10 Things To Do In Little Rock

10 Things To Do In Little Rock

What to do and see while visiting the Rock!

My hometown of Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and is the state's most populous city. Little Rock has had a rich history and provides an array of cultural sites, museums, and historical landmarks. How can all of that be boiled down to things to do and see when in Little Rock? Why, with a list, of course!

1. Visit the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park

Opened in 2004, this presidential library honors Arkansas native Bill Clinton and showcases artifacts from his two presidential terms from 1993 to 2001. The highlights of touring the library include full-scale replicas of the Clinton-era Oval Office and Cabinet Room.

2. Go see a theatrical production at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre

This non-profit professional theatre company has produced more than 280 productions since its founding in 1976. Each season is funded solely by its main operating budget, season subscriptions, and other fundraising activities. Past productions have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Les Miserables, Frost/Nixon, and The Who's Tommy. Upcoming shows this season include Monty Python's Spamalot, The Crucible, Sister Act, and Godspell.

3. Attend a symphony orchestra concert at Robinson Center Music Hall

As a part of the National Register of Historical Places, the Robinson Center hosts traveling productions of popular Broadway shows and plays, but is best known as the primary venue of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra performs numerous concerts throughout the year and on one notable occasion, Star Trek actor George Takei performed with the group as part of a Holocaust memorial concert in February 2012.

4. Visit the Arkansas Arts Center

The Arkansas Arts Center contains permanent collections of drawings and works of notable artists such as Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Degas. The center also has a children's theatre and a museum school offering classes in life drawing, photography, and woodworking.

5. Explore the Museum of Discovery

Located in downtown Little Rock, the Museum of Discovery contains a wide array of exhibits based on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Visitor Experience Director Kevin Delaney has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon numerous occasions as being the show's science expert demonstrating experiments. The museum is also the Guinness World Record holder for having a musical bi-polar tesla coil with the highest voltage at 200,000 volts of electricity!

6. Roam around the River Market District

The River Market district downtown offers a plethora of shopping and dining options and also serves as the central location for the annual Riverfest activities. Past musical acts at the festival included Steve Miller Band, Chicago, Styx, and the Doobie Brothers. Shops include the Clinton Museum Store and dining includes great restaurants such as Copper Grill, Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro, and Dugan's Pub.

7. Little Rock Central High School

Mostly known for being the focal point of school desegregation during the 1950s, Little Rock Central High School is a nationally registered historical landmark. Past events at the school have honored the Little Rock Nine who forever changed the landscape of civil rights. Personally, I have visited only once for a high school football between my alma mater, Little Rock Catholic High, taking on Central in a rivalry game. Seriously, go visit!

8. Football game at War Memorial Stadium

Whether it be an Arkansas Razorbacks game or high school football, War Memorial Stadium provides quite the atmosphere under the lights! Arkansas-LSU rivalry games have been hosted at this venue as well as Little Rock Catholic High School varsity games each season. Proud of this fact as an alumnus! Fun fact is that past concerts at War Memorial included the Rolling Stones, Elton John, and Billy Joel.

9. Visit the Arkansas State Capitol

The Arkansas State Capitol, located right in the heart of downtown Little Rock, serves as the main house of government for the state of Arkansas. Free daily tours are given at the building and the tour includes monuments and memorials including the Little Rock Nine Civil Rights Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Arkansas Medal of Honor Memorial.

10. Ride a bike or walk across the Big Dam Bridge

The Big Dam Bridge offers great views of the Arkansas River and the Little Rock skyline. An enjoyable bike ride or walk across the bridge should definitely be on one's list for outdoor activities while visiting Little Rock. The bridge even lights up at night!

Cover Image Credit: www.arkansas.com

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I Went On A Road Trip With My Friend, Here's What I Learned

Expect backaches.

This past weekend my friend and I took a 12-hour round trip, road trip to see some of our friends. I had a great time and it was definitely an awesome way to wrap up winter break. I've taken many road trips in my life so I used my past experience to plan and have the best road trip possible.

First of all, snacks are so important. We are college students so we are balling on a budget and cannot afford to stock up on gas station chips and fast food every time we get hungry. So we pre-bought snacks for the trip and it saved our lives.

You can't take a road trip without music so we made sure to make the perfect playlist! We made compiled so many songs into it that a song almost never repeated itself. I learned though that there is a time for music and there is a time to turn it down. Throughout the trip would turn down the radio and just talk, whether we were sharing stories or having a heart to heart. Road trips are such a great way to grow closer to someone.

Wrong turns aren't the end of the world.

Driving in an unfamiliar place comes with mistakes, confusion, and a lot of wrong turns. But have patience and know that your good ole iPhone GPS will lead you exactly where you need to go.

Don't speed. I'm just gonna leave that there.

Have the time of your life. Embrace every laugh, tear, song, and memory... because even though it feels like you are never going to get out of the car, you will and you will soon find yourself wishing you were right back to the beginning.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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How To Survive A 2,000 Mile Road Trip With Your Best Friend

Plot Twist: It's not that easy.

The summer before my sophomore year of college was one to remember- my best friend and I hopped in a car and road tripped it across Canada, but we ran into a few road bumps along the way.

1. Pack LOTS of snacks.

If you’re going on a one-week trip- pack enough snacks to last you two weeks...at least. You’ll never believe how many times you’ll randomly crave a power bar or chocolate chip cookie while on the road a painful number of hours.

2. Expect to hate each other (temporarily).

Let’s face it- being forced to spend all day and all night with your best friend in a small enclosed space for an extended period of time can be a challenge. You’ll disagree about a lot of things along the way (probably small things, like debating how long you can possibly go without filling up your gas tank again), and most likely get into a few small, petty arguments. The most important thing is to just remember why you’re on this trip in the first place, and do whatever is best to keep your mental sanity and arrive at your next destination safely.

3. Make an effort to create a music playlist together BEFORE you depart.

There is absolutely nothing worse than disagreeing on the music selection during a road trip. After hours and hours of driving an absurd distance, the last thing either of you want is to disagree on the background tunes. Trust me, this can get messy and easily create conflict if the driver wants to relax to some Khalid, and the passenger wants to get lit to G-Eazy.

4. Keep the car as clean as possible.

If you’re traveling as much as we did (10-15 hour driving days), it is imperative that you and your travel buddy keep a clean car. This is the hub of all activity- the place where you will spend the most amount of time during your trip. Nobody wants to be trapped in a car with rotting cheese or expired milk in the cooler, it’s just torture for everyone. Heed my warning, regularly check the expiration dates on all of your perishables, and make sure your cooler is clean and rotten-food free.

5. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Take pictures, lots of them. There is no better way to remember your adventures and travels than an album full of pictures. My best friend and I separated our pictures by making an album for each place we visited, and a “random” album for those hilarious in-car selfies in-between destinations.

6. Map out your bathroom and food stops in advance, if possible.

I speak from experience when I say this... peeing on the side of the road in rural northeast Maine in the pouring rain is NOT ideal. If you have the time, take advantage of travel apps and tools to help you plot out convenient food / bathroom stops along your way.

7. Make sure that the places you're staying at are safe.

Expedia pictures can make any hotel look safe. However, when you arrive at your destination, this may not always be the case. The last thing you need after driving for 14 hours straight is to end up at some sketchy motel in the ghetto of Montreal. Yes, this happened to us. No, it was NOT a fun time. Make sure to research the area you’re staying in before you arrive, and read the reviews on other travel websites in addition to Expedia. Pro tip: if the check in desk has bullet-proof glass separating you from the desk attendant, that’s probably a telltale sign that you should get the hell out of there...ASAP.

8. Embrace the local culture... but not too much.

If you’re road tripping internationally, there may be a language difference in some of your destinations. For us, our time in Quebec was interesting as neither of us spoke a lick of French. In order to “blend in”, I tried to greet locals with a friendly “bonjour!” however, this totally backfired when they responded completely in French, and I stood there looking like a deer in the headlights.

9. Carve out time for random, yet extremely necessary side-of-the-road naps.

Driving in general is tiring, but driving for 10+ hours straight is undoubtedly exhausting. When you and your travel buddy have been driving since 5 in the morning, you may find it necessary to take a nap on the side of the road. Pull over, recline your seats, lock your doors, put on Spotify’s Deep Sleep playlist, and relax. An hour power nap may be beneficial, and definitely beats falling asleep at the wheel.

10. Be prepared to grow.

Traveling is incredible. You’re exposed to all sorts of new cultures, new foods, and new people. If you have the opportunity to road trip it with your best friend, go for it. You will never regret it. Embarking on a parent-free road trip will force you to be as responsible as possible, and you will learn things about yourself, and your best friend that you never knew (plus, you’ll be really good at pumping gas by the end of the trip). What could be better than bonding with your bestie over that weirdo local old guy that just tried to add you on snapchat?!

Cover Image Credit: Michaela Duffy

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