Spanning 105.4 square miles, Little Rock is the state capital and most populous city in Arkansas. Nestled along the banks of the Arkansas River in the geographic center of the state, Little Rock is home to approximately 198,606 people. Meanwhile, its entire metropolitan area, which extends across six counties, is home to approximately 666,401 people. Widely considered Arkansas' historic, economic and cultural center, Little Rock combines distinctive local flavor with historic sites, inviting attractions and stunning surroundings.
Named "La Petite Roche" by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in 1722, Little Rock was once a well-traveled river crossing. The city became the seat of territorial government in 1821 and later the state capital in 1836. The city truly took center stage, though, during the United States Civil Rights Movement in 1957. It was then that Little Rock made global news as federal troops were sent to the city to enforce a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against segregation in public schools.
One can explore Little Rock like a local through a series of unique neighborhoods. Downtown is home to the vibrant River Market District, the Main Street Creative Corridor, and SOMA, all featuring unique local cuisine, cultural experiences, local art, and great shopping. The Clinton Presidential Center and headquarters of Heifer International, among other attractions, are located in this area of the city. In Midtown, one can find the trendy Heights and Hillcrest areas, with engaging architecture around every corner, as well as more local art, shopping, and food, the Little Rock Zoo, and War Memorial Park. West Little Rock is home to a variety of lodging and restaurants, which are surround by the beauty of the Natural State in the form of Pinnacle Mountain State Park, among other nature areas. The Southwest area of town is home to the world-class UA-PTC Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute and the Outlets of Little Rock, with more than 70 stores and surrounded by restaurants. Nearby North Little Rock also has a lot to offer, including Verizon Arena and Dickey-Stephens ballpark, home of the Arkansas Travelers - all just a short ride away by the Little Rock METRO street car!
Little Rock does offer its fair share of historic attractions, but it's far from behind the times. Little Rock has connected past and present with modern attractions such as the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. Home to the nation's most sophisticated presidential library, the Little Rock offices of the Clinton Foundation, and the Clinton School of Public Service, the center offers an intriguing look at turn-of-the-century American history and features an exact replica of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room, as well as the first school of its kind. Little Rock has also stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to the environment. It's even home to one of the greenest buildings in the nation, located at the Heifer Village & Urban Farm, which guests can tour during the week.
When night falls, visitors can get a true taste of the city's distinctive flavors at one of its many phenomenal restaurants. From unique local and international cuisine to Southern comfort fare, guests will not want to miss out on all of the regional specialties Little Rock has to offer. After dinner, visitors can catch a show, enjoy the sounds of the symphony, or simply listen to live music emanating from the many piano bars, dance clubs and pubs in the River Market District. After just one day, guests are quick to see why Little Rock has big appeal.