Enjoy Little Rock's money-saving attractions
Saving money on things to see and do means more in your pocket for great dining and lodging in they city. With bargains like these, the opportunities for fun are limitless.
Start your visit off with a stop by the Little Rock Visitor Information Center at Historic Curran Hall, 615 E. Capitol Ave. just off of Interstate 30 via the Sixth Street or Ninth Street exits. One of only a handful of antebellum homes remaining in Little Rock today, the Walters-Curran-Bell home, commonly known as Curran Hall now serves as the Mayor's official welcome center. Open 9:00 AM-5 PM Monday-Saturday; 1 PM-5 PM Sunday. For more information, call 501-371-0076 or visit LittleRock.com.
Check out the view
The Big Dam Bridge
is the world's longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge built and designed specifically for that purpose. Located over Murray Lock and Dam, The Pulaski County Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge has a 14-foot wide deck that extends 3,463 feet across the Arkansas River. The $12.5 million bridge ties together 17 miles of scenic river trails in Little Rock and North Little Rock and will eventually connect with 7,000 acres of various city, county, state and federal park land. You don't have to be a seasoned athlete to enjoy the gorgeous views that can be found along every step of the bridge. A walking platform at 90 feet above the navigation channel, it is an amazing spot to catch an invigorating sunrise or sunset over the Arkansas River.
See Civil Rights History Up Close and Personal
Visit the circa 1927 Gothic-style Central High School
which received international attention during the Civil Rights Movement and the visitor information center in the restored service station across the street. There, you can tour the interactive exhibit "All the World is Watching Us" which tells the story of the nine black students who made civil rights history when they entered Central High in September 1957. 2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive. Open 9 AM- 4:30 PM Monday through Saturday and 1-4:30 PM Sunday. Closed major holidays. For more information call 501-374-1957 or visit nps.gov/chsc/
Enjoy the Art of it All
The Arkansas Arts Center in MacArthur Park near the River Market District at 501 E. Ninth St. has a few special offerings of its own. The recently expanded, 42,000 square-foot museum includes a world-renowned art collection. The museum is free to the public. Open 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday and from 11 AM to 5 PM on Sunday. For more information, call 501-372-4000 or visit ArkArts.com.
Enter a War Zone
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
, 503 E. Ninth St., in MacArthur Park, highlights the state's military heritage from Territorial days to the present. The Tower Building of the old U.S. Arsenal where it resides has a rich history, too. It was completed in 1841 and was the birthplace of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1880. Open 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday, 1 PM to 4 PM Sunday. Closed major holidays. For more information, call 501-376-4602 or visit ArkMilitaryHJeritage.com
Capitalize on Your Visit
No trip to Little Rock is complete without a stop at the State Capitol.
Designed in the Neoclassical style, construction began in 1899 and was completed in 1915. Modeled after the nation's Capitol, the building features Arkansas granite in addition to six bronze doors and three chandeliers crafted by Tiffany's of New York. Free audio tours available. Call weekdays to schedule free, guided tours. One Capitol Mall, Capitol Avenue and Woodlane. 501-682-5080. To take a virtual tour, visit SOSWeb.state.ar.us/
See Bill Clinton's Running Shoes and Saxophone
Serving as the state's first capitol from 1836 until 1911 when the current capitol was completed, the newly renovated Old State House, 300 W. Markham St., is the oldest standing state capitol building west of the Mississippi River, and today houses a museum of Arkansas history. Bill Clinton announced his campaign for presidency and celebrated his victory, both in 1992 and in 1996, on election night in front of the Old State House. Open 9 AM-5 PM Monday-Saturday and 1-5 PM Sunday. For more information call 501-324-9685 or visit OldStatehouse.com.
Feed the Ducks
MacArthur Park, adjacent to the Arkansas Arts Center, is a lovely place to feed the ducks residing in the park's lake. Don't forget the loaf of bread. Why not take a picnic lunch for yourself when you go? 9th & Commerce Streets.
Go Window Shopping
Once a nearly abandoned warehouse district along what used to be known as East Markham Street (now President Clinton Avenue), this stretch of Little Rock's downtown is experiencing a renewal as the River Market District. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park and Heifer International's headquarters are part of the district. The area is filled with restaurants, museums and retail shops as well as the Little Rock River Market, featuring an array of owner-operated shops and stalls and a seasonal farmers' market in the warmer months. For more information, call 501-376-4781 or visit RiverMarket.info
Eat a Peach
Well, the peach will cost you; but not much. And a juicy farm-fresh Arkansas peach hand selected at the Farmers' Market in the heat of the summer is well worth the pocket change. Open 7 AM to 3 PM Tuesdays and Saturdays from late May through October, in the River Market District. Visit RiverMarket.info
or call 501-376-4781 for more information.
See the Rock
You've got to see the landmark for which the city was named, La Petite Roche, at the north end of Rock Street in the History Pavilion in Riverfront Park. This first outcropping of rock along the Arkansas River above its mouth was known to pioneers and early explorers traveling the river in the early 19th century as "La Petite Roche" to distinguish it from the big rock upstream. The little rock on the south bank marked the transition from level lands of the east to the rugged hills of the mountain ranges and offered a natural landing for those traveling by boat.
Climb a Mountain
Nothing's more satisfying than taking on a mountain and reaching the top. Pinnacle Mountain State Park, just west of Little Rock, at 11901 Pinnacle Valley Road, offers a great challenge for adventurous, outdoors types. For more information, call 501-868-5806 or visit ArkansasStateParks.com
Just Mill Around
Remember the mill with its turning water wheel that appears during the opening credits of the 1936 legendary movie "Gone With the Wind"? Surprise It's right here in Central Arkansas. The Old Mill, Lakeshore Drive & Fairway Avenue in North Little Rock, is a reproduction of an 1800s water-powered grist mill and was built in 1933 by Dionicio Rodriguez. This three-acre site, officially known as the T.R. Pugh Memorial Park and Pugh's Mill, is more commonly known as the Old Mill. The mill appears in the opening scenes of the movie. The mill, with a water wheel constructed of concrete but treated to look like wood, is surrounded by a road resembling an old wagon road and a rustic footbridge made of black locust tree limbs. Bring a picnic lunch Open from dawn to dusk. For more information, call 501-791-8537, or visit NorthLittleRock.org
Take a Hike
Murray Park, with its bike and jogging path wending around the banks of the Arkansas River, is a great place to take in a run or ride. For more information call 501-371-4770 or visit LRPR.org
Why buy the book when you can read it for free? The Central Arkansas Library System's Main Library in the River Market District, there's never been a better time to browse the shelves looking for a good read. Plus, today's libraries also offer videos that can be checked out as well as special events - from puppet shows and used book sales to art exhibits. Check out either the CALS main location at 100 Rock Street, or any of its branches in Central Arkansas. For more information, call 501-918-3000 or visit CALS.lib.ar.us.
Have a Grave Experience
Mount Holly Cemetery, located at 12th & Broadway streets, was established in 1843 and features Victorian-era statuary ranging from the more common angels and cherubs to a unique pair of two young girls memorializing two sisters who died in childhood and are buried there. Those buried in Mount Holly include at least 10 Arkansas governors and three U.S. senators, five Confederate generals, 20 Little Rock mayors, composers, newspaper editors, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Quatie Ross, wife of Cherokee Chief John Ross, who died while traveling on the Trail of Tears. Open daily.
View the Victorians
The city's early history is encompassed by a nine-square-mile area known as the Quapaw Quarter where Little Rock's preservation efforts have been concentrated for the past 40 years. The area includes MacArthur Park Historic District featuring the city's oldest homes (some from before the Civil War) and the Governor's Mansion Historic District with homes dating from about 1880 to 1920. All of the district's restored buildings serve as private homes or businesses. Although they are not open to the public, they can be enjoyed from the street or sidewalk via driving or walking tours. For more information visit Quapaw.com, or call 501-371-0075.