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Top 10 Tourist Attractions (Little Rock in a Day)

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What would I do if I had to show someone around the town and I only had one day to show them the best of Little Rock? These are the can't miss tourist attractions in Little Rock. Best of all, they can all be done in 24 hours or you can take it at a slower pace and stretch it out over a weekend, which I would recommend. Visiting all these Little Rock tourist attractions in one day will wear you out and you'll get to enjoy it more without rushing through. It doesn't matter how long you're staying, just be sure to check these places out.

1. Le Petite Roche

La Petite Roche (The Little Rock) is a small rock formation on the Arkansas River originally used by early river traffic as a landmark which later became a well-known river crossing, Little Rock, Arkansas, circa 1965.
Archive Photos/Getty Images
You have to see the "Little Rock" if you're in Little Rock. It's the city's name sake. Don't worry, it's not out of the way and it won't take you forever to get there. You can see it in Riverfront Park. Check out the map to find the exact location of the marker, but it's at the north end of Rock Street. Going to visit in the morning of your day here will put you where you need to be for the afternoon.

2. River Market District

Although the market is jumping at night, it's the perfect place to go for a morning breakfast. May through October the Farmer' Market is open at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are also a few specialty shops and restaurants open for breakfast. Get your breakfast to-go and take a short hike to banks of the Arkansas River. Nothing is nicer than sitting outside and having breakfast the Arkansas way.

3. The Capitol Buildings

Amanda Galiano
Arkansas has two capitol buildings, an Old Statehouse (now a museum) and the newer Capitol Building that looks very similar to the Capitol in Washington DC. You can take tours of both of these or just admire the architecture. If you only have a day, I'd quickly check out the inside of the Old State House and just peer at the Capitol from the outside. The doors open at 9 a.m.

 

4. The Governor's Mansion

Ours is the Governor's Mansion of a president. The Georgian colonial mansion is located at 1800 Center Street in the downtown area. It's beautiful to look at, but tours are not regularly given. You can make an appointment for a tour or take a drive by and get some photos.  Here's some trivia, did you know our Governor lived in a trailer for a few years?

 

5. The Quapaw Quarter

The Governor's Mansion is in an area of town called the "Quapaw Quarter" which is a nine-square mile area encompassing some of the oldest and most historic parts of Little Rock. I suggest taking a drive through the area from the Governor's Mansion to MacArthur Park and the surrounding neighborhoods to look at the homes. Some of these homes date to before the Civil War. Architecture dates from as early as 1840, but the homes average between 1890 to 1930. The Villa Marre, built in 1881 and featured in the television series "Designing Women, is in this area.

6. Heifer International Village and Green Building

One of the greenest buildings in the nation is located in downtown Little Rock. Heifer International Headquarters incorporates many environmentally friendly ideas and you can take a tour in just 30 minutes.  Heifer Village gives insight on world hunger and how we can help.  Tours are offered Monday through Friday: 11 a.m. and 3 p.m..

 

7. Little Rock Zoo

The Little Rock Zoo is a small zoo, covering about 33 acres. It's small, but it's dense. It is the home to more than 725 animals, representing over 200 species. Even rushing through, it will take over an hour to get through. You might skip it if you only have a day. It is a great place for kids and they have some pretty nice exhibits including grizzly bears, penguins and nice big cat and great ape areas.

8. The Museums

Little Rock has a few nice museums, depending on your interests. Some to consider are the Arkansas Arts Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Museum of Discovery (kid friendly), The Central High Museum, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum on the other side of the river.

9. The Clinton Library

Even if you never agreed with the former president's politics, the museum is something to see. The museum has artifacts from his presidency, a mock oval office and some really neat displays. They also host a different traveling exhibit several times a year.

10. The Old Mill

The Old Mill is actually in North Little Rock, but it'll be worth the trip to the other side of the Arkansas River.It's located at Fairway Ave. & Lakeshore Drive and it's not actually all that old. It's a replica of an old-water-powered grist mill and was featured in "Gone With the Wind." It's a beautiful place to spend an hour (or hours). It feels like you're stepping back in time. The hours are from sunrise to sunset and admission is free.

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