Nestled along the banks of the Arkansas River, North Little Rock is a charming city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and a plethora of exciting attractions. While it may be overshadowed by its larger neighbor, Little Rock, this hidden gem has plenty to offer visitors seeking a unique and memorable experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or avid foodie, North Little Rock has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the top things to do in North Little Rock, Arkansas, revealing the city’s best-kept secrets.
- Discover the Historic Argenta District:
Begin your adventure by exploring the historic Argenta District. This revitalized neighborhood is brimming with art galleries, eclectic shops, and trendy eateries. Take a leisurely stroll along Main Street, admiring the beautifully restored architecture and the colorful murals adorning the walls. Don’t miss the Argenta Outdoor Dining District, where you can savor delicious cuisine from various local restaurants while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.
- Immerse Yourself in History at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum:
History buffs won’t want to miss the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, located on the banks of the Arkansas River. The museum is home to two historic naval vessels: the USS Razorback (SS-394), a World War II submarine, and the USS Hoga (YT-146), a tugboat famous for its role in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Step aboard these remarkable ships and gain insight into their wartime experiences through engaging exhibits and interactive displays.
- Wander Through Time at the Old Mill:
Step into a fairytale world by visiting the Old Mill, a picturesque replica of an 1880s water-powered grist mill. This iconic landmark, featured in the opening scene of the classic film “Gone with the Wind,” offers visitors a serene escape into a bygone era. Explore the beautifully manicured gardens, cross the charming footbridges, and admire the intricate architecture. Don’t forget your camera, as every corner of the Old Mill is a picture-perfect moment waiting to be captured.
- Embrace Nature at Burns Park:
For outdoor enthusiasts, Burns Park is a must-visit destination. Spanning over 1,700 acres, this expansive park offers a wide range of recreational activities. Hike or bike along the picturesque trails, enjoy a picnic by one of the scenic lakes, or challenge friends to a game of disc golf. The park also features baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, and a golf course, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
- Delve into Art and Culture at the Arkansas Arts Center:
Indulge your artistic side at the Arkansas Arts Center, a renowned institution dedicated to showcasing visual and performing arts. The center boasts an impressive collection of American, European, and contemporary art, with highlights including works by Rembrandt, Degas, and Warhol. Attend a captivating theater performance or participate in a creative workshop to fully immerse yourself in the cultural scene of North Little Rock.
- Treat Your Taste Buds:
No visit to North Little Rock is complete without savoring its delectable culinary offerings. From Southern comfort food to international cuisine, the city is a food lover’s paradise. Dive into a plate of mouthwatering barbecue, sample soul food favorites, or explore the thriving food truck scene for a unique culinary experience. Be sure to visit the local breweries and distilleries to taste the region’s craft beers and spirits.
- Enjoy Live Entertainment at Verizon Arena:
Catch a live concert, sporting event, or show at the Verizon Arena, the city’s premier entertainment venue. With a seating capacity of over 18,000, this state-of-the-art facility hosts a diverse range of performances throughout the year. Check the schedule to see if any of your favorite artists or teams will be performing during your visit.
- Explore the William J. Clinton Presidential Library:
Located in nearby Little Rock, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library is a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts. Explore the extensive exhibits and artifacts that chronicle the life and presidency of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Take a walk through the replica of the Oval Office, learn about important historical events, and gain insights into the legacy of this influential leader.
- Embark on a Riverboat Cruise:
Experience the charm of the Arkansas River by embarking on a riverboat cruise. Several companies offer scenic cruises that allow you to take in the beautiful riverfront views while enjoying live music, delicious meals, and even themed events. Whether it’s a relaxing sunset cruise or a lively dinner excursion, a riverboat cruise provides a unique perspective of North Little Rock and its surroundings.
- Visit the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum:
Sports enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum. Located in North Little Rock, this museum celebrates the achievements of athletes and coaches from various sports disciplines. Explore interactive exhibits, view memorabilia, and learn about the rich sports history of Arkansas.
- Discover Nature at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center:
Escape into the natural beauty of Central Arkansas at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. Located on the banks of the Arkansas River, this educational facility offers interactive exhibits and programs that showcase the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Learn about local wildlife, explore nature trails, and participate in outdoor activities such as fishing and bird-watching.
- Attend a Performance at the Argenta Community Theater:
Catch a live performance at the Argenta Community Theater, a vibrant venue showcasing local talent in the performing arts. From plays and musicals to comedy shows and concerts, this community-driven theater offers a diverse range of entertainment options. Check their schedule for upcoming shows and support the local arts scene.
- Shop at the McCain Mall:
Indulge in some retail therapy at the McCain Mall, the largest shopping center in the North Little Rock area. Browse through a variety of stores, including major retail chains, specialty boutiques, and department stores. After shopping, refuel at one of the mall’s many dining options, ranging from fast-casual to sit-down restaurants.
- Attend Festivals and Events:
North Little Rock hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, providing a lively atmosphere and opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture. From the Argenta Arts Festival to the Big Dam Bridge 100 cycling event, there’s always something happening in the city. Check the event calendar to see if there are any festivals or special events taking place during your visit.
North Little Rock, Arkansas, may be a hidden gem, but it shines brightly with its wealth of attractions and activities. Whether you’re exploring the historic district, immersing yourself in the city’s rich history, or indulging in its vibrant food scene, North Little Rock offers a memorable experience for every visitor. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover this charming city and create lasting memories as you explore its hidden treasures.