This blog post is sponsored by Arkansas Tourism. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photos by Ready Set Jet Set
Hello from Little Rock – the capital city of Arkansas that’s known for its friendly people and Southern hospitality. Arkansas shares a border with the state of Texas so if you’re looking for a weekend road trip, Little Rock isn’t too far!
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FAQS ON LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS
When is the best time to visit?
Little Rock’s coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 30°F so if you’re looking to a winter getaway, this is the spot! The warmest month for Little Rock is July at a high of 93°F. We were here during fall in November and the average temperature is typically 75°F.
Where does the name Little Rock come from?
The city derives its name from a rock formation found downtown along the Arkansas River. The formation was named “La Petite Roche” (the little rock) by the French explorer Bernard de la Harpe who discovered it in 1722.
Austin to Little Rock – what’s the best way to get here?
The drive from Austin to Little Rock is seven to eight hours or you can fly with a layover in DFW.
Did you know during the American Civil War, Arkansas was a Confederate state?
9 TOP THINGS TO DO IN LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS
Little Rock, Arkansas sits on the banks of the Arkansas River in Pulaski County, located in the center of the state. With a population of nearly 200,000 people, it’s the largest city in Arkansas and definitely the place to find a good time at a great value. The hub of Little Rock is the bustling River Market District featuring restaurants, shops, bars, nightlife, museums, and hotels as well as the area’s main library.
VISIT THE OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM
This was the original state capitol building and remained so until 1911. Fun fact: The Old State House was the site of a fatal Bowie knife fight between two sitting legislators. Hourly guided tours are 50 minutes long and offered every hour on the hour.
300 West Markham, oldstatehouse.com
BREAKFAST @ THE CORNER
After checking into our hotel in downtown Little Rock, we went to @ The Corner for breakfast. @ The Corner is a local little diner that serves a farm-to-table menu with farm fresh eggs to farm-raised beef to local and organic vegetables.
201 E Markham St Ste 190, Little Rock, AR 72201 thecornerlr.com
WILLIAM J. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM
The Clinton Presidential Center serves as a museum and the archive of the Hope native’s two terms as the 42nd president of the United States, President Bill Clinton. The library does offer guided tours that are free with paid library admission or you can go on a self-guided tour.
Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, college students, and retired military, and $6 for kids.
1200 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, AR, clintonlibrary.gov
LUNCH AT THE ROOT CAFE
This local cafe in Little Rock, Arkansas sources 100% of its meat, eggs, and bread from small farms here in Arkansas. They were inspired by Eastside Cafe in Austin! The Root Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch.
1500 Main St, Little Rock, AR, therootcafe.com
HIKE Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Located just west of Little Rock, this park offers a variety of outdoor adventure and more than 15 miles of trails. Pinnacle Mountain stands as the centerpiece of this geographically diverse state park.
TAKE PICTURES AT THE OLD MILL
Located in North Little Rock is The Old Mill, a historic re-creation of the 1880’s water-powered grist mill that was in the opening scenes of the classic movie “Gone With The Wind.”
3800 Lakeshore Dr, North Little Rock, AR
ICE CREAM FLIGHT AT LOBLOLLY
Named after the Arkansas state tree, the loblolly pine, Loblolly Ice Cream is the local small-batch ice cream shop. Pick from a traditional waffle cone or the ice cream flight with eight scoops of ice cream or milkshakes.
1423 Main St Suite C, Little Rock, AR, loblollycreamery.com
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GO SHOPPING IN THE RIVER MARKET
This is the bustling hub of Little Rock that’s situated along the banks of the Arkansas River. You’ll find everything from top attractions, restaurants, and shops.
LUNCH AT HAYBIRD
Our last meal in Little Rock Arkansas was at Haybird before we headed to Hot Springs and this was probably my favorite meal because the fried chicken is SO good. Fried chicken meets Chinese at Haybird with the birdwich, aka a fried chicken sandwiched between a bao bun. Even the shoestring fries have a Chinese five-spice seasoning.
215 Center St
OTHER THINGS TO DO IN LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS
Riverfront Park – this beautiful one-hundred-acre park is located along the Spokane River
Arkansas River Trail – if you’re a runner, try your hand at this 17-mile rail-trail that runs along the Arkansas River
Big Dam Bridge – this is the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the world so try walking and biking across and seeing all of Little Rock
Rock Town Distillery – this is the first legal distillery in Arkansas. Their tasting room is a full-service bar that serves hand-crafted cocktails, local craft beer, and wine.
Farmers markets – there are several farmers market to shop at in Little Rock on the weekends including Bernice Garden Farmers Market, Dunbar Garden Market, and Hillcrest Farmers Market.
Arkansas State Capitol – (also called the Capitol Building) is the home of the Arkansas General Assembly, and the seat of the Arkansas state government that sits atop Capitol Hill, Free tours of the Capitol Building are offered weekdays from 9am-12pm and from 1pm-3pm.
Little Rock Zoo – this 33-acre zoo is home to more than 725 animals representing over 200 species. Tickets are $12.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3.
Historic Arkansas Museum – (also called HAM) is a state history museum in downtown Little Rock. This museum was created as part of the Arkansas Territorial Capitol Restoration Commission, by Act 388 of the 1939 Arkansas General Assembly. Admission is free from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 to 5pm and Sunday from 1 to 5pm.
Arkansas Arts Center – founded in 1960, the Arkansas Arts Center is an art museum and children’s theatre.
Museum of Discovery – ranked the 6th best U.S. science museum of MENSA, the Museum of Discovery is Arkansas’s premier science and technology center with interactive exhibits. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children 12 and younger, and $8 for seniors 60 and older.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site – the only operating high school in the nation to be designated a National Historic Site, Learn how the sacrifice and struggle endured by nine African American students over a half-century ago have provided opportunities and opened doors to those seeking equality – and education – around the world.
The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center – nature center showcasing the Little Rock’s fish & wildlife through exhibits, trails & programs