Little Rock, the Arkansas capital, is the land of mountains and plains. It is also the largest city and is so named because of the small rock formation called La Petite Roche (meaning the little rock) on the Arkansas River’s south bank. As per the legend, this rock formation was a landmark for the river traffic in the olden days and so the city got its name as the Little Rock. Today, this is seen in the downtown’s Riverfront Park. And with that, I will also admit that most of the interesting Little Rock Arkansas attractions are in the city center itself.
As I had that much only time to explore the downtown, the River Rail Trolley was the best medium for me for $1 per ride with free rides for children. Via this trolley, you can easily see the major downtown attractions along with those across the Arkansas River. So, in this article, you will be introduced to the Little Rock Arkansas attractions in the downtown.
If you are a first time visitor, a trip to the beautiful Riverfront Park overlooking the Arkansas River is a must and you now know why. Besides the rock formation, the park is also the venue of the annual Riverfest celebration that takes place at the Memorial Day weekend. Also, look for an outdoor amphitheater where the concerts are held.
Next, the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library and Park perched high above the water is worth a look on the President Clinton Ave. This is the 11th Presidential Library that is the largest one and is devoted to the fellow 42nd President. As stunning as the exterior, the interior offers a big memorabilia that belongs to the two terms of Clinton’s Presidency along with the Oval Office replica as well as the Clinton School of Public Service in an ancient Rock Island station that is 111 years old.
Close to the Clinton Presidential Center is the Heifer International Center that is nonprofit one devoted to the wellbeing of the planet that is now engulfing poverty and hunger. Their world-wide acclaimed Green Headquarters building has grabbed the highest LEED award and is a must for all ages. Just behind is the Heifer Village surprisingly an interactive museum as well as a learning center, not an actual village. This is where you get to know about an unspoiled world that was supposed to be our Earth free of poverty and hunger.
Arkansas State Capitol from 7 am to 5 pm attracts all the visitors for being modeled after the U.S. Capitol due to which it has been cast in many movies. In case of no session, explore the Senate and House chambers. And yes, on its grounds, you get to see the Arkansas Law Enforcement Memorial, Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and a memorial respecting the Little Rock Nine. Did you know that the site of the capitol was formerly the state penitentiary? Sounds interesting!
MacArthur Park around the old Little Rock Arsenal is a cool place to relax. Well, it is a legendary site where Douglas MacArthur was born. Today, for the tourists, there are a lot of tracks to walk, play, and picnic. And yes, bring bread loaf to feed the ducks that thrive in the ponds. Inside, there are two museums: Arkansas Arts Center offering children’s theater, museum school, and art gallery housing the works of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Rembrandt and MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History featuring 19th to present century exhibits related to military.
At the luxury Peabody Hotel, you can just spend some time watching the swimming ducks in the lobby’s fountain at 11 am daily. You can do so even if you are not staying here as this is one of the not to miss Little Rock Arkansas attractions.
Do taste the Chicago style pizza at Gusano’s, Italian menu in Ciao, Japanese cuisine at Mt. Fuji, and Indian dishes at the Star of India.
Comfort Inn and Suites near airport
Days Inn and Suites
Comfort Inn and Suites in downtown
Best time to visit
High temperatures are experienced in August and September, while the same extreme is witnessed in the cold months of December and January. Therefore, fall and spring are often recommended as the best time.