Little Rock Life: Diversity in People, Geography, Culture

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 12:09 am   5 min read

Little Rock is where the Delta meets the foothills of the Ozarks, offering an incredible, diverse landscape of hills, valleys and flatlands to build whatever style home is desired.

The Big Dam Bridge 100
Little Rock’s largest cycling tour of the year offers routes of 100, 68, 50, 32 and 10 miles across Central Arkansas and the Big Dam Bridge.

Inventive Architecture
The work of internationally known “starchitects,” innovative, award-winning, locally-based talent like Marlon Blackwell and historically significant legends like the late Fay Jones join up-and-coming, local architects to give the region an architectural showcase as diverse as its economy and people.

Taste of the Rock
Each year, the chamber showcases a sampling of its more than 30 unique member restaurants and caterers at Taste of the Rock, as well as beverage distributors, importers, brewers and distillers, to over 1,000 guests.

The region has one of the most diverse, creative and robust restaurant scenes of any market in the nation, with more than half of Little Rock and North Little Rock’s over 900 restaurants operating as independents.

FESTIVALS

ACANSA ARTS FESTIVAL is a visual and performing arts festival dedicated to building a more dynamic and engaging community through the arts and enriching the cultural vitality of Arkansas. It’s a five-day celebration of the arts with live performances, exhibits, art education programs, training and activities.

ARKANSAS LITERARY FESTIVAL features panels, events, performances, workshops and authors such as David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor and Arkansan Charlaine Harris (“True Blood”).

ARKANSAS STATE FAIR is Arkansas’ annual showcase of agriculture, livestock, arts and technology.

INTERNATIONAL GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL is the largest ethnic food festival in Arkansas. More than 10,000 sourota and 17,000 pieces of baklava are served during for the three-day annual event. There’s an incredible Old World Market featuring unique items from around the world, a full entertainment lineup, kids area and church tours.

MAIN STREET FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL is a popular annual festival on Main Street in downtown Little Rock that draws more than 60 food trucks, musicians and vendors for a full day of family fun.

WORLD CHEESE DIP CHAMPIONSHIP has been recognized both locally and nationally as one of the best food festivals for its family-friendly atmosphere and the delicious cheese dips that are entered into the competition.

PARKS & RECREATION

ARKANSAS RIVER TRAIL is a tribute to outdoor recreation, conservation, wellness and the diverse geographies of Central Arkansas that creates an expansive 88-mile loop through the Natural State, including Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle and Conway. A loop from the Clinton Presidential Bridge via NLR to the Big Dam Bridge and back to the Clinton Bridge via LR is 15.6 miles. 

BIG DAM BRIDGE connects approximately 24 miles of scenic riverside trails in the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock with 4,226 linear feet across the Murray Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River.

BURNS PARK, at 1,700 acres, is one of the largest municipal parks in the nation.

CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL PARK BRIDGE, completed in the fall of 2011, is the former Rock Island Railroad Bridge, renovated into a ramped pedestrian pathway, closing the loop on the Arkansas River Trail, which runs along both the north and south banks of the Arkansas River.

THE FIRST TEE OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS and its Jack Stephens Youth Golf Academy is one of the premier, stand-alone First Tee facilities in the country.

JUNCTION BRIDGE PEDESTRIAN WALKWAY spans the Arkansas River between Little Rock’s Amphitheater in the River Market District and Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. It provides views from atop the 360-foot lift span, 40 feet above the river.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS abound in the region, with the Arkansas, navigable from just east of Tulsa to the Mississippi, flowing between the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock and offering some of the finest bass fishing in the world.

LITTLE ROCK ZOO boasts more than 725 animals representing more than 200 different species.

THE OLD MILL at T.R. Pugh Park in North Little Rock is an authentic reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill. It appears in the opening scene of the classic 1939 film “Gone with the Wind” and is believed to be the only building remaining from the film.

PINNACLE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK encompasses 2,000 acres that are dedicated to environmental education, outdoor recreation and preservation.

TWO RIVERS BRIDGE connects the Little Rock shore of the Little Maumelle River west of I-430 to trails at Two Rivers Park. It’s open to walkers, hikers and bicyclists and is part of the Arkansas River Trail.

WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER, featuring the largest aquarium in the region and located on the downtown banks of the Arkansas River, showcases the natural diversity of Arkansas’ six eco-regions.

FAITH

RETAIL

The region boasts more than 100 shopping centers, malls and large retail areas, with more than 8 million SF of retail space in the county.

Little Rock has become a destination for good food, high quality retail shops, and other entertainment. With more than a million people within 100 miles of the Capital City and a stable and diverse economy, we enjoy maintained and consistent growth in the commercial retail sector. The proof is in the approximately 100,000 people dining and shopping with us on a weekly basis.

- Lou Schickel, Pleasant Ridge Town Center

SPORTS

AMERICAN TAEKWONDO ASSOCIATION has 1,500 independently owned and operated licensed schools and clubs in North America, while its H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden is a favorite downtown destination.

ARKANSAS AFFILIATE OF SUSAN G. KOMEN RACE FOR THE CURE, provides an opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle. Of the money raised through the Race, 75 percent stays in Arkansas to fund educational programs, while the remainder funds national research grants.

The ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS annually play football, basketball, baseball and other NCAA Division I, SEC sports in the region.

The ARKANSAS TRAVELERS’ Dickey-Stephens Park is the home of the Class AA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

ARKANSAS WILDLIFE is found on several million acres of the state’s public lands, making the state and central Arkansas a haven for fishermen, duck and deer hunters.

BIG DAM BRIDGE 100 is the largest cycling tour in Arkansas, drawing more than 3,000 cyclists from the United States and around the world.

The LITTLE ROCK MARATHON, started in 2003, is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon that welcomes runners from all 50 states and around the world to the scenic, loop course that passes some of Little Rock’s most notable landmarks.

REAL DEAL IN THE ROCK is America’s top 17-and-under basketball tournament, featuring the country’s elite collegiate recruits, led by recent NBA No. 1 draft picks John Wall, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant. The event entered its 13th year in 2017.

UA LITTLE ROCK TROJANS' Jack Stephens Center is the home of NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball teams, known as the Trojans, and has played host to the women’s NCAA Tournament.

VERIZON ARENA and its 18,000 seats have hosted NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball and SEC Women’s Basketball Tournaments.

WAR MEMORIAL STADIUM/AT&T Field, the 55,000-seat, second home field of the Arkansas Razorbacks Football Team, hosts many other collegiate and high school games.

Museums, Galleries and Libraries

Performing Arts

Serve the Rock

The Little Rock region is home to a wide variety of  nonprofits. The chamber’s annual Serve the Rock event allows business minded individuals to plug in to opportunities from over 75 nonprofts.

 

 

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