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A compact state capital with larger-than-life charm, Little Rock is Arkansas' largest city. This riverfront city lies along the Arkansas River in the heart of Pulaski County and its River Market District is home to a plethora of nightlife options, restaurants, and cultural institutions. Few forget the day history was made at Little Rock Central High School and this milestone of the American Civil Rights Movement is a major attraction along with other landmarks like the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Arkansas State Capitol. Outdoor enthusiasts have plenty to do here as well, and Pinnacle Mountain State Park offers hiking and biking trails topped by some of the best views of the verdant river valley below.
Located in Little Rock, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is run in partnership with Little Rock public schools and the National Park Service. This regular high school came into the public eye when it was the site of desegregation in public schools during the Civil Rights Movement in 1957. The event gained national attention for its controversy, with many still being staunchly anti-integration at the time. After several attempts to enter and attend the school that was marred by violence, nine African-American students were finally escorted into the school by the U.S Army's 101st Airborne Division. This event provided a huge step towards equal civil rights in the American South, and all over the country. The site has a visitor center that displays a film and various exhibits centered around the Civil Rights Movement. Apart from this, there is a garden which has nine trees planted in honor of the Little Rock 9, who was at the center of the Little Rock Integration Crisis.
Just west of Downtown Little Rock lies the popular and historic neighborhood of Hillcrest. On the National Register of Historic Places, Hillcrest was established at the end of the 19th Century and continued to grow throughout the beginning of the 20th Century and beyond. One main characteristic of the area is the wide variety of interesting and aesthetically pleasing architectural styles of the homes. Within the Hillcrest Historic District are landmarks like Little Rock's former town hall. Hillcrest in recent years has become a hub of entertainment as well with numerous bars, restaurants, shops and galleries, among other things.
This pleasant and popular park, located four miles from Cantrell Road, features two playgrounds, two soccer fields, eight pavilions and plenty of shaded picnic areas. Just south of Murray Lock and Dam, the park is on the banks of the Arkansas River. It offers a boat launch for fishermen and pleasure cruisers alike. There is plenty of parking here. A bike lane runs out to the park from Cantrell Road, providing a nice alternative to city traffic. Murray Park also has a dog park.
Connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock, the Big Dam Bridge spans Murray Lock and Arkansas River at 4,226 feet (1,288 meters) long. With the bridge limited to foot traffic, it makes for an ideal walking and cycling path, with parks connected on either side. The view from the bridge is unlike any other and provides a different perspective of Little Rock and is the longest pedestrian only bridge in North America. Throughout the year, various races and cycling tours take place here.