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Central Arkansas

At the heart of Arkansas you’ll find Little Rock. The capital city's downtown area thrives with restaurants, art galleries, museums, shops, bars and fine hotels. State government, banking and financial centers and statewide media are also located here, along with cultural and historic sites such as the Arkansas Arts Center, National Historic Site Little Rock Central High School and the Clinton Presidential Center.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center brings in hundreds of thousands of guests from around the globe. The world headquarters of Heifer International and Heifer Village — an education center, outdoor commons area and wetlands -- lies adjacent to the center. The Central Arkansas Nature Center overlooks the Arkansas River and highlights the state’s wildlife resources. The Clinton Presidential Park Wetlands preserves 13 acres of environmentally important riverfront footage in a downtown urban area.

The history of the state comes to life at the Historic Arkansas Museum and several others in the area, including the Old State House Museum, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site & Visitors Center. The Esse Purse Museum and Store showcases the purse’s evolving function, design and its contents, illustrating the story of American women in its exhibit “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Their Handbags (1900-1999).”

The River Rail Trolley connects the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock, the latter of which is home to Verizon Arena, an 18,000-seat coliseum that hosts a variety of sporting events and musical acts. Also on the north side of the river, Dickey-Stephens Park is home to the Arkansas Travelers baseball team, the AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. The Argenta Arts and Historic District offers galleries, shops, eateries and nightlife. Also calling the north shore home is the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, home of the USS Razorback submarine.

A few miles from downtown in North Little Rock, the 1,700-acre Burns Park lures folks out for soccer, golf, archery and tennis, as well as fun playgrounds, a dog park and even a seasonal amusement park.

Of course, there are numerous opportunities for golf, tennis, hiking, biking and fishing throughout the area. The Arkansas River Trail links Little Rock and North Little Rock, and stretches all the way to Pinnacle Mountain State Park in west Little Rock.

Nearby cities Jacksonville, Sherwood and Maumelle offer their own recreational treats and laid-back suburban atmospheres, while bustling Conway – dubbed “the city of colleges” – boasts world-class education, historic downtown charm and festivities year-round. In particular, Conway’s popular Toad Suck Daze festival draws tens of thousands each spring.

Other notable cities/towns:
Benton, Bryant, Cabot, Greenbrier, Scott, Searcy

More can’t-miss attractions:
Arkansas Arts Center (Little Rock), Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Little Rock), Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (Conway), Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame North Little Rock, Bass Pro Shops (Little Rock), Butler Center for Arkansas Studies (Little Rock), The Old Mill (North Little Rock), Little Rock River Market, Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park (Scott), Scott Plantation Settlement (Scott), Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park (Scott), Cadron Settlement Park National Historic Site (Conway) and Reynolds Performance Hall (Conway).