If you’re looking for a place with Southern charm, American history, great food, and an impressive arts scene, look no further than Little Rock, Arkansas. The history-packed capital city is full of fun and fabulous things to do for a lovely Southern getaway. Don’t believe me? Keep reading and you’ll find my whole weekend itinerary full of things to do for two full days in Little Rock. Because when it comes to personality and fun, there is nothing little about this city!
Next time you find yourself wanting a different vacation experience in your home country, pack your bags and head to Arkansas. Little Rock certainly may surprise you with its quirks, culinary scene, and style!
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Little Rock, and I was sure to pack my calendar full of activities! You know me… Always on the go! So luckily for you, I have a whole itinerary planned out for you when you visit Little Rock, Arkansas. Even if you hit just a few places on this list, you will not be disappointed!
Below are all my tips for where to stay, eat, shop, and explore in Little Rock, AR.
Check in at the beautiful Capital Hotel
111 Markham St.
Hang out at Little Rock’s “front porch.” Southern comfort meets modern elegance meets historical prominence in this one-of-a-kid hotel. For the true Little Rock experience, you must stay here! Paying homage to the capital city it calls home, Capital Hotel was built in 1876 and has since been fully restored since 2007. You will feel like Southern royalty staying at this hotel, a little like President Alexander Grant who also once was a guest here.
Enjoy a late lunch at Café Bossa Nova
2701 Kavanaugh Blvd., Suite 105
Save room for a big lunch at Café Bossa Nova, because the menu is full of authentic Brazilian dishes. Not sure what to order? You can’t go wrong with the famous cheese bread and black beans and rice at this delicious, homegrown restaurant.
Shop at the unique Box Turtle
2616 Kavanaugh Blvd
Your eyes will have a feast at this unconventional boutique! Box Turtle gives local designers and artists a place to showcase their work, and all the artists are showcased every Fall at the Hillcrest Harvest Festival. How cool is that?! A souvenir from here is such a cool idea.
Get a treat at Izard Chocolate
Because chocolate is always a good idea! Especially organic chocolate. Izard Chocolate was the first chocolate-making company in Little Rock, founded in 2014 by Nathaniel Izard. For a little sugar buzz, snag some tasty chocolate-dipped caramels here—they’re a town favorite.
Catch cocktails at Cajun’s
2400 Cantrell Rd
A couple pre-dinner drinks never hurt. Sip a Play-De-Do on the deck of Cajun’s Wharf—your view will be the Arkansas River!
Do dinner at Red Door
3701 Cantrell Rd
For some of the best good in Arkansas, you must dine at Red Door Restaurant! Chef and Owner Mark Abernathy will amaze you with his culinary chops (over 40 years of experience)!
Sip at Rock Town Distillery’s Nightcap Tour and Tasting
1216 E 6th St
End your day in Little Rock at Rock Town Distillery, where you can sip samples and learn about the distilling process at the aptly named Nightcap Tour and Tasting. Rock Town is Arkansas’ first legal distillery since Prohibition! This is such a fun and different way to experience Little Rock’s drink scene.
Do a driving tour of the Main Street Creative Corridor
Soak in the arts of Little Rock on your own little driving tour. On Main Street, an area has since been revitalized using art. Now known as the Main Street Creative Corridor, this strip of mixed-use real estate is ode to Little Rock’s culture and art scene.
Do a driving tour of SoMa
While you’re rolling down Main Street, once you pass the Creative Corridor, you can keep touring Southside Main Street otherwise known as SoMa. Anchored by the 63-year-old Community Bakery, this neighborhood is also home to the Bernice Garden and the Dunbar Community Garden maintained by middle school children. If you must stop, Loblolly Creamery ice cream and soda fountain is a good place to rest for a sec! 😉
Grab breakfast at The Root Café
1500 South Main
The Root Cafe is all about sustainability, so you can savor every last bite of that locally-sourced breakfast.
Visit the Esse Purse Museum
1510 Main Street
Accessory aficionados, this one is for you! ESSE Purse Museum & Store is one of three purse museums in the entire world. Here, marvel at owner Anita Davis’ dream of exploring concepts of art, history, and the feminine. See just how iconic the right bag can be at this interesting and fabulous museum!
Eat Casual Lunch at Lost Forty Brewing
Breweries have become a great way to get to know the soul of smaller American cities. For Little Rock, Lost Forty Brewing is one of those places. Named after the storied forest standing on 40 acres of Arkansas’s last virgin soil in Calhoun County, Lost 40 aims to brew wild and “uniquely Arkansas” beers. Sip on one of these while you chow down into a rustic meat plate, seasonal salad, sorghum & black pepper pecans, and/or an open-faced fried Italian bologna + egg sandwich. Yeah, this brewery knows food!
Take a guided tour of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
2120 Daisy G. Bates Dr.
The epicenter of the 1957 segregation crisis, Central High School was the setting when nine African-American youth broke racial barriers and integrated into the school. This event was so historic that President Clinton has awarded these youth,“The Little Rock Nine,” with Congressional Medals and he maintains a close relationship with them today.
Stop by The Green Corner Store
Need a little afternoon pick-me-up? I know just the place. Snag an afternoon tea and sconce at the eco-friendly Green Corner Store.
Tour the Clinton Presidential Center
Celebrating the life and achievements of Bill Clinton, our 42nd president, the Clinton Presidential Center is certainly worth a tour. You’ll see everything from presidential archives to the president’s limo and more. Scandal fans, you know you’ve got to check it out!
Indulge in dinner at One Eleven at the Capital Hotel
111 Markham St.
End your weekend in Little Rock with a bang. Since you’re staying at the Capital, you must try the in-house fare from One Eleven. Headed by a James Beard award-winning chef, you know you’ll get an incredible meal. Plus, it’s a modern Southern menu, so you’re bound to find a dish you love.
*This article is sponsored by Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau. All travel accommodations were hosted, however all opinions are my own.