If you are entering Little Rock from I-430, you cannot miss the mammoth Pinnacle Mountain to the west, with its pointy, volcano-resembling top. The Pinnacle Mountain State Park, which is centered around this mountain, 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 several campgrounds are nestled nearby. The park staff offers frequent events such as cookouts and puppet shows for families, along with survival lessons for adults.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Built with over 300,000 bricks salvaged from other buildings, the Arkansas Governor's Mansion was completed in 1950. This grand Georgian colonial mansion sits on 8 pristine acres (3 hectares) of manicured herb gardens maintained by the National Herb Society. Visitors can partake in guided tours on Tuesday and Thursday and must be scheduled one day in advance. The tours are completely free and include a visit to all rooms deemed public.
William E Thrasher Boys & Girls Club opened in 1953 and is a social space for the community. Being host to various sporting activities, the center offers a platform to its members to play and interact with people around. It also conducts events with certain themes for all age groups. You can enroll here for their aquatic or sports training and also be a part of their social bonding activities.
Little Rock Tours is the newest attraction in Little Rock, offering sightseeing tours and charter service all over “The Natural State”. For decades, Little Rock has been a hub for national and international news. From the 1957 Central High School Crisis to the construction of the new Clinton Presidential Library, so much of American history has played out in Little Rock. That is why this tour adds a dose of news and a dash of Hollywood. The trip around the city features both historical news footage and movie clips shown on the bus, with nearly a dozen clips in all! The footage is played on a state-of-the-art audio/video system on the tour bus. All tour guides are fun, knowledgeable, and entertaining. It's a trip through time as well as a trip around town!
The artwork in this gallery is breathtaking. You will find a wide range of sculptures, paintings and drawings by African-American artists. From James Ayers' emotionally-charged works to Euneda Otis' paintings depicting everyday scenes from the lives of Southern African-Americans, these pieces are collector-worthy. A special note: the bookstore sells hard-to-find, out-of-print books by African-American authors, some of which are autographed. The gallery also regularly hosts events. Call or visit its web site for details.
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.
This privately owned garden is open to the public thanks to the generosity of Anita Davis. This neighborhood green space hosts various events and features temporary sculpture exhibits by local artists. Landscaped with lush, low impact vegetation, the garden offers benches and a gorgeous lighted canopy set upon an old fast food joint's foundation that now serves as the backdrop for many weddings. Whether its to check out the artwork, attend an event or merely enjoy the being outdoors, the Bernice Garden is an Arkansas gem.