State capital Little Rock and neighboring city North Little Rock make up the largest metro area in Arkansas with a combined population of 500,000. The river city's central location makes it an industrial and commercial hub for the state. A mix of small town friendliness and big city spirit make it a popular travel destination. Big city life is balanced by outdoor activities. This balance makes visiting Little Rock fun for all types of people.
Big city activities include: the symphony, ballet, zoo, theatres and museums. Shopping opportunities are abundant at malls, shopping centers, antiques and specialty stores throughout the city. The River Market District, along the banks of the Arkansas River, hosts a farmers market, shops, restaurants and busy nightclub scene.
North Little Rock offers shopping, dining, historical and cultural venues. Electric trolleys run between downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. Old Mill, a water-powered grist mill featured in Gone with the Wind, is a popular destination in North Little Rock.
Little Rock is perhaps best known for its presidential ties. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park is located downtown. Driving tours of the governor's mansion, where Clinton resided, and walking tours of the state capitol building are offered. Other historical sites such as the Central High School National Historic Site, a U.S. civil rights landmark, and the Quapaw Quarter Historic District are located throughout Little Rock.
Both Little Rock and North Little Rock allow easy access to the rivers, lakes, mountains and forests that showcase the natural beauty of the region. During fall, visitors are treated to a brilliant foliage display. The weather is moderate and a variety of outdoor activities are available year round. Bass fishing on Arkansas River and nearby Lake Conway is superb. Sailing is popular on Lake Maumelle. Golfers can pick from more than 35 courses in the area. City parks offer camping, fishing and hiking.
Little Rock is located in central Arkansas, 159 miles southeast of Fort Smith, 137 miles west of Memphis, Tennessee. It is easily accessible via Interstate Highways 30 and 40, as well as U.S. Highway 67. Lodging options are plentiful and range from top national chains to historic bed and breakfasts.