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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Little Rock, Arkansas
—  City  —
Little Rock, summer 2007.


Nickname(s): The Rock (official), Rock Town
Location in Pulaski County, Arkansas
Coordinates: 34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111Coordinates: 34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111
Country  United States
State  Arkansas
County Pulaski
Founded 1821
Incorporated 1831
 - Type Council-Strong Mayor
 - Mayor Mark Stodola
 - City 116.8 sq mi (302.5 km2)
 - Land 116.2 sq mi (300.9 km2)
 - Metro 4,090.34 sq mi (10,593.94 km2)
Elevation 335 ft (102 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 189,515
 Metro 675,069
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 501
FIPS code 05-41000
GNIS feature ID 0083350

Little Rock is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas and also the county seat of Pulaski County. The Metropolitan Statistical Area, had a population of 675,069 people, according to 2008 census estimates. The MSA is in turn included in the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Pine Bluff, Arkansas Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 850,561 in the 2008 census estimates. As of 2008, according to the US census, Little Rock had a population of 189,515.[1]

Located near the geographic center of Arkansas, Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called la Petite Roche (French: "the little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing.





Archeological artifacts provide evidence of Native Americans' inhabiting Central Arkansas for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. The early inhabitants may have included the Folsom people, Bluff Dwellers, and Mississippian culture peoples who built earthwork mounds recorded in 1541 by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto's expedition. Historical tribes of the area included the Caddo, Quapaw, Osage, Choctaw and Cherokee.

Little Rock was named for a little rock. Early travelers used a stone outcropping on the bank of the Arkansas River as a landmark. La Petite Roche (French for "the Little Rock"), named in 1722 by French explorer and trader Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe, marked the transition from the flat Mississippi Delta region to the Ouachita Mountain foothills. Travelers referred to the area as "the Little Rock" and the landmark name stuck.

The skyline of Little Rock, as viewed from the north bank of the Arkansas River


  • 1722 – French explorer Jean-Baptiste Benard de la Harpe lands near a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River which he reputedly names la Petite Roche (the little rock). La Harpe builds a trading post near the little rock. The Quapaw Indians reside nearby.
  • 1812 – William Lewis, a fur trapper, builds a home near the little rock.
  • 1820 – Little Rock is surveyed.
  • 1820 – Robert Crittenden, born 1797, and Chester Ashley, born 1791, enter into an agreement for a "Partnership in the Practice of Law" which lays the groundwork for the Rose Law Firm, the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River.
  • 1821 – Little Rock becomes the capital of the Arkansas Territory formed in 1819.
  • 1831 – Little Rock is incorporated as a city.
  • 1833 – The Territorial Capitol (now the Old State House) is built. Completed in 1842, it serves as the State Capitol until 1911.
  • 1836 – Arkansas becomes the 25th state, and Little Rock became the official capital city.
  • 1861 – Arkansas joins the Confederacy.
  • 1863 – Union forces occupy Little Rock.
  • 1874 – The Brooks-Baxter War takes place in Little Rock.
  • 1880 – General Douglas MacArthur born on January 26 in the The Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal. The building is now the home of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and the surrounding is area is called MacArthur Park.
  • 1911 – The current State Capitol building is completed. It is the second building constructed to house the state government, after the Old State House.
  • 1916 – Pulaski Heights, one of Little Rock's earliest western suburbs, is annexed into the city, setting the stage for further westward expansion.
  • 1957 – The Little Rock Nine are enrolled at Little Rock Central High School after public protests and the Arkansas National Guard under the direction of Governor Orval Faubus, prevents their first attempt at enrollment. President Dwight Eisenhower dispatches federal troops to ensure the students' safety and enforce their right to attend school. These events are collectively referred to as the Crisis at Central High.
  • 1958 – All three public High Schools in Little Rock are closed for one year by Governor Faubus.
  • 1968 – Construction booms downtown, Worthen Bank Building at 375 feet (114 m) and Union National Bank at 330 feet (100 m) are under construction and replace The Tower Building as the city's tallest buildings. Union National Bank subsequently merged into Worthen, which eventually would become part of Bank of America.
  • 1974 – First National Bank building is under construction and becomes the city's tallest building at 454 feet (138 m) and 30 stories. The building currently is Arkansas headquarters for Regions Bank.
  • 1986 – The Capitol Tower is completed, and at 40 stories and 547 feet (167 m) tall, is currently the tallest building in Arkansas. The skyscraper's name changed to the TCBY Tower later and became the Metropolitan Tower as of October 2004. The Stephens Building is also completed and is 25 stories and 365 feet (111 m) tall when finished. It was first known as the First South building and then the Rogers building.
  • 1992 – Bill Clinton is elected President of the United States. He delivers an election night acceptance speech from the front steps of the historic Old State House in downtown Little Rock. He is the first person from the state of Arkansas to be elected President. He is elected to a second term in 1996.
  • 1997 – The 40th anniversary of the Crisis at Central High is marked by the opening of a new National Park Service visitor center.
  • 2000 – Little Rock's record high temperature of 111 degrees Fahrenheit is recorded by the National Weather Service in August.
  • 2003 – First Little Rock Marathon is held. Counting the relays, 1615 runners participate in the 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) race, making it one of the top 25 races in the nation for 2003.
  • 2003 – Little Rock resident Wesley Kanne Clark, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army and former Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), announces his intention to run in the presidential primary election for the Democratic Party nomination.
  • 2004 – William J. Clinton Presidential Center opens with a host of dignitaries and celebrities, including then-Governor Mike Huckabee, then-President George W. Bush, and former presidents George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.
  • 2006 – The international charitable organization Heifer International dedicates a $17.5 million world headquarters in downtown Little Rock. The organization announces plans to further develop the 33 acre location into the Heifer International Center campus.
  • 2006 – The Pulaski County Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge, better known as the Big Dam Bridge, opens to the public. The Big Dam Bridge extends 3,463 feet (1,056 m) across the Arkansas River and is currently the world’s longest bridge specifically built for pedestrians/bicycles.[2]
  • 2006 – The five-year construction boom of mixed-use, high-rise buildings in downtown's historic River Market district began construction on over 60 stories of residential and retail property and 240 additional hotel rooms. Among the major residential projects completed during this period are the Capital Commerce Center (2002), First Security Center (2004), 300 Third Tower (2006), and the River Market Tower (2009).
  • 2007 – Dickey-Stephens Park, home to the Arkansas Travelers minor league baseball team, opens. The newly constructed ball park has a capacity of 7,000 and is situated on the Arkansas River in North Little Rock, Arkansas, opposite downtown Little Rock.


Little Rock is located at 34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111 (34.736009, -92.331122).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 116.8 square miles (302.5 km²), of which, 116.2 square miles (301.0 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (0.52%) is water.

Little Rock is located on the south bank of the Arkansas River in Central Arkansas. Fourche Creek and Rock Creek run through the city and flow into the river. The western part of the city is located in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Just northwest of the city limits is Pinnacle Mountain and Lake Maumelle, which provides Little Rock's drinking water. The city of North Little Rock is located just across the river from Little Rock, but it is a separate city. North Little Rock was once the 8th ward of Little Rock. An Arkansas Supreme Court decision on February 6, 1904, allowed the ward to merge with the neighboring town of North Little Rock. The merged town quickly renamed itself Argenta (the local name for the former 8th Ward), but returned to its original name in October 1917.[4]


Little Rock lies in the Humid subtropical climate zone, with hot, humid summers and mild winters.

Meteorological Data for the Little Rock Greater Metropolitan Area
Temperature averages for each month.
Rainfall averages for each month.
Humidity indices for each month.
Wind speeds during the various months.
Snowfall averages for each month.
Average percentage of sun during the day.
Climate data for Little Rock
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 49.5
Average low °F (°C) 30.8
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.61
Snowfall inches (mm) 2.0
Avg. snowy days 1.1 0.8 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 0.3 2.8
Avg. precipitation days 9.6 8.3 10.0 9.7 10.6 9.2 8.3 6.5 7.9 7.5 9.0 9.7 106.3
Source: NCDC [5] February 2010


The city operated under a city manager form of government until 2007. Voters elected to convert the city to a strong-mayor form of government, making the mayor's position a full-time position with veto power. The city also retains the city manager position. The city employs over 2500 individuals in 14 different departments, including the Police department, the Fire department, Parks and Recreation and the Zoo.

Most Pulaski County government offices are located in the city of Little Rock, including the Quorum, Circuit, District, and Juvenile Courts; and the Assessor, County Judge, County Attorney and Public Defenders offices.

Both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit have judicial facilities in Little Rock.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 2,167
1860 3,727 72.0%
1870 12,380 232.2%
1880 13,138 6.1%
1890 25,874 96.9%
1900 38,307 48.1%
1910 45,941 19.9%
1920 65,142 41.8%
1930 81,679 25.4%
1940 88,039 7.8%
1950 102,213 16.1%
1960 107,813 5.5%
1970 132,483 22.9%
1980 159,151 20.1%
1990 175,795 10.5%
2000 183,133 4.2%

As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 52.7% of Little Rock's population; of which 49.4% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 42.1% of Little Rock's population; of which 42.0% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.4% of Little Rock's population while Asian Americans made up 2.1% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 1.2% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 1.4% of the city's population; of which 1.1% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 4.7% of Little Rock's population.[7] [8]

As of the 2000 census, there were 183,133 people, 77,352 households, and 46,488 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,576.0 people per square mile (608.5/km²). There were 84,793 housing units at an average density of 729.7/sq mi (281.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.1% White, 40.4% Black, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. 2.7% of the population is Hispanic or Latino.

There were 77,352 households, out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,572, and the median income for a family was $47,446. Males had a median income of $35,689 versus $26,802 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,209. 14.3% of the population is below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.9% of those under the age of 18 and 9.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Metropolitan statistical area

The 2008 U.S. Census population estimate for the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway was 675,069. The MSA includes the following counties: Pulaski, Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, and Saline. The largest cities include Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Jacksonville, Benton, Sherwood, Cabot, Maumelle, and Bryant.

The 2008 U.S. Census population estimate for the Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff was 850,561.

Economy and business

Partial view of Little Rock Skyline in 2005.

Major corporations headquartered in Little Rock include Dillard's Department Stores, Windstream Communications and Acxiom.

Additional large companies headquartered in Little Rock include Metropolitan National Bank, Rose Law Firm, Nuvell Financial Services, Central Flying Service and Stephens Inc.

Large companies headquartered in other cities but with a large presence in Little Rock include Dassault Falcon Jet and Raytheon Aircraft Company near Little Rock National Airport in the eastern part of the city, and Fidelity National Information Services in northwestern Little Rock.

Non-profit organizations include Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Heifer International, Lions World Services for the Blind, William J. Clinton Museum, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Audubon Arkansas, The Nature Conservancy, and Winrock International.

Associations include the American Taekwondo Association, Arkansas Hospital Association, and the Quapaw Quarter Association.

Major employers throughout Little Rock include Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Entergy, Raytheon, Siemens, AT&T Mobility, Kroger, Affiliated Foods Southwest and Timex.

One of the largest public employers in the state with over 9,400 employees, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and its affiliates—Arkansas Children's Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System—have a total economic impact in Arkansas of about $4.1 billion per year. UAMS receives less than 11% of its funding from the state. Its operation is funded by payments for clinical services (64%), grants and contracts (18%), philanthropy and other (5%), and tuition and fees (2%).

The Little Rock port is an intermodal river port with a large industrial business complex. It is designated as Foreign Trade Zone 14. International corporations such as Danish manufacturer LM Glasfiber have established new facilities adjacent to the port in recent years.

Little Rock was named 22nd out of 361 metropolitan areas as best places for business in 2005 by Forbes Magazine.

Moody's Investor Services ranks Little Rock as the second most diverse economy in the nation.

Along with Louisville and Memphis, Little Rock houses one of three branches of the St. Louis Federal Reserve district.

In addition, early in the 20th Century, Little Rock was home to brass era automobile maker Climber.[9]

The Brookings Institution ranks Little Rock as the 7th best metropolitan economy in the United States in 2009 with the second best overall growth from 2008 to 2009 after Des Moines.


William J. Clinton Presidential Library Photo of the library in downtown Little Rock
  • The Arkansas Arts Center, the state's largest cultural institution, is a museum of art and an active center for the visual and performing arts.
  • The William J. Clinton Presidential Center includes the Clinton presidential library and the offices of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton School of Public Service. The Library facility, designed by architect James Polshek, cantilevers over the Arkansas River, echoing Clinton's famous campaign promise of "building a bridge to the 21st century. The archives and library contains 2 million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, 21 million e-mail messages, and nearly 80,000 artifacts from the Clinton presidency. The museum within the library showcases artifacts from Clinton's term and includes a full-scale replica of the Clinton-era Oval Office.Opened on November 18, 2004, the Clinton Presidential Center cost $165 million to construct and covers 150,000 square feet (14,000 m²) within a 28 acre (113,000 m²) park.
  • The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History opened in 2001, the last remaining structure of the original Little Rock Arsenal and one of the oldest buildings in central Arkansas, it was also the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur who would go on to be the supreme commander of US forces in the South Pacific during World War II.
  • The Arkansas Museum of Discovery features hands-on exhibits in the fields of science, history and technology.
  • The Old State House Museum is a former state capitol building now home to a history museum focusing on Arkansas' recent history.
  • The Historic Arkansas Museum is a regional history museum focusing primarily on the frontier time period.


Colleges and universities

The city has two major universities that are part of the University of Arkansas System. The campuses of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are located within Little Rock.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock was founded in 1927 as Little Rock Junior College, under the supervision of the city Board of Education. The first semester open, there were eight instructors and about 100 students. The college is currently accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a status it has kept since 1929. Housed originally in public school buildings, the college moved in 1949 to its present location between University Ave and Fair Park Blvd, North of Asher Ave, on land donated by Raymond Rebsamen, a Little Rock businessman. The college was also the sole beneficiary of a continuing trust established by former Governor George W. Donaghey at the time. In 1957, the institution began a four-year degree program, became independent and privately supported under a separate board of trustees, and took the name Little Rock University.

In September 1969, The Little Rock University merged into the University of Arkansas System, to create the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The University of Arkansas System merger began a period of steady growth, which saw UALR go from about 3,500 students and 75 full-time faculty members in 1969 to about 10,000 students and over 400 full-time faculty members in the 1998 academic year. The University's expanded offerings now include 54 undergraduate major programs, an extensive schedule of night, weekend, and off-campus classes, and a wide range of community educational services. UALR began offering graduate and professional work in 1975. Besides the juris doctor offered at the William H. Bowen School of Law, UALR now has three doctoral programs and 29 graduate and professional programs, as well as joint programs with other campuses of the University of Arkansas System.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is part of the University of Arkansas System. UAMS has about 2200 students in six academic units: the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Health Related Professions, and Public Health and the Graduate School. UAMS also has more than 660 resident physicians completing their training at UAMS or at one of the seven Area Health Education Centers around the state. UAMS combines the patient care resources of a state-of-the art hospital and outpatient center with the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute. Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System are affiliates of UAMS.

The outreach efforts of UAMS include seven Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) in Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, El Dorado, Texarkana, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, and Helena, Arkansas; networks of senior health centers and centers for young children with special health care needs; and interactive video education and medical consultation services to community hospitals around the state. UAMS is the state’s largest basic and applied research institution with internationally renowned programs in multiple myeloma, aging, and other areas.

Located in downtown is the specialized Clinton School of Public Service, a branch of the University of Arkansas System, which offers a master's degree in public service.

The city is also home to two smaller, private historically black colleges, Philander Smith College and Arkansas Baptist College.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

President Bill Clinton led celebrations of the 40th anniversary of desegregation at Little Rock Central High School.

The public schools in Little Rock are operated by the Little Rock School District known by residents as LRSD. Currently, the district includes 64 schools with more schools being built. As of the 2005–2006 school year, the district has enrollment of 26,524. It has 5 high schools, 8 middle schools, 31 elementary schools, 1 early childhood (pre-kndergarten) center, 2 alternative schools, 1 adult education center, 1 accelerated learning center, 1 career-techinal center, and about 3,800 employees.

Public high schools in Little Rock include:

Private schools

Public libraries

The Central Arkansas Library System includes the main building downtown and numerous branches throughout the city as well as branches in Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, and Sherwood. The Pulaski County Law Library is located at the William H. Bowen School of Law


Hospitals in Little Rock include:

  • Arkansas Children's Hospital
  • Arkansas Heart Hospital
  • Baptist Health Medical Center
  • John C. McCellan Veterans Administration Complex
  • Arkansas State Hospital - Psychiatric Division
  • Pinnacle Pointe Hospital
  • St. Vincent Health System
    • St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center
    • St. Vincent Doctors Hospital
  • Southwest Regional Medical Center
  • University Hospital, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


  • Aerospace Education Center – IMAX Theater & EpiSphere Digital Dome Theater. The IMAX Theatre features a variety of science related items. Aviation exhibits on display are an original Sopwith Camel and a replica of the Wright Flyer.
  • Arkansas Arboretum – Located at Pinnacle Mountain, it has an interpretive trail with flora and tree plantings.
  • Arkansas Arts Center – the state's largest art museum, notable for its drawings, collections and children's theater productions. It features works by Van Gogh and Rembrandt among others. The museum has eight art galleries, a museum school, gift shop and restaurant.
  • Arkansas Repertory Theatre – The Rep is the state's largest professional not-for-profit theatre.The Rep
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – In its 41st season, the orchestra performs over 30 concerts a year and many special events.
  • Ballet Arkansas – The state's only professional ballet company.
  • Heifer International – headquarters of the global hunger and poverty relief organization, located adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Center
  • Quapaw Quarter – Turn of the century Little Rock includes three National Register historic districts with over a hundred buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available showing the many Victorian and Antebellum homes.
  • Robinson Center Music Hall – The main performance center of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
  • Villa Marre – An 1881 home of Italianate and Second Empire styles refurbished in the 1960s and shown in the opening scenes of the television show "Designing Women."
  • Wildwood Park for the Arts – The largest park dedicated to the performing arts in the South. It features year-round performances of opera, cabaret, and jazz, as well as seasonal festivals and cultural events.

Notable places


Some notable shopping locations in the city of Little Rock are:

University Avenue/Markham

Cantrell Road/Highway 10

  • Pleasant Ridge Town Center

Chenal Parkway

  • Promenade Chenal

Shackleford Road/Interstate 430

  • Shackleford Crossing

Retailers in Little Rock include Dillard's, J. C. Penney, Sears, Belk, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, and Kohl's. Additionally, several smaller and niche retailers can be found throughout the city, with corporations such as Gap Inc., Talbots, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Chico's each operating more than one company store concept in Little Rock.


Club League Venue Established Championships
Arkansas Travelers Texas League Dickey-Stephens Park 1895 9
Arkansas Diamonds Indoor Football League Verizon Arena 2000 0
Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans NCAASun Belt Conference Jack Stephens Center 1927 3
Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans NCAASun Belt Conference Gary Hogan Field 1927 0
Arkansas Rhinos North American Football League Mills High School 2000 1

Little Rock was home to the Arkansas Travelers. They are the AA professional Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the Texas League. The Travelers played their last game in Little Rock at Ray Winder Field on September 3, 2006, and moved into Dickey-Stephens Park in nearby North Little Rock in April 2007. Little Rock is scheduled to be home to the Little Rock Rivercatz of the American Basketball Association for the 2007–2008 season.

Little Rock is also home to the Arkansas Twisters of the Indoor Football League and the Arkansas RimRockers of the NBA Development League. Both of these teams play at the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

Little Rock is home to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans. The majority of the schools athletic teams are housed in the new state-of-the-art Jack Stephens Center. The Trojans play in the Sun Belt conference, where Arkansas State University is their chief rival.

Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium plays host to at least two University of Arkansas Razorback games each year. The stadium is known for being in the middle of a golf course. Each fall, the city closes the golf course on Razorback football weekends for fans to tailgate. It is estimated that over 80,000 people are present for the tailgating actitivities on these weekends. War Memorial also hosts the Arkansas High School football state championships, and starting in the fall of 2006 hosts one game apiece for the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Arkansas State University also plays at the stadium from time to time.

Little Rock was a host of the First and Second Rounds of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It has also been a host of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament.

The now defunct Arkansas RiverBlades and Arkansas GlacierCats, both minor-league hockey teams, were located in the Little Rock area. The GlacierCats of the now defunct Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) played in Little Rock at Barton Coliseum while the RiverBlades of the ECHL played at the Verizon Arena.

Hubert "Geese" Ausbie played basketball at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, where he earned All-Conference and All-American honors. He later gained fame as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

John Kocinski, 250 cc and World Superbike motorcycle racing champion, is from Little Rock.

World Champion Middleweight Boxer Jermain Taylor and NBA players Derek Fisher and Joe Johnson were born and/or have roots in Little Rock.



Little Rock's downtown River Rail Streetcar

A number of highways converge near Little Rock. I-40 passes through North Little Rock to the north. US 70 parallels I-40 into North Little Rock before multiplexing with I-30 at the Broadway exit (Exit 141B). US 67 and US 167 share the same route from the northeast before splitting. US 67 and US 70 multiplex with Interstate 30 to the southwest. US 167 multiplexes with US 65 and I-530 to the southeast. Other highways include I-430, I-440, I-530, and I-630. I-530 terminates in Little Rock after originating in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


Nine airlines serve 18 national/international gateway cities, e.g. St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, etc. from Little Rock National Airport. In 2006 they carried approximately 2.1 million passengers on approximately 150 daily flights to and from Little Rock.


Greyhound Lines serves Dallas, Memphis, Houston, and St. Louis, as well as intermediate points, with numerous connections to other cities and towns. Jefferson Lines serves Fort Smith, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City, as well as intermediate points, with numerous connections to other cities and towns. These carriers operate out of the North Little Rock bus station.


Amtrak serves the city twice daily via the Texas Eagle, with northbound service to Chicago and southbound service to San Antonio, as well as numerous intermediate points. Through service to Los Angeles and intermediate points operates three times a week. The train carries coaches, a sleeping car, a dining car, and a Sightseer Lounge car. Reservations are required.

Public transport

Within the city, public bus service is provided by the Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA). As of January 2010 CAT operates 21 regular fixed routes, 3 express routes, as well as special events shuttle buses and paratransit service for disabled persons. Of the 21 fixed route services, 14 offer daily service, 6 offer weekday service with limited service on Saturday, and one route runs exclusively on weekdays. The three express routes run on weekday mornings and afternoons.

Since November 2004, downtown areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock have been additionally served by the River Rail Electric Streetcar system, also operated by CATA.



The Arkansas Democrat Gazette is the largest newspaper in the city, as well as the state. As of March 31, 2006, Sunday circulation is 275,991 copies, while daily (Monday-Saturday) circulation is 180,662, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Daily legal and real estate news is also provided Monday through Friday in the Daily Record. Entertainment and political coverage is provided weekly in Arkansas Times and monthly in the Little Rock Free Press. Business and economics news is published weekly in Arkansas Business

In addition to area newspapers, the Little Rock market is served by a variety of magazines covering diverse interests. The publications include:

  • Little Rock Family
  • Little Rock Soiree
  • Inviting Arkansas
  • RealLIVING
  • At Home in Arkansas
  • AY Magazine


All major television networks have local affiliates in Little Rock, in addition to numerous independent stations. As for cable services, Comcast has a monopoly over Little Rock and the majority of Pulaski County. Some suburbs have the option of having Comcast, Charter or other cable companies.

Television stations in the Little Rock area include:

Call letters Number Network
KLRT 16 Fox


Founded in 1976, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the state’s largest nonprofit professional theatre company. A member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT D), The Rep has produced more than 300 productions, including 40 world premieres, in its historic building located in downtown Little Rock. Producing Artistic Director, Robert Hupp leads a resident staff of designers, technicians and administrators in the creation of eight to ten productions for an annual audience in excess of 70,000 for MainStage productions, educational programming and touring. The Rep produces works that range from contemporary comedies and dramas to world premiers and the classics of dramatic literature. For more information, visit The Rep


AM radio Stations in the Little Rock area include:

Call letters Frequency Format
KEWI 690 Variety
KMTL 760 Gospel
KLRG 880 Gospel
KARN 920 Talk
KJBN 1050 Religious
KAAY 1090 Christian
KCON 1230 Adult Contemporary
KPZK 1250 Urban/Hip Hop
KZTD 1350 Bright A/C-Talk
KDXE 1380 Total Sports
KTUV 1440 Gospel

FM radio stations in the Little Rock area include:

Call letters Frequency Format
KABF 88.3 Community radio
KUAR 89.1 News and info
KLRE-FM 90.5 Classical
KANX 91.1 Religious
KUCA 91.3 Classical
KIPR 92.3 Urban/Hip Hop
KASR 92.7 Sports
KKSP 93.3 Rock
KKPT 94.1 Classic Rock
KHKN 94.9 Adult Hits
KSSN 95.7 Country
KHTE-FM 96.5 Top 40
KWLR 96.9 Religious
KURB 98.5 Adult Contemporary
KDIS-FM 99.5 Children's
KDJE 100.3 Active Rock
KZTS 101.1 Urban/Hip Hop
KVLO 101.7 Gospel
KOKY 102.1 Adult R&B
KPZK-FM 102.5 Gospel
KARN-FM 102.9 News and Talk
KABZ 103.7 Sports Talk
KMJX 105.1 Country
KOLL 106.3 Adult Contemporary
KHLR 106.7 Gospel
KLAL 107.7 Top 40

Notable people

See also: List of people from Little Rock


Miscellaneous facts

Citizens of Little Rock are commonly referred to by the appellation, "Little Rockers." The city is referred to as "Rock Town" or simply "The Rock" by its citizens.

Federal Express was founded in 1971 by Frederick W. Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas, but moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1973 after Little Rock National Airport officials would not agree to provide facilities for the fledgling airline. The company is now known as FedEx Corporation.

Further reading

  • Greater Little Rock: a contemporary portrait, Letha Mills, 1990
  • The Atlas of Arkansas, Richard M. Smith 1989
  • Cities in the U.S.; The South, Fourth Edition, Volume 1, Linda Schmittroth, 2001
  • Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940-1970, John A. Kirk, 2002.
  • How We Lived: Little Rock as an American City, Frederick Hampton Roy, 1985

Sister cities

Friendship cities

See also


  1. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Arkansas, April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008" (CSV). 2008 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. July 1, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ "U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Programs and Project Management" (HTML). Pulaski County Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge Project Status. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Little Rock District - Programs and Project Management Division. August 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Bradbury, Cary (2007-11-14). "North Little Rock (Pulaski County)". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  5. ^ "NCDC: U.S. Climate Normals". 
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.178.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Recruitment Shooting Suspect Doesn't Think Killing Was Murder". Fox News (Associated Press). 9 June 2009.,2933,525584,00.html. Retrieved 20 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Scanlon, Jennifer (2009). Toff, Nancy. ed. Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown. Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-19-534205-5. 
  13. ^
  • Gailiano, Amanda. "Lets Get Historical - Early Arkansas." Cities and Towns 19 April 2006. [1]
  • "Average Climate in Little Rock, Arkansas." [2]

External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Duck royalty at the Peabody Hotel
Duck royalty at the Peabody Hotel

Little Rock [1] became the capital of the Arkansas Territory in 1819 and of the state of Arkansas in 1836. The city population was 184,564 (666,401 metro area) in 2007. The Combined Statistical area population which includes Pine Bluff had 841,326 people in 2007.


Little Rock lies at the center of the state, more-or-less where the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains, and the Mississipi Alluvial Plain (the "Delta") come together. Traveling east from Little Rock, you traverse flat land nearly all the way to the Mississippi River; traveling west you quickly enter hilly country.

Little Rock is Arkansas's largest city, as well as the state capital and major economic center (although northwestern Arkansas, with Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and major trucking firms, is rapidly gaining). Little Rock is home to the state's only medical school, as well as one of the two branches of the University of Arkansas law school.


Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called La Petite Roche (the "little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The original historic "little rock" was later dynamited and used as a foundation for a railroad bridge, but its location can be visited in downtown's Riverfront Park.

Little Rock is located at the first high that upstream travelers on the Arkansas River came to, and so was a logical place to found a settlement. When it became apparent that the original capital of Arkansas Territory, Arkansas Post, was too subject to flooding, the seat of government was moved to Little Rock in 1819.


Check the weather forecast for Little Rock from NOAA.

Temperatures range can reach above 90°F (32°C) in the summer, peaking in August and September, to below freezing in December and January. The most pleasant times of year to visit are fall and spring; the changing of the leaves in fall is particularly enticing.

Get in

By plane

Little Rock National Airport (IATA: LIT) (ICAO: KLIT), [2]. The Little Rock airport is located just east of downtown Little Rock, about 10 minutes from the Clinton Presidential Library. It is served by all major airlines. Southwest Airlines is the airport's largest carrier with service to seven destinations. The airport has a single, 12-gate terminal building.

Airlines and destinations

By train

Amtrak's Texas Eagle between Los Angeles and Chicago has a stop in Little Rock, but the schedule is late at night and not very reliable. The westbound train from Chicago is scheduled to arrive at 3:10AM, and the eastbound train from L.A. by way of Dallas is scheduled to arrive at 11:34PM.

By car

Little Rock is located at the intersection of Interstates 40 and 30, about two hours west of Memphis, five hours east of Oklahoma City, and five hours northeast of Dallas. I-530 and U.S. Route 167 also lead into the city.

Interstates 430 and 440 nearly encircle the metropolitan area, and I-630 runs from downtown westward to end at I-430.

By bus

Greyhound [3] ,118 E Washington, +1 501 372-3007)

  • River Rail Trolleys [4]

In November of 2004, in time for the grand opening of the Clinton Library, Little Rock's River Rail Trolley system was completed. Children ride free; adult fare is $1 per ride, or $2 for a day pass. The trolley will take you to most of the major downtown attractions, as well as across the Arkansas River to downtown North Little Rock.

You can pick up a River Rail schedule from any of the hotels or downtown attractions. It passes by every 15 minutes or so. The trolley is a fun, easy way to get around downtown Little Rock.

By car

If you'd like to see more than Downtown, a car is your best bet.

While taxis aren't as common a sight in Little Rock as they are in Dallas or Atlanta, they are available. You'll definitely be able to find one at the airport, and probably you'll see one pass through downtown if you're patient. A better plan would be to call in advance. You can call Capitol Cab at (501) 570-9999.

If you're renting a car: I-630 runs from east/west from downtown to the edge of west Little Rock; for most attractions you won't go too far north or too far south of 630.

Be aware while driving that east Little Rock is pretty much flat, whereas west Little rock can get extremely hilly.

The River Rail streetcar tracks on Markham, Second, and Third Streets near the River Market and Clinton Library in downtown Little Rock and Main and Maple Streets in North Little Rock present a hazard to street parking. It would probably be wise to walk or ride the trolleys to visit these streets.

  • Central Arkansas Transit Authority [5]

Unlike the River Rail Trolleys, the city bus travels city-wide. One way fare is $1.25 for adults.

By bike

Little Rock has a large population of cyclists. There is a large mixed use pedestrian and bike loop connecting both North Little Rock and Little Rock's downtown corridors. There are bike rental places such as River Trail Rentals, +1 (501) 374-5505‎, that are located along the Arkansas River Trail [6].

Proceed with caution while traveling downtown in the River Market area. There are no dedicated bike paths other than the Arkansas River Trail, and the River Rail Trolley tracks have deep ruts which can knock off cyclists not paying attention.


East Little Rock

The eastern edge of Little Rock is sparsely populated but is a vital economic area, as Little Rock National Airport and Little Rock River Port are both located here.

  • Aerospace Education Center [7], 3301 E Roosevelt Rd., +1 501 376-4629. Located at Little Rock National Airport. Features a collection of historic aircraft, an IMAX theater, and the EpiSphere, the world's first single-projector digital planetarium. The aircraft collection includes an authentic Sopwith Camel, the only one in the United States and one of only seven still in existence. A branch of the Central Arkansas Library System is also located here.
  • Audubon Society Little Rock Nature Center [8]


Many of Little Rock's most interesting attractions are found in its downtown area.

The Little Rock Nine at the State Capitol
The Little Rock Nine at the State Capitol
  • Arkansas State Capitol, no address, Woodlane St. and Capitol Ave., M-F 7AM-5PM. Completed in 1915, is of some interest as it was modeled after the U.S. Capitol, and as a result, it has been used in several movies. If the legislature is not in session, you may visit the Senate and House chambers. The Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Arkansas Law Enforcement Memorial, and a monument honoring the Little Rock Nine are located on the grounds. An interesting tidbit of trivia: the capitol occupies the former site of the state penitentiary.
  • Arkansas Studies Institute [9], 401 President Clinton Ave., +1 501 918-3056. The largest facility dedicated to the study of Arkansas history, housed in two historic buildings (built in 1882 and 1914) adjoined by a present-day structure. The Main Library of the Central Arkansas Library System is next door.
  • Central Arkansas Library System Main Library [10], 100 Rock St., +1 501 918-3000. The largest public library in Arkansas. The building is the former warehouse of the Fones Brothers Hardware Company (founded in 1865, ceased operation in 1987), completed in 1920. In 1993, the city approved a bond to restore the building, and the library eventually moved there in 1997.
Central High
Central High
  • Central High School National Historic Site and Museum, 2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Dr., +1 501 374-1957, [11]. M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM, Su 1PM-4:30PM. Free. This National Historic Site is dedicated to the Central High integration crisis of 1957. The visitor center houses a permanent exhibition on the event and the iconic facade of the school can be viewed from across the street. Reservations are mandatory to tour the school as it is an operating school, and you are asked not to enter it on your own.
  • Daisy Bates House, 1207 W 28th St. The home of Little Rock's most celebrated civil rights leader who mentored the Little Rock Nine. The house is a private residence and is not open to the public.
  • EMOBA (Ernie's Museum on Black Arkansans) [12], 12th and Louisiana, +1 501 372-0018. This museum housed in the historic First Baptist Church celebrates the colorful culture, history, and heritage of African American people in Arkansas. (Still under construction, and contributions necessary)
  • Heifer International Center, 1 World Ave., +1 800 422-0474, [13]. Located next to the Clinton Presidential Center, a nonprofit dedicated to caring for the earth and ending hunger and poverty. Visit their internationally recognized Green Headquarters building that has earned the highest LEED award. This is a great place to visit for everyone of all ages.
    • Heifer Village [14], located behind the Heifer International Center, is an interactive museum and learning center designed to educate the public about a pristine, unspoiled world without poverty and hunger, the stated goal of Heifer International.
  • Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E Third St., +1 501 324-9351, [15]. Preserves four historic antebellum homes, also has a gallery with changing exhibits. General admission free. Guided tours: adults $2.50, children $1
    • Brownlee House was built by a stonemason who also built the Old State House.
    • Hinderliter Grog Shop is the oldest building in Little Rock.
    • McVicar House
    • Woodruff Print Shop The Arkansas Gazette, founded in 1819 by William Woodruff, has the distinction of being the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. It is still in print today, although it is now called the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette as a result of a merger with the Arkansas Democrat.
  • KATV-7 Building, 401 Main St. This 1928 building that now houses Little Rock's ABC affiliate was once the headquarters of the W. B. Worthen Banking Corporation, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bank is today still in operation, though its name has disappeared into a triple merger, first by Boatmen's, then NationsBank, and now Bank of America.
  • Kramer School Artists Cooperative [16], 715 Sherman St., +1 501 372-5338. A former elementary school built in 1895 which held its last classes in 1978, the building was later saved from the wrecking ball in 1997 and converted into living and work space for artists. The exterior of the building is in the Romanesque Revival architectural style.
  • Little Rock National Cemetery [17], 2523 Confederate Blvd. Final resting place for more than 25,000 American war veterans; currently closed to new internments.
  • MacArthur Park (Bounded by 9th St. to the north, I-630 to the south, Commerce St. to the west, and McMath Ave. to the east) This city park is built around the old Little Rock Arsenal, where Douglas MacArthur was born in 1880. Lots of room to walk around, picnic, and play. Bring a loaf of bread to feed the numerous ducks in the ponds. The park also has two museums within its boundary:
    • Arkansas Arts Center [18] 9th and Commerce, +1 501 372-4000. Includes a museum school, children's theater, and a wonderful art gallery. The gallery is home to works of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe, Rembrandt and Dale Chihuly, to name a few. The Museum School is a great place to learn or develop art skills. Children's Theatre productions are on most weekends during the school year.
    • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History [19] 503 E Ninth St., +1 501 376-4602. The museum, housed in its namesake's birthplace and the only surviving structure from the Old Arsenal, features military-related exhibits from the nineteenth century to the present. Also located nearby is the Arkansas Korean War Memorial which was unveiled on June 25, 2007.
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center [20] 9th and Broadway, +1 501 683-3593. The original headquarters of the Mosaic Templars (a black fraternal organization, now defunct save for a single chapter in Barbados), destroyed by fire in 2005, has been reconstructed to house a cultural center dedicated to the history and culture of black people.
  • Mount Holly Cemetery, 1200 S Broadway. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and known by the nickname "The Westminster Abbey of Arkansas", this historic nineteenth-century cemetery is the final resting place for many noteworthy Arkansans. Among the most notable: David Owen Dodd, the "Boy Martyr of the Confederacy"; Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Gould Fletcher; and William Woodruff, founder of the Arkansas Gazette, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. Also buried here are 10 former Arkansas governors, 14 former Arkansas Supreme Court Justices, 21 former mayors of Little Rock, and 6 former U.S. Senators.
  • Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Ave., Ste 150, +1 800 880-6475, [21]. Science and history museum with interactive exhibits. Great for kids. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM. Adults $6.35, children $5.85.
  • The Old State House [22], 300 W Markham, +1 501 324-9685. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Oldest surviving state capitol building west of the Mississippi. It is now a state history museum, where you can see the old House of Representatives Chamber. The museum also has a permanent collection of history-related exhibits, and temporary exhibits are shown occasionally. If you have kids, don't miss Grandmother's Cottage, a hands-on room where visitors can examine with a variety of objects from the 1920s-30s. Free.
  • Peabody Hotel Ducks (see "Sleep" below for website) Even if you aren't planning on staying at Little Rock's first class Peabody Hotel, stop by and see the ducks that swim in the fountain in the lobby. They march into the fountain daily at 11AM and out of it at 5PM.
  • Quapaw Quarter [23] Adjacent to downtown Little Rock is a residential area made up of 19th century Victorian homes, including the Governor's Mansion. Most of the homes are privately owned; however, twice a year (the first weekend in May and the first weekend in December), several of the homes are opened to the public and can be toured. Of note is the Villa Marre, dating from 1881, which was used in the TV sitcom Designing Women as the home of the interior design company.
    • Arkansas Governor's Mansion, 1800 Center St., +1 501 324-9805, [24]. Also seen in Designing Women, as Suzanne Sugarbaker's home. No admission fee for tours, but they must be scheduled in advance.
  • The River Market, [25] M-Sa 7AM-6PM, Closed Su. There are more than a dozen permanent vendors, and Farmer's Markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays 7AM-3PM May-Oct.
  • Riverfront Park This beautiful downtown park overlooking the Arkansas River is the site of La Petite Roche ("the little rock"), the rock formation for which the city is named. In addition, the park hosts the annual Riverfest celebration every Memorial Day weekend. An outdoor amphitheater for concerts is also located here.
  • Trapnall Hall [26] 423 E Capitol, +1 501 324-9716. A historic antebellum house that may be rented to host special events.
  • Union Station, Markham and Victory. Although now a shadow of its former self save for occasional Amtrak service, Union Station still retains most of its late nineteenth-century atmosphere.
The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library
The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library
  • William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Park, 1200 President Clinton Ave., +1 501 374-4242, [27] The eleventh Presidential Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, and the largest in the system, is dedicated to the fellow Arkansan and the 42nd President. A huge collection of memorabilia from Clinton's two terms as President, including a replica of the Oval Office. Look also for the Clinton School of Public Service - it is housed in an old Rock Island station built in 1899.
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center [28] 602 President Clinton Ave., +1 501 907-0636. Features an aquarium, a taxidermy collection, and part of the Arkansas River Trail.
  • The Heights and Hillcrest [29] Two affluent neighborhoods with a small-town charm. Beginning at Stifft Station on Markham St. and ending at University Ave., Kavanaugh Blvd. winds through both neighborhoods, following the route of a now-defunct streetcar line. Cantrell Rd. forms the boundary between the two neighborhoods, with The Heights to the north and Hillcrest to the south. Many of the city's most popular restaurants are located along Kavanaugh, along with art galleries and odd and interesting shops, both funky and upscale. Hillcrest is mix of mid-priced houses and apartments along with fine old houses. The Heights represents more of the old-money Little Rock Country Club crowd. These were the city's most exclusive neighborhoods until the boom in expensive subdivisions in the far west (e.g., Chenal Valley and Hickory Hills).
    • 4910 Club Road, in The Heights neighborhood, is an oft-seen eyesore. On October 20, 2008, Anne Pressly, a KATV-7 anchorwoman and actress was found severely beaten in her home here; she died five days later. On July 13, 2009, the home was demolished.
  • War Memorial Park A golf course, fitness center, and public swimming pool are all located here. Also features:
    • Little Rock Zoo [30] 1 Jonesboro Dr., +1 501 666-2406. Many different animals from all over the world. In addition, the zoo's entrance plaza contains "Over the Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel", a National Register of Historic Places entry with an unusual distinction - it's the world's only waving carousel.
    • War Memorial Stadium [31]. The stadium hosts two University of Arkansas home football games, high school football, and concerts. Even if there's no event going on, stop by and look at the Sturgis Memorial Plaza at the stadium's main entrance.

West Little Rock

Not too many years ago Little Rock essentially ended about where I-430 now runs, but in recent years the pace of development in the western part of the city has been rapid, in both commercial and residential areas. Big box stores, chain restaurants, new hotels, and apartment complexes and subdivions stretch for miles west of I-630, especially along Chenal Parkway, West Markham Street, and Cantrell, Bowman, and Shackleford Roads.

  • C. Maurice Lewis Jr. Natural Resource Complex, 2 Natural Resources Dr. (off Markham St., east of Shackleford Rd. and I-430). The headquarters of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission [32]. You can obtain an Arkansas hunting or fishing license here (it is required by state law, even for non-residents) if you're planning to hunt or fish in the Natural State. If those don't suit your interest, at least just drop by and visit the exhibition gallery.
  • Pinnacle Mountain State Park, [33] (Located along State Route 300, off Cantrell Rd.) Scaling Pinnacle can be accomplished easily in an afternoon. The peak provides a great view of the Arkansas River and the surrounding country. No climbing experience necessary. West trail up the mountain is fairly easy; East trail is much steeper. Several miles of trails allow hikes of various lengths; there's also canoeing and fishing (an Arkansas fishing license is required) on the Little Maumelle and Big Maumelle rivers. Good birdwatching and wildflower-looking. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail starts here and goes all the way to Oklahoma.
  • Wildwood Park for the Arts, [34] (Located at 20919 Denny Rd., east off Chenal Parkway)is home to Little Rock's Unique Botanical Gardens. Wildwood Park has expanded its focus to include a full range of the arts, including the performing, literary, culinary, visual, healing and horticultural arts. A 105-acre park, pavillions, gardens and 625-seat theatre complex make Wildwood one of the State's most valuable natural and cultural resources.

North Little Rock

North Little Rock [35] is an independent city just across the Arkansas River from downtown Little Rock.

  • Argenta Historic District Located in the original downtown of North Little Rock next to the new Stephens Ballpark, one of the oldest preserved neighborhoods in central Arkansas. Argenta is a wonderful example of neighborhood renovation, where citizens and the Main Street program worked together to turn a neighborhood completely around.
  • Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum [36], 120 Riverfront Park Dr., +1 501 371-8320. Tour the WWII era submarine USS Razorback, named after a red-skinned South Pacific whale, not the University of Arkansas mascot (submarines were named after aquatic animals during WWII). Important: Touring the submarine requires climbing ladders and passing through narrow, enclosed spaces. This tour is not recommended for children under the age of 5 or for persons who are claustrophobic. Appropriate footwear and clothing are also necessary - no high heels, flip-flop shoes, or long skirts.
  • Burns Park (Exit 150 off I-40) One of the largest city parks in the country, alongside the Arkansas River. Two golf courses, hiking and bike trails, playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball fields, and a miniature amusement park. It's also home to part of the Arkansas River Trail (see "Do" below), that crosses the Arkansas River over the Big Dam Bridge.
  • Camp Robinson (Exit 150 off I-40, then north on Military Dr.) National Guard base with on-site museum [37] (free admission) open to the public.
  • Dickey-Stephens Park hosts the Arkansas Travelers baseball team (see "Do" below).
  • Little Rock Air Force Base [38], in the neighboring town of Jacksonville, is the Department of Defense's only C-130 training facility, and has the Air Force's largest fleet of the type.
  • The Old Mill, Lakeshore and Fairway. Famous for having been in the introductory scenes of the movie Gone With the Wind (for about six seconds).
  • Verizon Arena, 1 Alltel Arena Way, [39]. This 18,000-seat indoor arena is home to the Arkansas Twisters arena football team (see "Do" below), and also hosts concerts, ice shows, and other events.


Annual Events

Arkansas State Fair

The Arkansas State Fair [40] is held every October at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, located south of downtown. Even when the fair is not in season, the fairgrounds play host to many other special events such as sports competitions and trade shows.


Riverfest [41] is Little Rock's premier cultural arts festival, held every Memorial Day weekend in downtown's Riverfront Park. It is known for its art exhibitions and live entertainment - but don't miss the conclusion of the event which is a spectacular fireworks display over the Arkansas River.

Other Events

  • Greek Food Festival [42], held every May at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1100 Napa Valley Drive, in west Little Rock. Despite the name, the fare also includes Israeli, Russian, and Lebanese flavor to name a few.
  • Little Rock Film Festival [43], held every May.
  • Little Rock Marathon [44], a citywide race held in March drawing several thousand participants.
  • Movies in the Park [45]. On Wednesday nights in June and July, enjoy free (we'll say it again: free) movies under the stars at the Riverfest Amphitheatre.
  • Pinnacle Mountain Rendezvous In October, step back in time at this reenactment of a 19th century pioneer rendezvous, held in Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
  • World Fest [46], a multicultural celebration sponsored by the city's Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission, held in September in MacArthur Park.

Convention Centers

Little Rock has two city-owned convention centers, the Statehouse Convention Center and Robinson Center, located downtown [47]. The Statehouse Convention Center is connected to the Peabody Hotel. Robinson Center adjoins the Doubletree Hotel, contains a performing arts theatre and is home to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra [48] and Ballet Arkansas [49].

The privately owned Clear Channel Metroplex [50] in west Little Rock also hosts conventions.

Sports and Leisure

For those who want to get off the beaten path, Little Rock offers a wide range of sports and leisure activities.

  • Arkansas Queen [51], 100 Riverfront Park Drive in North Little Rock, (501) 372-5777. Lunch and dinner cruises with live entertainment are available.
  • Arkansas River Trail [52]. A great place to exercise by walking, running, roller skating, or cycling. The trail runs from downtown Little Rock west along the Arkansas River to the Big Dam Bridge, crosses it, and runs back east to downtown North Little Rock. Soon you'll be able to make a circuit when the downtown hike-bike bridges over the river are finished.
  • Arkansas Skatium [53], 1311 Bowman Road, 501-227-4333. Dual ice and roller skating facility. Learn how to figure skate or play hockey if you don't know already. Or if roller skating is your interest, the roller side has speed skating and women's roller derby.
  • Camp Aldersgate [54], 2000 Aldersgate Road, 501-225-1444. For children with disabilities or other special needs.
  • Gator Park [55], 11411 W. Baseline Road/11000 S. Interstate 30, (501) 455-3750. Miniature golf, go-carts, bumper boats; perfect for kids.
  • Golf is a popular activity in Little Rock. Both public and private courses; country club membership may apply.
  • Jim Dailey Aquatic and Fitness Center [56], 300 South Monroe, (501) 664-6976. Located in War Memorial Park.
  • Playtime Pizza [57] 600 Colonel Glenn Plaza Loop (behind the Rave movie theatre), 501-227-PLAY. There is a good reason to place this listing here and not under "Eat": consider it a Chuck E. Cheese's on steroids. Here you'll find an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, video arcade, go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, miniature golf, rock climbing wall, and ten-pin bowling alley, all under one roof.
  • Riley's Health and Fitness Centers [58], four locations.
  • See a movie at UA Breckenridge Village 12 (1200 Breckenridge Drive, 501-224-0992, online ticketing at Fandango) or Rave Motion Pictures Colonel Glenn 18 (18 Colonel Glenn Plaza Drive, 501-687-0499, online ticketing at, both of which have digital projection, stadium seating and surround sound. For the ultimate film experience, the Chenal 9 [59] (17825 Chenal Parkway, 501-821-2616, online ticketing at features a full-scale IMAX screen. Independent films are shown at Market Street Cinema [60] (1521 Merrill Drive, 501-312-8900, no online ticketing available).
  • Wild River Country [61], 6820 Crystal Hill Road, North Little Rock. 501-753-8600. This waterpark, the largest in Arkansas, makes the perfect getaway during the spring and summer. Located across the Arkansas River from west Little Rock.
  • Willow Springs [62], 3903 Willow Lake Road, 501-888-4148. Another great waterpark, also the oldest in Little Rock, open since 1928. Located south of downtown.
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Little Rock [63], Westside branch in West Little Rock, Carver branch downtown, and Heflin branch in North Little Rock.
  • Arkansas Repertory Theatre [64], 601 Main St., +1 866 6THEREP or +1 501 378-0405. Live stage performances.
  • The Community Theatre of Little Rock, [65], 5821 Cantrell Rd., +1 501 663-9494.
  • Murry's Dinner Playhouse [66], 6323 Colonel Glenn Rd., +1 501 562-3131. Enjoy both a gourmet buffet meal and a live stage production at this local favorite, open since 1967.
  • The Village [67] 3915 S University Ave., +1 501 570-0300. A new concert venue housed in a local landmark - the UA Cinema 150 [68], a circular movie theater from the 1960s.
  • The Weekend Theatre [69], 7th and Chester, +1 501 374-3761. A community-based theater open to amateur acting.
  • Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts [70], 20919 Denny Rd., +1 501 821-7275. Appreciate the art of live theater in the lush setting of a botanical garden.
  • Arkansas Razorbacks [71], two University of Arkansas football games at War Memorial Stadium.
  • Arkansas Travelers [72], class AA minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Plays in Dickey-Stephens Park, a new (2007) ballpark in North Little Rock just across the river from downtown.
  • Arkansas Twisters [73], member of Arena Football 2. Play in Verizon Arena.
  • UALR Trojans [74], member of the Sun Belt Conference. Jack Stephens Center (see "Learn" below for link).


Visit official websites for addresses and contact information.

  • Arkansas Baptist College [75]
  • ITT Technical Institute Little Rock [76]
  • Philander Smith College [77]
  • Pulaski Technical College [78]
  • Shorter College [79]
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock [80]
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences [81]
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law [82]
  • Arkansas School for the Deaf [83] and Blind [84]


Several large corporations are based in Little Rock.

  • Park Plaza [90], 6000 W Markham. Midtown mall.
  • Midtowne Center [91], across University Ave. from Park Plaza, features upscale retailers.
  • Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Rd. West Little Rock's newest upscale center.
  • McCain Mall [92], 3929 McCain Blvd., North Little Rock.
  • River Market District [93], numerous retailers downtown.
  • The Shoppes at North Hills (Coming Soon) [94]. This open-air center in North Little Rock will be anchored by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.
  • Shackleford Crossing Shackleford Rd. at I-430.
  • Boscos [95], Microbrewery with upscale pizza, pub food, and more.
  • Gusano's [96], Chicago style pizza and bar located in the River Market.
  • Juanita's Cafe and Bar [97], a long-time favorite Mexican restaurant which often features name bands in the adjoining bar.
  • Sticky Fingerz Rock and Roll Chicken Shack [98] has a musical lineup worth checking out while you're in town.
  • Vinos [99]. Billed as Little Rock's original brewpub and serves handcrafted ales, pizza, calzones, and is the place in Arkansas to find premier alternative entertainment, but it also makes for a fine restaurant. The place for LR's tattoo and piercing crowd, but also friendly to older folks.
  • 1620 Restaurant, 1620 Market St., +1 501 221-1620. A diverse menu and nightly specials are some of the reasons the patrons keep coming back. Fresh seafood such as Ahi tuna, grouper, sea bass, Escalar, Dover sole, and walleye are regularly found on the menu or as a feature, which changes nightly.
  • Bonefish Grill [100], 11525 Cantrell Rd. #901, +1 501 217-0221. Straight from the ocean to your table, fish is flown in, inspected and hand-cut daily, and then prepared over a wood-burning grill.
  • Butcher Shop Steak House 10825 Hermitage Rd., +1 501 312-2748. Casual, welcoming atmosphere for families and business meetings. USDA choice and prime steaks, hand cut on premises. Also have fish, pastas, chicken and more.
  • Cafe' 201 [101], 201 S Shackleford in Crowne Plaza Hotel, +1 501 223-3000. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Classic American Cuisine featuring the fine steaks. Locals and guests alike enjoy the friendly service in a sophisticated atmosphere.
  • Capers [102], 14502 Cantrell Rd., +1 501 868-7600. California wine country theme. Menu focus on fresh ingredients. Fresh fish, hand-cut steaks, chicken, pasta, etc. Comfortable romantic setting with full bar. Wine spectator award winner for five years.
  • Chee Burger Chee Burger 11525 Cantrell Rd. Ste. 905, +1 501 490-2433.
  • Chili's Grill and Bar 10700 N Rodney Parham Rd., +1 501 224-0455. Burgers, seafood, steaks, salads, carb-friendly items, beer, wine, full bar, lots of seating room, tex-mex flair, southwestern grill. Kids menus.
  • Coffee Beanery Cafe [103], 17200 Chenal Pkwy., +1 501 821-7747. American fare, afternoon tea service, childrens men, outdoor dining, free parking, group discounts, full ADA, smoke free. Wi-Fi.
  • Corky's Ribs and Barbecue 12005 Westhaven Dr., +1 501 954-7427.
  • Cozymel's Mexican Grill 10 Shackleford Dr., (Walking distance of Crowne Plaza.) +1 501 954-7100. Celebrates the rich culture, cuisine and family traditions of Mexico. Authentically prepared, expertly seasoned fresh seafood and prime steaks, slow-roasted pork, flavorful grilled beef and chicken, and distinctive signature sauces recall the rich tastes of a Mexican resort. The sumptuous aromas from the open kitchens and a selection of specialty margaritas and tropical drinks promise an adventurous dining experience. Call for group menu.
  • Crew Restaurant 11525 Cantrell Rd.
  • Delicious Temptations 11220 N Rodney Parham Rd., +1 501 225-6893.
  • Faded Rose West 400 N Bowman Rd., +1 501 224-3377. Sandwiches, seafood, fish, steaks. Full Bar, extensive wine list, handicapped accessible, non smoking Section. (There's another location in the Riverdale area.)
  • Gaucho's Grill 11 Shackleford Dr., +1 501 821-2818.
  • Grumpy's Too Neighborhood Bar and Grill 1801 Green Mountain Dr.
  • Gypsy's Grill and Bar 11401 Rodney Parham Rd., +1 501 225-4152. Specializing in world cuisine with a strong French emphasis. A lot of fresh seafood, Chateaubriand, duck, lamb, veal and Grand Marnier and chocolate souffles.
  • Imagine-A Restaurant 11525 Cantrell Rd., +1 501 801-5530.
  • Izzy's Famous Food Place 5601 Ranch Dr., +1 501 868-4311. Southern hand rolled hot tamales, brick oven pizzas, 14 freshly made salads, hand prepared burgers. Group menu is available, as well as separate checks for groups.
  • Jasmine's #27 Rahling Cir., +1 501 821-1838.
  • Jason's Deli 301 N Shackleford Rd., (Across from Crowne Plaza) +1 501 954-8700.
  • Johnny Carino's 11600 Pleasant Ridge Rd., +1 501 225-3434.

Captures the bold flavors, the simple values and the colorful lifestyle of the Italian countryside. It is a place that has a passion for food, family, sharing and generosity. Every meal is a little celebration.

  • Julie's 110 S Shackleford Rd., +1 501 224-4501. (across from Crowne Plaza) Locally owned restaurant that has been in business for 25 years. Quiet, comfortable atmosphere, great for conversation and a relaxed lunch or dinner out. The menu is diverse with an emphasis on hand cut steaks, prime rib and seafood. Something for everyone, kids menus, casual dress and a separate bar.
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts 1315 S Shackleford Rd., (next to Hampton Inn and Suites) +1 501 225-1699. Hot and tasty treats, great for kids and families. Full variety of doughnuts, gourmet coffee, cappuccino, juices and milk.
  • Mimi’s Café 11725 Chenal Pkwy., +1 501 221-3883.
  • On The Border 11721 Chenal Pkwy., +1 501 217-9275.
  • Outback Steakhouse 105 Markham Park Dr., +1 501 221-7655.
  • P.F. Chang's China Bristo 317 S Shackleford Rd., (next to Crowne Plaza) +1 501 225-4424.
  • Purple Cow II 11602 Chenal Pkwy., +1 501 224-4433. Two locations offer the same menu - with choices for all family members. The restaurants are the combination of a 50's diner, a soda fountain, and a burger joint, featuring hand-dipped shakes and malts and soda fountain treats; great burgers and a variety of sandwiches, homemade soups and chili; and a popular selection of entree salads; and a daily Purple platter special; on week-ends, brunch items. A smoke-free restaurant.
  • Romano's Macaroni Grill 11100 West Markham St., (walking distance of Crowne Plaza) +1 501 221-3150.
  • Sekisui Sushi Bar & Hibachi Grill 219 North Shackleford Rd., (walking distance of Crowne Plaza) +1 501 221-7070.
  • Star of India 301 N Shackleford Rd., +1 501 227-9900.
  • West End Smokehouse and Tavern 215 N Shackleford Rd., (walking distance of Crowne Plaza) +1 501 224-7665.
  • Buffalo Grill A traditional LR favorite for burgers, fries (excellent), nachos, sandwiches, beer, etc., etc. It's all nicely done. Locations in the Riverdale area and in west Little Rock.
  • Canon Grill In the middle of Hillcrest, this friendly, inexpensive spot offers Mexican-style dishes.
  • Damgoode Pies Locations on Cantrell Road and in Hillcrest with some of the best pizza in town.
  • The Oyster Bar A longtime neighborhood favorite in Stifft Station-Hillcrest with shrimp, oysters, po-boys, and draft Bass and Guinness. A contender for best jukebox in town.
  • Pizza D'Action A smoky hangout for the young and hip crowd at Stifft Station on Markham Street. (They get around the no-smoking law by declaring themselves a bar and barring the under-21s).
  • U.S. Pizza There are several locations of this popular locally based chain, including Hillcrest, the Heights, and Rodney Parham Road.
  • Vino's (See Downtown)
  • Whole Hog Cafe [104]. Excellent Southern barbecue and winner of many awards (including some from the renowned Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest)
  • Brave New Restaurant 2300 Cottondale Lane. 663-2677. Good luck finding this place, hidden in an office building in the Riverdale area. Once you get there, though, you'll be in one of the top handful of restaurants in town, where chef Peter Brave offers a menu of fresh ingredients in a setting overlooking the Arkansas River.
  • Cafe Prego Unpretentious Italian place in the Heights, with an amazing collection of ... stuff on the walls. Try the Chicken Prego, the focaccia (thicker and breadier than most), and by all means the Chocolate Creme Brulee. Outside seating in good weather.
  • Ciao A friendly Italian restaurant in a storefront on 7th Street downtown.
  • Ciao Bacci, Located in a cozy Hillcrest home converted into a restaurant (that used to be the original Andre's). Very good appetizers and entrees, extensive wine list, and open very late. A good place for dinner or for just hanging out with appetizers and wine. A little expensive, but good prices for the quality.
  • Faded Rose New Orleans and Creole/Cajun-style food might be the focus here, but it also has excellent steaks. Locations in the Riverdale area and in west Little Rock.
  • Ferneau 2601 Kavanaugh Boulevard. 603-9208. Excellent (and fairly pricey) food in a popular spot in the heart of Hillcrest, presided over by one of Little Rock's best chefs.
  • Forbidden City in Park Plaza is a quasi-elegant Chinese restaurant.
  • Franke's Cafeteria Three locations serving good cafeteria-style food.
  • Loca Luna Eclectic food: a mix of southern, Southwestern, with maybe a touch of Italian and Mexican. (Example: barbecue chicken pizza with cranberry tequila sauce.) Good nightly specials, or try the old faithful pot roast. Great meatloaf (!) at lunch. Reasonably priced wine. Outside seating.
  • Mt. Fuji Enjoy the best cuisine from Japan in a fine setting. Also has a gift shop that sells Japanese goods.
  • Star of India Lots of good Indian food for the money, from a long menu of traditional Indian dishes. Good service, and owner Sami goes out of his way to please customers. Indian beer, too.
  • Trio's Fine food and fine service in an upscale mini-mall on Cantrell Road. On nearly all locals' lists of LR favorites. Outside seating.
  • The Villa Good, reliable Italian restaurant. Thrice relocated, it has been a Little Rock institution since 1951.
  • The Flying Saucer [105]. In the heart of the River Market area downtown.
  • Crush Wine Bar, [106]. Winnner of Best wine list in Arkansas. Located in the River Market area downtown.


The opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in 2004 nearly caused Little Rock's hotels to burst at the seams, and the number of visitors to the city is growing. It would be nearly impossible to list all the best hotels here. Note, however, that the designations of Budget, Mid-range, and Splurge do not necessarily reflect price range, and also apply to the quality of accommodations and amenities.

  • Comfort Inn and Suites Little Rock Airport 4301 E Roosevelt Rd., +1 501 376-2466 [107]
  • Days Inn and Suites 3200 Bankhead Dr., +1 501 490-2010
  • Holiday Inn Express Airport 3121 Bankhead Dr., +1 501 490-4000
  • Comfort Inn and Suites Downtown 707 I-30, +1 501 687-7700 [108]
  • Comfort Inn West 300 Markham Center Dr., +1 501 227-0120 [109]
  • Holiday Inn Express West 4900 Tally Rd., +1 501 224-2600
  • Candlewood Suites 10520 W Markham Rd., +1 877 226-3539
  • Holiday Inn at the Presidential Center 600 Interstate 30, 1-501-375-2100. The closest hotel to the Clinton Library.
  • AmeriSuites Little Rock/Financial Center [110], 10920 Financial Center Pkwy, (501) 225-1075. Located in the heart of the financial district and only eight miles west of downtown Little Rock.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Little Rock Downtown [111] 320 S Commerce St., 1-501-244-0600. Located just 2 blocks from the banks of the Arkansas River in the revitalized downtown River Market district.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Little Rock [112], 1301 Shackleford Road, (501) 537-3000. Located in the heart of the financial district.
  • Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock Hotel [113], #2 Riverfront Place. On the north bank of the Arkansas River, in the heart of downtown North Little Rock - just one mile from the downtown Little Rock business district, seven miles from Little Rock National Airport and just a few blocks from the Statehouse Convention Center and Alltel Arena.
  • The Peabody Hotel [114], 3 Statehouse Plaza, (501) 906-4000. Little Rock's grand hotel, famous for its ducks. In addition, it adjoins the Statehouse Convention Center. Operated by the same company as the famous Peabody in downtown Memphis.
  • The Capital Hotel [115], Markham & Louisiana, 501-374-7474 or 1-877-637-0037. Just went through a multimillion-dollar renovation, regaining its spot as the classiest place to stay in Little Rock. Located downtown across the street from the Peabody and within walking distance of the River Market. Even if you can't afford to stay here, drop in to check out the beautiful lobby.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Little Rock Downtown [116] 521 President Clinton Avenue, 1-501-975-9800. Right in the heart of the River Market, near the Clinton Presidential Center.
  • Doubletree Little Rock 424 West Markham, 1-501-372-4371. Adjoins Robinson Center downtown and is next to the Old State House.
  • Hilton Little Rock Metrocenter, 925 South University, 1-501-664-5020. Located in central Little Rock, not near downtown, but convenient to I-630.
  • Embassy Suites Little Rock [117], 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, 1-501-312-9000. Full-service hotel with 251 two-room suites.
  • Crowne Plaza Little Rock [118], 201 South Shackleford. Just completed a $12 million renovation to become Arkansas' first Crowne Plaza.
  • Courtyard by Marriott West 10900 Financial Centre Parkway, 1-501-227-6000.
  • The Legacy Hotel and Suites [119], 625 W. Capitol Ave. 501-374-0100 or 1-888-456-3669
  • Mexico has a consulate [120] in Little Rock. (3500 S University Ave, (501) 372-6933)
  • If you have kids with you, the Little Rock Kids website [121] lists a wide range of activities for them to enjoy.
  • Free Internet service is provided in all branches of the Central Arkansas Library System [122]

Stay safe

The downtown area around the major hotels and in the River Market area is reasonably safe, but if you wander too far off the beaten track you may quickly find yourself in questionable surroundings. There have been robberies of pedestrians in parking areas around the River Market, although most have not been reported as random. Be sure to take a map if you're exploring the Quapaw Quarter, and don't walk around here after dark. Use the same precautions you would in any urban area.

Routes through Little Rock
TexarkanaBenton  W noframe E  North Little RockEND
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Little Rock

  1. The capital and largest city of the US state of Arkansas with a population of 187,462 in 2007 and 666,401 in the metropolitan area. The Combined Metropolitan Statistical area had 841,326 people.


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