Riverfront Park#4 in Best Things To Do in Little Rock
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Located in the River Market district and spanning 11 blocks is Riverfront Park, a 33-acre mecca of outdoor activity in the heart of the city. The park features a splash park for children; La Petite Roche Plaza, which showcases the "little rock" from which the city got its name from French explorers; an amphitheater; and a sculpture garden with more than 80 pieces of art. Nature lovers can rejoice, too. Riverfront Park is also home to both the William E. "Bill" Clark Presidential Park Wetlands and the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center.
Reviewers say the park is a must-do activity and call it a great place to snap some photos. Many also enjoyed the myriad of activities available and appreciated the trails for some outdoor exercise.
Riverfront Park is open daily year-round, but individual attractions may have their own operating hours. The park is also free to visit. You can learn more about its offerings and events on the River Market website.
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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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