"Little" may be in our name, but there's a lot to do in Little Rock! Use this handy guide to plan your time in Arkansas's capital city.
With its on-site museum, restaurant, and iconic bridge, this is a highlight of any visit to Little Rock. Guests can explore the political career of our nation's 42nd president, including memorabilia from his first political campaigns in Arkansas and full-size, exact replicas of the White House's Oval Office and Cabinet Room.
In September 1957, this school was at the center of international attention when the governor ordered the National Guard to prevent nine Black students - The Little Rock Nine - from attending this all-white school. President Eisenhower later federalized the National Guard and sent troops to escort the students to class. It's now the only functioning high school in the National Park System. One can explore the visitor center and take free Ranger-led school tours (call ahead for tour reservations.)
Arkansas's largest zoo is a place where every member of the family can have a wild experience. More than 500 animals call the zoo home, including elephants, penguins, primates, and several species of big cats. Must-do activities include the Arkansas Diamond Express historic train and the fully restored Over-the-Jumps antique carousel.
USA Today has ranked this museum as one of the best science centers in America. Experiences include sheltering from a powerful twister in the Tornado Alley Theater, experiencing the principles of physics and force with hands-on exhibits, creating without limits in the Tinkering Studio, and witnessing musical bi-polar tesla coils.
Climb to the top of Little Rock at one of Arkansas's most visited state parks. For those looking for an adventure closer to sea level, the park is also home to world-class mountain biking trails, paddle boat rentals, hiking trails, and Little Maumelle River kayaking.
One of only two purse museums in the world, ESSE honors and celebrates the 20th-century American woman while exploring concepts of art, history, and femineity through the lens of women's handbags and their contents. Through purses, you'll learn about the evolving position of women in society.
At 33 acres, this 11-block-long park acts as Little Rock's front lawn, providing ample room for strolling along the Arkansas Riverbank and admiring the park's 100+ works of public art. Concerts are regularly held at the park's amphitheater while children's play areas and splash pads dot the landscape.
Grab your helmet and pedal on. Little Rock is home to more than 1,200 miles of cycling trails, so be sure to bring your bike (or rent one when you get here!). There's a trail for every rider, from heart-pounding downhills and state-of-the-art freerides to scenic routes that span from the delta to the mountains. Here are maps to help you find the right trail for you.
Rock Town Distillery was the first distillery to open in Arkansas since Prohibition...well, the first legal one, at least. They've gone on to garner national and international acclaim for their artisanal line of whiskeys, gins, and vodkas. Tastings and behind-the-scenes tours are offered daily.
Little Rock has seen a lot of history since European explorers first set foot here 300 years ago, and you can explore that history at many local attractions. As the city celebrates its tricentennial discovery in 2022, visitors can view pieces of La Petite Roche (the actual "Little Rock") in Riverfront Park. The Historic Arkansas Museum showcases what life was like in Arkansas before it became a state, while the Old State House Museum chronicles the state's history in the oldest standing capitol building west of the Mississippi River. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center explores the history and triumphs of Black Arkansans, and the state's military history is on full display at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.
Currently closed for a multi-million-dollar expansion, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts will reopen to visitors in late 2022.
These are just 10 of the top things to do in Little Rock. Check out our full attractions guide for even more things to do!