Little Rock is Ready for Her Close-Up

I’m just back from a city full of excited people. They’re pumped up about all the fun they are having in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Vandoliers lit up the wonderfully funky White Water Tavern in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Vandoliers lit up the wonderfully funky White Water Tavern in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Really!  I can’t recall the last time I met so many boosters in one city, each extolling the various virtues and sharing their lives with us Yankee visitors with vigor.  We were sitting in a restaurant, and immediately, the people next to us wanted our business cards, we were those travel writers from Massachusetts visiting down here.

I have had Little Rock on my travel radar and I knew we would have fun there. It’s a city with big ideas, and already they’ve created a vibrant art culture, fantastic nightlife and live music, and a culinary scene that’s real and not pretentious, but very attuned to farm to table and sustainable dining.

It’s all working pretty well, at least from what we learned during our four-day visit.

From the moment we met our guide Buckley O’Mell, we were treated so well, and our itinerary took us to all of the most important places in the city.

Appetizer platter at Pantry Crest in Little Rock AR.
Appetizer platter at Pantry Crest in Little Rock AR.

This was a great way to end my year of traveling, to a destination that truly understands what a journalist needs to capture a city in a travel story.

There were plenty of people to interview, interesting ideas about what to do, and lots of memorable food that we enjoyed with more Little Rock locals.

What was fun for me was how into this all of the people we met were and how they really shared with us the latest news, their aspirations about the city, and some of the success stories that have made them love living here.

Over the next few weeks, Little Rock will be on my mind as I remember those furious moments of music at the White Water Tavern, and recall meeting the sisters who run At the Corner, a breakfast joint with great tasting grits right downtown.

State House, Little Rock AR
State House, Little Rock AR

I am hoping that the stars align and that some year, TBEX holds its meeting in this fun small city, that clearly is ready for its close up.

The back room at Esther's in Little Rock.
The back room at Esther’s in Little Rock.
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