Arkansas’ capital city provides endless entertainment.
Central High School
Photos courtesy Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau
Little Rock was named such by French explorers in the 1720s navigating the Arkansas River. Over the centuries, the Arkansas capital has grown into a metropolitan hub full of historic, entertaining and fruitful experiences. Here are five things to check out this month.
1. Central High School
One of the most significant moments in American educational history took place in Little Rock in September 1957. Now known as the Little Rock Nine, students ranging from age 15-17 fought for the right to attend the school of their choice regardless of race.
The National Park Service has preserved Little Rock Central High School as a national historic site and provides guided tours by reservation only. The school is still used by the public school system and has more than 2,500 students.
The visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free.
2120 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock; 501-374-1957; www.nps.gov/chsc
2. The Purple Cow
A trip isn’t really a vacation until one stops at the local ice cream parlor. The Purple Cow is a diner and soda fountain with a following in central Arkansas. It is known for its hand-dipped purple vanilla milkshake, plus its gourmet burgers, specialty sandwiches and old-fashioned soda fountain goodies.
8026 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, 501-221-3555; 11602 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, 501-224-4433; www.purplecowlr.com
3. Clinton Presidential Center
Located near the historic River Market District, the Clinton Presidential Center opened in 2004 and now is home to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the local offices of the Clinton Foundation.
The museum’s permanent exhibits take the visitor through life at the White House, a Clinton administration timeline, an Oval Office replica, Clinton’s campaigns and so much more. After walking through all this history, take a lunch break at 42, the museum’s restaurant.
The Clinton Presidential Center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; and 1-5 p.m., Sunday. Admission ranges from $6-$10; children under age 6 are free.
1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock; 501-374-4242; www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-presidential-center
4. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
The Mosaic Templars of America was an African-American fraternal organization founded in Little Rock in 1882. Today, the organization’s headquarters houses the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, which collects, preserves, interprets and celebrates Arkansas’ African-American history, culture and community from 1870 to the present. Community achievements in business, politics and the arts also are recognized.
The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is free.
501 W. Ninth St., Little Rock; 501-683-3593;
Music lovers flock to downtown Little Rock’s riverfront for the annual Riverfest Music Festival from June 3-5. Festivities begin on Friday with Flowing on the River, at which local wineries and breweries feature tastings, plus plenty of food and live music. The music festival includes headliners Chris Stapleton, The Flaming Lips, Goo Goo Dolls and Cole Swindell. Fireworks close the festivities at 9 p.m., Sunday.
Weekend passes are $37.50. Two VIP tickets are $500. Flowing on the River tickets are sold separately at $25 each.