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The Little Rock Zoo is the wildest place in town. With over 500 different species on display, the zoo is home to exotic tigers, lemurs, tortoises, and elephants. Children will want to visit Kiddieland and take a small train to ride around the park. The Zoo Café, located within the park, serves hot dogs, nachos and cold drinks.
Old Mill has been called the most picturesque spot in North Little Rock. The actual mill, which operated in the 1800s, provided the background for the opening scenes of 'Gone With the Wind'. Today, visitors can explore the inside of the mill or sit on the surrounding mushroom-shaped benches and watch the waterwheel churn. In the spring and early summer, flowers decorate the banks of the pond. You can take in the scenery while enjoying lunch at one of the numerous picnic tables in the surrounding TR Pugh Memorial Park.
The official seat of the Arkansas state government, the Arkansas State Capitol gleams brightly with a pristine white facade. Awash in semblances of striking Neoclassical style, this palatial building sits atop Capitol Hill and is fronted by rolling verdant lawns. However, history has it that Arkansas State Capitol's design was originally intended to be the Montana State Capitol after a competition was held to find a new design. However, the Montana capitol was never built, and the architect brought his design to Arkansas instead. The rest is history. The very place where Bill Clinton governed before taking up President-ship, the Capitol is solemnly crafted using Arkansas limestone. Sitting under a monumental dome, the capitol today is complete with exhibits illustrating the state's long-standing history, culture, traditions, and governance. The capitol is an incandescent canopy during Christmas, where a towering tree graces the rotunda while a string of lights bedecks its outsides. Having been used in plenty of films, the Arkansas State Capitol is truly the crowning glory of Little Rock.
If you are entering Little Rock from I-430, you cannot miss the mammoth Pinnacle Mountain to the west, with its pointy, volcano-esque top. The state park centered around this mountain, just a few miles from Little Rock proper, is a unique Arkansas treasure. There are multiple hiking options sure to please adventure seekers. There is also a family-friendly hiking trail that leads to the top of the mountain. Plenty of picnic tables are available, and campgrounds are nearby. The park staff offers frequent events such as cookouts and puppet shows for families, along with survival lessons for adults.
Discover the secrets of Arkansas' history in the oldest still-standing state capitol building to the west of the Mississippi River. Peruse permanent exhibits of Arkansas' women, President Clinton's journey to Washington, the first Arkansas House of Representatives, Arkansas' first families, period rooms and the State House's history. Special exhibits change various times per year, always featuring fascinating subject matter about the Natural State. Visitors may either take a self-guided tour of the museum or take one of the guided tours available each hour.
The River Market is the most popular locale in Little Rock, both for tourists and locals. With more than 17 merchants housed inside, you can buy fresh bread, pastries, flowers, coffee, and international groceries. There are several cafés located in the market where you can taste Japanese, Italian or local cuisines. Just outside the market, you will find even more interesting shops, bars, and restaurants. This is the place to come for the perfect souvenir on your trip to the city. Besides, this place is always buzzing with concerts, festivals, and other interesting activities.
Learn about the sacrifices made by brave Arkansans from the time the state was just a territory in the early 1800s up through the present day. This museum is fittingly situated in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal, which was built in 1840 to ward off attacks by Indians. The museum includes exhibits detailing the state's military history.
The Clinton Presidential Center is a monument to the 42nd president of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton. This $200 million library offers visitors a view of the controversial former President that is as complicated and as multi-dimensional as the man himself. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the U.S. economic expansion, balancing the budget and the budget surplus, NAFTA; they're all there. The Center also has a lot to say about the scandals that rocked the Clinton presidency, including the historic impeachment that preoccupied the country in his second term. The Clinton Presidential Center does provide a well-balanced portrait of this elemental and larger than life charismatic leader of America and the free world.
The Arkansas Maritime Museum tells the heroic tale of the USS Razorback. The legendary submarine came back without any major damages after its various escapades in World War II and the Vietnam War. It was later sold to Turkey in the 1970s. Restoring the legend of the ship became essential and hence was brought to the Little Rock in 2004, to be displayed in the Maritime Museum. The graphic account of the war means children are advised against the tour. Hours vary as per season.
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.