Metro Little Rock's Top 10 Claims to Fame
1. We’re super-friendly.
Metro Little Rock citizens are in a class of their own. The people are warm and welcoming, especially to those who are new to the area. Additionally, they have high values and strong work ethics, which sets our workforce and education system apart from the rest. From friendly neighbors to local business owners, the Little Rock community is strong, inviting and the embodiment of Southern hospitality.
2. It’s so pretty here.
As the heart of the Natural State, Little Rock is home to breathtaking nature and scenery. The capital city provides many spots for outdoor adventurers to get their fix. The area has extensive bike trails that overlook the Arkansas River and gorgeous hiking locations like Pinnacle Mountain State Park and Emerald Park. Near the state park, Rattlesnake Ridge provides a 5-mile trail loop for intermediate to expert mountain biking and hiking. Conservation of our natural areas protects the habitats of rare plant and animal species.
3. We eat really, really well.
We’re famous for our food. This is the South after all. Award-winning barbecue and catfish are no-brainers — including many dishes past presidents and celebs can’t get enough of — but there’s so much more to savor. Trendy taco hot spots, locally-minded farm-to-table restaurants, historic hotel bars and hip patio hangouts.
The Capital Hotel’s bar and grill is known for its Southern pimento cheese, fried black-eyed peas, banana pudding and duck gumbo. The Root Cafe, The Pantry Crest and Table 28 are just a few of the Metro’s many restaurants who source ingredients from local farmers. Lassis Inn is an Arkansas rite of passage for fried catfish.
Barbecue is around every corner — it’s why Arkansas has its own BBQ Trail — and Whole Hog Café is a world-champion.
4. Our 88-mile trail system.
Spanning 88 miles through Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle and Conway, the Arkansas River Trail is a multi-use loop with lots to offer families, fitness fanatics and adventure seekers. This trail is perfect for casual strolls, cycling, dog walking, bird watching and other excursions outside in Arkansas’ beautiful natural scenery.
The trail connects five picturesque pedestrian and bicycle bridges, including the Metro’s most famous bridge — The Big Dam Bridge (skip ahead to No. 5!) —and links bustling parks and playscapes to Pinnacle Mountain, Dickey-Stephens Ballpark and so much more.
5. The Big Dam Bridge (and other bridges).
This Little Rock landmark is the largest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America. The Big Dam Bridge (pictured below) spans 4,266 feet and is built on top of Murray Lock and Dam. This massive piece of infrastructure connects trails and park land and provides access to the River Market, Clinton Presidential Center, restaurants and museums.
The top of the bridge is a selfie hot spot, but downtown’s other bridges beckon people to take their picture too. Every night, the landmarks splash the river in brilliant colors for River Lights in the Rock.
6. A presidential library.
The William J. Clinton Presidential Center is the presidential library of Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States and an Arkansas native. The Clinton Center hosts exhibits, special events and educational programs. The museum chronicles the life and work of Clinton and replicas of his Oval Office and the Cabinet Room. Permanent exhibits use documents, photos and videos from the archival collection. The Clinton Center also has an award-winning restaurant called 42 Bar and Table.
The adjacent Presidential Park and Wetlands is another scenic trail that affords scenery and serenity.
7. A low cost of living – dream homes for much less!
Arkansas has the fourth lowest cost of living in the United States, and the cost of living in Metro Little Rock is 17.5% lower than the national average. Affordable housing is readily available, with these expenses 11% lower than the national average. The median home price is around $173,707, and apartments can be found for low prices too. It’s clear that living in Little Rock costs less and saves money when compared to other cities and states.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Zillow
8. The new Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts will be a destination of its own.
The new Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock, formerly known as the Arkansas Arts Center, will open to the public in Fall 2022. This project has been in the works for almost five years. The innovative design reuses and adapts certain structures and spaces to preserve the legacy of the museum, and the 133,000-square-foot renovation will feature larger studios and education spaces, a “family art adventure space” and an indoor/outdoor restaurant overlooking MacArthur Park. With these exciting developments, the revamped museum is sure to become a cultural hub in central Arkansas.
9. We get to enjoy all four seasons.
Unlike many other places in the South and the United States, Metro Little Rock experiences four distinct seasons.
Spring is cheery with fun festivals, natural blooms and a warm temperature.
Summer is hot with plenty of ways to cool down and seek adventure—with swimming holes, road trips and music festivals.
Fall in the Metro is beautiful with gold, red and orange foliage across the local mountains and valleys.
Winters are mild here, making it easy to comfortably enjoy outdoor activities during the holiday season.
10. We have a mountain in the middle of the metro.
In West Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a go-to destination for locals and tourists. The state park is geographically diverse and includes 22 miles of trails for exploring and mountain biking. The mountain is situated between the Big and Little Maumelle rivers. There are two routes to the peak and a base trail around the perimeter. At the top, visitors enjoy a breathtaking overlook of the rivers and Chenal Valley. Hiking, biking, backpacking and picnicking are just a view of the outdoor adventures to embark on at this state park.