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Little Rock

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Little Rock

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Duck royalty at the Peabody Hotel

Little Rock [1] became the capital of the Arkansas Territory in 1819 and of the state of Arkansas in 1836. The city population was 184,564 (666,401 metro area) in 2007. The Combined Statistical area population which includes Pine Bluff had 841,326 people in 2007. Temperatures range from the upper 90s (°F) 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.


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 lies at the center of the state, more-or-less where the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains, and the Mississipi 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 Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and major trucking firms, is rapidly gaining). Little Rock is home to the state's only medical school, as well as one of the two branches of the University of Arkansas law school.


Check the weather forecast for Little Rock from NOAA.

Get in

By plane

Little Rock National Airport (IATA: LIT) (ICAO: KLIT), [2]. The Little Rock airport is located just east of downtown Little Rock, about 10 minutes from the Clinton Presidential Library. It is served by all major airlines. Southwest Airlines is the airport's largest carrier with service to six destinations. The airport has a single, 12-gate terminal building.

Airlines and destinations from Little Rock National Airport

  • American: Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth.
  • Continental: Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Newark.
  • Delta: Atlanta, Cincinnati.
  • Northwest: Detroit, Memphis.
  • Southwest: Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby, Las Vegas, Phoenix [begins Aug. 16], St. Louis.
  • United: Denver.
  • USAirways: Charlotte.

By train

Amtrak's Texas Eagle between Los Angeles and Chicago has a stop in Little Rock, but the schedule is late at night and not very reliable. The westbound train from Chicago is scheduled to arrive in Little Rock at 3:10 AM, and the eastbound train from LA by way of Dallas is scheduled to arrive at 11:34 PM.

By car

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. Interstate 530 and US Route 167 also lead into the city.

Interstates 430 and 440 nearly encircle the metropolitan area, and Interstate 630 runs from downtown westward to end at Interstate 430.

By bus

Greyhound [3] has a terminal in North Little Rock. (118 East Washington, 501-372-3007)

Get around

By train

  • River Rail Trolleys [4]

In November of 2004, in time for the grand opening of the Clinton Library, Little Rock's River Rail Trolley system was completed. Children ride free; adult fare is $1 per ride, or $2 for a day pass. 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.

By car

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 (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.

The River Rail streetcar tracks on Markham, Second, and Third Streets near the River Market and Clinton Library in downtown Little Rock and Main and Maple Streets in North Little Rock present a hazard to street parking. It would probably be wise to walk or ride the trolleys to visit these streets.

By bus

  • Central Arkansas Transit Authority [5]

Unlike the River Rail Trolleys, the city bus travels city-wide. One way fare is $1.25 for adults.

By bike

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 such as River Trail Rentals, +1 (501) 374-5505‎, that are located along the Arkansas River Trail [6].

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

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 both located here.

  • Aerospace Education Center [7], 3301 East Roosevelt Road, (501) 376-4629. Located at Little Rock National Airport. Features a collection of historic aircraft, an IMAX theatre, and the EpiSphere, the world's first single-projector digital planetarium. The aircraft collection includes an authentic Sopwith Camel, the only one in the United States and one of only seven still in existence. A branch of the Central Arkansas Library System is also located here.
  • Audubon Society Little Rock Nature Center [8]


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

The brave Little Rock Nine at the State Capitol
  • Arkansas State Capitol, no address/located at the intersection of Woodlane Street and Capitol Avenue, M-F 7AM-5PM. The state capitol, completed in 1915, is of some interest as it was modeled after the US 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 located on the grounds. An interesting tidbit of trivia: the capitol occupies the former site of the state penitentiary.
  • Arkansas Studies Institute [9], 401 President Clinton Avenue, 501-918-3056. The largest facility dedicated to the study of Arkansas' history, housed in two historic buildings adjoined by a present-day structure, an excellent example of the past meeting the future.
  • Central Arkansas Library System Main Library [10], 100 Rock Street, 501-918-3000. The largest public library in Arkansas, housed in an old furniture factory built in 1910.
Central High
  • Central High School National Historic Site & Museum, 2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Phone: (501) 374-1957, [11]. M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM, Su 1PM-4:30PM. Free. 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.
  • Daisy Bates House, 1207 West 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.
  • EMOBA (Ernie's Museum on Black Arkansans) [12], 12th and Louisiana, 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. (Still under construction, and contributions necessary - please be generous in your support!)
  • Heifer International Center, 1 World Avenue, (800) 422-0474. Located next to the Clinton Presidential Center, Heifer International is 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. Visit Heifer online at [13].

The west's oldest newspaper
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 merger with the Arkansas Democrat. The Gazette's original print shop still exists on the grounds of the Historic Arkansas Museum. It contains a replica movable type printing press, which actors use to demonstrate how newspapers were printed long before the steam age. In addition, Woodruff is buried in Mount Holly Cemetery, five blocks west and nine blocks south of the museum.

  • Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third Street, Tel: (501) 324-9351, [14]. Preserves four historic antebellum homes, also has a gallery with changing exhibits. General admission: Free. Guided tours: Adults $2.50, Children $1
  • Kramer School Artists Cooperative [15], 715 Sherman Street, 501-372-5338. A former elementary school built in 1895 which held its last classes in 1978, the building was later saved from the wrecking ball in 1997 and converted into living and work space for artists. The exterior of the building is in the Romanesque Revival architectural style.
  • Little Rock National Cemetery [16], 2523 Confederate Boulevard. Final resting place for more than 25,000 American war veterans; currently closed to new internments.
  • MacArthur Park (Bounded by 9th Street to the north, I-630 to the south, Commerce Street to the west, and McMath Avenue 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:
    • Arkansas Arts Center [17] 9th & Commerce, (501) 372-4000. The Arts Center includes a museum school, a children's theatre, and a wonderful art gallery. The gallery is home to works of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe, Rembrandt and Dale Chihuly, to name a few. The Museum School is a great place to learn or develop art skills. Children's Theatre productions are on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the school year.
    • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History [18] 503 East Ninth Street, (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 nineteenth century to the present. Also located nearby is the Arkansas Korean War Memorial which was unveiled on June 25, 2007.
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center [19] 9th and Broadway, (501) 683-3593. 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.

By the numbers
The list of people buried in Mount Holly Cemetery includes:

  • 10 former Arkansas governors
  • 14 former Arkansas Supreme Court Justices
  • 21 former mayors of Little Rock
  • 6 former US Senators

  • Mount Holly Cemetery, 1200 South Broadway. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and known by the nickname "The Westminster Abbey of Arkansas", this historic nineteenth-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.
  • Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Av., Suite 150, Toll Free: (800) 880-6475, [20]. Science and history museum with interactive exhibits. Great for kids. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM. Adults $6.35, children $5.85.
  • The Old State House [21], 300 W. Markham, 501-324-9685. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. For you history buffs, the Old State House is the 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.
  • Peabody Hotel Ducks (see "Sleep" below for website) Even if you aren't planning on staying at Little Rock's first class Peabody Hotel, stop by and see the ducks that swim in the fountain in the lobby. They march into the fountain at 11 AM and out of it at 5 PM every day.
  • Quapaw Quarter [22] 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.
    • Arkansas Governor's Mansion, 1800 Center Street, (501) 324-9805, [23]. Also seen in Designing Women, as Suzanne Sugarbaker's home. No admission fee for tours, but they must be scheduled in advance.
  • The River Market, [24] Open 7AM to 6PM, M-Sa. There are more than a dozen permanent vendors, and Farmer's Markets on Tuesdays & Saturdays from 7AM to 3PM, May through October.
  • 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 amphitheatre for concerts is also located here.
  • Stephens Nature Center [25] 602 President Clinton Avenue, (501) 907-0636.
  • Trapnall Hall [26] 423 E. Capitol, (501) 324-9716. A historic antebellum house that may be rented to host special events.
  • 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.
The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library
  • William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Park, 1200 President Clinton Avenue, (501) 374-4242, [27] The eleventh Presidential Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, and the largest in the system, is dedicated to a fellow Arkansan and the 42nd President, William Jefferson Clinton (better known popularly as "Bill"). 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.


  • Hillcrest and The Heights [28] Two affluent neighborhoods with a small-town charm. Beginning at Stifft Station on Markham Street and ending at University Avenue, Kavanaugh Boulevard winds through both neighborhoods, following the route of a now-defunct streetcar line. Cantrell Road 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:
    • Little Rock Zoo [29] 1 Jonesboro Drive, (501) 666-2406. The zoo is home to 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.
    • War Memorial Stadium [30]. The stadium hosts three 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.

West Little Rock

Not too many years ago Little Rock essentially ended about where I-430 now runs, but in recent years 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.

  • Pinnacle Mountain State Park, [31] (Located along State Route 300, off Cantrell Road) 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.

North Little Rock

North Little Rock [32] is an independent city just across the Arkansas River from downtown Little Rock.

  • Alltel Arena, [33]. For major concerts and sporting events.
  • Argenta Historic District Located in the original downtown of North Little Rock next to the new Stephens Ballpark, one of the oldest preserved neighborhoods in central Arkansas. Argenta is a wonderful example of neighborhood renovation, where citizens and the Main Street program worked together to turn a neighborhood completely around.
  • Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum [34], 120 Riverfront Park Drive, 501-371-8320. Tour the WWII 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 WWII). Important: 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.
  • Burns Park (Exit 150 off Interstate 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 "Do" below), that crosses the Arkansas River over the Big Dam Bridge.
  • Camp Robinson (Exit 150 off Interstate 40, then north on Military Drive) National Guard base with onsite museum [35] (free admission) open to the public.
  • Dickey-Stephens Park hosts the Arkansas Travelers baseball team (see "Do" below).
  • Little Rock Air Force Base [36], 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.
  • 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).


Annual Events

Arkansas State Fair

The Arkansas State Fair [37] is held every October at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, located 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 [38] is Little Rock's premier cultural arts festival, held every Memorial Day weekend 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

  • Greek Food Festival [39], held every May at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1100 Napa Valley Drive, in west Little Rock. Despite the name, the fare also includes Israeli, Russian, and Lebanese flavor to name a few.
  • Little Rock Film Festival [40], held every May.
  • Little Rock Marathon [41], a citywide race held in March drawing several thousand participants.
  • Pinnacle Mountain Rendezvous In October, step back in time at this reenactment of a 19th century pioneer rendezvous, held in Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
  • World Fest [42], a multicultural celebration sponsored by the city's Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission, held in September in MacArthur Park.

Convention Centers

Little Rock has two city-owned convention centers, the Statehouse Convention Center and Robinson Center, located downtown [43]. The Statehouse Convention Center is connected to the Peabody Hotel. Robinson Center adjoins the Doubletree Hotel, contains a performing arts theatre and is home to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra [44] and Ballet Arkansas [45].

The privately owned Clear Channel Metroplex [46] in west Little Rock also hosts conventions.

Sports and Leisure

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

  • Arkansas Queen [47], 100 Riverfront Park Drive in North Little Rock, (501) 372-5777. Lunch and dinner cruises with live entertainment are available.
  • Arkansas River Trail [48]. A great place to exercise by walking, running, roller skating, or cycling. The trail runs from downtown Little Rock west along the Arkansas River to the Big Dam Bridge, crosses it, and runs back east to downtown North Little Rock. Soon you'll be able to make a circuit when the downtown hike-bike bridges over the river are finished.
  • Arkansas Skatium [49], 1311 Bowman Road, 501-227-4333. Dual ice and roller skating facility. Learn how to figure skate or play hockey if you don't know already. Or if roller skating is your interest, the roller side has speed skating and women's roller derby.
  • Camp Aldersgate [50], 2000 Aldersgate Road, 501-225-1444. For children with disabilities or other special needs.
  • Gator Park [51], 11411 W. Baseline Road/11000 S. Interstate 30, (501) 455-3750. Miniature golf, go-carts, bumper boats; perfect for kids.
  • Golf is a popular activity in Little Rock. Both public and private courses; country club membership may apply.
  • Jim Dailey Aquatic and Fitness Center [52], 300 South Monroe, (501) 664-6976. Located in War Memorial Park.
  • Playtime Pizza [53] 600 Colonel Glenn Plaza Loop (behind the Rave movie theatre), 501-227-PLAY. There is a good reason to place this listing here and not under "Eat": consider it a Chuck E. Cheese's on steroids. Here you'll find an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, video arcade, go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, miniature golf, rock climbing wall, and ten-pin bowling alley, all under one roof.
  • Riley's Health and Fitness Centers [54], four locations.
  • See a movie at UA Breckenridge Village 12 (1200 Breckenridge Drive, 501-224-0992, online ticketing at Fandango) or Rave Motion Pictures Colonel Glenn 18 (18 Colonel Glenn Plaza Drive, 501-687-0499, online ticketing at, both of which have digital projection, stadium seating and surround sound. For the ultimate film experience, the Chenal 9 [55] (17825 Chenal Parkway, 501-821-2616, online ticketing at features a full-scale IMAX screen. Independent films are shown at Market Street Cinema [56] (1521 Merrill Drive, 501-312-8900, no online ticketing available).
  • Wild River Country [57], 6820 Crystal Hill Road, North Little Rock. 501-753-8600. This waterpark, the largest in Arkansas, makes the perfect getaway during the spring and summer. Located across the Arkansas River from west Little Rock.
  • Willow Springs [58], 3903 Willow Lake Road, 501-888-4148. Another great waterpark, also the oldest in Little Rock, open since 1928. Located south of downtown.
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Little Rock [59], Westside branch in West Little Rock, Carver branch downtown, and Heflin branch in North Little Rock.

Live Theatre

  • Arkansas Repertory Theatre [60], 601 Main Street, 1-866-6THEREP or 1-501-378-0405. Live stage performances.
  • The Community Theatre of Little Rock, [61], 5821 Cantrell Rd., (501) 663-9494.
  • Murry's Dinner Playhouse [62], 6323 Colonel Glenn Road, 501-562-3131. Enjoy both a gourmet buffet meal and a live stage production at this local favorite, open since 1967.
  • The Village [63] 3915 South University Avenue, 501-570-0300. A new concert venue housed in a local landmark - the UA Cinema 150 [64], a circular movie theatre from the 1960s.
  • The Weekend Theatre [65], 7th and Chester, 501-374-3761. A community-based theatre open to amateur acting.
  • Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts [66], 20919 Denny Road, 501-821-7275. Appreciate the art of live theatre in the lush setting of a botanical garden.

Professional & College Sports

  • Arkansas Razorbacks [67], three home football games at War Memorial Stadium.
  • Arkansas Travelers [68], class AA minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Plays in Dickey-Stephens Park, a new (2007) ballpark in North Little Rock just across the river from downtown Little Rock.
  • Arkansas Twisters [69], member of Arena Football 2. Plays in Alltel Arena.
  • UALR Trojans [70], member of the Sun Belt Conference. Not as well known as the Razorbacks, but maybe worthwhile. Plays basketball in UALR's on-campus Jack Stephens Center (see "Learn" below for link).


Visit official websites for addresses and contact information.

Post-secondary education

  • Arkansas Baptist College [71]
  • ITT Technical Institute Little Rock [72]
  • Philander Smith College [73]
  • Pulaski Technical College [74]
  • Shorter College [75]
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock [76]

Medical school

  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences [77]

Deaf/blind school

  • Arkansas School for the Deaf [78] and Blind [79]


Several large corporations are based in Little Rock.


  • Park Plaza [85], 6000 West Markham. Midtown mall with two Dillard's stores, XXI by Forever 21, and more than 80 other retailers.
  • Midtowne Center [86], across University Avenue from Park Plaza, features upscale retailers Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and The Bombay Company.
  • Pleasant Ridge Town Center - This is West Little Rock's newest upscale shop with shops like Belk, Strasburg Children, Indigo Home, Glo Limited, The Fresh Market and some great restaurants. 11525 Cantrell Road.
  • Trellis Square - Cecil's Fine Jewelry, Heel to Toe Kids Shoes, B & B Bridal & Formal Wear, Fitness FX and more speciality shops. Located at 10720 Rodney Parham Road.
  • Breckenridge Village - The Looney Bin comedy club, 12-screen movie theater, Stitchin' Post and other speciality shops.
  • Ashley Square - Sally's Beauty, Premium Pet Products, Blockbuster Video, Vitamins Plus, Area51, Drug Emporium and more.
  • Chenal Place - Sharper Image, Staples, Bed, Bath and Beyond, La Hacienda, EB Games, Alltel and other national chains. 12319 Chenal Parkway.
  • Colonnade Shopping Center - Bruno's, Tuck and Cover, many dentists and doctor's offices. 315 North Bowman Road.
  • Bowman Curve Center
  • Bowman Curve II
  • Stifft Station - Markham @ Kavanaugh in Midtown
  • Rock Creek Plaza
  • Bowman Heights
  • McCain Mall [87], 3929 McCain Blvd. in North Little Rock. Dillard's, JCPenney and Sears.
  • Lakewood Village, next door to McCain Mall.
  • River Market District [88], numerous retailers downtown.
  • The Shoppes at North Hills (Coming Soon!) [89]. This open-air center in North Little Rock will be anchored by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.
  • Shackleford Crossing Shackleford Road at I-430. JCPenney, Wal-Mart Supercenter, and Cracker Barrel.



  • Boscos [90], good microbrewery with upscale pizza, pub food, and more.
  • Gusano's [91], Chicago style pizza and bar located in the River Market.
  • Juanita's Cafe and Bar [92], a long-time favorite Mexican restaurant downtown that often features name bands in the adjoining bar.
  • Sticky Fingerz Rock & Roll Chicken Shack [93] has a musical lineup worth checking out while you're in town.
  • Vinos [94]. Vinos is billed as Little Rock's original brewpub and serves handcrafted ales, pizza, calzones, and is the place in Arkansas to find premiere 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.
  • Crush Wine Bar [95], winner of Best wine list in Arkansas. Located in the River Market area downtown.

West Little Rock

  • 1620 Restaurant, 1620 Market St., +1 501 221-1620. A diverse menu and nightly specials are some of the reasons the patrons keep coming back. Fresh seafood such as Ahi tuna, grouper, sea bass, Escalar, Dover sole, and walleye are regularly found on the menu or as a feature, which changes nightly.
  • Bonefish Grill [96], 11525 Cantrell Rd. #901, +1 501 217-0221. Bonefish Grill is about fresh fish. Straight from the ocean to your table, fish is flown in, inspected and hand-cut daily, and then prepared over a wood-burning grill.
  • Butcher Shop Steak House 10825 Hermitage Rd, +1 501 312-2748. Casual, welcoming atmosphere. Comfortable for families and business meetings. USDA choice and prime steaks, hand cut on premises. Also have fish, pastas, chicken and more.
  • Cafe' 201 [97], 201 South Shackleford/Crowne Plaza Hotel, +1 501 223-3000. Open daily for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Cafe' 201 restaurant offers classic American Cuisine featuring the fine steaks. Locals & guests alike enjoy the friendly service in a sophisticated atmosphere.
  • Capers [98], 14502 Cantrell Rd, 501-868-7600. California wine country theme. Menu focus on fresh ingredients. Fresh fish, hand-cut steaks, chicken, pasta, etc. Comfortable romantic setting. Full bar. Wine spectator award winner for five years.
  • Chee Burger Chee Burger 11525 Cantrell Road Suite 905, +1 501 490-2433.
  • Chili's Grill And Bar 10700 North Rodney Parham Rd, +1 501 224-0455. Burgers, seafood, steaks, salads, carb-friendly items, beer, wine, full bar, lots of seating room, tex-mex flair, southwestern grill. Kids menus.
  • Coffee Beanery Cafe [99], 17200 Chenal Parkway, +1 501 821-7747. American, Sandwiches, Afternoon Tea Service, Breakfast Served, Brunch Served, Lunch Served, Dinner Served, Childrens Menu, Kid Friendly, Outdoor Dining, Take Out, Private Available, Banquet Reception Meetings, Free Parking, Group Discounts, Full ADA, Smoke Free. Wi-Fi.
  • Corky's Ribs & Barbecue 12005 Westhaven Dr., +1 501 954-7427.
  • Cozymel's Mexican Grill 10 Shackleford Dr., (Walking distance of Crowne Plaza.) +1 501 954-7100. Cozymel’s Mexican Grill celebrates the rich culture, cuisine and family traditions of Mexico. Authentically prepared, expertly seasoned fresh seafood and prime steaks, slow-roasted pork, flavorful grilled beef and chicken, and distinctive signature sauces recall the rich tastes of a Mexican resort. The sumptuous aromas from Cozymel’s open kitchens and a selection of specialty margaritas and tropical drinks promise an adventurous dining experience. Call for group menu.
  • Crew Restaurant 11525 Cantrell Rd.
  • Delicious Temptations 11220 North Rodney Parham Rd., +1 501 225-6893.
  • Faded Rose West 400 North Bowman Rd., +1 501 224-3377. Sandwiches, Seafood Fish, Steaks, Lunch Served, Dinner Served, Full Bar, Full Service, Take Out, Wine List Extensive, Free Parking, Handicapped Accessible, Full ADA, Non Smoking Section, Smoking Section. (There's another location in the Riverdale area.)
  • Gaucho's Grill 11 Shackleford Dr., +1 501 821-2818.
  • Grumpy's Too Neighborhood Bar & Grill 1801 Green Mountain Dr.
  • Gypsy's Grill and Bar 11401 Rodney Parham Rd., +1 501 225-4152. Specializing in world cuisine with a strong French emphasis. A lot of great Fresh Seafood, Chateaubriand, Duck, Lamb, Veal and Grand Marnier and Chocolate Souffles.
  • Imagine-A Restaurant 11525 Cantrell Rd., +1 501 801-5530.
  • 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 pattied burgers. Group menu is available, as well as separate checks for groups.
  • Jasmine's #27 Rahling Circle, +1 501 821-1838.
  • Jason's Deli 301 N. Shackleford Rd., (Across from Crowne Plaza) +1 501 954-8700.
  • Johnny Carino's 11600 Pleasant Ridge Rd., +1 501 225-3434. Johnny Carino's captures the bold flavors, the simple values and the colorful lifestyle of the Italian countryside. It is a place that has a passion for food, family, sharing and generosity. Here, the service is personal, all feel welcome, and every meal is a little celebration.
  • Julie's 110 South Shackleford Rd., +1 501 224-4501. (across from Crowne Plaza) Locally owned restaurant that has been in business for 25 years. Quiet, comfortable atmosphere, great for conversation and a relaxed lunch or dinner out. The menu is diverse with an emphasis on hand cut steaks, prime rib and seafood. From french onion soup to large entree salads, there is something for everyone. Kids menus, casual dress and a separate bar.
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts 1315 South Shackleford, (next to Hampton Inn & Suites) +1 501 225-1699. Hot and tasty treats, great for kids and families. Full variety of doughnuts, gourmet coffee, cappuccino's, juices and milk. Southern favorite.
  • Mimi’s Café 11725 Chenal Parkway, +1 501 221-3883.
  • On The Border 11721 Chenal Parkway, +1 501 217-9275.
  • Outback Steakhouse 105 Markham Park Dr., +1 501 221-7655.
  • P.F. Chang's China Bristo 317 S. Shackleford Rd., (next to Crowne Plaza) +1 501 225-4424.
  • Purple Cow II 11602 Chenal Parkway., +1 501 224-4433. The two (2) Purple Cow locations in Little Rock offer the same menu - with choices for all family members. The restaurants are the combination of a 50's 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.
  • Romano's Macaroni Grill 11100 West Markham St., (walking distance of Crowne Plaza) +1 501 221-3150.
  • Sekisui Sushi Bar & Hibachi Grill 219 North Shackleford Rd., (walking distance of Crowne Plaza) +1 501 221-7070.
  • Star of India 301 North Shackleford Rd., +1 501 227-9900.
  • West End Smokehouse & Tavern 215 N. Shackleford Rd., (walking distance of Crowne Plaza) +1 501 224-7665.


  • Buffalo Grill A traditional LR favorite for burgers, fries (excellent), nachos, sandwiches, beer, etc., etc. It's all nicely done. Locations in the Riverdale area and in west Little Rock.
  • Canon Grill In the middle of Hillcrest, this friendly, inexpensive spot offers Mexican-style dishes.
  • Damgoode Pies Locations on Cantrell Road and in Hillcrest 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.
  • Vino's (See Downtown)
  • Whole Hog Cafe [100]. 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. 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.
  • Cafe Prego Unpretentious Italian place in the Heights, with an amazing collection of ... stuff on the walls. Try the Chicken Prego, the focaccia (thicker and breadier than most), and by all means the Chocolate Creme Brulee. Outside seating in good weather.
  • Ciao A friendly Italian restaurant in a storefront on 7th Street downtown.
  • Ciao Bacci, Located 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.
  • Faded Rose New Orleans and Creole/Cajun-style food might be the focus here, but it also has excellent steaks. Locations in the Riverdale area and in west Little Rock.
  • Ferneau 2601 Kavanaugh Boulevard. 603-9208. Excellent (and fairly pricey) food in a popular spot in the heart of Hillcrest, presided over by one of Little Rock's best chefs.
  • Forbidden City in Park Plaza is a quasi-elegant Chinese restaurant.
  • Franke's Cafeteria Three locations serving good cafeteria-style food.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Villa Good, reliable Italian restaurant. Thrice relocated, it has been a Little Rock institution since 1951.


  • The Flying Saucer [102]. In the heart of the River Market area downtown.
  • Crush Wine Bar, [103]. Winnner of Best wine list in Arkansas. Located in the River Market area downtown.


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. Note, however, that the designations of Budget, Mid-range, and Splurge do not necessarily reflect price range, and also apply to the quality of accommodations and amenities.


  • Comfort Inn and Suites Little Rock Airport 4301 East Roosevelt Rd, (501) 376-2466
  • Days Inn And Suites 3200 Bankhead Drive, 501-490-2010
  • Holiday Inn Express Airport 3121 Bankhead Drive, 1-501-490-4000
  • Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown 707 Interstate 30, (501) 687-7700
  • Comfort Inn West 300 Markham Center Dr, (501) 227-0120
  • Holiday Inn Express West 4900 Tally Road, 1-501-224-2600
  • Candlewood Suites 10520 West Markham, (877) 226-3539


  • Holiday Inn at the Presidential Center 600 Interstate 30, 1-501-375-2100. The closest hotel to the Clinton Library.
  • AmeriSuites Little Rock/Financial Center [104], 10920 Financial Center Pkwy, (501) 225-1075. Located in the heart of the financial district and only eight miles west of downtown Little Rock.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Little Rock Downtown [105] 320 S Commerce St., 1-501-244-0600. Located just 2 blocks from the banks of the Arkansas River in the revitalized downtown River Market district.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Little Rock [106], 1301 Shackleford Road, (501) 537-3000. Located in the heart of the financial district.
  • Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock Hotel [107], #2 Riverfront Place. On the north bank of the Arkansas River, in the heart of downtown North Little Rock - just one mile from the downtown Little Rock business district, seven miles from Little Rock National Airport and just a few blocks from the Statehouse Convention Center and Alltel Arena.


  • The Peabody Hotel [108], 3 Statehouse Plaza, (501) 906-4000. Little Rock's grand hotel, famous for its ducks. In addition, it adjoins the Statehouse Convention Center. Operated by the same company as the famous Peabody in downtown Memphis.
  • The Capital Hotel [109], Markham & Louisiana, 501-374-7474 or 1-877-637-0037. Just went through a multimillion-dollar renovation, regaining its spot as the classiest place to stay in Little Rock. Located downtown across the street from the Peabody and within walking distance of the River Market. Even if you can't afford to stay here, drop in to check out the beautiful lobby.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Little Rock Downtown [110] 521 President Clinton Avenue, 1-501-975-9800. Right in the heart of the River Market, near the Clinton Presidential Center.
  • Doubletree Little Rock 424 West Markham, 1-501-372-4371. Adjoins Robinson Center downtown and is next to the Old State House.
  • Hilton Little Rock Metrocenter, 925 South University, 1-501-664-5020. Located in central Little Rock, not near downtown, but convenient to I-630.
  • Embassy Suites Little Rock [111], 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, 1-501-312-9000. The Embassy Suites Little Rock is a full-service hotel with 251 spacious two-room suites. The hotel is located in Little Rock, Arkansas; and operated by John Q. Hammons Hotels Management, LLC; a leader in the hospitality industry for more than 45 years.
  • Crowne Plaza Little Rock [112], 201 South Shackleford. Just completed a $12 million renovation to become Arkansas' first Crowne Plaza.
  • Courtyard by Marriott West 10900 Financial Centre Parkway, 1-501-227-6000.
  • The Legacy Hotel and Suites [113], 625 W. Capitol Ave. 501-374-0100 or 1-888-456-3669


  • Mexico has a consulate in Little Rock.
  • If you have kids with you, the Little Rock Kids website [114] lists a wide range of activities for them to enjoy.
  • Free Internet service is provided in all branches of the Central Arkansas Library System [115]

Stay safe

The downtown area around the major hotels and in the River Market area is reasonably safe, but if you wander too far off the beaten track you may quickly find yourself in questionable surroundings. There have been robberies of pedestrians in parking areas around the River Market, although most have not been reported as random. Be sure to take a map if you're exploring the Quapaw Quarter, and don't walk around here after dark. Use the same precautions you would in any urban area.

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