Conway, Arkansas - Downtown Conway
Around 30 Minutes From Little Rock
Downtown Conway is the place to be. Oak Street is the main drag, lined with quirky shops and local restaurants. E. Leigh's is a contemporary boutique with cute women's wear and accessories. Rock City Outfitters has more relaxed clothing options for both men and women. You'll find shirts, hats, and more with locally-relevant screenprints and sayings. Buff City Soaps has everything you could need for your face, body, bath, and shower.
Restaurants range from fine dining establishments to lunch sandwich shops. Mike's Place has been a local institution for years. It's the perfect place for a date night or anniversary. Pasta Grill is also a nice choice whose name describes the menu. JJ's Grill and Brick & Forge Taproom focus more on bar and pub food. If it's morning and you're hankering for breakfast, Bob's Grill has been a city morning spot since the 1980s. For something a little different, try Streetside Creperie.
Conway, Arkansas - Antique Shopping
Do you love snagging a good deal on a vintage item? Then Conway is exactly the right place for you to go antique shopping. According to our very unscientific count, it has more antique shops per capita than any other place in Arkansas. For those sticking around downtown, Jenifer's Antiques is right on Oak Street. If you're browsing around lunchtime, stop in at Cross Creek Sandwich Shop for a bite to eat.
The Painted Goat Flea Market and Painted Pug Flea Market are also in the immediate downtown area. North of downtown on Harkrider Street is Blue Ribbon Antiques. For those venturing further out, head east on Highway 64. There you'll find Small Town Shoppes Flea Market and Urban Renewal. Or you could plan your visit around one of the markets that Bella Rustina puts on two to three times a year.
Conway, Arkansas - Petit Jean Day Trip
Petit Jean State Park is only a 45-minute drive from downtown Conway. That makes it the perfect day trip for a free weekend on your calendar. The main draws here are the hiking trails and expansive views over the Arkansas River. The most notable hiking trail is Ceder Falls Trail which winds its way to the picturesque Cedar Falls waterfall. At 95 feet tall, it's one of the tallest in the state. During spring and summer, many hikers don bathing suits and stand underneath the falls to cool down from the 1-mile hike.
Petit Jean is also a popular camping area with accommodations ranging from yurts to cabins to lodges. There are also places to pitch a tent, if you want to go old school, or to park an RV, if glamping is more your style. The Mather Lodge Restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features a large eclectic menu.
Hot Springs, Arkansas - Bathhouse Row
Around 1 Hour From Little Rock
Visitors are encouraged to do more than just drink the amazing water of Hot Springs; they’re enticed to relax in a spa bath. The thermal waters are piped directly into the bathhouses, making it one of the most leisurely, indulgent experiences available in the state.
Of course, it just had to be our #1 thing to do in Hot Springs! Other former bathhouses along Bathhouse Row have been repurposed from their original use. Superior Bathhouse is now the first brewery operating within a U.S. national park! Prices vary according to location and services.
Hot Springs, Arkansas - Magic Springs Theme & Water Park
One of the top attractions in Hot Springs, Magic Springs houses both a full amusement park and a full water park. Get your thrills on one of the six roller coasters while the kids check out the less intense attractions. Watch a show or grab some great eats.
Need to cool off? Head over to the integrated water park for slides, splash islands, and Crystal Cove Wave Pool.
Open seasonally; prices vary.
Hot Springs, Arkansas - Enjoy the Lakes
Hot Springs is also blessed with abundant lakes: Lake Ouachita, Lake Catherine, DeGray Lake, and Lake Hamilton. Taking up roughly 78,000 acres of land, there are plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, or waterskiing enthusiasts. Check with any of the local marinas for ski boat or pontoon rentals. Adventurists can even rent jet skis or take a parasail ride.
For fishing enthusiasts, there are abundant species stocked annually, including bass, crappie, bream, catfish, and walleye—you’ll be sure to catch your limit!
Boating and water sports prices vary according to location. Visitor Fishing licenses cost $6.50.
Memphis - Beale Street
Around 2 Hours From Little Rock
Beale Street is more than just a pedestrian walkway, its one of America’s most iconic streets lined with blues, restaurants and hosts concerts all year long. Standing on Beale, you are literally in the most iconic street with clubs such as BB King’s, the Rum Boogie Café’s Blue’s Hall Juke Joint and Jerry Lee Lewis’s Honky Tonk. If that’s not enough, the food scene is amazing- from an absinthe lounge to some cozy café’s serving up Memphis comfort food, including the world-renown BBQ.
Memphis - National Civil Rights Museum
Another can’t-miss attraction is the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel, which is celebrating its 30 years of championing Civil Rights. There are over 260 artifacts and more than 40 films, histories, and interactive media that guide visitors through five centuries of history, from the beginning of slavery through today. You can visit room 306, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his final hours. Spend time in the Montgomery Bus Boycott exhibit to see what it must have been like for icon Rosa Parks. The museum now hosts an impressive collection of artifacts that are featured on their blog.
Memphis - Graceland
You’d be hard-pressed not to drive to Memphis and visit the home of Elvis Presley. You don’t have to be a Boomer to enjoy the home of the King and see how lavish his lifestyle was considered in 1957 when Elvis purchased Graceland for a mere $100,000. This sprawling estate that also includes the King’s final resting place covers over 200,000 feet and includes history, automobiles, 2 restaurants, immersive experiences, airplanes, and even a guesthouse. Travel back in time in Graceland, where time stands still, and The King still reigns supreme!
Northwest Arkansas - Coffee Culture
Around 3 Hours From Little Rock
Get caffeinated with world-class coffee in Northwest Arkansas. This area features some of the best roasters in the country. After all, we all need a cup of joe to help us jump-start the day. In this area, thy cafes take coffee to a whole other level. Arsaga’s, located on the Razorback Regional Greenway, is famous for its medium blend, small-batch roasted varieties.
Onyx Coffee Lab was named Imbibe magazine’s Coffee Bar of the Year! The owners consider themselves a blend of artists and scientists—always tinkering with brewing techniques so they can offer the best experience for their regulars. There are multiple locations throughout Bentonville, Rogers, and Fayetteville. Basecamp Coffee Co. features ethically sourced coffee in a relaxed environment. If you're on a bike adventure, we suggest a grab-and-go breakfast burrito. Others, sit and relax with some heavier fare.
Northwest Arkansas - Crystal Bridges Museum
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and The Momentary are must-visits in Northwest Arkansas. The museum is a stunning compilation of art, architecture, exhibitions, and nature. Its unique setting overtops two ponds within 120 acres of native Ozark forests places world-class art in a natural context.
Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the pavilions and glass bridges are remarkable to behold. Inside, the museum's curated collection features five centuries of American artwork. The permanent collection includes greats such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Thomas Eakins, and Jackson Pollock. The Momentary, which opened in 2020, is a separate contemporary visual and performing art space in downtown Bentonville.
Northwest Arkansas - Call the Hogs!
If sports are your thing, you can hardly go wrong attending any sporting event at the University of Arkansas. Founded in 1871, the university is the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks, a proud member of the SEC. There are 19 teams competing at the highest level of NCAA competition. Therefore, an event is happening nearly every weekend on campus.
Whatever the athletic event, grab your cardinal and white ensemble, and don't forget your plastic hog hat. Cheering for the home team is unavoidable as the famed "Woo Pig Sooie!" chant is quite infectious. You may even hear it spontaneously on the street or in a bar. It's the unofficial anthem of Northwest Arkansas.
Branson, MO - Silver Dollar City & White Water
Around 3 Hours From Little Rock
Originally named for the five shops that once originated here, the land is home to an amusement park based on the 1880s Branson experience with some down-home charm. Silver Dollar City has plenty of roller coasters, incredible rides, and amazing craftsmen demonstrating how life was conducted in the 1880s—with blacksmiths, candy making, blown glass, and pottery.
White Water is the adjoining water park with over 13 acres of water fun—open during summer only. SDC also offers a great campsite that includes both cabins and freestanding camping spots with several amenities and a free shuttle as part of the camping experience.
Branson, MO - Aquarium at the Boardwalk
Newly opened in 2020, the Branson Aquarium will both mesmerize and thrill you with all things underseas—from coral reefs to underwater tunnels, with all the fish you can think of in between. There is a Jelly Infinity Room that offers an engaging and relaxing atmosphere and even a fun submarine ride inside, as well as a live-action play area.
You’ll want to schedule in advance as the aquarium has already proven to be very popular. Tickets are available online. To save even more money, explore the FIVE’r pass (available on the ticketing page) offering entrance to five attractions in the area (including the aquarium).
Branson, MO - Branson Landing
Situated on the banks of Lake Taneycomo waterfront, Branson Landing is an incredible mixture of shopping, dining, entertainment, and lodging divided into 6 distinct districts and serviced by their own transportation system. Anchored by Bass Pro Shops and Belk, you’ll find over 100 stores in addition to incredible places to eat that range from fast food to luxury sit-down restaurants. The area is adjacent to the Hilton Promenade Hotel and Convention Center—a wonderful place to stop and catch your breath.
Branson Landing also has a water and fire show on the lakeside of the center—a perfect setting to take some amazing pictures. Additional attractions located at Branson Landing include waterfront ziplining, a full marina, jet boats, jet ski rentals, and boutique bowling. Wear your comfortable shoes and plan to spend the day.
Shreveport, Louisiana - Mardi Gras
Around 3 Hours 15 minutes From Little Rock
Mardi Gras is a celebration right before the season of Lent begins. In the Catholic Church, Lent is a preparatory period before Easter that is somber, reflective, and free from excess. There are multiple days of fasting. Thus, many years ago, Mardi Gras was a time to consume butter, sugar, milk, and meat...all the things that were forgone during Lent. It was also marked by large celebrations and street parties.
Today, the tradition continues in French-influenced Louisiana. Even though Northern Louisiana is much less Catholic than the Southern part of the state, Shreveport still has its share of large parades. The streets are closed. Double-decker floats line up and fill the streets. Visitors and locals alike crowd the curbs and sidewalks to catch beads, candy, and more thrown at them. It's something you have to experience at least once. Mardi Gras happens in February or March (depending upon when Easter falls).
Shreveport, Louisiana - Shreveport Aquarium
The Shreveport Aquarium offers a glimpse of marine life, which will fill you with wonder. Visitors can make their way through tropical lagoons, dark ocean caves, creaking shipwrecks, and coral reefs with bright colors. Guests can get up close and personal with jellyfish, rays, sharks, and many other species of marine life through one of several touch tanks in the aquarium.
While here, you can travel the ocean's depths to see strange creatures hiding in the dark of the deepest waters...without ever leaving dry land.
Shreveport, Louisiana - Casinos!
The Bally’s Shreveport Casino & Hotel is truly an experience if you want to try your hand with lady luck while in town. This center aims to provide visitors with a premium gaming environment via a massive gaming space. It has over 50 table games, including poker, blackjack, and roulette.
If you would rather want to try one of the 1,400 slot machines, those are also available. Throughout the casino, the food is abundant, and the entertainment is never lacking. They offer live events, day and night. So stop by and wish that luck will indeed be a lady, tonight! Other nearby casinos include Sam's Town and Horseshoe Bossier City.
Tulsa - Gathering Place
Around 4 Hours From Little Rock
Gathering Place is a 66.5-acre park in Tulsa, Oklahoma, near the Arkansas River. It is a natural area with widely diversified programs created by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to provide inclusive and engaging experiences for all Tulsans to come together to explore, learn, and play.
This inclusive space strives to engage, educate and excite while creating distinct memories for all who gather.
Tulsa - Gilcrease Museum
Pursuing knowledge and history through art is a great way to understand American culture at its core. That’s exactly what visitors can enjoy when they put the Gilcrease Museum at the top of their must-visit list
This destination is brimming over with artwork and artifacts. The collection showcases the history of Central and South America with a close lens on the American West. Those who make their way here will find that the concept of American identity is a central theme, explored through artistic expression specific to various groups, including Europeans, Mexicans, African Americans, Native Americans, and beyond. Before you go, make sure to check out the museum’s 23 acres of themed gardens and stroll through sections designed to reflect everything from the Victorian era to the pre-Columbian period. Currently, the museum is having a major renovation is temporarily closed.
Tulsa - Route 66 Historical Village
Route 66 Historical Village is an open-air experience found at 3770 Southwest Boulevard. Visitors who head this way will enjoy a chance to step into the past.
This historic location celebrates Tulsa's oil boom era by opening up grounds hosting authentic steam trains, oil derricks, and gas stations from a bygone era. It’s an homage to the city’s golden years that led to the prosperity Tulsa enjoys today.
Jackson, Mississippi - Jackson Zoo
Around 4 Hours 15 Minutes From Little Rock
The Jackson Zoo was first established back in the 1920s. The story begins in the 1900s when firefighters would pass the time by befriending deer, alligators, and squirrels and bringing them to the station. The city purchased land to establish a zoo in the 1920s, and the first animals on display were the firemen’s pets.
Today, the zoo has undergone a major overhaul. It is home to hundreds of animals, including several endangered species. Special programs and events are held throughout the year, so be sure to check in while you’re in the area. Tickets for adults are $8 and $5 for kids. On Tuesdays, admission is $2 for everyone.
Jackson, Mississippi - The Eudora Welty House
Eudora Welty was one of the most esteemed writers of the 20th century. She wrote short stories and novels but was also lauded as a photographer. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, and she also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of the Arts.
She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her home at 1119 Pinehurst Street is now a national historic landmark open to the public, inspiring curiosity for generations. Take a guided tour of the Eudora Welty House to gain insight into what inspired one of America’s most significant authors.
Jackson, Mississippi - International Museum Of Muslim Cultures
Downtown on Pascagoula Street is the International Museum of Muslim Cultures, the first American museum designed to display the history and story of Islam. According to former governor William Winter, it first opened in 2001 and “definitely breaks a stereotype” about what people may think about Jackson, Mississippi.
In addition to presenting diverse Islamic cultural histories, the IMMC aims to serve as a resource to teach global audiences. Guided tours are available as well as individual tours.
Dallas - Reunion Tower
Around 4 Hours 45 minutes From Little Rock
Every large city has a particular landmark building that stands out amongst its busy skyline. For Dallas, that honor belongs to Reunion Tower. Its GeO-Deck viewing platform is situated almost 500 feet above the ground, giving you unparalleled panoramic views of the city below and beyond.
Interactive touch screens provide useful information and plenty of entertainment to keep little ones engaged. The tower schedules events regularly, such as painting, sunset yoga, and wine tasting.
Dallas - Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The assassination of President John F Kennedy remains one of the most shocking chapters in American political history. This tour offers to take you to the Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza where the former president was slain, the JFK Memorial Museum, and Lee Harvey Oswald’s rooming house.
This fully-guided tour lasts for three hours, with multiple sessions a day to allow you to fit it into your schedule. It costs about $80 per adult.
Dallas - Katy Trail
The Katy Trail is a jogging, walking, inline skating, and bicycling trail that runs through Dallas' Uptown and Oak Lawn neighborhoods.
It follows the path of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, sometimes known as the MKT or the Katy. This historic Trail, privately funded and supported by the community, has quickly become an iconic attraction.
Oklahoma City - Six Flags Frontier City & Hurricane Harbor
Around 5 Hours From Little Rock
Frontier City is Oklahoma's only amusement park, and it is a terrific spot for the whole family to enjoy a good time. Over 40 acres of roller coasters, exciting games, and entertainment await tourists of all ages at this western-themed amusement park. The Silver Bullet and Diamond Back roller coasters will entice you to test gravity's limits. Family-friendly rides, water rides, and live shows inspired by the Wild West are fantastic attractions for those who prefer to stay closer to the ground.
On a hot day, cool off at Wild West Water Works, the nearby water park that is included in admission. The admission fee for attractions and museums varies, and prices are subject to change; adult admission is $39.99, children's admission is $29.99 (but free for children under the age of 2), and senior admission is $29.99.
Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma City is the perfect place to cool off during the summertime. There are 25 acres of cold pools and super-soaking slides for everyone in the family to enjoy. Bermuda Triangle, Blackbeard's Revenge, and Mega Wedgie are some of the thrilling rides. One-day tickets cost $25 to $65 and you can discover more about Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City - Bricktown
The historically-themed guided tours offered by Bricktown Water Taxi are a fun way to see the heart of downtown Oklahoma City's Bricktown community in an enjoyable and relaxing way. Private charters and dinner cruises are also provided, and the water taxi is wheelchair accessible and convenient for tourists of all ages.
The Water Taxi ticket is $12 for regular admission, $9.00 for children (6-12 years old), $4.00 for children (under the age of 5), and $10.00 for seniors aged 65+, active-duty military (ID required), and people with disabilities.
Oklahoma City - Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial houses the Field of Empty Chairs, East Gate of Time, Reflecting Pool, and The Survival Tree, which serve as memorials to victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995.
The Museum charges $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62 and above), $13 for military (with ID), and $12 for students aged 6 to 17. Children under the age of 5 are admitted free of charge.
Fort Worth - Texas Motor Speedway
Around 5 Hours From Little Rock
Texas Motor Speedway is currently the fastest track on the NASCAR circuit, with speeds reaching 200 mph. Texas Motor Speedway, nicknamed "The Great American Speedway," contains 144 luxury suites, as well as the Lone Star, a members-only speedway club with a restaurant, gym center, and the Time Warner Cable Broadcast Center.
In addition to an Indy Racing League-IndyCar Series race, the stadium hosts two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series races each year. Adult tickets are $49 and $10 for children’s tickets.
Fort Worth - Stockyards National Historic District
The Stockyards National Historic District is one of Texas's most famous tourist destinations, with historic buildings, restaurants, stores, saloons, and other attractions lining the old brick streets.
At the Fort Worth Herd, you will experience a cattle drive twice a day, see bulls and broncos battle cowboys at the weekly Stockyards Championship Rodeo, or dine on Texan steak at Cattlemen's Steak House. The pathways, roads, and sidewalks are all free to use. Admission is charged, however, to some venues and events.
Fort Worth - Sundance Square
Sundance Square is well-known for its entertainment and nightlife. Throughout the year, the area hosts concerts and festivals, and it features a variety of hotels, restaurants, condos, shops, lofts, museums, bars, clubs, a movie theater, and performing arts.
Several Western-style stores sell urban apparel, decorative items, gifts, jewelry, toys, sports equipment, and artwork. Sundance Square is open to the public for free.
St. Louis, Missouri - Gateway Arch
Around 5.5 Hours From Little Rock
Let’s start with the most iconic symbol of St. Louis—the Gateway Arch. Construction was completed in 1965 and opened to the public in 1967. The stainless-steel arch is known as a weighted catenary arch and is the world’s tallest arch. The monument to the westward expansion of the United States has staggering physical statistics. It rises 630 feet in the air and is 630 feet across.
The Arch is part of the National Park Service and includes a visitor center and observation area. The views are spectacular, but you need to ensure that you’re not acrophobic. The views and experience are well worth the ticket price.
St. Louis, Missouri - Six Flags
Originally known as Six Flags over Mid-America, Six Flags St. Louis is an amusement park featuring many Looney Tunes and DC Comics characters come to life. Nine roller coasters of varying degrees of excitement reside here along with numerous thrill rides, family rides, and exclusive kids-only rides.
The park also features live shows including a circus and magic performances every day. An adjoining water park, Hurricane Harbor, is open seasonally. Plan early and get your tickets early for a great discount.
St. Louis, Missouri - City Museum
If you’re in an exploratory frame of mind, nothing you’ve ever seen will come close to City Museum. Housed in and around the old International Shoe Company, Bob Cassilly had the vision to create a city within a city, repurposing the 600,000-square-foot site into a modern, ever-evolving attraction.
Each floor showcases something unique, and the installations are mind-blowing. There are also slides hidden on all four floors—allowing kids and adults to have some fun. The rooftop overlooks the city and houses a large Ferris wheel, a full-size school bus, and splash pads.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Tiger Stadium
Around 6 Hours From Little Rock
Take advantage of one of the travel offers to Baton Rouge to live an experience dedicated to the sport, during which you will not fail to have an unusual encounter. Tiger Stadium is located on the Louisiana State University campus, where the American football team of the same name plays.
The team’s mascot is a real tiger and, even if you can’t attend a game, you can still visit “Mike the Tiger” in his luxurious and unique Tiger Stadium residence.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
If you’re interested in the geographic history and local wildlife of Baton Rouge, a visit to the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a must. In the nature center you can—in addition to photos, natural objects, and minerals – view live crocodiles and snakes.
Outside the exhibition, the building is a large nature reserve that includes swamps and hardwood forests. While walking on decking and pebble paths you have a good chance of spotting birds, turtles, and snakes.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Mississippi Riverfront
It is also called the legendary river in the United States. The promenade that runs along it is really beautiful, dotted with sculptures by an Icelandic artist who is meant to reflect on social and cultural diversity. Between docks and paddle steamers, strolling there to simply observe the diving cormorants or meditate at the Vietnam veterans memorial under a former Navy fighter plane is an experience you won’t like to miss.
Kansas City - Shopping At The Country Club Plaza
Around 6 Hours From Little Rock
With 100 boutiques, 30 restaurants, and Spanish-inspired architecture, wander 15 blocks of shopping and dining in the heart of Kansas City. The Country Club Plaza is home to numerous fountains as well as vintage clothing such as T-shirts and wool hats. Designer labels like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Kendra Scott may be of particular interest to tourists. Enjoy delicious fried chicken and hand-selected steaks grilled over pecan and white oak at nearby restaurants within the plaza.
The Country Club Plaza is free to access. The Plaza garages are open and parking is free. For additional information about their retail, restaurants, and local events, go to www.countryclubplaza.com
Kansas City - Kansas City Zoo
The 202-acre Kansas City Zoo is home to over 1,700 animals representing over 200 species and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Polar Bear Passage, Helzberg Penguin Plaza, Stingray Bay, and Sea Lion Splash are just a few of the attractions at the Kansas City Zoo. The seven continents are represented at the zoo by Africa, Australia, Tiger Trail, KidZone, and The Valley-themed sections.
The daily admission fee for individuals aged 12 and older is $18, $16 for seniors aged 55 and above, and $16 for children between the ages of 3 and 11. Children under the age of 2 are admitted free of charge. Visit www.kansascityzoo.com for a printable map of exhibits and show schedules ahead of your visit to the zoo.
Kansas City - Crown Center
This is the perfect two-story indoor LEGO playground for the entire family to enjoy. Adults and children can surround themselves with millions of LEGO Bricks at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City, take flight on Merlin’s Apprentice, blast skeletons on the Kingdom Quest riding experience, and see their favorite characters in the LEGO 4D Theatre.
It is worth mentioning that adults must be accompanied by at least one child aged 17 or younger when visiting the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Kansas City.
Create your own virtual marine creature that comes to life in front of your eyes in a digital sea by combining imagination and creativity. Doodle Reef is a fun-filled adventure for all ages at SEA LIFE Kansas City, the city’s only aquarium. Turtles, sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, and seahorses are among the species you will see.