Brian Cormack
On weekdays, the River Market thrives as downtown’s workforce grabs lunch in and around Ottenheimer Market Hall. Over the weekend, residents and tourists alike bustle about its shops, restaurants and museums.

Over the past decade, downtown has seen dramatic transformation and growth, and it’s not slowing down. Renovations and revitalization projects continue up and down Main Street and President Clinton Avenue. Tourists and residents alike can’t get enough of the new amenities, like the renovated Robinson Center and restaurants popping up along Downtown’s Creative Corridor and in SoMa (South Main).

Some metro residents skip the commute and opt for downtown living in high-rise, river-view condos, like those of River Market and 300 Third towers. Others choose the historic Quapaw Quarter or settle in hip SoMa. These neighborhoods boast eco-friendly dwellings, grand Southern mansions and refurbished eye-catchers — not to mention locally minded restaurants like South on Main and The Root Café.

The 42,000 people who work in the heart of the capital city Monday through Friday enjoy walkability to popular establishments like Capital Bar & Grill, Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill, Cache Restaurant, At the Corner and many more.

Many other restaurants reside in Downtown’s River Market, a vibrant gathering place in the city. Farmers markets, bars, concert venues, shops, the main library and incredible riverside parks make for an all-inclusive experience.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center is a huge lure, enticing tourists and residents alike to explore its temporary exhibits and the history of the country’s 42nd president.

The corporate ladder here is extensive with regional power players and nationally known companies like Stephens Inc. (the largest investment bank off Wall Street), Heifer International (a nonprofit that works to fight hunger and poverty worldwide), Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the state’s government, which operates out of the capitol and surrounding buildings.

Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

Downtown living puts residents within walking distance to the Little Rock Farmers Market and prime dining options in every direction.

Global nonprofit Heifer International is headquartered in downtown, with field offices in more than 30 countries worldwide.

More than 50 food trucks gather along Main Street and Capitol Avenue each fall for the annual Main Street Food Truck Festival — think tacos, barbecue, ice cream and more.

Downtown Districts

The Creative Corridor is a bustling area on Friday nights as downtown workers file out of their offices in search of happy hour.

Not far from the heart of downtown Little Rock lies a few of the city’s hidden gems. Little Rock’s Creative Corridor is a cultural hub within downtown. It’s home to Ballet Arkansas, The Rep, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Little Rock Technology Park. A few of the area’s best restaurants include Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill (their chopped salmon salad is a must-try), Bruno's Little Italy and Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant + Bar.

South of downtown lies SoMa, a trendy neighborhood filled with local restaurants and shops and the popular Bernice Garden Farmers Market, open each Sunday from April through October. Some of the neighborhood hot spots include Moxy Modern Mercantile, the ESSE Purse Museum and Mockingbird Bar & Tacos. Rock Town Distillery is Arkansas’ first legal distillery after prohibition and moved into the neighborhood in the last fews years, as well.

East Village is one of downtown’s newest additions. The area located near Heifer International offers breweries, Southern cuisine, an indoor/outdoor food truck park and spacious loft apartments.

SoMa's ESSE Purse Museum is one of only three purse museums in the world. Its main permanent exhibit celebrates the progression of the 20th-century American woman, decade by decade, through the lens of her handbag and its contents.

David Yerby

Fidel & Co. Coffee Roasters is a hip coffee shop located in East Village. It's known for its nitros and pour-overs, as well as its made-from-scratch menu items.

See more neighborhoods and communities of Metro Little Rock.