Little Rock, Arkansas is the capital city of Arkansas, located in the direct center of the state. Little Rock covers one hundred sixteen miles of Arkansas and is home to 187,000 people. The city gets its name from a small rock formation located on the Arkansas River, which early settlers arriving by boat to the area used as a guide marker along their route. Little Rock was first discovered and named by French explorer Jean Baptiste-Bernard who landed at the site of the rock formation in 1722. It wasn't incorporated as a city until 1821, although it was designated as the capital of Arkansas Territory some ten years prior.
Little Rock has a rich museum district. Two of the most popular ones are dedicated to prominent figures in US history who were natives of Little Rock. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center is named for US president Bill Clinton. The center is a treasure trove of artifacts from the Clinton Administration. Some of the items in the collection are two million photographs, eighty million documents, and twenty one million e-mail exchanges. The center also includes a full-scale replica of the Oval Office as it appeared during Clinton's presidency. The MacArthur Museum of Military History is the other popular museum in Little Rock. It is dedicated to the legacy of General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief of the US Military during World War II.
Little Rock’s River Market District is a popular destinations for visitors to the city. What started as a traditional Farmer’s Market where local growers came to peddle their wares has grown into the city’s premiere entertainment district in recent years. Eight art galleries are located in the district as well as numerous businesses, residential buildings, bars, restaurants, and shopping venues. An estimated one million people visit the district each year.
There are several unique attractions in Little Rock that can be credited as its claim to fame. The Little Rock Zoo is the only zoo in the entire state of Arkansas. The zoo was opened in 1926 and houses more than 750 animals of 200 different species. Willow Springs Water Park, built in 1928, is one of the first water theme parks in the country. The water park offers the typical water park fare - slides, tubing, and other activities. What makes Willow Springs Water Park unique is that the water is actually a sandy bottomed, well-fed creek whose water is chemically treated and chlorinated for sanitation. The Quapaw Quarter is an area of nine square miles located in the downtown area of Little Rock. The Quapaw Quarter is home to some of the oldest and most notable buildings in the city. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Villa Marre. The house, which was built in 1881, was featured in the television series Designing Women. Of course, visitors to Little Rock won’t want to miss seeing the city’s name sake, the little rock formation, which is located in Riverfront Park.