Livability.com has named Little Rock, Arkansas as the fifth “America’s Best Places” to visit, live, work, play and explore. The effusive review could make family visitors to Little Rock plant permanent roots.
Livability.com reviews and recommends over 500 places in the United States for this honor, focusing on smaller cities in the United States. The four cities ranked above Little Rock are Fort Collins, Colorado, Charleston, South Carolina, Alexandria, Virginia and Boise Idaho.
Little Rock’s small-ish population vs. loads of big city advantages
For years, the Downtown Little Rock Partnership has led the way for revitalization of the downtown area. With a small downtown population of just 7,500 people, the revitalization effort has increased the livability factor ten-fold. Here are just some of their successes.
· Renovation of downtown historic buildings
· New downtown businesses – art galleries, restaurants, specialty shops — are thriving
· The farmer’s market moved to a more accessible downtown location
· Museums such as the Museum of Discovery and the Clinton Presidential Library have flourished
· Quality entertainment venues and nightlife have grown by leaps and bounds
· Lofts and apartment living are now available
· Highly attended seasonal events
· Old-timey streetcars take visitors and residents to downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock areas
· A choice of first-class restaurant dining establishments
Little Rock proper holds even more advantages
With over one-hundred restaurants, Little Rock has bustling downtown, mid-town and west-end areas. Parks, “green” businesses, cultural venues such as the Little Rock Symphony Orchestra, Wildwood and two nationally acclaimed film festivals within an hour’s drive, are just a tidbit of what the Little Rock area has to offer.
Little Rock is also the bedrock of the historical problems encountered with the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s. Central High School was a testing ground for equal rights when then-Governor Orville Faubus bent to the political pressures of the segregationists. It took President Eisenhower calling out the National Guard to enforce the federal mandate of integration. There is now a museum dedicated to this historical event.
The Natural State
Arkansas’ nickname was the “Land of Opportunity” until 1995, when it was changed to the “Natural State”. Although there was a lot of contention surrounding this decision, no one could argue the truth that Arkansas’ natural state is simply gorgeous. With a plethora of parks, mountains, beautiful vistas, lakes and rivers within Little Rock and across the state, it was hard to deny that Arkansas’ beauty wasn’t a true description of the state.
In Little Rock alone, there are over 200 acres devoted to parks. The greenery of every part of the state is legendary and a great surprise to most visitors. Except for an ocean, the state has all the natural resources any visitor looks for: streams, lakes, mountains, dense woodlands and fertile plains. Centrally located Little Rock, Arkansas is the hub to travel just a short distance to all of these lovely areas.
Family travel to Little Rock, Arkansas
Family travel to Little Rock, Arkansas just may result in a permanent move. Because it holds so many surprises, it could become “home” to families traveling to the city on a vacation. Check out the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas.com to see all that this “little” city has to offer – big city advantages with little city comforts.