Little Rock, Arkansas: A City Surrounded By Nature With A Local Focus

Little Rock, Arkansas: A City Surrounded By Nature With A Local Focus
| 4 min read

Historically, Little Rock, Arkansas has been a city known for progression and growth. Since being at the forefront of civil rights movement, the city has taken another progressive leap, this time toward mindful living. With locally sourced restaurants, environmentally conscious artwork and mindfully sourced crystals, the city has set the groundwork for a movement toward an awakened future. It is no surprise that Little Rock fosters these mindful actions. The city, situated on the Arkansas River, offers plenty of opportunities to connect with the profound energy of mother nature. If you like to visit places with a growing conscious attitude, here is a guide to the mindful side of Little Rock.

Mouth-watering, local dining experience: The Root Cafe

Top: Seasonal Menu; Bottom: Outdoor patio seating
Source: Taylor Boyle

The Root is a locally sourced cafe, located 1500 S Main St. with a wonderful breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. They have plenty of options for vegan and vegetarian diets and source almost all their ingredients locally. The owner is super friendly and is passionate about local farming. While I was in town, the salads did not have tomatoes and he explained this was because tomatoes were not yet in season in Arkansas. The table numbers the cashier provides to match you to your order have information on them about the farms where restaurant sources its ingredients. The menu will also indicate the farm where the ingredients are sourced. The restaurant serves yummy vegan desserts and local spring water. The menu changes constantly based on the season and crop availability. For more information, including seasonal menus and hours, check out the website linked below. Visit the Root for an exquisite local experience during your trip to Little Rock.

Crystal abundance: Argenta Bead Company

Gemstone bead wall @ Argenta Bead Company
Source: Taylor Boyle

If you are a crystal lover visit Argenta Bead Company, just a few block away from the Root, located at 1608 Main Street. This family owned business focuses on sourcing their beads and stones from miners they know and trust, ensuring they are connecting their customers with the best products. The owners are extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the stones and which tools are best for the projects you are looking to work on. The store has an entire wall full of gemstone bead strands, one of the best selections I have seen thus far. They also offer workshops and other cool events. Visit their website linked below for more information including hours!

Breathtaking view: Big Dam Bridge

Sunset magic at the Big Dam Bridge
Source: Taylor Boyle

If you want to see one of the most breathtaking views of your life, visit the Big Dam Bridge. This foot bridge offers visitors a path across the rapid, wide Arkansas River. The air on top of the bridge is refreshing, surrounded by an abundance of trees. The swift breeze will make you feel as if you are flying, gliding over the river bank. The scenery is stunning with rolling hills and volcanoes in the background. As the sun sets on a lightly cloudy day, the sky bursts into colors, erupting in a blend of fiery orange-red and soft pink-purple. Once the sun sets, the bridge becomes illuminated, providing a light show for visitors. The Big Dam Bridge is a fantastic place for meditation, a romantic walk or a family outing.

Outdoor adventures: Arkansas River Trail

Arkansas River Trail by the Junction Bridge
Source: Taylor Boyle

If you are looking for an outdoor adventure, rent a bike and ride around the Arkansas River Trail. The entire loop is 88 miles (~142 km), with a 16 mile (~26 km) mini loop that begins at the Clinton Presidential Bridge and travels to the Big Dam Bridge through North Little Rock. The loop then follows the south side of the river and finally links back up with the Clinton Presidential Bridge. The trail is a paved path lined with informational bulletins covering the nature and history of Arkansas. For more information about the trails, including maps, check out the website linked below.

If you need a spot to stop for a bite to eat or to relax in a park, the River Market intersects with the Arkansas River Trail on the south side of the river. The River Market and the surrounding streets have restaurants, tours, bike rentals and tons of tiny shops. There is an outdoor concert venue as well as a park for picnics. Adjacent to the River Market sits the Junction Bridge, another foot bridge that travels across the Arkansas River. Just like the Big Dam Bridge, the Junction Bridge becomes illuminated at night. The close proximity of the River Market park area and the Junction Bridge southern entrance, makes it an excellent location for a dinner picnic, night walk, or stargazing. If you are looking to soak up some rays, look at the stars or learn more about Arkansas, the Arkansas River Trail is your gateway.

Conscious, positive attitude: unique street art

Environmental awareness street art by the Root cafe
Source: Taylor Boyle

The adventure does not end on the Arkansas River Trail. The streets of Little Rock Arkansas are swimming with positivity and bright colors. Wandering through the streets, visitors will discover artwork with positive messages of unity, love and peace. The art doesn’t stop on the walls. If you look down, there are paintings on the ground as well. One of my favorite creations was on the street drain outside of the Root. This environmentally conscious painting featured here depicts the environmental impacts of dumping waste into the drains. It reminds us that this opening in the Earth “Drains to Fourche Creek”, holding people accountable for the way we treat the planet. Art like this reminds us that we are connected to our ecosystems. The artwork in Little Rock is profound, inspiring and moving and touches both social spirit and environmental awareness.

A mindful look at Little Rock

Little Rock has plenty of opportunities for mindful travelers. Grab a bite to eat at the local restaurant. Take a meditative stroll through the river nature trail. Practice Qi Gong while watching the sunset over the Arkansas River. Expand your crystal collection. If your travels include local food, nature trails, crystals or breathtaking sunsets, Little Rock is the place for you.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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I have a passion for yoga, mindfulness, meditation. As a yoga teacher, my goal is to use yoga philosophy and techniques to foster positivity and self-love, and create a happy, healthy, harmonious...Read more

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