Little Rock Life: Diversity in People, Geography, Culture

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.

All real estate is local and because our economy is incredibly diverse, central Arkansas avoided the real estate bubble seen throughout the country over the past several years. Homes remain a great investment in central Arkansas. Home ownership is still the American Dream and I cannot think of a better place to invest in that dream.
- Robin J. Miller, President, Coldwell Banker
Rector Phillips Morse

Inventive Architecture
The work of internationally known “starchitects,” innovative, award-winning, locally-based talent, and historically significant legends join to give the region an architectural showcase as diverse as its economy and people.

Faith

Parks and Recreation

  • 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 spans the Arkansas River between Little Rock’s First Security Amphitheater in the River Market District and Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
  • 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.
  • Pinnacle Mountain State Park, with hiking trails rising more than 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River Valley, its 2,000 acres are dedicated to environmental education, outdoor recreation and preservation.
  • Two Rivers Bridge, opened in the summer of 2011, is a bicycle/pedestrian bridge built at the confluence of the Little Maumelle and Arkansas Rivers to connect Two Rivers Park.
  • 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.

Taste of the Rock

Each year, the Chamber showcases a sampling of its 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.

Respected national chains are quickly capitalizing on the strong and diverse dining market of the region.

One of Five Secret Foodie Cities
— Forbes Travel Blog, January 2014

Festivals

  • 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.
  • Little Rock Film Festival, founded by award winning, Emmy and DGA-nominated Renaud Brothers, is considered by Austin’s Paste Magazine to be “potentially one of the best fests in the country.”
  • Riverfest, the Memorial Day weekend visual and performing arts celebration, attracts 250,000 annually.

With two of the country’s leading film festivals within an hour’s drive of each other, the region boasts destination festivals and fairs celebrating the best of the arts, entertainment, film, literature and Americana.

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.

With retail closing rates soaring in other parts of the country, Little Rock is attracting and opening one-of-a-kind destination retailers, drawing shoppers from throughout the region and beyond.
- Bethany Siems, The Promenade at Chenal

Sports

  • American Taekwondo Association has 1,500 independently owned and operated licensed schools and clubs across North America and eight other countries, while its H. U. Lee International Gate & Garden is a favorite downtown destination.
  • The Arkansas Travelers’ Dickey-Stephens Park is the home of the Class AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.
  • The Arkansas Razorbacks annually play football, basketball, baseball and other NCAA Division I, SEC sports in the region.
  • 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.
  • Arkansas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, provides an oppportunity 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 remaining 25 percent funds national research grants.
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans’ Jack Stephens Center is the home of NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference men’s and women’s basketball teams and played host to the first and second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament in 2012.
  • Verizon Arena and its 18,000 seats has hosted NCAA Division 1 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.
  • 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.

Museums Galleries and Libraries