Arkansas’s Capital city, Little Rock deserves to be on your bucket list, thanks to its pristine beauty, riverside parks, downtown entertainment district, and one-of-a-kind tourist attractions. This ever-expanding city of Little Rock is bursting with fun and interesting activities and hence is much adorned by residents and tourist alike. The range of things to do and see here is undeniably impressive. It is the Arkansas’s center for education, entertainment, culture, history, economics, transportation and government. The city is a beautiful blend of genuine and friendly people, charming hospitality and big town amenities and appeal. Overall Little Rock offers you an experience you will cherish all your life.
Image By Brandonrush [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
History of Little Rock
Little Rock got its name from the La Salle Expedition by Jean-Baptiste Benard de la Harpe, a French explorer in 1722. He arrived near the rock formation on the bank of the Arkansas River and named it as La Petite Roche (French for “the little rock”). By the late eighteenth century, a settlement was laid. The territory of Arkansas was formed in 1819 and in 1821 Little Rock was made the territorial capital. Little Rock was incorporated as a city in 1831. In 1836, Arkansas became the state and Little Rock was made the capital of the State of Arkansas.
During the 20th century, the city experienced a significant growth. During the 1950s and 60s, the city attracted many businesses. Several residential and commercial developments were made. From 1960s to the 1990s, the city witnessed the expansion of cultural life, with the creation of several theaters, art centers and galleries. At the beginning of 2000s, the city welcomed plenty of visitors for the opening of William J Clinton Presidential Center and Park. Since then, the city has attracted thousands of visitors every year.
Important Locations in Little Rock
Little Rock has so much to offer. Its attractions are as varied as its landscape. With great museums, galleries, unique historic spots, scenic parks and entertainment venues, it is a destination not to be missed. Relive the past at the many museums and historic sites, stroll in the park, ride in the electric streetcar, see the wonderfully restored houses and structures, marvel at the architecture, and discover everything the city has to offer. Little Rock is about getting delighted and amazed.
Arkansas State Capitol:
See the legislators at work at the Arkansas State Capitol
. It is the house of government of Arkansas. Inside in the historic building, there are a few memorials, including the Little Rock Civil Rights memorial, Liberty Bell replica, the Confederate War Prisoners memorial, and much more. Take a stroll in the Capitol’s test garden and smell the 51 varieties of roses the garden has.
Big Dam Bridge
: Walk or ride on the United States’ longest bicycle and pedestrian bridge- The Big Dam Bridge
. The bridge joins approx 20 miles of picturesque riverside trails in North Little Rock and Little Rock. Events and competitions are also held on the bridge. One of the most famous annual events held here is the 100 bicycle tour. A bridge connecting people and places!
Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
: Check out the 1950 Georgian colonial mansion- Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
, which is the official residence of the Arkansas Governors and their families. About 11 governors have established residence with their families in this beautiful mansion. It holds the rich history of the state of Arkansas.
Museum of Discovery
: The Museum of Discovery
features history, art and science exhibits. It houses about 14,000 cultural and historical artifacts, plus several live animals. Get some insights about the modern as well as classic forms of art.
Old State House Museum:
Learn about the Arkansas history at the Old State House Museum
. It features items related to the history and culture of Arkansas, including Arkansas art pottery, Civil War battle flags, African American quilts, and much more.
: Take a leisurely walk in the Riverfront Park
, which includes trails, playgrounds, sculptures and historic markers. It is 33 acres of land stretching across 11 blocks for outdoor events, recreation activities, and a glimpse of the Arkansas’s history and culture. Highlights include the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, Little Rock Civil War Marker, La Petit Roche Plaza, and much more.
William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum:
Housed in the Clinton Presidential Center, William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
features furnishings and artifacts of the time when Clinton served as the president. Highlight is the mock oval office.
ESSE Purse Museum:
Know the history of purses at the ESSE Purse Museum
. It is the only museum in the US exclusively devoted to purses. It features a wide collection of handbags from 1900s to the present day.
Historic Arkansas Museum
: Catch a glimpse of Arkansas history at the Historic Arkansas Museum
. It features nineteenth century historic buildings and restored houses, art and artifacts from past 200 years.
MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History:
Familiarize with the Arkansas military heritage and history at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
. It features rotating and permanent exhibits of photos, artifacts, uniforms, documents and other memorabilia.
Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
: Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
features natural history of the state. It highlights the diverse landscape, animals and fish found in the state. It emphasize on several outdoor recreation opportunities that the wildlife resources of Arkansas offer. Some of the creatures housed here include turtles, pelicans, butterflies, and more. Plus, there is a theater, an aquarium and native Arkansas plants.
Arkansas Art Center: Arkansas Art Center
features paintings and drawings by famous artists, such as Picasso, Degas, Rembrandt, and many more. The center also has a children’s theater, a museum school, a restaurant and a research library. There is little something for everyone here!
Little Rock Zoo: Little Rock Zoo
houses more than 700 animals that represent over 200 species. The zoo is divided into 4 zones, with north having exhibits like Big Cats and African Veldt, south with an elephant barn and a children’s farm, west includes small carnivores, giraffes and bears, and the east zone includes Primate Islands and Great Apes. Plus, there is an antique carousel, a playground and a train ride.
The Bernice Garden
features temporary and permanent sculptures by the local artists of Arkansas. There are also rock formations, mosaics, benches and native plants in the garden. Attend a farmers market at this garden. Several events, parties and concerts are also held here.
To know more about the important locations in Little Rock, click here.
People and Culture of Little Rock
Little Rock is a great place to live, play and work. It provides amenities of a large city and hospitality of a small town. The city is a rich in culture, history and diversity. The history, art and culture of Little Rock is backed by art galleries, museums, recreational parks, performing arts theaters, music, sports and food. It’s the welcoming and warm character of the people and the cultural diversity that makes it a premier destination to explore.
Some of the famous personalities who have their roots in Little Rock include: Douglas MacArthur, Chelsea Clinton, Derek Fisher, Florence Beatrice Price, and many more.
Time Zone and Phone Codes of Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas follows the Central Time Zone.
UTC-GMT Offset: Little Rock is GMT/UTC-6 hours during Standard Time, while GMT/UTC-5hours during Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time Usage: Little Rock uses Daylight Saving Time
Time Zone Abbreviation: CST is abbreviated for Central Standard Time and CDT abbreviated for Central Daylight Time
Little Rock Area Code: 501
Best Time to Visit Little Rock
Though Little Rock is a year-round destination, but spring and fall are the pleasant time to visit Little Rock. The fall and spring have mild temperature, reasonable prices and fewer crowds. Fall is perfect for viewing foliage and spring is perfect for outdoor recreation activities. Meanwhile, with its multicultural character, Little Rock is a perpetual hive of activity, celebrating a wide array of events and festivals. From marathons to music, film, art and food, the city has a wealth of annual festivals and events for everyone.
Important Locations in Little Rock Map Guide