It’s that time of year again! This year’s APHL Annual Meeting is in Arkansas’ capital city, Little Rock. Historical sites, parks, museums, trails and more await you in this relaxed river town. And don’t miss the restaurants, bakeries, bars, farmer’s market and other eateries. You’ll be sure to find food and drink to suit your taste. So when you get a free moment, check out these sites and bites:
Big Dam Bridge: Known as one of the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridges in the world, this impressive structure was named for its massive 4,226 foot span, built atop Murray Lock and Dam.
Little Rock Farmers’ Market: Looking for an early morning stroll? Head to the Little Rock Farmer’s Market, open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7 am – 3 pm. There’re also a handful of specialty shops and breakfast spots nearby.
Riverfront Park: This downtown park offers 33 acres for running, walking and cycling. Places worth stopping include:
- La Petit Roche Plaza – Check out a view of the rock for which the capital was named, as well as panels detailing the history of the site.
- Medical Mile – Designed with wellness in mind, this scenic walking path winds down the Arkansas River Trail and displays a 1,300 foot 3D mural wall.
- William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands – Adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Center and Library, these 13 acres of restored wetland habitat along the Arkansas River, designed to promote the education of wildlife preservation in this local ecosystem.
Museums and Historical Sites
Arkansas Arts Center: Fine art enthusiasts should stop by the Arkansas Arts Center to check out the museum’s extensive collection of drawings—many by artists such as Picasso, Rembrandt and Degas as well as exhibits featuring talented up-and-coming artists. Open until 5 p.m. daily.
Arkansas State Capitol: The century-old Arkansas State Capitol was built as a replica of the US Capitol. It’s so similar, in fact, that movie directors have filmed it as a stand-in for its DC twin. Located on the grounds are bronze statues honoring the nine African-American high school students who in 1957 endured threats, taunting and a barricade by the Governor of Arkansas for their attempt to attend Little Rock Central High School.
Clinton Presidential Center: This 20,000 square foot space chronicles America’s political history at the turn of century. Features include interactive exhibits of the Oval Office and White House Cabinet room, 110-foot timeline and displays of life in the White House during the Clinton Era.
Little Rock Central High School: An infamous site of forced desegregation in the late fifties, the Little Rock Integration Crisis at Little Rock Central High School became a national milestone of progress during the Civil Rights Movement. This school is the only operational high school located within a national historic site.
Ashley’s at the Capitol – If you are a fan of brunch, this is the place to be! Try the chocolate French toast or buckwheat sourdough pancakes. They also have good seafood. 501-374-7474
Bosco’s – Great beer and sandwiches, burgers, steaks and big salads, but they do decent tamales too. 501-907-1881
Boulevard Bread Co – If you’re looking for a pick-me-up or just trying to fill that afternoon sweets craving, this is the place to go. For wine lovers, they carry a wide variety of cheeses, meats and side dishes to accompany a glass of pinot noir. 501-375-5100
Capitol Bar and Grill – Sporting the area’s best southern-style pork confit and smoky gumbo, the Bar and Grill also serves homemade moon pies daily! 501-374-7474
Ciao – This classy bistro is tucked away in a storefront downtown. You can get an upscale Italian restaurant experience at a reasonable price. 501.372.0238
Community Bakery – This little bakery is perfect for your morning coffee and bagel (or doughnut) run. 501-375-6418
Doe’s Eat Place – Top-choice steaks and burgers only at this dive. You pick your cut, weight and how you’d like your meat prepared. 501-376-1195
Flying Fish – A seafood lover’s delight. The seafood is fresh, fried and crisp. The hamburgers aren’t half bad either. 501-375-3474
Flying Saucer – Fresh, cold beer is not in shortage at this pub. 501-372-8032
Hanaroo Sushi Bar – Sushi can be hard to come by in Little Rock, but if you need your fix, you should check out Hanaroo. But it’s not just sushi. They serve a wide variety of Japanese and Korean dishes, too. 501-301-7900
Iriana’s Pizza – Next door to the Statehouse Convention Center, this pizza joint serves hearty, thick-crusted pizza and fresh, flavorful salads. 501-374-3656
Sim’s Bar-B-Que – Try the ribs, or if you’re extra hungry, a whole chicken. The barbeque pairs nicely with their vinegar-mustard-brown sugar sauce. 501-562-8844
Sonny Williams’ Steak Room – These hearty steaks will couple nicely with a handpicked red wine from their extensive selection. 501-324-2999
Vino’s – Home-brewed beer and hefty calzones make this rock ‘n roll club a great place to stop in on any night. 501-375-8466
Zin Urban Wine & Beer Bar – Looking for a casual night out? This is a great pub to spend an evening with friends. 501-246-4876