Summer is right around the corner, and now’s the perfect time to start thinking about your family road trip. Little Rock, Arkansas, is full of family fun surprises; here’s a roadmap to ten of them.
- La Petite Roche, the city’s namesake, was discovered in 1722 by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Benard de la Harpe. Come discover pieces of the “Little Rock” in Riverfront Park.
- Little Rock is home to the nation’s only national park that contains a functioning high school. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is part of the U.S. National Park Service. It was the epicenter of the 1957 desegregation crisis when nine brave African American students — the Little Rock Nine — broke through racial barriers.
- Little Rock has six historic landmarks along the new U.S. Civil Rights Trail that spans 14 states and the District of Columbia. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is one of the Trail’s top ten destinations. Check out the other five sites while you’re here.
- Little Rock is home to Heifer International, a non-profit organization that works to end world hunger and poverty through education, empowerment and economic development. Heifer works in 25 countries. Learn more about their work at Heifer Village and Heifer Urban Farm.
- The Big Dam Bridge is North America’s longest pedestrian-and bicycle-intended bridge. It’s built over Murray Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River and is part of a 17-mile loop along the Arkansas River Trail.
- The Clinton Presidential Center has an exact replica of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. On the presidential park grounds — housed in the former Choctaw Train Station — is the University of Arkansas School of Public Service, the nation’s first school of its kind. Also, lunch at 42 Bar and Table restaurant and then make your way across the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge.
- River Lights in the Rock, three downtown bridges spanning the Arkansas River (Main Street, Junction, Clinton Presidential Park bridges) are lit with millions of multi-colored LED lights and provide colorful shows every night at the top of each hour.
- The Museum of Discovery is a premier science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics museum in the heart of the River Market District. Have fun with more than 90 hands-on interactive exhibits. Learning has never been so much fun!
- The Rock Region METRO Electric Streetcar runs through downtown Little Rock and is one of the nation’s few remaining heritage streetcar systems. Hop on and off all day long — for FREE!
- The Old State House Museum is Arkansas’s original state capitol building. It is the oldest standing capitol building west of the Mississippi River and served as the backdrop of both President Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential acceptance speeches.
Make your way to Little Rock this summer. Discover the pleasant surprise of this capital city, and see why the locals say, “Life if Better with a Southern Accent.”