Are you considering a travel nurse assignment in Little Rock, Arkansas? Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas and the most populous city in the state, has many small-town qualities yet plenty to see and do while you’re there. Do you enjoy hiking, biking and rock climbing? You will love Little Rock’s geographically diverse Pinnacle Mountain State Park and its breathtaking views. Little Rock is also home to Big Dam Bridge, the longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge in North America that has never been used by trains or motor vehicles, which is more than 4,000 feet long. This is our travel guide for nurses wondering what to eat, drink, do and Instagram while on a travel assignment in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Travel nurses on assignment in Little Rock who enjoy fresh fish will definitely want to give the local favorite Flying Fish restaurant a try. Feast on catfish, shrimp, oysters, salmon, trout, tilapia, shrimp cocktail, fish cocktail, crab legs, burgers, chicken, mudbugs and more! Wait, did we just say “mudbugs?” Yes! Those are crawfish for those who don’t know, and they are a Flying Fish specialty but only available in season. Southern and Cajun favorites including grits and gumbo, jambalaya, fried hushpuppies and okra, and homemade bread or banana pudding are also available. This fast-casual restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
If anyone needs comfort food, it’s a travel nurse after an especially long or demanding shift. Community Bakery offers the perfect food to soothe whatever ails you. Established in 1947, this beloved local bakery has been the go-to place for specialty breads, cakes and desserts of all kinds, but over the years they have expanded both their menu and their customers’ loyalty. In addition to a variety of freshly baked sweet treats, Community Bakery also serves fresh, homemade soups daily, sausage gravy over homemade biscuits, frittatas, quiches, paninis and more, as well as an excellent coffee and espresso variety.
Whether you’re looking for an excellent cup of coffee, a sweet treat to perk up your afternoon, or just want a comfy, cozy place to surf the net or read a book, River City Coffee is the perfect spot. This café has been serving their coffee specialties for more than 40 years, in an environment that is warm, friendly and is located in an artsy Little Rock neighborhood. Adding to the ambiance are large, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of natural sunlight, vinyl records from which you can make requests and a special wall dedicated to featuring the work of a local artists, which is changed monthly.
A salsa club is probably the last thing you’d expect to find in Little Rock, Arkansas, but it is real, and it is spectacular. Club 27 is a beautiful space with an extremely large dance floor and is rentable for events like parties and weddings. However, every Tuesday and Friday evening are dedicated to Latin dancing. Don’t know how to salsa? You’re in luck. Both evenings begin with an hour of salsa dancing lessons, open to the public, beginning at 7:30 pm on Tuesdays and 9:00 pm on Fridays. No experience or partner are required! In addition to salsa, you can dance the night away to bachata, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton and more while sipping on mojitos, sangrias and other Latin drink specialties.
Little Rock Central High School is the only operating high school in the United States to be designated a National Historic Site, and its place in American history and the civil rights movement is paramount. The school was the site of forced desegregation in 1957, three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation of public schools to be unconstitutional. This is where the Little Rock Nine conflict arose when nine African American students enrolled in but were initially denied entry to the school despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, until President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued an executive order allowing them to enter under protection of the National Guard. Be sure to park and enter at the visitor center, as the high school itself is accessible only by guided tour, which is extremely informative and highly recommended.
Arguably the most famous tourist attraction in Little Rock is the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, located within the Clinton Presidential Center and Park. Bill Clinton, who was born and raised in Arkansas, was twice the governor of Arkansas and also served as the state’s attorney general prior to being elected as the 42nd president of the United States. The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum contains archival collections and research facilities, and often hosts exhibits, educational programs and other special events. Replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room, as well as photographs, videos and interactive stations highlight domestic and foreign policy and life in the White House during his presidency.
Hearing someone mention the Big Dam Bridge may cause you to raise an eyebrow until realize that is, in fact, the bridge’s name. And it is pretty darn big! The bridge, elevated 90 feet above the Arkansas River’s Murray Lock and Dam, was built exclusively for pedestrians and bicyclists and has never been traveled by a vehicle of any kind. Spanning a total of 4,226 feet, the Big Dam Bridge provides access to 70,000 acres of various city, county, state and federal park lands. The bridge is symbolic of Little Rock and offers numerous composition possibilities for savvy photographers. Come at night when it is beautifully lit, or just before sunrise or sunset to catch the beautiful colors of the sky surrounding it.
Located just west of the city, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is the ideal place for Little Rock travel nurses into hiking, biking or just enjoying a beautiful day with Mother Nature and your camera. Create your own adventure exploring the banks of the Big and Little Maumelle Rivers, discover the state’s native flora within the Arkansas Arboretum, or spend the day hiking or biking the park’s 15 miles of trails, including seven miles of mountain bike trails. The park’s majestic centerpiece, Pinnacle Mountain, offers the ultimate challenge as you make your way to the top and the breathtaking views that await you there. The photography possibilities here are as expansive as the park itself.