Travel: 10 things to see in Little Rock, Arkansas

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For many travelers Little Rock, Arkansas is often left out as a travel destination, but in recent years there’s been increased interest in French explorer Bernard de la Harpe in his 1722 discovery.  Below are 10 site you should see.

Gazette Building The building housed the Arkansas Gazette, founded in 1819 by William Woodruff, and is still in print today, but with a new name:  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The paper was published in this building from 1908 to 1991, when the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette merged. The Gazette is the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. Today it houses eStem Public Charter Schools.

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History The museum, housed in its namesake’s birthplace and the only surviving structure from the Old Arsenal, features military-related exhibits from the nineteenth century to the present. Also located nearby is the Arkansas Korean War Memorial which was unveiled on June 25, 2007.

Arkansas Studies Institute The institute hails as the largest facility dedicated to the study of Arkansas history in the world.  It’s so massive that it houses two historic buildings, one that was built in 1882 and the other in 1914, which are joined by a present-day structure. The Main Library of the Central Arkansas Library System is next door.

Robinson Center This is one of two city-owned convention centers.  It’s physically connected to the Doubletree Hotel. It’s anchored by the 2,609 seat Robinson Center Music Hall. Patrons have a chance to catch the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, and traveling Broadway productions.

Mount Holly Cemetery This location listed on the National Register of Historic Places is known as the “The Westminster Abbey of Arkansas”. The nineteenth-century cemetery is the final resting place for many noteworthy Arkansans like David Owen Dodd, the “Boy Martyr of the Confederacy”; Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Gould Fletcher; and William Woodruff, founder of the Arkansas Gazette, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. Also buried here are 10 former Arkansas governors, 14 former Arkansas Supreme Court Justices, 21 former mayors of Little Rock, and 6 former U.S. Senators.

Statehouse Convention Center The second city-owned convention center, adjoins the Little Rock Marriott, formerly the Peabody Hotel. The 220,000 square feet space offers large exhibition halls, and flexibility in designing conventions, special events, exhibitions and trade shows.

Central Arkansas Library System Main Library This is the largest public library in Arkansas, in what was once the Fones Brothers Hardware Company warehouse (the Fones Brothers was founded in 1865, and ceased operation in 1987). The building was completed in 1920, and in 1993, the city approved a bond to restore it, and the library moved there in 1997.

Kramer School Artists Cooperative The Kramer School was once an elementary school built in 1895.  The last students left in 1978, and in 1997 it was set to be raised but the community saved the historic building due to the Romanesque Revival architectural exterior.

Little Rock National Cemetery This is the final resting place for more than 25,000 American war veterans.  It’s currently closed to new interments.

Arkansas Arts Center Works by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Rembrandt and Dale Chihuly are just a few of the pieces visitors can view.  The Arts Center includes a museum school, a children’s theater, and more art. If you already have some artistic ability, the Museum School can help to develop your talents. The Children’s Theatre productions are on most weekends during the school year.

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