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The Arkansas River Trail connects 38 parks, six museums, and more than 5,000 acres of green space in the Little Rock metropolitan area. (Photograph by Images-USA, Alamy Stock Photo)

Ten Things to Love About Little Rock

With miles of riverfront bike paths and a revitalized downtown connected by streetcars, Arkansas's state capital is a city on the rise.

In the late 1700s, a stony outcropping on the south bank of the Arkansas River—dubbed “La Petite Roche” (Little Rock) by French explorers—served as a signpost for water traffic as America's wild, western frontier was charted, claimed, and tamed.

Though many persist in associating the state capital now occupying the area with the Clinton years, the Little Rock of today—with miles of riverfront bike paths radiating from the River Market in a revitalized downtown now connected by a bright yellow streetcar line—is a bipartisan success story.

Explore a bevy of historic neighborhoods, like the Quapaw Quarter and the gentrifying Southside Main Street District (SoMa), that draw both suburbanites and millennials tempted by Little Rock’s local flavor, such as sweet-and-tangy buttermilk ice cream from Loblolly Creamery or old-school fried catfish at Doe’s Eat Place.

So raise a mug of Day Drinker Belgian Blonde from the city’s Lost Forty brewery to these ten big Little Rock attractions.