Little time to spend in Little Rock, Arkansas
March 7, 2018 1:06 PM   Subscribe

I'll be in Little Rock from the afternoon of March 18 through the afternoon of March 22, where I'll be attending a conference at the Statehouse Convention Center. What are good things to see and do there in the evening, or on Sunday afternoon?

I'm staying in the area and I'd prefer to walk around, and I'm not adverse to a trek. Of course, there might be something worth getting a ride.

Are there any local venues that are having any live music in this limited window of time? Are there good museums to visit in the area on Sunday afternoon? If nothing else, what are good places to get dinner? Breakfast and lunch are covered, but if there's a must-visit breakfast or lunch spot, I wouldn't say no.

And if anyone's around for a meetup, here's the proposed meetup on IRL.
posted by filthy light thief to Travel & Transportation around Little Rock, AR (6 answers total)
Best answer: If you like museums, I really enjoyed the Clinton presidential library, which appears to be open 1-5 on Sunday. Presidential libraries are kind of inherently propaganda tools for their subjects, but it was a neat place to spend a couple of hours and the building itself is very pretty. The River Market is about halfway there and also a nice place to putter around by the waterfront.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 1:46 PM on March 7, 2018

Best answer: I was in Little Rock for a wedding over the winter holidays. The Clinton Museum was highly recommended. I didn't go because I've got small kids who likely wouldn't have the patience for such a place, but for adults it sounds like the thing to do.

There are free street trolleys that'll pick you up from in front of the Convention Center. They are done up to look like they're 100 years old and are quite nice. I got in one for lack of anything better to do and the driver gave a little tour of the city as we were going through.

There is a diner right across from the Convention Centre. We had brunch there and the food was great. There is also a Japanese restaurant right there as well, you would do well to avoid it - it wasn't terrible but it wasn't particularly good either.

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is right on the river. They've got an old submarine there that was in Tokyo to accept the surrender of Japan during WW2. I didn't go to the museum but I may have if I had more time.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:23 PM on March 7, 2018

Does if you eat meat and the central high museum ( near, not in).
posted by brujita at 8:54 AM on March 8, 2018

Best answer: Previous AskMe about LR that might be helpful.

Downtown and adjacent is where most of the fun is. Clinton Museum, the River Market, tons of shops and restaurants and at least three or four breweries (Lost Forty is really popular). Main Street south of 630 is part of that, good food and Loblolly (local ice cream). You can also go across the River on the bridge from Scott St into downtown North Little Rock, where there are more shops/restaurants and the Diamond Bear brewery and the ballpark.

I've heard the Razorback submarine is cool, but I haven't seen it. For history, there's Central High School, which was a desegregation ground zero, and also of course the Clinton Museum. The Butler Center, over by the Main library on President Clinton Ave, has a lot of local arts and crafts as well as being a research center and working space. The Innovation Hub in North Little Rock is a really cool hacker space.

There are also good shops and restaurants in Hillcrest and the Heights (Kavanaugh St south and north of Cantrell, respectively) but not much in the way of sights/landmarks. Cafe Bossa Nova in Hillcrest has good Brazilian food.

I would recommend pizza at Za Za's (which has gelato) or Damgoode Pies (slogan: "We sell pizza and ice creams to the people who buy our pizza and ice creams.")

I would recommend burgers at Big Orange, or if you like a good burger at a good kinda-divey bar, the Whitewater Tavern is your friend. Get a Hillary burger and thank me later. They frequently have live music, and the Revolution Room and Sticky Fingers are also popular places for bands.

If you like walking/running/cycling, there's a really nice river trail that loops from the Clinton Library down to the Big Dam Bridge and back again. You like local bookstores? Wordsworth is small but nice.

If you like cocktails, the bar at the Capital Hotel is amazing and has excellent food and you'd be just fine in jeans and a decent shirt.

If you want standard commercial district (big box stores etc.), they're in west Little Rock. Take 630 west until it stops being a highway and turns into Chenal Parkway.

The trolley isn't free, but it's dirt cheap. Like a buck or so.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:44 PM on March 8, 2018

Best answer: Oh, and people usually want to know about barbecue, and in Arkansas barbecue is either excellent or dog food. Whole Hog is a safe, solid bet. Sims is for the more adventurous.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:56 PM on March 8, 2018

Best answer: I'd happily second most everything fellow LR native middleclasstool says, though River Market Books & Gifts is also a lovely bookstore. So let me focus on places that are a reasonable walk from the Convention Center.

Coffee: Don't be tempted by hotel Starbuckses. Zeteo, Nexus, and Blue Sail are all very good to excellent.

Breakfast/lunch: At the Corner is well worth it. So is The Root Cafe, but that's a long walk.

Dinner... let's see, you get four dinners, within reasonable walking distance... I'd do Capital Bar & Grille, Three Fold Noodles & Dumplings, Flyway Brewing, and Samantha's. Runners-up include One Eleven, Skye's Little Bistro, Ristorante Capeo, and Damgoode Pies.
posted by box at 2:59 PM on March 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

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