Located across the Arkansas River from the capitol city of Little Rock, North Little Rock is very much its own city, with a growing number of attractions on the waterfront. The Arkansas River Trail, a 17-mile loop that runs along both sides of the river, is complemented by the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, with exhibits like the historic submarine USS Razorback and the 1939 towboat M/V Patriot. Just a few blocks from Riverfront Park is NLR's downtown Argenta Historic District, where a variety of North Little Rock event venues can be found.
The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, formerly the Little Rock National Airport, is located six miles southeast of downtown NLR. The airport recently completed the first phase of a long-term renovation plan, including a new ticket lobby and baggage handling system, and will eventually expand the number of terminals from 12 to 16. The airport averages more than 150 flights per day on seven major carriers and provides service to virtually all American destinations and major foreign cities. Transportation available from the airport includes bus ($3.75 one-day pass), shuttle vans ($20 - $30), and taxi (approximately $15).
While there are no convention venues in North Little Rock per se, the Verizon Arena is the main setting for meetings. The 370,000-square-foot entertainment and convention facility has a seating capacity of 18,000 and 28,000 square feet of arena meeting space, along with smaller function rooms ranging in size from 1,150 square feet to 4,500 square feet. In addition, there is the 5,000-square-foot ballroom at the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center and a 3,500-square-foot conference center at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.
Nearby are the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at Verizon Arena and the Dickey-Stephens baseball park, home to the AA minor league Arkansas Travelers, Anaheim Angels' farm team. The possibility of a new conference center downtown is in the planning stages.
Largest of hotel venues in North Little Rock hotel is the 223-room Wyndham Hotel, which provides 14,000 square feet of space in 14 function rooms. Two other hotels cater to meetings; the 119-room Hilton Garden Inn, with 4,010 square feet of meeting space, and the 98-toom Marriott Courtyard, with 2,200 square feet of meeting space.
Off-site, special event venues in North Little Rock offer planners a variety of options. The Mark Twain Riverboat, which can seat 70 for dinner inside, offers a different view of both Little Rock and North Little Rock from the beautiful Arkansas River. The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum has indoor space to host an event for around 50 people, along with an outdoor area that can accommodate up to 100. And the draft-beer garden/restaurant at Dickey-Stephens Park can host a special event of up to 2,000 in a mostly covered outdoor area.
Along with a wealth of shops and restaurants of the Argenta Historic District, there are attractions such as circa 1887 Argenta Drug Company on Main Street, the oldest continuously operating pharmacy west of the Mississippi, and the Old Mill, an authentic reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill which appears in the opening scene of "Gone with the Wind" (believed to be the only building remaining from the classic 1939 film).
When it comes to dining out in North Little Rock, there is no shortage of interesting possibilities. Riverfront Steakhouse, in the Wyndham Hotel, is known for its award-winning steaks, and Ristorante Capeo, considered on for North Little Rock's finest restaurants, features authentic Italian cuisine. For local eats, try the award-winning barbecue at Whole Hog Cafe or check out The Catfish Hole, one of central Arkansas' oldest restaurants. At Cregeen's Irish Pub, the unique atmosphere features a bar imported from Ireland, while Starving Artist Cafe is home to an internationally syndicated weekly radio show on NPR and features a changing display of local art.