The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Midtown, Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas, doesn’t fall short of exciting things to do; from cultural centers to live music venues, from museums and galleries to green open spaces, activities abound here in this creative city brimming with Southern charm. Set at the heart of American history, and boasting sun-drenched streets and a vibrant nightlife, Midtown, Little Rock, is a bustling area encapsulating the warmth, friendliness and energy characterizing Arkansas state. Here’s our definitive guide to the best things to see and do whilst staying in the Little Rock neighborhood of Midtown.
One of the most iconic sites in Little Rock is the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, a must-see for anyone staying in the Midtown district of the city. Located in the Clinton Presidential Center and Park, it hosts interesting exhibits such as the current “Dinosaurs Around the World”, a presentation taking visitors on a prehistoric adventure, and features archival collections which convey the timelines of domestic and foreign policies implemented at the White House. Watch out for: the replica of the Oval Office in the museum Address and telephone number: 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 370-5050
The Big Dam Bridge is an aesthetic icon of Little Rock. It’s the longest pedestrian and cyclist bridge in the United States, and its name both elicits laughter and is self-explanatory; the bridge is large, and is built on a dam. The structure provides a great place to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air when staying in Little Rock.
If you’re interested in interacting with history, then look no further than Little Rock Central High School, better known as the place where the desegregation of American schools started. It was here that nine African American students, better known as the Little Rock Nine, attended the public high school and faced a barrage of abuse from opposers to desegregation. This event caught national attention as the struggle escalated between federal and state power, and the school is now a deemed a National Historic Landmark. Watch out for: a museum honoring the Little Rock Nine Address and telephone number: 1500 Park Street, Little Rock, AR 72202, (501) 447-1400
The River Market District in downtown Little Rock is a hub for live music, shopping and dining. Visitors to the region can take the trolley in from downtown and go boutique shopping, and can also peruse the farmer’s market every Saturday and Tuesday, where a wealth of fresh produce and hand-crafted goods are on offer for purchase.
There’s nothing better in Little Rock than immersing yourself in the nightlife, and enjoying the wide variety of live music venues the city has to offer. Hosting mostly blues, rock-and-roll and country performances, Little Rock has an array of live venues from which visitors can choose, including classic bar settings and formal theaters
Watch out for: cocktail bars and nightclubs hosting music until the early hours
The Old State House Museum was the location of the original capital of Arkansas. The building was the site of many debates during the period of civil unrest, a time when Arkansas decided whether the state would go with the Confederates or the Union. Overall, this building has played a key role in both in the development Arkansas’ statehood and the progression of the Civil War, and provides another interesting historical venue for the Little Rock visitor to engage with. Watch out for: exhibits showcasing old political memorabilia Address and telephone number: 300 W Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 324-9685
The Arkansas River Trail is an 88-mile-long loop, a pathway which serves as a recreational spot for joggers, walkers, bicyclists and the like. The long length of the trail means it passes through many important areas in Arkansas, including 12 museums, 38 parks, and the metropolitan areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock, to name a few. Strolling this trail is a great way to see many Arkansas attractions in one activity.
Watch out for: the trail runs underneath the Big Dam Bridge
Two Rivers Park offers many outdoor activity options for visitors to enjoy. With picnic tables and wide grassy areas, this is a top spot for afternoon lunch on a warm Little Rock day. There are also fishing streams, trails for riding horses and mountain bikes, and a pretty community garden boasting an array of colorful plants and flowers. Two Rivers Park is a picturesque open space, offering a piece of tranquil peace amidst the urban environment of the city. Watch out for: charming trails as well as open spaces to rest Address and telephone number:6900 Two Rivers Park Road, Little Rock, AR 72223, (501) 371-4770
Renowned as the first legal distillery in Arkansas after Prohibition ended, the Rock Town Distillery is a must-see location with visiting Little Rock. The distillery prides itself on using fresh local corn, wheat and rye to craft its liquors, and its products include a variety of vodkas, gins, whiskeys and bourbons. Guests can take interesting tours and learn about the process of producing this alcohol from start to finish.
Watch out for: unique cocktails, such as the “Angry Apple Pie”
The Mount Holly Cemetery serves as the eternal resting place for some of history’s most influential characters, which is why it draws such large crowds of visitors each year. Among the influential citizens buried here there are Arkansas governors, senators, pulitzer-prize winning journalists and even several slaves. The architecture of the cemetery is also a subject of awe for visitors, with designs incorporating a picturesque mixture of modern and Victorian styles. Watch out for: Tales of the Crypt performances, where drama students perform monologues retelling the stories of individuals buried in the cemetery Address and telephone number: 1200 South Broadway, Little Rock, AR 72202, (501) 376-1843By Andrea Henthorn