Our stay in Little Rock was hosted by the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, but all thoughts and opinions about my stay and activities are my own.
Little Rock, Arkansas is nestled on the Arkansas River and brimming with history, art and good food. My mom and I headed down to the Natural State for a quick getaway and while this quiet southern town might not be an obvious choice for a weekend destination, I can guarantee there’s something for everyone. If you only have a few short days in Little Rock, keep reading! I’ve listed 5 must do things in Little Rock, Arkansas down below.
What to Do and See in Little Rock, Arkansas
Visit the Historical Sites.
Little Rock is full of history dating all the way back to the 1800s when the city was founded. You’ll find the “little rock” at Riverfront Park near the Junction Bridge. This piece of a larger rock now stands as a monument to the larger formation that was a major river landmark in 1722.
You’ll also want to visit Little Rock Central High School, which was at the epicenter of the Civil Rights movement. In 1957, nine Black students were denied entry into the school and faced an angry group of white people who were protesting integration after the Brown v. Board of Education decision by the United States Supreme Court. You can tour the high school and need to call ahead to book.
Check out All the Art
If you love art and murals, Little Rock is the place for you! The city is FULL of vibrant sculptures and home to the Arkansas Museum of Fine Art. There’s lots free public art as well. Take a self-guided walking tour of all the murals and if you have time, drive up to North Little Rock to see the Argenta Arts District.
I’ll have an entire post dedicated to the food we ate in Little Rock, but I was pleasantly surprised at how many different types of cuisines you can find in the city. It’s definitely a foodie destination for sure and we loved trying all kinds of new dishes. Downtown, SOMA, Heights/Hillcrest all offer some great eats. You can check out more recommendations here.
Visit the Esse Purse Museum.
This place was not on my radar. In fact, I hadn’t even seen it listed anywhere in my research before my trip, but Visit Little Rock suggested it for me and my mom and we really enjoyed this fashionable museum. There are only three purse museums in the entire world and Esse happens to be one of them! During the month of March when we visited, they had a Women’s History Month exhibit with purses dating all the way back to the early 1900s. It was neat to see how fashions have changed and how some styles have become popular again.
Spend some time in the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.
Learn about the 42nd US President William J. Clinton and his presidency at this gorgeous library on the Arkansas River. There are lots of interactive exhibits as well as some special temporary exhibits and you can walk across the river from the adjacent pedestrian bridge. No matter your politics, if you enjoy presidential history, this is one stop in Little Rock you won’t want to miss.
Note: as of March 2022, you must be fully vaccinated to visit the Clinton Presidential Library. You will be asked to show proof of vaccination status.
Bonus: Stop at The Old Mill
This gorgeous mill was used in the opening credits of “Gone with the Wind” and is one of the most picturesque sites in North Little Rock. It was snowing when I got there (!) but still beautiful through the flakes coming down. If you have extra time, make the drive up to see it.
For more about our packed day in Little Rock, be sure to check out my YouTube video!