10 Things To Do In Little Rock

10 Things To Do In Little Rock

What to do and see while visiting the Rock!
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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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12 Necessary Components For A Memorable Road Trip

How to treasure “being on the road, again”
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Staying in one place doesn’t suit me. I love being able to travel to new places for new sights, sounds, and smells. Road trips are a perfectly cost-effective way to get away from home without having to leave the country and still experience something new. I recently took a very memorable road trip to Yosemite.

Between that and my semi-frequent road trips from the Bay Area to LA, you could say I’m an expert at planning and executing phenomenal road trips. In my experience, the following 12 things are what will make or break any road trip you take.

1. A meticulously crafted itinerary


Which you can disregard whenever necessary, but having one to start out with is always a good idea.

2. A bangin’ playlist


Specifically, one that is catered towards your final destination. A bangin’ playlist should take into account the weather, the time of year, the merriment of the occasion, etc.

3. Comfy pants


You might not need the elastic waistband because you’ll be eating three dinners, but no good ever comes from wearing tight pants that pinch on a 10-hour road trip.

4. More snacks than you think you’ll need


Trust.

5. The “Trash” bag


You might not always start out with one, but you definitely always end up with one.

6. Water


Maybe not the most thrilling addition to the road trip, however having plenty of water is handy not only for staying hydrated but for increasing the number of pitstops you might make for bathroom breaks. This could lead to some pretty interesting unexpected side stories you’ll be telling to all your friends and family when you come home.

7. Mind numbing boredom


This usually sets in around the third or fourth hour on the road.

8. A pit stop for ice-cream


This helps to alleviate the aforementioned “mind-numbing boredom” and is a welcome addition to a road trip at any time of day. (Plus, this baby totally gets me.)

9. License plate games


Or riddles, or guessing games, or twenty questions. Basically, these save your life if you ever get carsick and can’t read or don't want to waste data scrolling through Instagram.

10. Walking shoes


The best part of any road trip is the time you spend off the road.

11. A camera


To document all of the good fun. Photos help so that you won’t forget any of the little details (This speaks more to it being remembered.)

12. Good company


If you had bad company, you wouldn’t want it to be memorable in the first place.


And finally, I will leave you with a nugget of wisdom, a Public Service Announcement so to speak: clean your car immediately BEFORE AND AFTER you go. You can thank me later.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Driving Through New Mexico Was A Thought-Provoking Learning Experience

Long drives = new learning experiences.
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During winter break, just a few days before the spring semester began, I visited my good friend who lives in New Mexico. Due to our busy schedules during the fall semester, we couldn’t give much time for each other, so we decided to catch up by road tripping through New Mexico. We gave ourselves three days to reach four destinations, plus the trip back to school in Texas, all by car.

Born and raised in the suburbs, but close to the city of Los Angeles, California, I was exposed to much diversity and bustling city life. As you may know, I am a sophomore at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. And compared to L.A., Waco is much smaller, less wealthy, provides fewer resources, and can be quite culturally different. Before this road trip, I often took what I had for granted.

While we drove through the idle roads of rustic New Mexico, which often times lacked or had no cellular signal, I found time to appreciate the beautiful scenery, recognize how fortunate we live our lives, and of course, catch up with my friend.

Everyone’s perception of the term “beautiful” is different. For example, most people consider California’s physical nature to be more “beautiful” than New Mexico’s, but I find both to be equally beautiful, just in different ways. Through my eyes, I find New Mexico’s beauty from its many plateaus and how rural much of the state is. The ruralness brings about a slower pace of life, in which I find serenity and low-stress levels. As for California, I appreciate the beautiful beaches and buzzing cities. The beach provides perfect breezy weather and the cities supply a plentiful amount of resources. All in all, I consider it fascinating to see how different all the regions of the United States are.

As a busy college student, it can be difficult to see how fortunate I am to be receiving a college education at a prestigious university, have a roof over my head, and be nourished food and water all the time. But seeing how lacking New Mexico is in those areas made me realize how fortunate I am. Before this trip, I even whined about how much Waco lacked and perceived it to be worse than what it actually is. I am now more than grateful to live the life I’ve been given.

Despite what I learned on this trip, the main objective was to catch up with my friend, and it was so refreshing to see our friendship escalate into a sisterhood. I find it important to understand people in a deeper perspective because there is so much more to who people are than what you see on the surface. In addition, friends are made to provide emotional support whether they are there to be happy for you or to sympathize with you.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Chiang

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