River Market District#5 in Best Things To Do in Little Rock
Price & Hours
- 3.0Food Scene
Travelers looking for a bustling atmosphere should head to the trendy River Market district. This section of downtown features plenty of amenities, from Little Rock's top attractions like the Clinton Presidential Center to parks and playgrounds for children to shopping. Visitors can refuel at the Ottenheimer Market Hall, which features 15 shops selling everything from coffee to sushi to burgers. This section of town is also home to numerous events, including live music performances and the seasonal farmers market.
While River Market is a great daytime spot, don't discount it for your evening activities. There are several clubs and bars in this area to explore. It's also home to the River Market Entertainment District, which allows visitors to purchase alcoholic beverages and enjoy them within the confines of the district. This means that you can purchase a beer at one spot then take it with you to a public area like the Galleries at Library Square and the River Market Pavilions. Note that if you want to participate, you need an official RMED wristband as well as an RMED cup. You can find a full list of participating businesses, program rules and a map of the RMED here.
Reviewers praised the district for its variety of things to do and see. They particularly enjoyed the shops and said it's a good place to find souvenirs and gifts. Visitors warned, however, that many of the shops close on Sundays and said that the homeless population can be somewhat aggressive when asking for money.
You can visit the River Market district whenever you like for free, but individual businesses and attractions have their own operating hours. The RMED operates its program from 8 a.m. to midnight daily. Parking is available at several lots nearby, but you will likely need to pay. Alternatively, you can take the city's streetcar. Visit the River Market website for more information.
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#1 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
In 1957, nine Black students enrolled at Little Rock Central High School. The school had been all-white since its construction in 1927. Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Wells were the first Black students at the school following the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional. The day the students went to school, they were met with a racist mob of white students as well as about 270 soldiers who barred the entrance to the high school. It took almost two weeks before the Little Rock Nine were able to access the building. Though they were able to enter the school, they faced physical and verbal abuse throughout their high school careers. The Little Rock Nine's historic and brave acts helped to spur the civil rights movement and brought national attention to the U.S.'s racist practices.
Today, Little Rock Central High School is a National Historic Site and is still a working high school. The associated visitor center sits kitty-corner to the school and features exhibits about the desegregation crisis as well as a book store. There is also a Commemorative Garden. Tours of the exterior and interior of Little Rock Central High School are also available, but must be reserved in advance through the National Park Service.
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