17 Cool Things to Do in Little Rock On Your Journey Through Arkansas

Planning a trip to Arkansas? Be sure to squeeze in time to check out all the best things to do in Little Rock, AR. From interesting historical sites to cultural institutions, Little Rock is one of the Southeast USA’s most surprising urban destinations.

Whether you’re looking to kick back and explore, delve into American history at William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, or take a moment in nature at MacArthur Park, there’s an endless supply of amazing tourist attractions in Little Rock to make your next vacation one to remember.

Need a hand figuring out what to do? Keep on reading and get inspired with our complete guide to the coolest places to visit in Little Rock, AR!

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Little Rock Zoo

Lions and tigers and bears—oh my! If you’re looking to check out some of the most majestic animals on the planet, head to the Little Rock Zoo for the ultimate animal adventure.

Little Rock Zoo

The biggest zoo in Arkansas, the Little Rock Zoo started from humble beginnings with two rescue animals: a circus bear and an abandoned wolf. Today, you can enjoy watching hundreds of animals and even take part in demonstrations and interactive feeding experiences.

Away from the dazzling animals, you can take a spin on the old-fashioned carousel or ride around on the miniature train for a more relaxing way to take in the zoo.

Julius Breckling Riverfront Park

Wanting to get back in touch with nature without having to leave the city center? Then you need to check out the Julius Breckling Riverfront Park, one of the top points of interest in Little Rock for outdoor activities.

Julius Breckling Riverfront Park

With miles of trails, playgrounds, and expansive views of the Arkansas River, Julis Breckling Riverfront Park has something for the entire family. Need to let the kiddos run loose? Head to the splash park. Want to embrace some art and culture? Meander down to the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.

Taking up eleven miles of beautiful Downtown Little Rock within the River Market District, Julius Breckling Riverfront Park is a natural oasis in the heart of the city and a definite must-visit.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Looking to work up a sweat on your Little Rock vacation? Add Pinnacle Mountain State Park to your itinerary. Just 25 minutes northeast of downtown, this popular Arkansas state park is one of the top places to see in Little Rock for outdoor adventurers.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Escape Little Rock and spend time exploring the plethora of hiking trails zigzagging across the 2,356-acre Pinnacle Mountain State Park, full of natural wonders.

If you want a challenge, lace up and get your heart pumping on the Pinnacle Mountain East Summit Trail. Despite being a 1.4-mile out-and-back trail, it’s a challenging hike; this hiking route is not for the faint-hearted!

Pinnacle Mountain State PArk a completely free to visit and you’ll find plenty of car parking space. Want to do your bit for the environment? Jump on the public bus that runs from the city center to the park gates.

Arkansas Arts Center

Want to get your fill of arts and culture? Head to the MacArthur Park area and check out the Arkansas Arts Center.

Made up of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts and Arkansas Arts Center Riverdale, this cultural center and art gallery has enough going on to keep you entertained and inspired for hours upon end. And with a gorgeous new arts building slated to be opened in spring 2023, the experience is only growing. 

Looking to flex your creative muscles? The Arkansas Arts Center offers drawing, painting, and other artistic classes, events, and workshops throughout the year. Unleash your inner Picasso, Monet, or Kahlo!

Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

Got an interest in all things modern US history? Maybe you’re just curious about one of Arkansas’ most famous sons? Either way, a trip to the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum at the Clinton Presidential Center is an ideal way to spend a day in Little Rock.

Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

At 42nd President William J. Clinton’s Presidential Library, you’ll be submerged in archival footage, memorabilia, and exhibits surrounding his life, presidency, and the history of the most powerful jobs on the planet.

Want to try out the Presidential fantasy for yourself? In the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, you’ll even find a replica Oval Office. Visit this unique Little Rock attraction to see how everything works and what your new future workplace might look and feel like!

Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

Consider yourself a US military buff or love exploring maritime history? Check out the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum and brush up on your sea and military-based facts!

Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

Located in North Little Rock, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum includes highlights like the USS Razorback, a military submarine, and artifacts from the nuclear-powered cruiser, the USS Arkansas.

A bonus tip if you’re a veteran or if you’re traveling with a vet: You can benefit from special reduced entry costs. It’s only $5 to enter the USS Razorback if you can show your veterans ID—gotta love those savings!

Rock Town Distillery

Here’s a Little Rock attraction that’s just for the adults: the Rock Town Distillery. The first legal distillery in Arkansas post-prohibition, Rock Town Distillery is one of the most interesting places to go in Little Rock, whether you’re a fan of spirits or just a history buff.

Whether your tipple of choice is Rock Town Vodka, Bourbon, Hickory Smoked Whiskey, Rye, Rum, or the amazingly named Arkansas Lightning, you can sip until your heart’s content at Rock Town Distillery. Take a tour and learn all about the distilling process and the story behind this Little Rock institution.

Most tours finish up in the Rock Town Distillery tasting room; once you’ve tried all your new favorite spirits, don’t forget to pick up a souvenir in the gift shop!

The Old Mill

Are you an aspiring photographer? Or maybe you just want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Regardless, pencil in time in your Little Rock itinerary to check out the beautiful and quaint Old Mill.

The Old Mill

Located in T.R. Pugh Memorial Park, The Old Mill will leave you wandering along the woodland trails, listening to the gentle sounds of the water lapping. As you meander, don’t forget to look out for the rustic outdoor sculptures spread across the park. Create your own art by photographing the beautiful landscapes and replica 19th-century architecture.

For the observant film fans: Yes, this is the mill from the opening scenes of Gone With the Wind! Enjoy your Old Mill visit and live your Scarlett O’Hara fantasies.

Old State House Museum

Ever wondered how the wonderful world of politics worked during the pre-20th century in Arkansas? Well, get all the answers you’re craving at the Old State House Museum.

The former State Capitol building until the late 1800s, the Old State House Museum is full to the brim of historical exhibitions and was instrumental to the shaping of the country. It was here that slavery in Arkansas was abolished. Several civil war-related meetings were also held at the Old State House.

Looking for livelier historic anecdotes? Learn about the notorious knife fight that broke during a session in 1837; it really was that wild back then!

Big Dam Bridge

Interested in industrial and useful architecture? Love cycling or hitting the trails? The Big Dam Bridge combines these things to create a Little Rock icon!

Big Dam Bridge

Strap on your running shoes or grab your bike and enjoy the largest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America! If that’s enough, you can work up a sweat along the 14 miles of scenic riverside trails between Little Rock and North Little Rock, unleashing outstanding views of this engineering marvel.

Not super sporty but want to enjoy the view? The Big Dam Bridge is the perfect vantage point to take in Little Rock and the surrounding wilderness.

Little Rock River Market

Looking for somewhere tasty and picturesque to settle down and find some lunch? Head straight to Little Rock River Market and eat your heart out!

Little Rock River Market

Located in the historic River Market District, this international food hall is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. At Little Rock River Market, you can choose from a wide variety of vendors, including Mexican and Thai. Grab your food and head outside to enjoy expansive views of the river.

Needing some produce for a dinner or picnic of your own? Check out the Little Rock River Market’s twice-weekly farmer’s market and whip up a storm in the kitchen!

Museum of Discovery

Traveling to Little Rock with kiddos in tow? Keep them entertained and inspired all day long at the magical and enchanting Museum of Discovery, one of the top Little Rock tourist attractions for families.

Museum of Discovery

Head to President Clinton Avenue into the River Market District and find over 100 interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that are sure to dazzle as well as educate visitors of all ages. From science sections to petting zoos to geology to even a simulated “Tornado Alley,” you can spend hours at the family-friendly Museum of Discovery.

Whatever the weather during your next trip to Little Rock, the Museum of Discovery will be a sure-fire hit with the whole of your travel party.

Historic Arkansas Museum

Looking to take a step back in time? No history buff’s trip to Little Rock would be complete without a trip to the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Despite its name, the Historic Arkansas Museum is actually a series of history museums spread across an entire city block. Wander around these beautifully preserved historic buildings as you imagine what it was like living in the Little Rock of centuries gone by.

From exhibits showing pottery to hunting horns to fashion to vintage guns, this varied history museum really brings the subject matter to life. If you want to step into history, Historic Arkansas Museum is the place to do it! 

The Bernice Garden

Consider yourself to have a green thumb? Maybe you want to reconnect with nature during your trip to Little Rock or want inspiration for your next landscaping dream project? All of these can be achieved by visiting The Bernice Garden.

Located on South Main Street, this hidden gem is an oasis in the center of Little Rock. Featuring beautifully maintained and manicured gardens, canopies of butterflies, tranquil water features, and more, The Bernice Garden is a perfect place to reset and find your bliss.

Looking to add some art and culture to your visit? Check out the sculptures, rock formations, and other forms of artistic expression spread across The Bernice Garden. Get inspired or just sit and have a peaceful moment to yourself!

Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center

Looking for the ultimate destination for any kind of nature lover? The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center is the all-in-one Little Rock attraction you need.

If you need variety for your Arkansas itinerary, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center delivers. Experience nature trails, wildlife exhibits, aquariums, and even native gardens all in one place. You could spend days at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center alone!

Located on President Clinton Avenue on the edge of the River Market District, the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center benefits from beautiful riverfront views; it’s the perfect spot to have lunch before venturing back inside for more discoveries!

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

Love all things military history? Add the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History to your next Little Rock itinerary.

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

Located in the Tower Building of the historic Little Rock Arsenal Building, this National Historic Landmark, named after General Douglas MacArthur, educates visitors about the storied past of Arkansas’ military heritage. Get inspired by a series of interesting and enlightening rotating exhibits while you appreciate the historic old military barracks that surround you.

It’s worth noting that the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History is closed on Mondays; factor this in when you’re planning your next visit to Little Rock.

Burns Park

Want to get out in the great outdoors and let loose? Grab your friends and family and head to Burns Park.

Burns Park

Set in the North of Little Rock, Burns Park is a haven for any outdoor enthusiast—regardless of your choice of hobby. Fish, putt, run, camp, hike, and even water ski: It’s all possible and encouraged here.

Too much to do in one day? Hit up one of the RV campgrounds at Burns Park and extend your outdoor adventure. Cook up the fish you’ve caught for dinner and reflect on your day out in the beautiful Arkansas wilderness. Life doesn’t get simpler or better than that, right?


Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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