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!