10 Things You Won’t Believe Are Hiding In Arkansas’s Capital City
With a population of 197,357, Little Rock is a fairly small city compared to places like New York City or even Houston. That’s okay. Little Rock is by far the largest city in Arkansas and we love it to pieces. Being our biggest city means Little Rock is full of things you can’t find anywhere else in the Natural State. You probably know about the capital building and the zoo, but did you know that you can wander through a mini-wetland right in the heart of Little Rock? You’ll find 10 surprising places to visit in Little Rock in the list below.
1. The Big Dam Bridge
At a span of 4,226 feet, the Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the United States never to have been open to motor vehicle traffic. The Big Dam Bridge crosses the Arkansas River at the location of Murray Lock and Dam and is open to both pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It has been named one of the top ten tourist bridges in the United States.
2. Flying Fish
In addition to totally dreamy seafood, you’re going to find a huge collection of Billy Bass novelty fish on their walls. That’s because, in addition to being a rockin' restaurant, Flying Fish is also a Billy Bass Adoption Center. It even claims to be the first Billy Bass Adoption Center. You can find delicious food in a unique atmosphere at 511 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock.
3. Riverfront Park
If you’re looking for a natural haven in the Natural State’s capital city, you can’t do much better than Riverfront Park. This park is eleven blocks of nature, cool trails, and places to play. It’s 33 acres of beautifully developed urban park, and you’re going to love playing here. You can find it in the River Market District, at Ottenheimer Plaza.
4. The Actual Little Rock
The city’s namesake is available for discovery, and you’ll find it in La Petit Roche Plaza at Riverfront Park. A man from France named Benard de la Harpe traveled the rivers from New Orleans and wound up on the Arkansas River where he saw—guess what: an actual little outcropping of rock. You can learn all about that history at the plaza in Riverfront Park.
5. The Hillcrest Historic District
If you’re looking for a cool historic district in Little Rock, you can’t do better than Hillcrest. This little district is full of picturesque streets and historic homes. Hillcrest is a great place to see some unique houses in an idyllic setting. This neighborhood was once a suburb and is now located nearly exactly in the center of Little Rock.
6. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
This museum is unlike any other place in the Natural State. It’s managed by the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and it preserves the history of the African American population of Arkansas from 1870 to the present. It's a treasure trove of history you may not have heard in school. You’ll find it at 501 West 9th Street in Little Rock.
7. The William E. "Bill" Clark Presidential Park Wetlands Boardwalk
Of all the things you’d expect to find in Little Rock, did you anticipate a beautiful boardwalk where you can explore a preserved wetland and learn about conservation? Probably not, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at William E. "Bill" Clark Presidential Park Wetlands Boardwalk, located at 1200 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock.
8. HB’s Bar-B-Q
This little barbecue joint is located in a residential neighborhood, so lots of Arkansans miss this delicious barbecue. The service is friendly at this small place, and the barbecue is even better. HB’s is located at 6010 Lancaster in Little Rock.
9. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies works to promote "a greater understanding and appreciation of Arkansas history, literature, art, and culture." There you’ll find a research library and historical archive. The Butler Center also has five art spaces where you can find work by Arkansas artists. The Butler Center is located at 401 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock.
10. The Castle on Stagecoach
Fairy tale setting right inside Little Rock? No problem. The Castle on Stagecoach will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a wonderland. If you time your visit to Little Rock just right, you can have brunch at on of their monthly brunch events. The venue is also fantastic for weddings and parties of all kinds, of course. You can find the castle at 6601 Stagecoach Road in Little Rock.
For more to do while you’re in central Arkansas, click here. For historic gems you don’t want to miss in the Natural State, check out this one. To learn about the second largest city in Arkansas, click here.