You can’t really explore Arkansas without exploring her capital and crown city, Little Rock. That would just be wrong. So, to make things right, here are a few ways to discover the charming southern surprise that IS Little Rock.
Start off at “Little Rock’s Front Porch,” the 140-year old Capital Hotel. This historic boutique hotel is home to One Eleven at the Capital restaurant, run by James Beard Award-winning chef Joel Antunes. Across the lobby, the more casual Capital Bar & Grill features fine drinks, craft beers and upscale “comfort food.”
Step outside the Capital Hotel and catch the Rock Region METRO Streetcar. This clean, modern, but definitely vintage-feeling trolley will take you all over downtown and even across the river. The trolley runs by the most popular downtown attractions like Robinson Hall, the Clinton Presidential Center and Heifer International, Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock River Market, Main Street Creative Corridor and lots of restaurants, pubs, craft breweries and museums.
And speaking of museums, Little Rock has some great ones. The Arkansas Arts Center features a world-class collection of art, live theatre productions, classes, lectures, films, family programs, shopping and dining. There’s something for everyone, with changing exhibits, a full schedule of classes for adults and kids and the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre, the only professional company in Arkansas that produces children’s literary works for the stage.
Right next door to the AAC is the newly renovated MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Located in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal — the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur — the museum features artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items that vividly portray Arkansas’s military history at home and abroad.
And for something completely different, the Esse Purse Museum showcases the evolution of the 20th-century American woman through the bags she carried and their contents. ESSE Purse Museum – one of three purse museums in the world and the only one in the United States – is a don’t miss experience.
After taking in all that culture, you’ve probably worked up an appetite and you may be a bit thirsty. Little Rock has you covered. Named one of Forbes Travel Guide’s “Five Secret Foodie Cities,” Little Rock is a foodie paradise. Our long growing season means that local chefs have plenty of fresh ingredients to incorporate into their delicious creations. And our local craft brewing scene is hopping (see what we did there?). Grab a “Locally Labeled” passport, visit the 11 breweries, two wineries and distillery to have your passport stamped and pick up some neat swag (and some really good libations).
There’s a whole lot more to explore in Little Rock. Check LittleRock.com for more info and ideas.