Little Rock, AR
Despite the minimalism suggested by its name, Little Rock is Arkansas' biggest city. As the state's capital city, Little Rock is home to the state's governmental offices in addition to offering a variety of cultural opportunities for visitors to enjoy.
Must see in Little Rock
All visitors should take a ride on the River Rail electronic trolley into Little Rock's River Market District to enjoy restaurants, shopping and seasonal farmers' market. While in the River Market District, tour the Clinton Presidential Center and Park, and don't forget to take a walk on the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, an old Rock Island Railroad bridge originally built in 1899. If you like to get outdoors, be sure to make a trip to hike at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
Where to stay in Little Rock
The River Market District is ideal for visitors who want to be within walking distance to downtown attractions and nightlife or who are in town for business or governmental functions. Children will love staying in this area because it is close to parks, the Museum of Discovery and the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center.
The Airport region offers a number of lodging opportunities for those who need proximity to the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. Downtown is easily accessible from here, as are the Verizon Arena, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Little Rock Zoo.
Visitors who love shopping will enjoy staying in the West Little Rock area. The area offers a number of plazas and a traditional mall. Lodging near Interstate 30 will be easy access to the Bass Pro Shop and outlet stores expected to open in 2015.
Best and worst time go to Little Rock
To see a magnificent spray of fall foliage, plan a trip to Pinnacle Mountain State Park in late October to early November. High humidity and heat indexes in the triple digits make July and August the worst months to travel to Little Rock.
Where to get lost in Little Rock
There's plenty to discover in the River Market District. You'll see everything from pubs to boutique clothing, novelties and bookstores. Take time to read the historic markers.
The best deal in Little Rock
Offering free admission, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center is the best deal in Little Rock. Young and old alike will enjoy displays about the state's ecology and wildlife. Be sure to check the center's website to arrive for fish or alligator feeding times.
Transportation in Little Rock
Rental cars are available, but many visitors prefer to use public transportation provided by Central Arkansas Transit (CAT). CAT has bus routes all over the city and also operates the River Rail. Buy a day pass or multiple day pass for your choice of travel — both fees are nominal.
Getting In from Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport
Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is located conveniently near three interstates. Hop on Interstate 440 and go to I-630 toward the River Market and downtown regions. I-30 leads to the outskirts of Little Rock, including the Bass Pro Shop and outlet shopping. CAT also offers routes from the airport.
Local tip for visitors to Little Rock
Planning a trip to the Clinton Presidential Center? Free admission is granted to visitors on July 4 and on Presidents' Day. Free Saturday admission is offered on the Saturday before Clinton's birthday (Aug. 19) and the Saturday before the center's anniversary (Nov. 18).
Author's bio: Ronna Pennington, historian and freelance journalist, left behind the editor's desk and newspaper industry after 20+ years to spend more time traveling with her family.