The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Little Rock

Metro Little Rock’s expansive city limits encompass nine different cities all less than 50 miles from the city center, making living or commuting to Little Rock a breeze. Fortunately for newcomers, you don’t have to go far to find a community that fits your unique stage or station in life. From walkable communities with a focus on wellness to the most delicious streets of Arkansas, here are the five best neighborhoods of Little Rock.

1. Hillcrest

Prefect neighborhood for foodies, singles, and families.

Although you may pay a premium for the idyllic location central Hillcrest provides, this trendy neighborhood is located just west Little Rock’s downtown area and acts as the home to many of the city’s most beloved restaurants and bars. The neighborhood belongs to the National Register of Historic Places for its dedication to conserving the architecture and character of many of the city’s most unique bungalow-style homes.

Hillcrest has recently been named one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city thanks to the prominence of historically preserved homes and parks in the neighborhood, as well as its abundance of renovated homes and businesses in the area. Another allure to this neighborhood is the many locally owned stores, restaurants, and boutique shops that breathe life into Hillcrest, including Ciao Baci, Canon Grill, and more.

Highlights:

  • The city’s trendiest restaurants—Ciao Baci, Zaza Fine Salad and Wood Oven Pizza Co., Heights Taco and Tamale Co., and SO Restaurant.
  • Hillcrest Designer Jewelry—Locally owned jewelry store specializing in custom jewelry design experiences.
  • Gallery 26—A custom frame and art gallery displaying works from local artists.

2. The Heights

Perfect neighborhood for empty nesters and families.

Located just north of Cantrell Road, The Heights is one of Little Rock’s most affluent neighborhoods and is characterized by its array of manicured lawns and well-preserved historic homes. The neighborhood earned its name for its high perch above the Arkansas River, and many of the houses boast stunning views of the river from their position high on the hills. Many of the homes in the area date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, where they range from petite bungalows to grand single-family houses.

The Heights is best known for its upscale shopping, but its shared border with the food-haven Hillcrest means that the city’s best restaurants are only a short drive away. The area boasts ample green spaces and public parks, and it is also home to the highly exclusive Country Club of Little Rock with its own 18-hole golf course.

Highlights:

  • The Country Club of Little Rock—One of the oldest country clubs west of the Mississippi.
  • Boutique shopping—Favorites include The Social Type, Cobblestone & Vine, Eggshells Kitchen Company, The Painted Pig, Go! Running, and more.
  • Ozark Outdoor Supply—A locally-owned outdoor specialty retailer that sells outdoor clothing, gear, and equipment.

3. Riverdale

Perfect neighborhood for millennials, outdoorsy people, singles, and families.

Riverdale is Little Rock’s answer to urban living with an Ozark twist. The neighborhood is only a few miles west of downtown, yet it feels like an oasis with its array of outdoor activities. Riverdale is an active person’s dream, as it is home to the city’s largest public golf course (the Rebsamen Golf Course), many of the city’s top yoga and fitness studios, and tons of trails and public parks.

The Arkansas River Trail runs through the entire neighborhood, and connects many of the restaurants and parks with a series of interconnected biking and walking trails. Murray Park is a favorite among the locals, and people from all corners of Little Rock come out to make use of the park’s eight pavilions, three soccer fields, two playgrounds, boat dock, and fenced in dog park.

Highlights:

  • The Fold Botanas Bar—A trendy taqueria located in a renovated 1960s filling station.
  • Barefoot Yoga—The longest running yoga studio in the state of Arkansas.
  • Core ID—This modern lifestyle store features the best brands and designs from around the world, ranging from furniture to art.

4. Chenal Valley

Perfect neighborhood for families.

Chenal Valley is an upscale, expertly planned neighborhood that features 4,800 acres in the western portion of Little Rock. The neighborhood boasts some of the best public and private schools in the city, and is a great area for families with its array of kid-friendly shops, parks, and pools. Many of the homes were built in the last two decades, and the community has been growing since it began in the early 1990s.

Chenal Valley is a shopper’s paradise, and many brand-name retailers can be found within the neighborhood’s limits, many of them located within the Promenade at Chenal, an open-air shopping center. Two nationally recognized golf courses are found within the neighborhood, and a number of chain and local restaurants can be found interspersed around town.

Highlights:

  • Chenal Country Club—Home to two Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed championship golf courses, and an exclusive clubhouse with a pool complex and state-of-the-art fitness center.
  • Thirst N Howl Bar & Grill—A locally-owned bar and grill with live music Wednesday through Saturday.
  • The Fresh Market—An upscale grocery store offering local produce, high-end wines, and prepared eats in an old-world setting.

5. River Market

Perfect neighborhood for singles and millenials.

Made up of mostly apartment and condo style housing, the River Market is the ideal home for anyone looking to live in the center of it all. The River Market District is the heart of the action in Little Rock, attracting both tourists and locals to the many shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that call downtown Little Rock home. The neighborhood is located just off the River Rail trolley system downtown, where three replica vintage trolleys transport tourists to and from the major sites downtown

The neighborhood hosts the largest indoor farmer’s market in the area at the Little Rock Farmers Market as well as the chicest restaurant in the city at One Eleven at the Capitol Hotel. The River Market neighborhood also boasts a handful of lively bars, quirky shops, and multiple music venues that make up the neighborhood’s dynamic identity.

Highlights:

  • Capitol Hotel—Little Rock’s grand dame hotel that has welcomed numerous Presidents and celebrities over the years.
  • Old State House—The oldest surviving state capitol building west of the Mississippi River.
  • Central High School—A historic site that is still an active school building, but also offers tours that delve into the history of the school’s sordid history with integration.

 



Kristy Alpert