8 Reasons to Drive to Little Rock, Arkansas
Top shelf breweries, soaring hikes, and the Comeback Kid’s presidential library.
It only takes 11 seconds of Willie Nelson’s iconic “On the Road Again” before the impulse strikes to jump in the driver’s seat, fill the cup holder with a Texas-sized caffeinated beverage, and ask Siri for turn-by-turn directions to somewhere far out yonder. But with so much to explore in our very own Lone Star State, however, we all too often forget that our closest neighbors are similarly teeming with plenty to satisfy our change-of-scenery yearnings.
Located less than five hours away due northeast, Central Arkansas promises to exceed expectations with some of Mother Nature’s all-time greatest hits, culture galore, and a bounty of trek-worthy food and drink. Cross over that border and you’ll soon realize that the Natural State is home to far more than the birthplace of mankind’s most mammoth retail chain. And you’ll also be glad you came on wheels because there’s so much to explore throughout the region.Make your home base in Little Rock or North Little Rock (they’re two different cities separated by the Arkansas River), then map out your wish list with excursions both near and far. To get your engines started, here are eight things guaranteed to make your journey to Central Arkansas the best damn road trip of the summer.
Stationed about an hour’s drive from Little Rock, Arkansas’ first state park exudes national grandeur with its historic Mather Lodge featuring 24 rooms and several cabins for lodging if you want to make an overnight out of it. On site, you’ll find a swimming pool for lodge guests as well as a surprisingly good restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But the real draws, of course, await in the great outdoors with top attractions spanning several overlooks, including a bird’s-eye view of the majestic 95-foot Cedar Falls. The hiking trail to this roaring wonder is a little challenging at the beginning, but levels out to be quite an easy trek with lots of shade covering the last few hundred feet. The reward is a magnificent waterfall bursting through a curved rock formation, but tempting as it may be, swimming’s not allowed in the natural pool beneath the falls. (Photoshop can change all that for the ‘Gram, of course.)