1 501 918-3000. The largest public library in Arkansas. The building is the former warehouse of the Fones Brothers Hardware Company (founded in 1865, ceased operation in 1987), completed in 1920. In 1993, the city approved a bond to restore the building, and the library eventually moved there in 1997.
- Central High School National Historic Site and Museum, 2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Dr., ☎ +1 501 374-1957. M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM, Su 1PM-4:30PM. This National Historic Site is dedicated to the Central High integration crisis of 1957. The visitor center houses a permanent exhibition on the event and the iconic facade of the school can be viewed from across the street. Reservations are mandatory to tour the school as it is an operating school, and you are asked not to enter it on your own. Free.
- Daisy Bates House, 1207 W 28th St. The home of Little Rock's most celebrated civil rights leader who mentored the Little Rock Nine. The house is a private residence and is not open to the public.
- EMOBA (Ernie's Museum on Black Arkansans), ☎ +1 501 372-0018. 12th and Louisiana. This museum housed in the historic First Baptist Church celebrates the colorful culture, history, and heritage of African American people in Arkansas. (Still under construction, and contributions necessary)
- Gazette Building, 112 W Third St. The Arkansas Gazette, founded in 1819 by William Woodruff, has the distinction of being the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. It is still in print today, although it is now called the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette as a result of a 1991 merger with the Arkansas Democrat. The Gazette was housed in this building from 1908 until the merger. Today it houses eStem Public Charter Schools.
- Heifer International Center, 1 World Ave, toll-free: +1-800-422-0474. Located next to the Clinton Presidential Center, a nonprofit dedicated to caring for the earth and ending hunger and poverty. Visit their internationally recognized Green Headquarters building that has earned the highest LEED award. This is a great place to visit for everyone of all ages.
- Heifer Village. Located behind the Heifer International Center, is an interactive museum and learning center designed to educate the public about a pristine, unspoiled world without poverty and hunger, the stated goal of Heifer International.
- Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E Third St, ☎ +1 501 324-9351. Preserves four historic antebellum homes, also has a gallery with changing exhibits. General admission free. Guided tours: adults $2.50, children $1
- KATV-7 Building, 401 Main St. This 1928 building that now houses Little Rock's local ABC-affiliated television station was once the headquarters of the W. B. Worthen Banking Corporation, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bank is today still in operation, though its name has disappeared into a triple merger, first by Boatmen's, then NationsBank, and now Bank of America.
- Kramer School Artists Cooperative, 715 Sherman St, ☎ +1 501 372-5338. A former elementary school built in 1895 which held its last classes in 1978, the building was later saved from the wrecking ball in 1997 and converted into living and work space for artists. The exterior of the building is in the Romanesque Revival architectural style.
- Little Rock National Cemetery, 2523 Confederate Blvd. Final resting place for more than 25,000 American war veterans; currently closed to new internments.
- MacArthur Park (Bounded by 9th St. to the north, I-630 to the south, Commerce St. to the west, and McMath Ave. to the east) This city park is built around the old Little Rock Arsenal, where Douglas MacArthur was born in 1880. Lots of room to walk around, picnic, and play. Bring a loaf of bread to feed the numerous ducks in the ponds. The park also has two museums within its boundary:
- Arkansas Arts Center, ☎ +1 501 372-4000. 9th and Commerce. Includes a museum school, children's theater, and a wonderful art gallery. The gallery is home to works of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe, Rembrandt and Dale Chihuly, to name a few. The Museum School is a great place to learn or develop art skills. Children's Theatre productions are on most weekends during the school year.
- MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 503 E Ninth St, ☎ +1 501 376-4602. The museum, housed in its namesake's birthplace and the only surviving structure from the Old Arsenal, features military-related exhibits from the nineteenth century to the present. Also located nearby is the Arkansas Korean War Memorial which was unveiled on June 25, 2007.
- Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, ☎ +1 501 683-3593. 9th and Broadway. The original headquarters of the Mosaic Templars (a black fraternal organization, now defunct save for a single chapter in Barbados), destroyed by fire in 2005, has been reconstructed to house a cultural center dedicated to the history and culture of black people.
- Mount Holly Cemetery, 1200 S Broadway. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and known by the nickname "The Westminster Abbey of Arkansas", this historic nineteenth-century cemetery is the final resting place for many noteworthy Arkansans. Among the most notable: David Owen Dodd, the "Boy Martyr of the Confederacy"; Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Gould Fletcher; and William Woodruff, founder of the Arkansas Gazette, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. Also buried here are 10 former Arkansas governors, 14 former Arkansas Supreme Court Justices, 21 former mayors of Little Rock, and 6 former U.S. Senators.
- Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Ave, toll-free: +1-800-880-6475. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM. Ste 150. Science and history museum with interactive exhibits. Great for kids. Adults $6.35, children $5.85.
- The Old State House, 300 W Markham, ☎ +1 501 324-9685. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Oldest surviving state capitol building west of the Mississippi. It is now a state history museum, where you can see the old House of Representatives Chamber. The museum also has a permanent collection of history-related exhibits, and temporary exhibits are shown occasionally. If you have kids, don't miss Grandmother's Cottage, a hands-on room where visitors can examine with a variety of objects from the 1920s-30s. Free.
- Quapaw Quarter. Adjacent to downtown Little Rock is a residential area made up of 19th century Victorian homes, including the Governor's Mansion. Most of the homes are privately owned; however, twice a year (the first weekend in May and the first weekend in December), several of the homes are opened to the public and can be toured. Of note is the Villa Marre, dating from 1881, which was used in the TV sitcom Designing Women as the home of the interior design company.
- The River Market. M-Sa 7AM-6PM, Closed Su. There are more than a dozen permanent vendors, and Farmer's Markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays 7AM-3PM May-Oct.
- Riverfront Park This beautiful downtown park overlooking the Arkansas River is the site of La Petite Roche ("the little rock"), the rock formation for which the city is named. In addition, the park hosts the annual Riverfest celebration every Memorial Day weekend. An outdoor amphitheater for concerts is also located here.
- Robinson Center, Markham and Broadway. One of two city-owned convention centers, physically connected to the Doubletree Hotel and anchored by the 2,609 seat Robinson Center Music Hall, home to traveling Broadway productions, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and Ballet Arkansas.
- Statehouse Convention Center. Markham and Scott. The second city-owned convention center, adjoins the Peabody Hotel.
- Taborian Hall, Ninth and State. This 1916 building is the only surviving remnant of Little Harlem, an African American community that saw its heyday during the segregation era. By 1992, it was vacant and had a huge hole in its roof, and was subsequently restored to house Arkansas Flag and Banner. There is currently a movement to restore the Dreamland Ballroom on the building's top floor, which once saw the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, and many others, to its splendor.
- Trapnall Hall, 423 E Capitol, ☎ +1 501 324-9716. A historic antebellum house that may be rented to host special events.
- Union Station, Markham and Victory. Although now a shadow of its former self save for occasional Amtrak service, Union Station still retains most of its late nineteenth-century atmosphere.
- William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Park, 1200 President Clinton Ave, ☎ +1 501 374-4242. The eleventh Presidential Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, and the largest in the system, is dedicated to the fellow Arkansan and the 42nd President. A huge collection of memorabilia from Clinton's two terms as President, including a replica of the Oval Office. Look also for the Clinton School of Public Service - it is housed in an old Rock Island station built in 1899.
- Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, 602 President Clinton Ave, ☎ +1 501 907-0636. Features an aquarium, a taxidermy collection, and part of the Arkansas River Trail.
- YMCA Building, 524 South Broadway. Bill Clinton was a frequent visitor to this YMCA branch during his years as governor of Arkansas. The building was built in 1928 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. But in 1995, the YMCA of Metropolitan Little Rock shuttered the branch due to declining membership. The building is now awaiting restoration.
- The Heights and Hillcrest Two affluent neighborhoods with a small-town charm. Beginning at Stifft Station on Markham St. and ending at University Ave., Kavanaugh Blvd. winds through both neighborhoods, following the route of a now-defunct streetcar line. Cantrell Rd. forms the boundary between the two neighborhoods, with The Heights to the north and Hillcrest to the south. Many of the city's most popular restaurants are located along Kavanaugh, along with art galleries and odd and interesting shops, both funky and upscale. Hillcrest is mix of mid-priced houses and apartments along with fine old houses. The Heights represents more of the old-money Little Rock Country Club crowd. These were the city's most exclusive neighborhoods until the boom in expensive subdivisions in the far west (e.g., Chenal Valley and Hickory Hills).
- 4910 Club Road, in The Heights neighborhood, is an oft-seen eyesore. On October 20, 2008, Anne Pressly, a KATV-7 anchorwoman and actress was found severely beaten in her home here; she died five days later. On July 13, 2009, the home was demolished.
- War Memorial Park A golf course, fitness center, and public swimming pool are all located here. Also features:
- Little Rock Zoo, 1 Jonesboro Dr, ☎ +1 501 666-2406. Many different animals from all over the world. In addition, the zoo's entrance plaza contains "Over the Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel", a National Register of Historic Places entry with an unusual distinction - it's the world's only waving carousel.
- War Memorial Stadium. The stadium hosts two University of Arkansas home football games, high school football, and concerts. Even if there's no event going on, stop by and look at the Sturgis Memorial Plaza at the stadium's main entrance.
West Little Rock
Not too many years ago Little Rock essentially ended about where I-430 now runs, but in recent years the pace of development in the western part of the city has been rapid, in both commercial and residential areas. Big box stores, chain restaurants, new hotels, and apartment complexes and subdivions stretch for miles west of I-630, especially along Chenal Parkway, West Markham Street, and Cantrell, Bowman, and Shackleford Roads.
- C. Maurice Lewis Jr. Natural Resource Complex, 2 Natural Resources Dr (off Markham St., east of Shackleford Rd. and I-430). The headquarters of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. You can obtain an Arkansas hunting or fishing license here (it is required by state law, even for non-residents) if you're planning to hunt or fish in the Natural State. If those don't suit your interest, at least just drop by and visit the exhibition gallery.
- Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Located along State Route 300, off Cantrell Rd.). Scaling Pinnacle can be accomplished easily in an afternoon. The peak provides a great view of the Arkansas River and the surrounding country. No climbing experience necessary. West trail up the mountain is fairly easy; East trail is much steeper. Several miles of trails allow hikes of various lengths; there's also canoeing and fishing (an Arkansas fishing license is required) on the Little Maumelle and Big Maumelle rivers. Good birdwatching and wildflower-looking. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail starts here and goes all the way to Oklahoma.
- Wildwood Park for the Arts (Located at 20919 Denny Rd., east off Chenal Parkway). Is home to Little Rock's Unique Botanical Gardens. Wildwood Park has expanded its focus to include a full range of the arts, including the performing, literary, culinary, visual, healing and horticultural arts. A 105-acre park, pavilions, gardens and 625-seat theatre complex make Wildwood one of the State's most valuable natural and cultural resources.
- The drive across the river on I-430, while not a destination in and of itself, offers an amazing view of the city and of the river. Driving North on 430 to cross the bridge also offers a panoramic view North.
North Little Rock
- Argenta Historic District Located in the original downtown of North Little Rock next to the new Stephens Ballpark, one of the oldest preserved neighborhoods in central Arkansas. Argenta is a wonderful example of neighborhood renovation, where citizens and the Main Street program worked together to turn a neighborhood completely around.
- Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, 120 Riverfront Park Dr, ☎ +1 501 371-8320. Tour the WWII era submarine USS Razorback, named after a red-skinned South Pacific whale, not the University of Arkansas mascot (submarines were named after aquatic animals during WWII). Important: Touring the submarine requires climbing ladders and passing through narrow, enclosed spaces. This tour is not recommended for children under the age of 5 or for persons who are claustrophobic. Appropriate footwear and clothing are also necessary - no high heels, flip-flop shoes, or long skirts.
- Burns Park (Exit 150 off I-40) One of the largest city parks in the country, alongside the Arkansas River. Two golf courses, hiking and bike trails, playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball fields, and a miniature amusement park. It's also home to part of the Arkansas River Trail (see next section), that crosses the Arkansas River over the Big Dam Bridge. And don't forget to check out the 'rocket slide' around that place.
- Camp Robinson (Exit 150 off I-40, then north on Military Dr.). National Guard base with on-site museum (free admission) open to the public.
- Dickey-Stephens Park hosts the Arkansas Travelers baseball team (see "Do" below).
- Little Rock Air Force Base. In the neighboring town of Jacksonville, is the Department of Defense's only C-130 training facility, and has the Air Force's largest fleet of the type.
- The Old Mill, Lakeshore and Fairway. Famous for having been in the introductory scenes of the movie Gone With the Wind (for about six seconds).
- Verizon Arena, 1 Alltel Arena Way. This 18,000-seat indoor arena is second base to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks basketball team (see "Do" below), and also hosts concerts, ice shows, and other events.
- Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum (underneath the Verizon Arena).
The Arkansas River Trail
The circular Arkansas River Trail runs from downtown Little Rock, west along the Arkansas River to the Big Dam Bridge, crosses it, then runs back east to downtown North Little Rock, finally completing the loop after crossing the historic Junction Bridge. Soon you'll be able to go all the way to Pinnacle Mountain, once the Two Rivers Bridge west of the Big Dam Bridge is finished. A great place to exercise by walking, running, roller skating, or cycling.
- Big Dam Bridge. The centerpiece of the Arkansas River Trail is this 4,226 foot long pedestrian/bike bridge over the Murray Lock and Dam, linking Little Rock's Murray Park with North Little Rock's Cooks Landing Park. Absolutely not to be missed.
Arkansas State Fair
The Arkansas State Fair is held every October at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, located south of downtown. Even when the fair is not in season, the fairgrounds play host to many other special events such as sports competitions and trade shows.
Riverfest is Little Rock's premier cultural arts festival, held every Memorial Day weekend in downtown's Riverfront Park. It is known for its art exhibitions and live entertainment - but don't miss the conclusion of the event which is a spectacular fireworks display over the Arkansas River.
- Greek Food Festival. Held every May at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1100 Napa Valley Drive, in west Little Rock. The largest ethnic festival in Arkansas, according to the February 3, 2010 episode of Jeopardy!. Despite the name, the fare also includes Palestinian, Israeli, Russian, and Lebanese flavor to name a few.
- Little Rock Film Festival. Held every May.
- Little Rock Marathon. A citywide race held in March drawing several thousand participants.
- Movies in the Park. On Wednesday nights in June and July, enjoy free (we'll say it again: free) movies under the stars at the Riverfest Amphitheatre.
- Pinnacle Mountain Rendezvous In October, step back in time at this reenactment of a 19th century pioneer rendezvous, held in Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
- World Fest. A multicultural celebration sponsored by the city's Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission, held in September in MacArthur Park.
Sports and leisure
For those who want to get off the beaten path, Little Rock offers a wide range of sports and leisure activities.
- Arkansas Queen, 100 Riverfront Park Drive, ☎ +1 501 372-5777. In North Little Rock. Lunch and dinner cruises with live entertainment are available.
- Arkansas Skatium, 1311 Bowman Road, ☎ +1 501 227-4333. Dual ice and roller skating facility. Learn how to figure skate or play hockey if you don't know already. Or if roller skating is your interest, the roller side has speed skating and women's roller derby.
- Camp Aldersgate, 2000 Aldersgate Road, ☎ +1 501 225-1444. For children with disabilities or other special needs.
- Gator Park, ☎ +1 501 455-3750. 11411 W. Baseline Road/11000 S. Interstate 30. Miniature golf, go-carts, bumper boats; perfect for kids.
- Golf is a popular activity in Little Rock. Both public and private courses; country club membership may apply.
- Jim Dailey Aquatic and Fitness Center, ☎ +1 501 664-6976. 300 South Monroe. Located in War Memorial Park.
- Playtime Pizza, ☎ +1 501-227-PLAY (7529). 600 Colonel Glenn Plaza Loop (behind the Rave movie theatre). There is a good reason to place this listing here and not under "Eat": consider it a Chuck E. Cheese's on steroids. Here you'll find an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, video arcade, go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, miniature golf, rock climbing wall, and ten-pin bowling alley, all under one roof.
- Riley's Health and Fitness Centers. Four locations.
- See a movie at UA Breckenridge Village 12 (1200 Breckenridge Drive, 501-224-0992, online ticketing at Fandango) or Rave Motion Pictures Colonel Glenn 18 (18 Colonel Glenn Plaza Drive, 501-687-0499, online ticketing at movietickets.com), both of which have digital projection, stadium seating and surround sound. For the ultimate film experience, the Chenal 9 (17825 Chenal Parkway, +1 501-821-2616, online ticketing at movietickets.com) features a full-scale IMAX screen. Independent films are shown at Market Street Cinema (1521 Merrill Drive, +1 501 312-8900, no online ticketing available).
- Walk across the Arkansas river to North Little Rock on a converted train trestle.
- Wild River Country, 6820 Crystal Hill Road, ☎ +1 501 753-8600. North Little Rock. This waterpark, the largest in Arkansas, makes the perfect getaway during the spring and summer. Located across the Arkansas River from west Little Rock.
- Willow Springs, 3903 Willow Lake Road, ☎ +1 501 888-4148. Another great waterpark, also the oldest in Little Rock, open since 1928. Located south of downtown.
- YMCA of Metropolitan Little Rock. Westside branch in West Little Rock, Carver branch downtown, and Heflin branch in North Little Rock.
- Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St, ☎ +1 501 378-0405, toll-free: +1-866-6THEREP (843737). Live stage performances.
- Murry's Dinner Playhouse, 6323 Colonel Glenn Rd, ☎ +1 501 562-3131. Enjoy both a gourmet buffet meal and a live stage production at this local favorite, open since 1967.
- The Weekend Theatre, ☎ +1 501 374-3761. 7th and Chester. A community-based theater open to amateur acting.
- Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 20919 Denny Rd, ☎ +1 501 821-7275. Appreciate the art of live theater in the lush setting of a botanical garden.
Professional and College Sports
- Arkansas Razorbacks. Sports teams of the University of Arkansas. Normally play at the school's Fayetteville campus, but play two home football games each season at War Memorial Stadium, and occasional men's basketball games at Verizon Arena.
- Arkansas Travelers. Class AA minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Plays in Dickey-Stephens Park, located in North Little Rock just across the river from downtown.
- Little Rock Trojans. Sports teams of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a member of the Sun Belt Conference—although unlike most of the members of that league, Little Rock doesn't have a football team. The most prominent venue is the on-campus Jack Stephens Center, used for men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball.
- Park Plaza, 6000 W Markham. Midtown mall.
- Midtowne Center. Across University Ave. from Park Plaza, features upscale retailers.
- Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Rd. West. Little Rock's newest upscale center.
- McCain Mall, 3929 McCain Blvd. North Little Rock.
- River Market District. Numerous retailers downtown.
- The Shoppes at North Hills (Coming Soon). This open-air center in North Little Rock will be anchored by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.
- Shackleford Crossing Shackleford Rd. at I-430.
- Boscos. Microbrewery with upscale pizza, pub food, and more.
- Gusano's. Chicago style pizza and bar located in the River Market.
- Juanita's Cafe and Bar. A long-time favorite Mexican restaurant which often features name bands in the adjoining bar.
- Sonny Williams' Steak Room. Boasts an award-winning wine list, a piano bar, and some of the best steaks and seafood in Little Rock.
- Sticky Fingerz Rock and Roll Chicken Shack. Has a musical lineup worth checking out while you're in town.
- Vinos. Billed as Little Rock's original brewpub and serves handcrafted ales, pizza, calzones, and is the place in Arkansas to find premier alternative entertainment, but it also makes for a fine restaurant. The place for LR's tattoo and piercing crowd, but also friendly to older folks.
West Little Rock
- 1620 Restaurant, 1620 Market St, ☎ +1 501 221-1620. A diverse menu and nightly specials are some of the reasons the patrons keep coming back. Fresh seafood such as Ahi tuna, grouper, sea bass, Escalar, Dover sole, and walleye are regularly found on the menu or as a feature, which changes nightly.
- Bonefish Grill, 11525 Cantrell Rd. #901, ☎ +1 501 217-0221. Straight from the ocean to your table, fish is flown in, inspected and hand-cut daily, and then prepared over a wood-burning grill.
- Butcher Shop Steak House, 10825 Hermitage Rd, ☎ +1 501 312-2748. Casual, welcoming atmosphere for families and business meetings. USDA choice and prime steaks, hand cut on premises. Also have fish, pastas, chicken and more.
- Cafe' 201, ☎ +1 501 223-3000. 201 S Shackleford in Crowne Plaza Hotel. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Classic American Cuisine featuring the fine steaks. Locals and guests alike enjoy the friendly service in a sophisticated atmosphere.
- Capers, 14502 Cantrell Rd, ☎ +1 501 868-7600. California wine country theme. Menu focus on fresh ingredients. Fresh fish, hand-cut steaks, chicken, pasta, etc. Comfortable romantic setting with full bar. Wine spectator award winner for five years.
- Coffee Beanery Cafe, 17200 Chenal Pkwy, ☎ +1 501 821-7747. American fare, afternoon tea service, childrens men, outdoor dining, free parking, group discounts, full ADA, smoke free. Wi-Fi.
- Corky's Ribs and Barbecue, 12005 Westhaven Dr, ☎ +1 501 954-7427.
- Cozymel's Mexican Grill, 10 Shackleford Dr (Walking distance of Crowne Plaza.), ☎ +1 501 954-7100. Celebrates the rich culture, cuisine and family traditions of Mexico. Authentically prepared, expertly seasoned fresh seafood and prime steaks, slow-roasted pork, flavorful grilled beef and chicken, and distinctive signature sauces recall the rich tastes of a Mexican resort. The sumptuous aromas from the open kitchens and a selection of specialty margaritas and tropical drinks promise an adventurous dining experience. Call for group menu.
- Crew Restaurant, 11525 Cantrell Rd.
- Delicious Temptations, 11220 N Rodney Parham Rd, ☎ +1 501 225-6893.
- Faded Rose West, 400 N Bowman Rd, ☎ +1 501 224-3377. Sandwiches, seafood, fish, steaks. Full Bar, extensive wine list, handicapped accessible, non smoking Section. (There's another location in the Riverdale area.)
- Gaucho's Grill, 11 Shackleford Dr, ☎ +1 501 821-2818.
- Grumpy's Too Neighborhood Bar and Grill, 1801 Green Mountain Dr.
- Gypsy's Grill and Bar, 11401 Rodney Parham Rd, ☎ +1 501 225-4152. Specializing in world cuisine with a strong French emphasis. A lot of fresh seafood, Chateaubriand, duck, lamb, veal and Grand Marnier and chocolate souffles.
- Imagine-A Restaurant, 11525 Cantrell Rd, ☎ +1 501 801-5530.
- Izzy's Famous Food Place, 5601 Ranch Dr, ☎ +1 501 868-4311. Southern hand rolled hot tamales, brick oven pizzas, 14 freshly made salads, hand prepared burgers. Group menu is available, as well as separate checks for groups.
- Jasmine's #27 Rahling Cir., +1 501 821-1838.
- Julie's, 110 S Shackleford Rd, ☎ +1 501 224-4501. (across from Crowne Plaza) Locally owned restaurant that has been in business for 25 years. Quiet, comfortable atmosphere, great for conversation and a relaxed lunch or dinner out. The menu is diverse with an emphasis on hand cut steaks, prime rib and seafood. Something for everyone, kids menus, casual dress and a separate bar.
- Mimi’s Café, 11725 Chenal Pkwy, ☎ +1 501 221-3883.
- Purple Cow II, 11602 Chenal Pkwy, ☎ +1 501 224-4433. Two locations offer the same menu - with choices for all family members. The restaurants are the combination of a 50's diner, a soda fountain, and a burger joint, featuring hand-dipped shakes and malts and soda fountain treats; great burgers and a variety of sandwiches, homemade soups and chili; and a popular selection of entree salads; and a daily Purple platter special; on week-ends, brunch items. A smoke-free restaurant.
- Sekisui Sushi Bar & Hibachi Grill, 219 North Shackleford Rd (walking distance of Crowne Plaza), ☎ +1 501 221-7070.
- Star of India, 301 N Shackleford Rd, ☎ +1 501 227-9900.
- West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 215 N Shackleford Rd (walking distance of Crowne Plaza), ☎ +1 501 224-7665.
- Buffalo Grill A traditional LR favorite for burgers, fries (excellent), nachos, sandwiches, beer, etc., etc. It's all nicely done. Locations in the Riverdale area and in west Little Rock.
- Canon Grill In the middle of Hillcrest, this friendly, inexpensive spot offers Mexican-style dishes.
- Damgoode Pies Locations on Cantrell Road and in Hillcrest with some of the best pizza in town.
- The Oyster Bar A longtime neighborhood favorite in Stifft Station-Hillcrest with shrimp, oysters, po-boys, and draft Bass and Guinness. A contender for best jukebox in town.
- Pizza D'Action A smoky hangout for the young and hip crowd at Stifft Station on Markham Street. (They get around the no-smoking law by declaring themselves a bar and barring the under-21s).
- U.S. Pizza There are several locations of this popular locally based chain, including Hillcrest, the Heights, and Rodney Parham Road.
- Vino's (See Downtown)
- Whole Hog Cafe. Excellent Southern barbecue and winner of many awards (including some from the renowned Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest)
- Brave New Restaurant, 2300 Cottondale Lane, ☎ +1 501 663-2677. Good luck finding this place, hidden in an office building in the Riverdale area. Once you get there, though, you'll be in one of the top handful of restaurants in town, where chef Peter Brave offers a menu of fresh ingredients in a setting overlooking the Arkansas River.
- Cafe Prego Unpretentious Italian place in the Heights, with an amazing collection of ... stuff on the walls. Try the Chicken Prego, the focaccia (thicker and breadier than most), and by all means the Chocolate Creme Brulee. Outside seating in good weather.
- Ciao A friendly Italian restaurant in a storefront on 7th Street downtown.
- Ciao Bacci, Located in a cozy Hillcrest home converted into a restaurant (that used to be the original Andre's). Very good appetizers and entrees, extensive wine list, and open very late. A good place for dinner or for just hanging out with appetizers and wine. A little expensive, but good prices for the quality.
- Faded Rose New Orleans and Creole/Cajun-style food might be the focus here, but it also has excellent steaks. Locations in the Riverdale area and in west Little Rock.
- Ferneau, 2601 Kavanaugh Boulevard, ☎ +1 501 603-9208. Excellent (and fairly pricey) food in a popular spot in the heart of Hillcrest, presided over by one of Little Rock's best chefs.
- Forbidden City in Park Plaza is a quasi-elegant Chinese restaurant.
- Franke's Cafeteria Three locations serving good cafeteria-style food.
- Loca Luna Eclectic food: a mix of southern, Southwestern, with maybe a touch of Italian and Mexican. (Example: barbecue chicken pizza with cranberry tequila sauce.) Good nightly specials, or try the old faithful pot roast. Great meatloaf (!) at lunch. Reasonably priced wine. Outside seating.
- Mt. Fuji Enjoy the best cuisine from Japan in a fine setting. Also has a gift shop that sells Japanese goods.
- Star of India Lots of good Indian food for the money, from a long menu of traditional Indian dishes. Good service, and owner Sami goes out of his way to please customers. Indian beer, too.
- Trio's Fine food and fine service in an upscale mini-mall on Cantrell Road. On nearly all locals' lists of LR favorites. Outside seating.
- The Villa Good, reliable Italian restaurant. Thrice relocated, it has been a Little Rock institution since 1951.
- The Flying Saucer. In the heart of the River Market area downtown.
- Crush Wine Bar. Winnner of Best wine list in Arkansas. Located in the River Market area downtown.
- The White Water Tavern. Cheap beer, great food and live music on most nights of the week.
The opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in 2004 nearly caused Little Rock's hotels to burst at the seams, and the number of visitors to the city is growing. It would be nearly impossible to list all the best hotels here. Note, however, that the designations of Budget, Mid-range, and Splurge do not necessarily reflect price range, and also apply to the quality of accommodations and amenities.
- Days Inn and Suites Airport, 3200 Bankhead Dr, ☎ +1 501 490-2010.
- Comfort Inn and Suites Airport, 4301 E. Roosevelt Rd, ☎ +1 501 376-2466.
- BW Governor's Suites Hotel, 1501 Merrill Dr, ☎ +1 501 224-8051, fax: +1 501-221-7552. Central location, gym, outdoor pool.
- Comfort Inn and Suites Downtown, ☎ +1 501 687-7700. 707 I-30,
- Comfort Inn West, 300 Markham Center Dr, ☎ +1 501 227-0120.
- Holiday Inn Express West, 4900 Tally Rd, ☎ +1 501 224-2600.
- Candlewood Suites, 10520 W Markham Rd, toll-free: +1-877-226-3539.
- Holiday Inn at the Presidential Center 600 Interstate 30, +1 501 375-2100. The closest hotel to the Clinton Library.
- AmeriSuites Little Rock/Financial Center, 10920 Financial Center Pkwy, ☎ +1 501 225-1075. Located in the heart of the financial district and only eight miles west of downtown Little Rock.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Little Rock Downtown, 320 S Commerce St, ☎ +1 501 244-0600. Located just 2 blocks from the banks of the Arkansas River in the revitalized downtown River Market district.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Little Rock, 1301 Shackleford Road, ☎ +1 501 537-3000. Located in the heart of the financial district.
- Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock Hotel, 2 Riverfront Place. # On the north bank of the Arkansas River, in the heart of downtown North Little Rock - just one mile from the downtown Little Rock business district, seven miles from Little Rock National Airport and just a few blocks from the Statehouse Convention Center and Alltel Arena.
- Marriott. 3 Statehouse Plaza.the state's only full-service Marriott
- The Capital Hotel, ☎ +1 501 374-7474, toll-free: +1-877-637-0037. Markham & Louisiana. Just went through a multimillion-dollar renovation, regaining its spot as the classiest place to stay in Little Rock. Located downtown across the street from the Peabody and within walking distance of the River Market. Even if you can't afford to stay here, drop in to check out the beautiful lobby.
- Courtyard by Marriott Little Rock Downtown, 521 President Clinton Avenue, ☎ +1 501 975-9800. Right in the heart of the River Market, near the Clinton Presidential Center.
- Doubletree Little Rock, est Markham, 1-501. 424 W-372-4371. Adjoins Robinson Center downtown and is next to the Old State House.
- Hilton Little Rock Metrocenter, 925 South University, +1 501 664-5020. Located in central Little Rock, not near downtown, but convenient to I-630.
- Embassy Suites Little Rock, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, ☎ +1 501 312-9000. Full-service hotel with 251 two-room suites.
- Crowne Plaza Little Rock, 201 South Shackleford. Just completed a $12 million renovation to become Arkansas' first Crowne Plaza.
- Courtyard by Marriott West, 10900 Financial Centre Parkway, ☎ +1 501 227-6000.
- An Enchanting Evening - Luxury Log Cabin, 29300 Hwy 300, ☎ +1 501 330-2182. Private cabin with hot tub.
- Mexico has a consulate in Little Rock. (3500 S University Ave, +1 501 372-6933)
- If you have kids with you, the Little Rock Visitors Bureau website has a kids section with a wide range of activities.
- Free Internet service is provided in all branches of the Central Arkansas Library System
- Memphis is a 2-hr drive east on I-40.
- Hot Springs is a one hour drive southwest of Little Rock.
- Bentonville by way of Eureka Springs or Fort Smith. Two to three hours driving, plus sightseeing stops.
|Routes through Little Rock|
|Dallas ← Hope ←||SW NE||→ Poplar Bluff → St. Louis|
|Texarkana ← Bryant ←||W E||→ North Little Rock → Ends at W E|
|Springfield ← North Little Rock ←||N S||→ Pine Bluff → Clayton|
|Poplar Bluff ← North Little Rock ←||N S||→ Bryant → Texarkana|
|Hot Springs ← Benton ←||W E||→ North Little Rock → Memphis|
|Ash Flat ← North Little Rock ←||N S||→ El Dorado → Ruston|