Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in North Little Rock, AR

  • Published 2023/04/23

The city of North Little Rock is in Pulaski County, Arkansas, just across the river from the state capital Little Rock.

Before the 1900s, the area was just the community opposite Little Rock.

When it became a city in 1904, it first took the name of Argenta until it officially adopted the name of North Little Rock in 1917.

Situated on the north side of the Arkansas River, year-round outdoor activities abound in the city.

Its park has scenic trails, wide-open green spaces, and riverside views.

Its vibrant downtown is home to a flourishing arts community and culture establishments, offering plenty of opportunities for leisure and entertainment.

Check out the list below of some of the best things to do in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Visit the Old Mill at Pugh Memorial Park

The old mill at Pugh Memorial Park

RozenskiP /

A trip to the city won’t be complete without seeing the Old Mill at Pugh Memorial Park, a reconstructed grist mill from the 19th century.

If you’ve seen Gone with the Wind, you might recognize this city gem featured in the opening sequence of the iconic movie.

Stop by for a quick visit and admire the serene atmosphere of the park.

Pond fountain at Pugh Memorial Park

Insights by Gayle /

The water-powered mill creates beautiful scenery, so bring a camera to capture your visit.

The works of renowned sculptor Dionicio Rodriguez add to the mill’s lovely surroundings.

The Old Mill at Pugh Memorial Park is located along Fairway Avenue.

People at Pugh Memorial Park

Simon Drayton /

Explore the Argenta Arts District

Explore the city’s vibrant arts community at the Argenta Arts District.

This district is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, yet it is still innovative and creative.

Stroll in the district and check out its art galleries, shops, and fun events.

It is also home to a theater and community spaces.

Catch the district’s monthly art walk and experience the community’s energy.

You can find the Argenta Arts District along Main St.

Grab a Pint at Flyway Brewing

Have a taste of the city’s local brews at Flyway Brewing.

Named after the migratory bird route Mississippi Flyway, this brewery’s creations are inspired by natural landscapes and native Arkansas flavors.

Visit the tasting room to unwind while you enjoy a pint from its main brew menu.

Otherwise, indulge in a bottle or two of its seasonal brews.

Flyway Brewing is located along Maple St.

See Historic Vessels at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

USS Razorback at Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

Jkmattson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum and see historic naval vessels.

This museum opened in 2005 and is home to two important World War II vessels.

Take a tour on the deck of the Hoga, a historic tugboat that saw action in Pearl Harbor.

Climb into USS Razorback, the submarine stationed in Japan during the end of World War II.

You can also explore the museum’s exhibits about other important naval vessels and Arkansas River history.

You can find the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum along Riverfront Park Drive.

Take a Kayak Tour with Rock Town River Outfitters

Experience a river adventure on a kayak tour with Rock Town River Outfitters.

Their two-hour kayak tour will take you on a guided paddling adventure on the river from Rockwater Marina.

During the tour, you’ll learn about the Arkansas River and the surrounding area’s history.

See the stunning sunset views over the water when the sun goes down.

The tour offers tandem kayaks so that you can enjoy the time with your date!

You can book an Arkansas River Kayak Tour from Rock Town River Outfitters.

Catch a Travs Game at the Dickey-Stephens Park

Exterior of Dickey-Stephens Park

Cliff from I now live in Arlington, VA (Outside Washington DC), USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Head to Dickey-Stephens Park for some baseball action.

The stadium is home to the Arkansas Travelers and hosts Texas League games and other local matches.

Take your friends to an exciting match and experience an energetic game day at the stadium.

You can also visit the park’s museum to learn more about the team and explore baseball history.

The Dickey-Stephens Park is located along West Broadway St.

Explore Burns Park

Enjoy a nice day outdoors at Burns Park.

With vast green spaces, sports facilities, and play areas, this large park offers plenty of outdoor activities to explore when you visit.

Take it easy and go on a leisurely walk around.

Hop on your bike and explore the trails.

You can also book tee time and play a round at the golf course.

If you’re feeling adventurous, watch the action at the park’s BMX track.

You can find Burns Park along Interstate 40.

Catch a Show at the Simmons Bank Arena

Exterior of Simmons Bank Arena

4kclips /

If you want to see some shows in the city, check out the lineups at the Simmons Bank Arena.

The arena opened in 1999 and has become the center of entertainment and sports events in the state’s central region.

Catch a favorite artist’s concert or take your kids to see a Disney on Ice show.

The 18,000-seater arena also hosts exhibits, conferences, and other events.

The Simmons Bank Arena is located along Simmons Bank Arena Drive.

Grab a Bite at the Filling Station

Check out the local eats at The Filling Station.

This local spot features rotating food trucks and local artisans, making it a great destination to sample some local eats.

Stop by for a quick afternoon snack and get some treats for the road.

Otherwise, taste the local craft beer, stay awhile, and enjoy the lovely atmosphere.

Remember to also check out the products from the local farmers’ stalls and artisan booths.

The Filling Station is located along JFK Boulevard.

Ride a Bike along the Arkansas River Trail

Signage of Arkansas River Trail

TBKS1, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take your bike for a scenic ride along the Arkansas River Trail.

The city’s section of the trail covers 7.5 miles, traversing six parks on the city’s side of the river.

Hit the asphalt trail and spend the day cycling through green spaces and nature spots.

Breathe the fresh air and enjoy the scenic views around the trail.

You can access the Arkansas River Trail in the city through the parks on the riverside.

Set up Camp at the Downtown Riverside RV Park

If you’re visiting in an RV, stop by and set up base at Downtown Riverside RV Park.

The park is located downtown, offering a safe and convenient base to explore North Little Rock’s attractions.

It offers RV sites on the riverside and pull-through spots with river views.

Enjoy many of the city’s dining spots and recreational activities within walking distance of the park.

Park amenities include a clubhouse, a pavilion, a pickleball court, and restrooms.

You can find the Downtown Riverside RV Park along South Locust St.

See the Sights on the METRO Streetcar

A METRO Streetcar along the road

Simon Drayton /

Hop on a METRO Streetcar and enjoy the city’s sights.

This free streetcar system traverses over three miles through the downtown areas of North Little Rock and Little Rock across the Arkansas River.

Head to a stop and ride the streetcar to explore North Little Rock’s exciting downtown.

You can hop off a stop, check out the shops or grab a bite, and ride again to your next destination around the district.

The METRO Streetcar has five boarding stops in North Little Rock.

Front view of a METRO Streetcar

Simon Drayton /

Take the Kids to Funland Amusement Park

Treat your kids to a lovely day out at the Funland Amusement Park.

This seasonal park features classic amusement rides and attractions.

Take the kids for a fun ride on the mini Ferris Wheel.

Watch them enjoy the carousel and the train rides.

The park also hosts family-friendly events to celebrate various holidays, such as fall festivals and easter egg hunts.

You can find Funland Amusement Park along Funland Drive.

Visit the North Little Rock Heritage Center

Listen to the city’s stories at the North Little Rock Heritage Center.

This history museum is housed at the former Argenta Fire Station, the city’s first firehouse.

Stop by and explore the museum exhibits about the city’s history.

The city’s History Commission runs the museum and offers various educational programs and events.

You can find the North Little Rock Heritage Center along Main St.

Go on a Hike at Emerald Park

Scenic views at Emerald Park

Lee Manns Photography /

Spend a lovely day out on a hike at Emerald Park.

The park covers over 130 acres on a bluff along the banks of the Arkansas River.

Explore the trails on foot and take your bike for a scenic ride.

At the overlooks, enjoy breathtaking nature, river, and city views.

Emerald Park is located along Marge Gardner Lane.

Join the Pulaski County Fair

Spend a fun day with family at the Pulaski County Fair.

This annual county fair features plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy.

Ride on the classic carnival rides and play the games.

Of course, a day at the county fair won’t be complete without delicious treats and drinks to enjoy while watching live music and shows.

Don’t miss out on checking out the local vendors.

The Pulaski County Fair is usually held along Riverfront Park.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Museums, parks, and arts and culture establishments await you just minutes from North Little Rock.

Here are some activities you shouldn’t miss nearby North Little Rock.

Explore the Museum of Discovery

Exterior of the Museum of Discovery

K I Photography /

Take a short drive across the river to Little Rock, Arkansas, and spend a day at the Museum of Discovery, three minutes from North Little Rock.

Established in the 1920s, this science center is one of the oldest museums in Arkansas.

There are many interactive exhibits to pique your curiosity or ignite your interest in science and technology.

Bring your kids for a visit and have a fun time learning!

Don’t forget to check out the seasonal events to make your visit more entertaining.

You can also shop at the store on-site for educational toys that make great gifts to curious kids.

The Museum of Discovery is just a mile from North Little Rock.

Catch a Show at the Robinson Center

Exterior of the Robinson Center

Nagel Photography /

Spend an evening of entertainment at the historic Robinson Center in downtown Little Rock, just two minutes from North Little Rock.

Established in 1939, this beautiful art deco building hosts orchestra performances, Broadway shows, musicals, and other performing arts.

Its performance hall has a capacity of over 2,200 seats and state-of-the-art acoustics and full bar service.

Aretha Franklin in the Robinson Center

Joseph Sohm /

Take your date to a lovely evening show and admire the center’s classic architecture.

The center was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 for its architecture and social history significance.

The Robinson Center is less than a mile from North Little Rock.

Interior of the Robinson Center

Joseph Sohm /

Dive into History at the Historic Arkansas Museum

Grounds of the Historic Arkansas Museum

Malachi Jacobs /

Learn about Arkansas’ rich heritage at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock, just two minutes from North Little Rock.

The museum spans a historic block home to important heritage structures in the city.

Its collection includes paintings, pottery, furniture, photos, and other art pieces.

Explore its historical grounds, where you can see the city’s oldest building, the state’s first lending library, and a beautiful 1850s farmstead.

At the museum center, tour the gallery displays decorative and fine art.

The Historic Arkansas Museum is less than a mile from North Little Rock.

Explore the River Market District

Exterior of River Market District

Michael Gordon /

Head over to the other side of the river and explore Little Rock’s River Market District, a four-minute drive from North Little Rock.

This district is the highlight of the city’s downtown area, catering to everything you need on vacation.

It has many dining options, fun spots to meet friends and a great city vibe.

Interior of River Market District

Michael Gordon /

Explore its outdoor farmer’s market, featuring fresh local produce and artisan crafts.

Listen to the local artists playing music and enjoy the district’s energy.

Of course, don’t leave the River Market District without checking out the district’s food scene and sampling some of the city’s best bites.

Baked goods for sale in River Market District

Michael Gordon /

Final Thoughts

The vibrant city of North Little Rock offers a variety of activities and experiences to make your vacation fun and memorable.

With a lovely riverside and a downtown full of exciting arts, culture, and entertainment, this beautiful destination has plenty to explore.

Discover the best things to do in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

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