1. THE CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER.


How can you move to Metro Little Rock and not check out the notable center named for our 42nd president? The 148,000-square-foot William J. Clinton Presidential Center & Park encompasses a museum, presidential archives and educational and research facilities. Must-see permanent exhibits include full-scale replicas of The Oval Office and the Cabinet Room, decorated exactly the way they were during Clinton’s time in office. A steady stream of visiting exhibits also comes through the center each year. Visit on Aug. 19 and get free admission in honor of President Clinton’s birthday! | (501) 374-4242, ClintonPresidentialCenter.org

Also, take advantage of the free Clinton School Speaker Series. Learn more at ClintonSchoolSpeakers.com.


2. BIG DAM BRIDGE & ARKANSAS RIVER TRAIL


The world’s second largest pedestrian and bicycle bridge is a favorite among Metro Little Rock residents. Located over the Murray Lock & Dam, the bridge has a 14-foot-wide deck that extends 4,226 linear feet across the river. Locals love to walk, run and ride their bikes over the bridge and around the 5,000-plus acres of parkland and paved paths. | BigDamBridge.com


3. DICKEY-STEPHENS PARK

Mark Wagner

From April to September each year, people flock to Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock for Arkansas Travelers minor league baseball games and riverfront views. Game days mean special kid zones, mascots, autographs and special activities. Themed game nights range from honoring our military veterans to 1980s movie themes. But it doesn’t end in September. Dickey-Stephens also hosts concerts, firework shows and other family events all year. | Travs.com


4. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Timothy Hursley

As soon as you get settled in, this is a trip you must take. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art houses one of the most remarkable collections of American art anywhere. Envisioned by Walmart heiress Alice Walton and named for nearby Crystal Spring, the museum’s architecture is inspired by its picturesque surroundings and aimed at enhancing and protecting the natural beauty of the site. Works by Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, Roy Lichtenstein, John Singer Sargent and more grace the walls of the eight individually designed pavilions.  | (479) 418-5700, CrystalBridges.org (One-way travel time – 3.5 hours)


5. ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA


Led by Conductor Philip Mann, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents a season of beautiful masterworks, pops and chamber concerts. Can’t get enough of the symphony? Season subscribers enjoy the best seats in the house and significant discounts over normal single-ticket prices. | (501) 666-1761, ArkansasSymphony.org


6. LITTLE ROCK MARATHON

Mark Wagner

Each March, 14,000-plus participants flock to downtown Little Rock for the annual athletic competition, known far and wide for its dinner-plate-sized medals. The event includes a 26.2-mile marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, kids marathon, pasta party and more. | LittleRockMarathon.com


7. THE BUFFALO RIVER


It’s time to find out what the Natural State’s all about. The Buffalo National River winds through the Arkansas Ozarks, flowing into small rapids and calm pools before emptying into the White River — and it’s just 100 miles from Little Rock near the town of Jasper. The Buffalo’s beauty makes it a perfect destination for canoeing, floating and fishing. The 95,000 acres of public land surrounding the river offers countless hiking options, too. | (870) 439-2502, www.NPS.gov/Buff (One-way travel time - 2 hours)


8. SHAKESPEARE THEATRE


Located in Conway, about 30 minutes north of Little Rock, the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre produces a selection of the Bard’s plays in its celebrated summer festival each June. | ArkShakes.com.


9. WINE COUNTRY

Kat Wilson

About a half-dozen wineries are situated near where the Arkansas River meanders between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. Wine-making began there in the 1880s, making Arkansas the South’s oldest wine-producing state. Two European families started it all after noting the region’s similarities in climate and soil with that of Switzerland and Germany’s wine regions. | Arkansas.com (One-way travel time – 2 hours)


10. ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER


Take advantage of the world-class art right in your own backyard. The Arkansas Arts Center boasts an incredible permanent collection with works by artists such as Monet, Picasso and Rockwell. When you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled for the AAC’s Artmobile, a gallery space on wheels with themed exhibitions, one of the very few of its kind. | (501) 372-4000, ArkArts.com


11. FARMERS MARKETS

C. Waynette Traub

Over the past few years, farmers markets have sprouted up all over the state, and they’re especially plentiful in Metro Little Rock. Local markets sell everything from farm-fresh eggs, grain-fed beef and organic produce to goat milk soap and heirloom plants and seeds. For more information and a helpful list of farmers markets in the area, visit Arkansas.com/Dining/Farmers-Markets.


12. MOVIES IN THE PARK

Tyler Rosenthal

This free outdoor movie series is a local favorite during the summertime. Movies begin at sundown each Wednesday in June and July. They’re held in the Riverfest Amphitheatre overlooking the Arkansas River. The best part? You can BYOB, as long as you don’t bring glass containers. | MoviesInTheParkLR.net


13. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM

Mauren Kennedy

Both guided and self-guided tours are available throughout this downtown attraction which contains some of Little Rock's oldest surviving properties. In the summer, living history characters bake pies for visitors using ingredients that were available back then, like the blackberries that still grow on the grounds. | HistoricArkansas.org


14. OAKLAWN RACING & GAMING


Some of the world’s best Thoroughbreds have raced at Oaklawn, including American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner. Oaklawn’s racing season runs annually from January through April. The season ends with the Arkansas Derby, where attendees dress in their derby best complete with big hats and seersucker suits. If gambling is more your speed, the park also boasts table games and electronic gaming. Be sure to try one of the park’s famous corned beef sandwiches while you’re there.  | (800) OAKLAWN, Oaklawn.com (One-way travel time – 1 hour. Discover more in the Hot Springs Guest Guide!)


15. PINNACLE MOUNTAIN


Eight hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous wrap their way around Pinnacle Mountain. Those who reach the 1,011-foot peak are rewarded with views of the Arkansas River, downtown Little Rock and Lake Maumelle. The park also features two mountain bike trails as well as two barrier-free trails. In the summer, locals love to float the river around Pinnacle during ranger-led sunset canoe cruises. | ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain


16. ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE

Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Known to locals as “The Rep,” the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the only professional, nonprofit theater of its size within 300 miles of Little Rock—including Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans. Highlights from the remaining 2017-18 season include “The Gift of the Magi,” “Mamma Mia!" and “God of Carnage.”  | (501) 378-0405, TheRep.org


17. CELEBRITY ATTRACTIONS


Metro Little Rock is treated to national touring Broadway shows each year at the newly renovated Robinson Center downtown, courtesy of the Celebrity Attractions Broadway season. Hours vary with production. | (501) 244-8800, CelebrityAttractions.com


18. ACANSA ARTS FESTIVAL


Concerts, gallery viewings, educational events and all sorts of festivities fill the schedule for the Acansa Arts Festival, a five-day celebration in the capital city of the best Arkansas has to offer. Scheduled in September, Acansa takes place in venues on both sides of the river, including the Clinton Presidential Center, Arkansas Arts Center, Argenta Gallery and the Creative Corridor— the strip of Main Street, an up-and-coming area, home to not only The Rep, but the symphony, ballet, art galleries, restaurants, residences and creative offices. | AcansaArtsFestival.org


19. CENTRAL ARKANSAS LIBRARY SYSTEM

Jason Burt

Looking for a good read? You’re bound to find it at one of the 14 CALS branches across Pulaski and Perry counties, including the state-of-the-art Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center, complete with a computer lab, teaching kitchen, garden activity area, a 165-seat theater and study rooms of all sizes — in addition to more than 21,000 books, DVDs, and CDs. Clubs, classes and events await visitors at every branch, with guests (and celebrity authors) funneling in from all over for the Arkansas Literary Festival. The main campus downtown also boasts a separate bookstore and café, along with the Ron Robinson Theater—a 315-seat multipurpose event venue home to film festivals, concerts, plays, lectures and other events. | CALS.Lib.AR.us


20. GOLF


The whole “Natural State” thing doesn’t stop at hiking and fishing. Golf enthusiasts reap the benefits as well with multiple courses with incredible views. Little Rock has The First Tee of Central Arkansas, Rebsamen, Hindman Park and War Memorial courses. Cabot has Greystone Country Club while Sherwood has The Greens at North Hills, and you can find both Burns Park and Stonelinks courses in North Little Rock.


21. THE OLD STATE HOUSE

Mauren Kennedy

Since Arkansas became a state in 1836, it’s had a full and rich history. Get a taste of tradition at the Old State House Museum, a stunning structure in downtown Little Rock and the oldest surviving state capitol west of the Mississippi River. Get your hands dirty at the Historic Arkansas Museum’s log cabin and homestead, or head inside the gallery to check out the Arkansas-made artwork and interactive children’s display. | OldStateHouse.com, HistoricArkansas.org


22. FOOD TRUCKS

Zoie Clift

Delicious meals are served daily from beloved food trucks like The Beast, Southern Gourmasian, Excaliburger and more, but Metro Little Rock has upped the ante with its Main Street Food Truck Festival. In September, about 5,000 foodies gather on Main Street in downtown Little Rock to sample delicious fare from local food truck vendors. If you miss it, try Food Truck Fridays, held seasonally. | MainStreetFoodTrucks.com


23. LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL


Little Rock stands as a pivotal point in the African American and civil rights narrative. Interactive exhibits at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (a visitor center across the street) chronicle the struggle and eventual battleground the school became in the desegregation crisis of 1957. | NPS.gov/CHSC


24. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER

Mauren Kennedy

Located in what was once the headquarters of an organization established to provide services to blacks during segregation, the MTCC serves as an interpreter of Arkansas’ African American community and history. Guests can take part in art exhibits, live performances, family-centered block parties and more. | MosaicTemplarsCenter.com


25. HEIFER INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

Mauren Kennedy

The fight to end world hunger and poverty is not an easy one, but charities like Heifer International are taking it on head-first. With stations and projects all over the planet, the large nonprofit calls The Natural State home, seated just off the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock. Discover more than 80 interactive exhibits, tour the headquarters, explore the restored wetlands, shop for fair trade items or grab lunch at the café. | (800) 422-0474, Heifer.org


26. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY

Wil Chandler

Come one, come all, and prepare to be amazed by, well, pretty much everything at the Museum of Discovery. Check out the hands-on exhibits exploring science, nature, technology and history. The MoD recently installed a world record bi-polar Tesla coil exhibit (think musical lightning), and the director of visitor experience Kevin Delaney is a frequent guest on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” when he’s not busy amazing crowds in downtown Little Rock. | MuseumOfDiscovery.org


27. ESSE PURSE MUSEUM


Messenger, tote, satchel, clutch; whatever you carry, the Esse Purse Museum in the South Main district of Little Rock has you covered. See the progression of the modern American woman through one of the most fascinating lenses: the things she carried with her. | EssePurseMuseum.com


28. BALLET ARKANSAS


As the state’s only professional ballet company, Ballet Arkansas offers a choreographic competition, touring show, classes and more, including an annual production of “The Nutcracker,” a Christmas tradition for many families in central Arkansans. | BalletArkansas.org


29. HAPPY HOUR

Brian Kelley

Over the past few years, the craft beer scene has exploded in the metro area. With nine breweries ranging from nano-breweries like Blue Canoe to big-scale operations like Lost Forty, there’s sure to be a beer for every type of tastebud. Cheers! | LittleRock.com


30. WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER

Jason Burt

They don’t call it The Natural State for nothing. If you want to take advantage of the great outdoors, visit the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. The team there will set you up on geocaching adventures, alligator feedings or top-notch fishing, Arkansas-style. | CentralArkansasNatureCenter.com


31. ADULT SPORTS LEAGUES.

Mauren Kennedy

The area is home to an array of fitness options. From running or cycling our amazing trails to taking spin classes and enduring Crossfit training—there’s something for everyone. Sports teams, too. If tennis is your thing, check out the Arkansas Tennis Association. There’s also the Central Arkansas Volleyball Association, soccer leagues (United Soccer is great for the kiddos), softball and kickball leagues, and country clubs with great weekly competitions for their members. Running groups are all over, just visit ArkansasRunner.com to find a troupe near you.