Little Rock

Little Rock, the Arkansas state capital, got its name from French explorers who dubbed this site on the Arkansas River "La Petite Roche" to distinguish it from larger rock outcroppings along the water. By 1831, the town was incorporated, and more than 175 years later, Little Rock is a historic city with the sophistication and spunk of a metropolitan mecca. Little Rockers — as the city’s residents are called — enjoy beautiful river walks, chic restaurants, fine museums and plenty of recreational and cultural activities. One of the hottest spots in town is downtown's River Market, home to a large indoor market where shoppers can buy everything from fresh vegetables to instruments. At night, River Market is the place to find great live entertainment, often provided by the city’s up-and-coming musicians. Another lively neighborhood, the Heights (on the north-central side of town) has a vibrant feel. Exclusive boutiques, antique shops, coffee houses and cafes — all frequented by the young professionals who live nearby — are worth a visit. The area gets its name from the bluffs on which many of the posh residential homes sit.