Little Rock, Arkansas

Tweener Town

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What's it like to live in Little Rock?

What strikes first time visitors as special or unusual when they arrive in Little Rock, AR?

Well if they arrive via the airport, which was renamed Clinton Intl. Airport some years ago, there’s a sign literally just stuck on the front of the Clinton Intl. Airport name that says Bill and Hillary like it had to be made clear it wasn’t JUST about Bill. It looks weird.

Everyone thinks that the “little rock” is behind the Capitol. There are some boulders back there, but we got our name from a rock outcrop on the Arkansas River La Petite Roche. But check out our Capitol, go to the 2nd floor rotunda and look around. It’s really pretty. There are some nice monuments on the grounds too. Vietnam Memorial for Arkansans, Medal of Honor awardees,awesome memorial to Firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty and soon the The Ten Commandments will be back up. It was smashed by a crazy guy in a car less than 24 hours after it went up. Won’t be so easy in the future! Not that I am challenging anyone.

We are the foot hills of the Ozarks so you will have some nice, lush hills and great views, especially if you are on top of one of our hotels or buildings or take a drive north and west. The Arkansas River runs RIGHT THROUGH TOWN. It’s super great down on the River Walk, which is very near the Clinton Library. At least they haven’t tacked up some wooden sign that says Bill AND Hillary Library yet. Mostly because it’s a PRESIDENTIAL Library. We have a bridge we call the BIG DAM BRIDGE. It’s for foot and bicycle traffic the connects us to N. Little Rock, which is a separate city. If you take 430 across the Arkansas River during sunrise or sunset you will be blessed with not only a beautiful nature scene but bridges on your left and right are lit up in colors, depending on the holiday.

When I first arrived in Little Rock from Texas in 1991 I thought it was so much like Austin was back in the ‘80’s. College town, Capitol town, many small bars with live music scattered around, about 12 cars at a stop light max. Legislators all had cocktails at The Capitol Bar downtown. We’re bigger now, like Austin got bigger, but not all in bad ways. The River Market is packed with great bars, live music and restaurants, that same area now has lots of condo options if you like the downtown living scene. We have maintained much of our old architecture and are continuing to preserve old areas of downtown. If you like architecture and history check out CENTRAL HIGH. One of the most beautiful high schools you will ever see and of course, home to the Little Rock 9 history. You can see a bronze statue of them on the Capitol grounds too. Also look at some of our beautiful churches downtown.

Speaking of churches, we have them every where. We are God and Country. You won’t have to go far to find a church that will suit you.

It’s spring right now. You won’t believe our ornamental trees in bloom! And bulbs of daffodils, tulips and lilies will be coming up all spring. Y’all better hurry!

What is your favorite neighborhood in Little Rock?

I can’t get enough of Hillcrest. It’s everything: the people, the older houses (fewer of which have been torn down than in some other neighborhoods), the shops and restaurants. It’s very walkable and there are the great Allsopp Park trails literally a few feet away. I consider it the most livable neighborhood in the city.

For a business, downtown is growing into something special. I expect when everything is said and done it will be more of a spot for young people, single people, childless couples, etc., since currently there aren’t a lot of places to play. There’s a great dog park though and this area is in a state of rapid revival!

What’s the best thing about living in Little Rock, AR?

It’s centralized location. It’s an easy jaunt to all four corners of the state. You want to mountain climb? 30 minutes, canoe? 15 minutes, bike? 5 minutes, museums, book stores, shopping (no not Rodeo quality), it’s all within easy reach. The food scene is dynamic and varied. The job market is growing, housing is affordable. Neighborhoods are eclectic. Want something a little more va-va-voom it’s a short flight to Dallas or a drive to a Memphis. Even Nashville is a great weekend get away.

What's it like living in Arkansas?

Moved to Arkansas from Miami, FL about 6-years ago. I was amazed how cheap everything is… the cost of living is crazy good. The other thing that blew my mind was the ability to get my oil changed or other car repairs within a couple hours. Also doctors, dentist, and eye appointments can happen very easily. I live in Little Rock and I’ve been impressed with what this small capital city has to offer. Great food and drink options. It is a beautiful state that has much to offer in the way of parks, outdoor activities, and just beauty. I do miss the beaches, population, culture, and diversity that Miami offered.

Pros and Cons of Living in Little Rock, Arkansas