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Little Rock, AR
The city of Little Rock takes its name from a small rock formation on the banks of the Arkansas River that once served as a landmark for early settlers, but it's now known for much more. As the state capital, Little Rock is home to government buildings, several significant businesses including Dillard's, Acxiom and Windstream Communications, and both cultural and recreational opportunities.
The Community of Little Rock
Downtown Little Rock sits on the Arkansas River and incorporates the River Market District with excellent restaurants and live music venues. Quapaw Quarter has more than 200 historical buildings including the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.
East Little Rock is mostly industrial and commercial, while the western areas of the city include the Financial Centre business district and residential areas like Capitol View with its Craftsman, Bungalow and even Queen Anne architecture that reflects the city's growth in the early 1900s.
What to Do in Little Rock
For art lovers of any sort, the Arkansas Arts Center's classic and modern art collections and scheduled productions are sure to delight. Attend a class or lecture or take the kids to a family-oriented arts program. The grounds are beautiful too and the perfect place for a picnic lunch. Closed Mondays; admission is free for the museum but there may be a cost for performances or classes.
The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is a reminder of the hard work and courage possessed by the first kids to integrate a public school following the Supreme Court's landmark Brown v Board of Education ruling. Run by the National Park Service, the high school building is still used for classes so a scheduled tour is a must. Or drop into the visitor's center to learn more about this building's role in the civil rights movement.
Downtown's River Market encompasses 10,000 square feet of shops and food carts with a vast array of options for eating, shopping or just people watching. Take a trolley ride to get a brief introduction of the area from a jovial conductor. If you love to read, stop by the Arkansas State Library's used book shop with three floors of reading material.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Little Rock
Rent a bicycle at the River Market and travel on two wheels along more than 100 paved miles of the Arkansas River Bicycle Trail System. Three pedestrian-only bridges cross the river, including the Big Dam Bridge that's the world's largest bike bridge. See the city via non-motorized means and explore at your own pace.
Dining in Little Rock
Brave New Restaurant is a steakhouse on the river that earns accolades for interesting takes on more traditional American dishes. The mixed grill is a great option if you're undecided, offering pork, beef, quail and wild game sausage on one plate. Its fresh seafood dishes and the veal also earn rave reviews. Don't skip dessert.
For a short but sweet lunch experience, try The Root Cafe on Main Street. Fresh, local ingredients go into an eclectic range of dishes, including several vegan options.