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Located in the two-story 1840 Pike-Fletcher-Terry mansion, the Arkansas Arts Center is the cultural focus of Little Rock. Rotating exhibits of paintings, photographs and sculptures feature both local artists and renowned masters. The center boasts an eclectic gift shop, the upscale Best Impressions Restaurant and the Children's Little Theatre, which stages several theatrical productions a year. Check website for details on upcoming events.
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. Admission is free.
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 were 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 were at the center of the Little Rock Integration Crisis.
This lesser-known Little-Rock landmark on the outskirts of downtown was constructed in honor of the state's 150th birthday in 1986. This sundial is made from various stones and artifacts given as gifts to the state by countries all over the globe. It is located just a short walk from downtown across the Broadway Bridge to North Little Rock. While you are there, take a walk through the riverside park. It is a wonderful place to admire the beauty of Arkansas.
Journey back to the days before the Civil War forever changed Arkansas' history. The Historic Arkansas Museum, formerly known as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, has preserved five antebellum homes, including the area's oldest building, the 1827 Hinderliter Grog Shop. Guests enjoy a guided living-history tour through the grounds as they learn the history of each building. The museum features several Arkansas art galleries and an interactive children's gallery.
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.
Discover the secrets of Arkansas' history in the oldest still-standing state capitol building 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. Admission is free.
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 breads, 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, so check the website for further details.
Home to a variety of festivals and concerts, this park is the center of activity in Little Rock. Here you can see the actual "little rock" that inspired European-explorer Benard de la Harpe to name the city. Take a break from shopping and visiting museums downtown to watch barges and riverboats float down the lazy Arkansas River. Children can enjoy the playground, while adults check out the history pavilion, which offers background on the park and the city. Bands often perform at the amphitheater. In May the park is filled with the frivolities of the annual Riverfest.
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 provides a well balanced portrait of this elemental and larger than life charismatic leader of America and the free world.
Founded by the Melton couple, Sue and Russ, Diamond Bear Brewing Company began its production of brews in 2000. German Purity laws are followed in the brewing process, so the ingredients are few but the beers are rich in flavor. Paradise Porter, Honey Weiss and Irish Red are the most popular varieties here. When visiting Little Rock's prime attractions like the Arkansas State Capitol, Arkansas Arts Center and Arkansas State Library, don't miss out on an opportunity to visit this brewery, located in Downtown Little Rock.
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. Open daily.