Little Rock

Duck royalty at the Peabody Hotel (the former name of Marriot hotel)

Little Rock is the capital and the largest city of the state of Arkansas. Little Rock is a cultural, economic, government, and transportation center within Arkansas and the American South. There are several cultural institutions are in Little Rock, and hiking, boating, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Little Rock's history is available through history museums, historic districts or neighborhoods.


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 Walmart, Tyson Foods, and major trucking firms, is rapidly gaining). Little Rock is home to the state's only medical school, and one of the two branches of the University of Arkansas law school. In 2019, it had a population of about 200,000 with a metro area of over 700,000.


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.


Little Rock
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
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See Little Rock's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
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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.

Tourist information[edit]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Arkansas State Capitol
  • 1 Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT  IATA). It lies just east of downtown Little Rock, about 10 minutes from the Clinton Presidential Library. It is served by all major U.S. airlines. Southwest Airlines is the airport's largest carrier with service from five destinations. The airport has a single, 12-gate terminal building. Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (Q868994) on Wikidata Clinton National Airport on Wikipedia

Airlines and destinations[edit]

By train[edit]

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.

  • 2 Little Rock Union Station, 1400 W Markham St (west of city center). Impressive station, opened in 1921 that's a reminder of a bygone era. The station has a waiting room, but no other services. Little Rock Union Station (Q6651746) on Wikidata Little Rock Union Station on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

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.

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

By train[edit]

  • River Rail Trolleys. 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. Free.

By car[edit]

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 +1 501 570-9999.

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.

Parking is generally not difficult in Little Rock. However, if you're parking where the Metro Streetcar (formerly River Rail) runs, you'll want to make sure that you're well clear of the tracks. Check this specifically on Markham, Second, and Third Streets near the River Market and the Clinton Library in downtown Little Rock, and around Main and Maple Streets in North Little Rock. It would probably be wise to walk or ride the trolleys to visit these areas.

By bus[edit]

  • Rock Region Metro (Central Arkansas Transit Authority). Unlike the River Rail streetcars, the city bus travels city-wide. One-way fare is $1.35 for adults, or $36 for unlimited rides during a month. Rock Region Metro (Q5060353) on Wikidata Rock Region Metro on Wikipedia

By bike[edit]

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 that are located along the Arkansas River Trail. Try the junction 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[edit]

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 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 acres (160 hectares) park.


The Little Rock Nine at the State Capitol
Central High
The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library

Many of Little Rock's most interesting attractions are found in its downtown area.

  • 1 Arkansas State Capitol, 500 Woodlane St, +1 501-682-3000. 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 on the grounds. The Capitol occupies the former site of the state penitentiary. Arkansas State Capitol (Q673076) on Wikidata Arkansas State Capitol on Wikipedia
  • 2 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. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies (Q25004532) on Wikidata Butler Center for Arkansas Studies on Wikipedia
  • 3 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 Arkansas Library System (Q5060351) on Wikidata Central Arkansas Library System on Wikipedia
  • 4 Central High School National Historic Site and Museum, 2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Dr, +1 501 374-1957. M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM, Su 1-4:30PM. 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. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (Q49518217) on Wikidata
  • 5 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. Daisy Bates House (Q5209689) on Wikidata Daisy Bates House on Wikipedia
  • 6 Museum of Black Arkansans and Performing Arts Center (EMOBA - Ernie's Museum of Black Arkansans) (12th and Louisiana), +1 501 372-0018. This museum housed in the historic First Baptist Church celebrates the colorful culture, history, and heritage of African American people in Arkansas. First Baptist Church (Q5452405) on Wikidata Museum of Black Arkansans and Performing Arts Center on Wikipedia
  • 7 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. Gazette Building (Q5529104) on Wikidata Gazette Building (Little Rock, Arkansas) on Wikipedia
  • Heifer International Center, 1 World Ave (next to the Clinton Presidential Center), toll-free: +1-800-422-0474. 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 (behind the Heifer International Center). It 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.
  • 8 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.
  • 9 KATV-7 Building (Worthen Bank 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. Worthen Bank Building (Q24041227) on Wikidata Worthen Bank Building on Wikipedia
  • 10 Little Rock National Cemetery, 2523 Springer Blvd, +1 479-783-5345. Final resting place for more than 25,000 American war veterans; closed to new internments. Little Rock National Cemetery (Q6651762) on Wikidata Little Rock National Cemetery on Wikipedia
  • 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:
    • 11 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. 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. Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (Q672759) on Wikidata Arkansas Arts Center on Wikipedia
    • 12 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 19th century to the present. Also nearby is the Arkansas Korean War Memorial which was unveiled on June 25, 2007. Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal (Q7829641) on Wikidata Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal on Wikipedia
  • 13 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. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (Q6915327) on Wikidata Mosaic Templars Cultural Center on Wikipedia
  • 14 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 19th-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. Mount Holly Cemetery (Q6921230) on Wikidata Mount Holly Cemetery on Wikipedia
  • 15 Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Ave, toll-free: +1-800-880-6475. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Ste 150. Science and history museum with interactive exhibits. Great for kids. Adults $6.35, children $5.85. Arkansas Museum of Discovery (Q4791827) on Wikidata Arkansas Museum of Discovery on Wikipedia
  • 16 The Old State House, 300 W Markham, +1 501 324-9685. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. 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. Old State House (Q7085085) on Wikidata Old State House (Little Rock) on Wikipedia
  • 17 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. Quapaw Quarter (Q7269123) on Wikidata Quapaw Quarter on Wikipedia
  • The River Market. M-Sa 7AM-6PM, closed Su. There are more than a dozen permanent vendors, and Farmer's Markets May-Oct: Tu and Sa 7AM-3PM.
  • 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, 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.
  • 19 Statehouse Convention Center. Markham and Scott. The second city-owned convention center, adjoins the Peabody Hotel. Statehouse Convention Center (Q7603929) on Wikidata Statehouse Convention Center on Wikipedia
  • 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 a movement to restore the Dreamland Ballroom on the building's top floor to its splendor. It once saw the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Nat King Cole.
  • 20 Trapnall Hall, 423 E Capitol, +1 501 324-9716. A historic antebellum house that may be rented to host special events. Trapnall Hall (Q24693457) on Wikidata Trapnall Hall on Wikipedia
  • 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.
  • 21 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 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. Clinton Presidential Center (Q2301926) on Wikidata Clinton Presidential Center on Wikipedia
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, 602 President Clinton Ave, +1 501-251-1083. 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).
  • War Memorial Park A golf course, fitness center, and public swimming pool are all located here. Also features:
    • 22 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. Little Rock Zoo (Q6651776) on Wikidata Little Rock Zoo on Wikipedia
    • 23 War Memorial Stadium, +1 501 663-0775. 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. War Memorial Stadium (Q3566221) on Wikidata War Memorial Stadium (Arkansas) on Wikipedia

West Little Rock[edit]

Little Rock used to end about where I-430 now runs, but 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.
  • 24 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. Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Q7196303) on Wikidata Pinnacle Mountain State Park on Wikipedia
  • 25 Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Rd., east off Chenal Parkway, +1 501 821-7275. 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 acres (42 hectares) park, pavilions, gardens and 625-seat theatre complex make Wildwood one of the State's most valuable natural and cultural resources. Wildwood Park for the Arts (Q8001583) on Wikidata Wildwood Park for the Arts on Wikipedia
  • 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[edit]

North Little Rock is an independent city just across the Arkansas River from downtown Little Rock.

  • 26 Argenta Historic District (Rock next to the new Dickey-Stephens Park). Argenta is one of the oldest preserved neighborhoods in central Arkansas. The neighborhood is a wonderful example of revitalization efforts, where citizens and the Main Street program have worked together since the mid-1990s to turn a neighborhood completely around. Argenta Historic District (Q4789256) on Wikidata Argenta Historic District on Wikipedia
  • 27 Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, 120 Riverfront Park Dr, +1 501 371-8320. Tour the World War II-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 World War II). 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. Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (Q4791816) on Wikidata Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum on Wikipedia
  • 28 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. Burns Park (Q5000086) on Wikidata Burns Park (North Little Rock, Arkansas) on Wikipedia
  • 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.
  • 29 Dickey-Stephens Park. Hosts the Arkansas Travelers baseball team (see "Do" below). Dickey-Stephens Park (Q5273653) on Wikidata Dickey-Stephens Park on Wikipedia
  • 30 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. Little Rock Air Force Base (Q1784194) on Wikidata Little Rock Air Force Base on Wikipedia
  • 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).
  • 31 Simmons Bank Arena, 1 Simmons Bank Arena Drive. This 18,000-seat indoor arena, renamed in 2019 from Verizon Arena, is second base to the Little Rock Trojans and Arkansas Razorbacks basketball teams (see "Do" below), and also hosts concerts, ice shows, and other events. Simmons Bank Arena (Q3555887) on Wikidata Simmons Bank Arena on Wikipedia

The Arkansas River Trail[edit]

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.

  • 32 Big Dam Bridge. The centerpiece of the Arkansas River Trail is this 4,226-foot (1,288 m) long pedestrian and 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. Big Dam Bridge (Q4905540) on Wikidata Big Dam Bridge on Wikipedia


If you have kids with you, the Little Rock Visitors Bureau website has a kids section[dead link] with a wide range of activities.

Annual events[edit]

  • Arkansas State Fair. The Arkansas State Fair is held every October at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, 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. Riverfest is Little Rock's premier cultural arts festival, held every Memorial Day weekend (the weekend that includes the last Monday in May) 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.

Other events[edit]

  • 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. Despite the name, the fare includes Palestinian, Israeli, Russian, and Lebanese flavor.
  • Little Rock Film Festival. Held every May. Little Rock Film Festival (Q6651756) on Wikidata Little Rock Film Festival on Wikipedia
  • Little Rock Marathon. A city-wide race held in March drawing several thousand participants.
  • Movies in the Park. On Wednesday nights in June and July, 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.

Sports and leisure[edit]

For those who want to get off the beaten path, Little Rock offers a wide range of sports and leisure activities.

Golf is a popular activity in Little Rock; both public and private courses; country club membership may apply.

Movie theatres include UA Breckenridge Village 12 (1200 Breckenridge Drive, +1 501 224-0992, online ticketing at Fandango) or Rave Motion Pictures Colonel Glenn 18 (18 Colonel Glenn Plaza Drive, +1 501-687-0499, online ticketing at, both of which have digital projection, stadium seating and surround sound. Independent films are shown at Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema (2600 Cantrell Road, +1 501 296-9955, online ticketing available through theatre's website).

Those looking to take a stroll can walk across the Arkansas River to North Little Rock on one of two converted train trestles — the former Rock Island Railroad bridge from the Clinton Presidential Center, or the Junction Bridge from Riverfront Park.

Live theater[edit]

Professional and college sports[edit]

  • Arkansas Razorbacks. Sports teams of the University of Arkansas. Normally play at the school's Fayetteville campus, but play one or two home football games each season at War Memorial Stadium, and occasional men's basketball games at Simmons Bank Arena.
  • Arkansas Travelers. Class AA minor league affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Plays in Dickey-Stephens Park 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 but on their way to the Ohio Valley Conference in July 2022. However, unlike most members of their current and future leagues, 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. Simmons Bank Arena is occasionally used for men's basketball. Little Rock Trojans (Q3540227) on Wikidata Little Rock Trojans on Wikipedia


  • 1 Park Plaza, 6000 W Markham. Midtown mall. An open-air mall with over 65 stores. Park Plaza Mall (Q7137945) on Wikidata Park Plaza Mall on Wikipedia
  • 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.
  • 2 McCain Mall, 3929 McCain Blvd. North Little Rock. McCain Mall (Q6800090) on Wikidata McCain Mall on Wikipedia
  • River Market District. Numerous retailers downtown.
  • Shackleford Crossing Shackleford Rd. at I-430.



  • Gusano's. Chicago-style pizza and bar in the River Market.
  • Sonny Williams' Steak Room. Boasts an excellent wine list, a piano bar, and some of the best steaks and seafood in Little Rock.
  • Sticky Rock and Roll Chicken Shack, 107 River Market Ave, +1 501-372-7707. Has a musical lineup worth checking out while you're in town.
  • Vino's. 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[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Corky's Ribs and Barbecue, 12005 Westhaven Dr, +1 501 954-7427.
  • Delicious Temptations, 11220 N Rodney Parham Rd, +1 501 225-6893.
  • Grumpy's Too Neighborhood Bar and Grill, 1801 Green Mountain Dr.
  • 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.
  • The Pantry, 11401 Rodney Parham Rd, +1 501 353-1875. M-F noon-midnight; Sa 4PM-midnight. Fans of Czech, German, Austrian and other central European fare have made this warm west Little Rock restaurant a favorite since 2009. Owner Tomas Bohm has since branched out with a second location in the city's Hillcrest neighborhood, along with the deli and casual eatery District Fare.
  • Petit & Keet, 1620 Market St, +1 501 319-7675. M-Th 4-10PM; F Sa 4-11PM. Opened in 2017, this well-regarded newcomer to the city's dining scene offers eclectic options in steaks, seafood, cocktails and more, led by longtime local restaurateurs Louis Petit and Jim Keet.
  • 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 1950s 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.


  • Buffalo Grill, 1611 Rebsamen Park Road, +1 501 296-9535. Su-Th 11AM-9PM; F Sa 11AM-10PM. Reliably good burgers, fries, nachos, and all-American favorites (including apple pie) can be found in this longtime Riverdale neighborhood restaurant.
  • Damgoode Pies Locations in Hillcrest, on Cantrell Road just outside the Heights, and in downtown's River Market District 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.
  • 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.
  • Ciao Baci, 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.
  • The Faded Rose, 1619 Rebsamen Park Road, +1 501 663-9734. A Riverdale mainstay since 1981, offering authentic tastes of New Orleans in a menu including poboys, seafood, fish, steaks, and desserts. Full Bar, extensive wine list, handicapped accessible.
  • Forbidden Garden along west Little Rock's Cantrell Road is the second generation of the longtime Forbidden City Chinese restaurant once part of midtown's Park Plaza Mall.
  • 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, 301 N Shackleford Rd. 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. +1 501 227-9900
  • 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 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. The designations of Budget, Mid-range, and Splurge do not necessarily reflect price range, and also apply to the quality of accommodations and amenities.







Go next[edit]

Routes through Little Rock
DallasHope  SW  NE  Poplar BluffSt. Louis
TexarkanaBryant  W  E  North Little RockEnds at W E
SpringfieldNorth Little Rock  N  S  RedfieldPine Bluff
Poplar BluffNorth Little Rock  N  S  BryantTexarkana
Hot SpringsBenton  W  E  North Little RockMemphis
Ash FlatNorth Little Rock  N  S  El DoradoRuston

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