If you are planning a vacation in the United States, then don’t forget to include ‘Petite Roche’ or Little Rock in your travel agenda! Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. With art galleries, sports centres, parks, busy markets, splendid museums and mouth-watering food, this city has much to offer to everyone! Interestingly, it is also the hometown of President Clinton. Therefore, one can hope to learn much about this intriguing family on their visit. Listed below are a select few places to visit in Little Rock!
Let's explore Little Rock points of interest and 15 best things to do in Little Rock:
1. Visit the Arkansas State Capitol
Built in 1899, the Arkansas State Capitol was initially used to house prisoners. Greatly improved with a number of brilliant historical structures, this building now serves as the Arkansan government’s official home. The Liberty Bell, a monument of the Confederate War Prisoners and a memorial for the Little Rock Nine Civil Rights - this edifice is replete with the knowledge to the brim. One can learn all about their significance by signing up for a tour as well!
2. Visit the Heifer International Village and Green Building
With a pledge to end poverty and hunger, the Heifer International Village offers a wide range of galleries, ideas, lessons and tours that can enhance your knowledge on these pressing issues of our planet. It not only entertains visitors with its plethora of environmentally friendly ideas but also invites the less privileged to inculcate self-sufficiency. Various teaching programs and awareness camps are carried out to fulfil this vision!
3. Know More about the President’s life at William J. Clinton Presidential Center
Are you into politics? Or simply interested to know about the former President’s life? Want to get a feel of the Oval Office? If yes, then the Clinton Presidential Center is just the right place for you! Situated in the heart of Little Rock, this place provides a multitude of fun-learning activities for the politically inquisitive mind. The Clinton Library and Museum exhibit numerous artefacts of the President’s family; one can even tour the replica of the Oval Office and the White House’s Cabinet Room!
4. Enjoy A Walk Or A Bicycle Ride On The Big Dam Bridge
If you are the physically active and adventurous kind, then the Big Dam Bridge is a place you definitely wouldn’t want to miss! Stretched across the Arkansas River and Murray Lock and Dam, this 1288 meters long bridge is renowned for being the longest cycle and pedestrian bridge in the entire States. It is most suitable to ride a bicycle or to organize sponsored walks. Be sure to stop by this phenomenal structure on your visit to Little Rock!
5. Take a ride in the River Rail Electric Streetcar
Streetcars were quite the craze back in the 1870s, however just before the start of the Second World War, the streetcar service was closed in Little Rock. The good news is that in 2004, the authentic streetcar system of the good-old-days was reopened! A totally worthwhile experience, one can take in the beauty of Arkansas River, River Market and the Clinton Center while travelling in these classics!
6. Spend a leisurely evening at the Riverfront Park
Away from the hustle-bustle of the city, this breathtaking park runs along the Arkansas River. Walking trails, playgrounds, a nature centre, monuments such as the Riverfront Park History Pavilion, the La Petit Roche Plaza, the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge and the Little Rock Civil War Marker are some of the many activities one can relish in this beautiful park. Although, one should definitely drop by the Little Rock Civil War Marker, after all the city was named after it!
7. Know a more about the bygone era at ESSE Purse Museum
At some point in our lives, we’ve all visited local history, natural history or tribal museums. Well, how about giving the concept of the museum a little twist? The ESSE Purse Museum would fascinate anyone who loves collecting purses! Here, one can learn about the origin and history of purses; ‘A Century of Women and Handbags 1900-1999’ feature and numerous galleries help to educate the visitors about the museum’s unique theme!
8. Know more about the US military at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
Since we are already talking about differently themed museums, let’s not forget the wonderful MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Named after Douglas MacArthur, a celebrated General and Chief of Staff of the US army, this museum holds various artefacts including photographs, military uniforms, antique letters and much more! You are sure to feel a little patriotic upon visiting this building!
9. Experience the old charm at The Old Mill
Do you fancy travelling back to the America of the 1800s? Or to witness the architectural style and scenic charm of that bygone era? Well, in the 21st century, the Old Mill can fulfil this wish of yours! This replica of a grist mill, it was featured in 1939 classic Gone with the Wind. It is surrounded by a picturesque park that is decorated with tree stumps and toadstools; all this renders a rustic feel to this magnificent space!
10. Attend exhibitions at Arkansas Arts Center
To treat your artistic nerve, do spend some time at the Arkansas Arts Center! It showcases artwork dating back to the 1400s, has a world-famous Children’s Theatre and displays numerous genres of art. Drawings, paintings, prints- just name it and you’ll find it here! This pleasant experience only escalates when one comes to know that the entry is free.
11. Spend time at the Little Rock Zoo
The largest zoo in Arkansas, it opened in 1926 and since then has housed over 725 animals! Varied species of animals can be found here; the zoo itself is uniformly divided into different sections such as an Elephant Barn, a Big Cat Zone, Children’s Farm and petting zoo and so on. There are grizzly bears, apes, penguins, giraffes, big cats and much more. This zoo truly proves to be an excellent getaway with your children!
12. Learn more about South Korean and American history at H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden
As a tribute to the American Taekwondo Association Eternal Grand Master Haeng Ung Lee, this International Gate and Garden was named after him. It holds a deeper significance for its a symbol of the South Korean and American friendship. A quiet, peaceful space for reflection, the garden’s gate is painted the traditional Korean way. Its appeal is further heightened by a centrally placed pool and Eternal Grand Master Lee’s bust on the front wall.
13. Spend time at The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
Located at the Arkansas River, this centre focuses on recreational activities, including the little thrill of being amidst wildlife. It is also very close to the Clinton Presidential Library, Clinton Foundation House, the Museum of Discovery and the State House Convention Center, thereby making it the ideal spot to drop by before indulging in pursuits of theoretical knowledge. One can watch migrating pelicans, basking turtles and the like here!
14. Enjoy live performances at River Market District
An open concept structure with numerous eateries, groceries, coffee shops, the River Market District also offers fresh local Farmer’s Produce. One can witness live musical performances, marvellous crafts being practised by artists and cuisines of all kinds lined up in this thriving place of business and community development! If you’re ever in Little Rock, you must visit here at least once. Locals say the breakfast served there is delicious!
15. Spend time at Wildwood Park
Designed for indoor and outdoor music and performing arts, one can appreciate nature and enjoy music too in this lovely park. It is perfect for a casual stroll amongst blooming daffodils, native flowering trees and natural woodlands. The Gertrude Butler Pavilion, Doris Gay Garden, Butler Arboretum and Bruce Gardens are areas within this park that feature space for different kind of flowers and trees.
The diverse capital of Arkansas, Little Rock, is full of historical, natural and educational destinations to visit. Traveling alone or with your soul mate or with your entire family, you will indeed be mesmerized by the native beauty of this humble city. So, whenever you plan your trip do ensure to enjoy all the places mentioned here!