12 Things To Do in North Little Rock, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Emily Johnson


North Little Rock is located across the Arkansas River from the state capital of Little Rock. It’s a great destination for outdoor recreation, cultural attractions, unique shopping and dining. Though overshadowed by its larger neighbor, North Little Rock has plenty to offer visitors.

Below are 12 of the best things to do while visiting North Little Rock. With activities ranging from hiking and biking trails to exhibits documenting Arkansas history, you’re sure to find ways to stay busy during your travels.

Explore Pavilions and Trails in Burns Park


Burns Park is one of the premier attractions in North Little Rock spanning over 1,700 acres. The park contains several unique pavilions, memorials and recreational facilities. The Wildwood Park for All People has wheelchair-accessible paths leading to scenic views of the Arkansas River. The I-30 Wildlife Overlook lets you view animals in their natural habitat across a 7.5 acre marsh.

Miles of trails are available for hiking and mountain biking. The park also contains tennis courts, athletic fields, a professionally-designed 18-hole disc golf course, an off-leash dog park and a BMX dirt track area. With so much to see and do, Burns Park is a must-visit during your time in North Little Rock.

Learn about Arkansas History at the Old Mill


The Old Mill is one of the most photographed attractions in the state. Originally built in 1933, this replica of a water-powered gristmill has appeared in famous movies like Gone with the Wind. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the picturesque Old Mill functions as a tourist center and small museum.

Inside you’ll find exhibits detailing the history of the structure itself along with various mills across Arkansas. The building is located on the banks of the Arkansas River surrounded by lush gardens accentuated with waterfalls and bridges. It’s one of the best places to appreciate the natural beauty of The Natural State.

Tour the USS Razorback Submarine


North Little Rock is home to the USS Razorback, one of only two WWII era submarine museums in the country. Visitors can take a self-guided audio tour to view forward torpedo rooms, the control room, crew quarters, engine rooms and more. Veterans are often on hand to provide first-person accounts of their service aboard submarines.

The Razorback is perched along the Arkansas River with the downtown North Little Rock skyline visible in the background. Stop by this National Historic Landmark to see technology that helped propel the Allies to victory during WWII.

Grab a Bite at the Argenta Food Truck Plaza


If you’re looking for an eclectic, affordable meal, head over to the Argenta Food Truck Plaza. This outdoor eatery contains permanent stations and stalls for trucks to park on a rotating basis. Options range from burgers, BBQ and po’ boys to Thai food, tacos and sweets. Seating is available at the Boxcar restaurant or at picnic tables scattered throughout the plaza.

Local artists often have pop-up shops allowing you to browse crafts and goods from artisans across central Arkansas. The outdoor space frequently hosts live music performances as well. It’s the perfect spot to soak up views of the Argenta skyline while enjoying a wide range of cuisine.

See a Show at Argenta Community Theater


Experience the thriving arts scene in downtown Argenta by catching a show at the Argenta Community Theater. This restored vaudeville and early silent movie house originally opened in 1907. It hosts productions put on by the Community Theater of Little Rock along with concerts, lectures and educational programs.

From comedies and Broadway musicals to thought-provoking dramas, the theater showcases a range of productions across genres. It’s an intimate setting with excellent acoustics making it a top cultural destination downtown. Supporting the arts has helped revitalize Argenta, so buying a ticket is money well spent.

Tour the Plantation Agriculture Museum at Scott


Dedicated to preserving Arkansas’ agricultural history, the Plantation Agriculture Museum is located 12 miles southeast of North Little Rock at Historic Arkansas Museum Plantation Scott. This living history farm seeks to emulate life on a plantation during the early 1800s through the Civil War era. Interpreters dress in period clothing while explaining common farming techniques and demonstrating skills like blacksmithing and quilting using authentic tools.

The picturesque plot of land contains restored antebellum buildings, livestock pastures, gardens and crop fields. Kids will love getting to feed the chickens and goats too. It’s a perfect way to understand early pioneer and plantation life throughout Arkansas.

Shop Local Boutiques in Argenta


A collection of locally-owned boutiques makes downtown Argenta a shopping destination for fashion, home goods, gifts and more. Find upscale clothing and accessories at Buffalo Bluff Mercantile or Jammin Java Gifts & Gallery. Unusual treasures con be discovered at Furniture City Antiques, Red Door Gallery Antiques and Argenta Mercantile.

More homemade, handcrafted items can be purchased at Mossy Moon & Co. along with OUTdoors, benefiting the local LGBTQ community. Several stores have designate local maker sections for unique jewelry, art, soy candles and similar products not available in major retail outlets. The variety of items along with the character of historic buildings makes boutique hopping in downtown Argenta a memorable experience.

Tour the ESSE Purse Museum Factory


The ESSE Purse Museum Factory provides a behind-the-scenes look at the brand’s manufacturing process. After viewing a display of vintage handbags in the lobby, guests are taken upstairs to watch workers meticulously craft each purse by hand. You’ll understand why these products take nearly 120 production steps to complete from start to finish.

Tours give you an up-close look at pattern making, cutting, hand-stitching, coloring, distressing, embroidery, quality control and final assembly stations. It’s eye-opening to discover how much meticulous labor is required create ESSE’s functional fashion pieces with old school style. Don’t forget to peruse the museum’s gift shop for a classic leather or modern lucite clutch to take home.

View Aircraft at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum


Situated along the Arkansas River, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum celebrates the transportation history that helped commerce thrive statewide. The family-friendly science center contains hands-on exhibits exploring the engineering feats needed to build locks, dams, and waterways connecting Arkansas to the Mississippi River and beyond.

Vintage vessels include tugboats, barge line boats and a military swift boat from Vietnam. Aviation history is addressed through displays on crop dusting needed for Arkansas agriculture along with a flyable aircraft with an active locally rebuilt engine. Enjoy the riverfront views before grabbing a burger or shake from the on-site 1950’s style diner. It’s both an educational and delicious stop.

Tour the Historic Arkansas Museum


Visitors seeking to immerse themselves in The Natural State’s stories need to visit the Historic Arkansas Museum located on 9 acres along the Arkansas River. Permanent exhibits follow the state’s history from Native American settlements through modern times. Artifacts, videos and audio programs discuss immigration patterns, cultural traditions, innovations and military conflicts.

Temporary galleries showcase contemporary artists and traveling exhibits from renowned institutions. Be sure to explore the grounds to see heritage buildings relocated from across the region plus a replica 1880s farmstead. From civil war battles to school desegregation, the Historic Arkansas Museum paints a comprehensive picture of people and events shaping the state.

Conclusion


Whether you appreciate historic attractions, outdoor recreation or cultural institutions North Little Rock offers memorable things to experience during your visit. The variety of activities from Burns Park to Argenta boutique hopping provide opportunities suited for all interests. You’re sure to come away with a deeper understanding of Arkansas heritage while making fun new memories. With this list highlighting the best area attractions, you can now start planning your trip to uncover everything North Little Rock has in store.

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