Martin Rhodes’ Little Rock, Arkansas
Martin Rhodes, President & CEO of Stephens Insurance, shares his hometown highlights.
What’s to love >> Little Rock has all the advantages of a larger city and the community atmosphere of a small town. The revitalization of the downtown area, particularly along the Arkansas River, continues to be robust. Little Rock is also a very philanthropic-focused city that supports nonprofits that improve young people’s lives.
Dining scene >> The dining scene is varied and offers diverse ethnic cuisines. My favorite new restaurant is Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill on Main Street in downtown. The chefs cook a lot of dishes using wood fire, and all of the wines and beers are on tap. It’s a winner due to its creative menu (everything is great) and décor.
Classic eats >> Bruno’s Little Italy, which is still operated by the second and third generation of the Bruno family, is my favorite. It is a classic red and white checked tablecloth kind of place with old photos on the walls. Any of the veal dishes are superb.
Stay >> The place to stay in Little Rock is the historic, five-star Capital Hotel, which opened in 1876. It is beautiful, and the service is impeccable.
Watering hole >> I like to take clients to the Capital Bar & Grill. It has a great ambience and convenient location. They make an excellent Moscow Mule and have a good selection of wines.
Things to do >> There are a lot of fun and interesting things to do. Verizon Arena attracts big-name musical performers like Alan Jackson. The newly renovated Robinson Center is the home of Ballet Arkansas and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and also features Broadway plays and special events. If you like sports, check out a minor league baseball game at Dickey-Stephens Park, which has a view of downtown. The Clinton Presidential Library & Museum attracts visitors from all over the world.
Outdoors >> The Arkansas River Trail is a great place for running, walking and biking. It runs along both banks of the Arkansas River for more than 17 miles and has four pedestrian and bicycle bridges. You can also hike Pinnacle Mountain, just outside the city. We also have a lot of very good public golf courses.
Don’t miss >> The Arkansas Arts Center. Governor Winthrop Rockefeller began supporting this museum in the 1960s. It has a world-class permanent collection.