Skip to site content
Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader

Walkable, Welcoming Little Rock

Little Rock has a big personality.

This city of just over 200,000 is an active, close-knit community pulsing with the perfect balance of enriching opportunities and lively activities. Outdoor recreation is king in Little Rock, which is crisscrossed by pedestrian bridges and cycling trails and surrounded by parks and greenspaces. Locals sip craft brews and eat at the city’s long list of local restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlors and coffee shops. But the city has a diverse and welcoming spirit, fostered from its inspiring Civil Rights history and thriving Black culture. Any of its wealth of museums make perfect stops for group tours.

Civil Rights

Little Rock has rich Black history, with multiple stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, located in the towering brick school building, tells the story of nine Black students who attended the formerly all-white school in 1957 at great risk. This event occurred in the years following the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled against segregation in public education. What ensued was a standoff between the federal and state governments that determined the fate of school integration. Groups can tour the historic site to learn about the Civil Rights Movement, school segregation and the Little Rock Nine. The Little Rock Nine’s bravery is commemorated with statues at both the historic site and the Arkansas Capitol.

Another stop on the trail is the Daisy Bates House. Bates, president of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP, owned the unassuming home where the Little Rock Nine convened. The home was an important meeting place for Civil Rights Movement organizers. It can be toured if requested in advance.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, first established in 2001, honors Arkansas’ African Americans. By showcasing the state’s Black entrepreneurs and prominent figures, the center is a great resource for educating visitors about Black history.


Little Rock has a plethora of museums for groups to tour that explore a wide range of topics, from fashion accessories to past presidents and everything in between.

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts recently underwent a $150 million renovation and re-opened to the public in spring of 2023. The upgrade features a modern, airy design with warm wood tones and plenty of natural light. The museum’s collections include a range of styles from different eras, featuring work from very well-known artists such as Diego Rivera, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe and Pierre Auguste Renoir. But the museum’s collection also prioritizes diversity and balance of both subject matter and art mediums. Admission to the museum is free, and guided group tours are available when requested in advance.

The ESSE Purse Museum and Store explores what it means to be an American woman through the lens of handbags. Exhibits highlight topics such the contents of a woman’s handbag through the decades, the evolution of purses and some very singular handbags. Groups can tour the museum, then stop in the store to round out their visits.

Another popular Little Rock museum is the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, which explores former president Bill Clinton’s life, presidency and legacy. Exhibits feature more than 100,000 artifacts, including everything from photographs and videos to a presidential limousine. Group tours of the Clinton center can be followed with a meal at the on-site café. The presidential library and museum is also a stop on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

Outdoor Adventure

As the capital of the Natural State, it should come as no surprise Little Rock is outdoorsy and active. Cycling, hiking and watersports rank high as favored recreational activities for residents and visitors alike. The city’s infrastructure is designed to be particularly friendly for pedestrians and cyclists, with an abundance of bridges and paved paths to follow.

One of the newest bridges is Big Dam Bridge, built over a dam on the Arkansas River. It’s the longest pedestrian and cyclist bridge on the continent and connects 14 miles of trails.

The city is also surrounded by several state parks, including Pinnacle Mountain State Park and Plum Bayou Mounds Archaeological State Park. Groups can enjoy hiking or biking at these state parks, learn about the nature and culture associated with them. At the Pinnacle Mountain State Park, groups can stop by the new visitors center, grab an Arkansas-themed souvenir and enjoy a scoop of local, craft ice cream.

But with over 60 city parks, there’s no shortage of urban greenspace for groups to enjoy either. They can picnic in the parks or check out the city’s gardens, such as the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, which can be found in Riverfront Park. The Bernice Garden also has some public art for visitors to see.

Breweries and Distilleries

The craft beverage scene in Little Rock is booming with microbreweries, brewpubs, craft distilleries and urban wineries. Sampling some of the goodness is a great group activity.

Stone’s Throw Brewing MacPark Brewpub and Biergarten, just down the street from the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, has great indoor and outdoor seating for warm days. Locals often bring their dogs and sip brews and ciders. Their pale ale, stout, IPA, lager and cider are joined with other seasonal brews and flavors.

Lost Forty Brewing has a large selection of beverages in their taproom, from IPAs to hard seltzers that incorporate local flavors. They have seasonal offerings as well as a food menu packed with pub food such as wings, burgers, sandwiches and pizzas.

Rock Town Distillery is the state’s first legal distillery since Prohibition. It produces many different spirits, including vodka, whiskey, bourbon, gin and several liqueurs. Tours are available, and groups can round out the experience with a cocktail at the on-site bar.