Little Rock sits on the banks of the Arkansas River in Pulaski County, located in the center of the state. And with a population of nearly 200,000 people, it’s the largest city in Arkansas and definitely the place to find a good time at a great value.
The hub of Little Rock is the bustling River Market District featuring restaurants, shops, bars, nightlife, museums and hotels as well as the area’s main library. Focal points in the city include the Clinton Presidential Center & Park, the nearby world headquarters of Heifer International, and the Central Arkansas Nature Center. All three properties are “green” buildings and offer special tours. The Clinton Presidential Park Wetlands add “green” as well, with boardwalks winding throughout the preserve in downtown Little Rock. In the vicinity you’ll also find the family-friendly Museum of Discovery, which features an interactive indoor playground for young and old. A ride in the METRO Streetcar will take you through the River Market District and into North Little Rock.
Arts and culture mavens will love the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, which houses both traveling exhibitions and an exceptional permanent collection of works on paper, and the ESSE Purse Museum on South Main street, the only American museum dedicated to the art of the handbag. You can also visit the historic Little Rock Visitor’s Center at Curran Hall and learn more about the city. Don’t miss La Petite Roche Plaza in Riverfront Park on the Arkansas River.
The capital city’s namesake – the little rock – is now the center of this beautiful area with interpretive plaques and innovative landscaping. The story of the “little rock” — Benard de le Harpe, who is believed to have traveled about 50 miles above the present sites of Little Rock and North Little Rock, AR, described the area when writing about his journey. He noted a landmark on the north bank of the Arkansas River, which he referred to as the “French Rock” (now known as “big rock”). The first outcropping of rock along the riverbanks above its mouth on the south bank came to be known as the La Petite Roche — “Little Rock.” The city of Little Rock was incorporated just over 100 years later.
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