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Fun restaurants/attractions in Little Rock, AR?

Fun restaurants/attractions in Little Rock, AR?

Old Jul 25th, 2010, 10:41 PM
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Fun restaurants/attractions in Little Rock, AR?

My boyfriend is moving to Little Rock, AR for six months or so (for AF pilot training) and I plan to visit him often. I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions for restaurants, bars, shops, etc that we should make it a point to visit while there. We're both 25 and really into good (not necessarily expensive, just well made) food, and wine/beer. I also really enjoy shopping. Mostly I'm hoping for suggestions on local places, as opposed to chains.

Oh, and if there are any fun day trips nearby that you know of, I would really appreciate some suggestions. We both really like camping and outdoorsy stuff.

Thanks a lot!
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 05:34 AM
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Attractions:

-state capitol building, very nice.
-there's a small but enjoyable art museum.
-Clinton Presidential Library, very good.
-old capitol building, now a historical museum, not bad.

The River Market area is right downtown, stretching between the last two attractions, and has plenty of places to eat. I especially liked the Flying Fish.
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 06:03 AM
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If you like the outdoors and hiking, Petit Jean State Park is beautiful. Also, Hot Springs is a nice day trip. Although expensive, Sonny Williams is a great place for a steak in the River Market. Recently ate at Red Door. There was a nice variety on the menu and the food was good. Whole Hog is an awesome place for BBQ. The Heights may be a good shopping venue. It is made up of local shops and restaurants.
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 07:11 AM
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Brave New Restaurant! It's less than 10 minutes from downtown, and has a really nice river view.

http://www.bravenewrestaurant.com/main.html

Whole Hog Cafe is about 5 minutes from Brave New Restaurant...it's fabulous

http://www.wholehogcafe.com/home.htm

I also agree with the River Market, Clinton Presidential Library and Petit Jean State Park.

The Arkansas Arts Center is near downtown.

Lots of other options, too...I'll post more when I have more time!
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Ooh, thanks, I am going to start looking into all of those...
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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Also, I know I wrote down "day trips," but overnight camping trips would actually be fine too
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Okay, just to let you guys know, I went ahead and looked into most of the places you suggested. For restaurants, 1620, Brave New Restaurant, Flying Fish, and Red Door look exactly up my alley (focused on ingredients, not overpriced). Also, Whole Hog and Sonny Williams look like my boyfriend would love them (lots of meat...).
Petit Jean (great for hiking!)and Hot Springs look like beautiful day trips.
The Heights looks like a fun shopping area, it kind of reminded me of the Houston Heights.
In general, the whole River Market area looks like a great place to hang out at and check out attractions like the Clinton Pres. library (which seems to be a must-see) and the old capitol building. Looks like there's a lot of stuff there. I'm glad we'll have a few months to explore it. My boyfriend loves art, so I'll go ahead and mark the museums.

Thanks a lot! These are some really helpful suggestions. I really appreciate them.
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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Oh wow, the Mexican Art exhibition that's coming to the Arkansas Art Center in September looks beautiful! We're definitely going to that.
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Hot Springs would be a good day trip. Be sure to visit Garvan Woodland Gardens, it's lovely. They also have a wonderful walk-through lights display at Christmas time. http://www.garvangardens.org/

We love DeGray Lake Resort State Park. You can stay at the lodge or camp. http://www.degray.com/

On our list of places to go are Petit Jean State Park http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com/ and Mount Magazine State Park http://www.mountmagazinestatepark.com/

Also on our list is canoeing the Buffalo River (we've only done the Caddo near Arkadelphia). You can order free guides at www.arkansas.com I have used the Adventure Guide, the Tour Guide and the State Parks guide a lot. The Adventure Guide has information on hiking trails, campgrounds, float streams and outfitters, and wilderness areas. You'll get all of these if you order the free vacation planning kit. Here's the website page: http://www.arkansas.com/helpful-info/free-vacation-kit/

Hope this helps!
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 10:10 PM
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travelerfromtx:

Yes, those are definitely helpful suggestions! And thanks a lot for adding the links. I'm going to plan two different trips to Garvan Woodland Gardens (one when it's warm and one to see the Christmas lights). I also went ahead and ordered the vacation planning kit.
Both campsites look great. I think my bf will really like Mount Magazine (he always talks about how much he misses the mountains in Colorado).

One quick question, have you ever stayed in the yurts at DeGray lake? I have to admit that as much as I enjoy camping, it's kind of a new interest for me and I've only done it in some parts of Texas and Alabama and had never seen a yurt before. Would you recommend it?

Again, thank you so much for the recommendations.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 03:34 AM
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I haven't stayed in a yurt, only in the lodge. When we were at DeGray Lake about a month ago I actually drove through the area where the yurts are supposed to be, but I didn't see one. The yurts are $50 while the lodge is $85 off-season and $95 in season. I really like the lodge, lots of pretty landscaping and stonework. The rooms are comparable to a Courtyard Marriott or Fairfield Inn, clean and comfortable with a nice big screen TV on the wall and dorm-size refrigerator. The refrigerator was big enough for our sandwich meat, fruit, yogurt, drinks, etc. The park has many picnic tables which we made good use of the last time we were there. The restaurant is also good and has a fantastic view of the lake.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 08:05 AM
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Okay, thanks!
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Here are a few more suggestions.

Dickey-Stephens Ballpark - across the river in North Little Rock, it won the 2007 Ballpark of the Year

Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs for gambling and horse racing
http://www.oaklawn.com/

Old State House
http://www.oldstatehouse.com/

Arkansas Repertory Theatre
http://www.therep.org/

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
http://www.arkmilitaryheritage.com/

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
http://www.arkansassymphony.org/

Heifer International (this is really wonderful, next to the Clinton Presidential Library
http://www.heifer.org/#

Historic Arkansas Museum
http://www.historicarkansas.org/

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
http://www.nps.gov/chsc/index.htm
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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What about going to dig for diamonds at Crater Lake State Park?

http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/

and please report back on your excursions, I'd love to know more about all this for the future
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Susan:
Thanks for the new links. I'm so excited about all of these sites. They all look like so much fun. I've never been gambling, but I might give it a try at Oaklawn. I'm a huge theater buff, so the Arkansas Repertory Theatre will be great for a night out for a show and dinner (for anyone out there reading this, they're doing Evita and Hamlet in Sep-Nov 2010). Needless to say, my boyfriend will love the military history stuff. I'd heard of Heifer International before, but I wasn't aware that it was based off of Little Rock. That's definitely a must in my list.

williamscb13:
Thanks for the link. I'd actually heard someone mention Crater Lake State Park before, but that was a long time ago and I didn't know that it was so close to Little Rock. This is a definite stop on the list. For anyone out there reading this, their website says that besides diamonds, you can also find 40 other types of rocks and minerals (like amehtyst and quartz). It seems like you could end up with a really cool souvenir...

And yes, I'll be sure to write a travel report about all of this. There don't seem to be that many travel guides on Arkansas, so online stuff like this is really helpful. I've been compiling all of the suggestions on a Google Map to make sure I don't miss any of them (if anyone wants a link to it; let me know). I'll try to get my boyfriend to collaborate with me on the travel report so that you can get two different perspectives.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 05:12 PM
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Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View is another good place. http://www.ozarkfolkcenter.com/
http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/pa...nts.aspx?id=32

We'll be going up later this month for a couple of days of fly fishing at Calico Rock and a day at the fiddlers contest at the park.

Ouachita State Park near Hot Springs is also good for hiking, camping and boating. Then go into HS to see the National Park bathhouses (be sure to visit the museum in the Fordyce Bathhouse).


The nice thing about Arkansas (especially coming from Texas) is that it's small enough that you can do most of these things as a day trip.

BTW, Little Rock Air Force Base is NOT in LR. It's in Jacksonville, about 20 miles north of LR.
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