This past summer, we spend a fun weekend exploring Little Rock Arkansas. I was happy to find tons of family friendly places to visit and things to see and do. You can check out our full adventures here and see other family friendly spots, places to eat, and places to stay. We spent a lot of time in two spots: The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library (read about why kids will love it here) for lots of presidential trivia and the Museum of Discovery for lots of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) fun.
On a recent trip out west, we stopped in Little Rock, Arkansas for the weekend. I knew Little Rock is known for being the home of America’s 42nd President, Bill Clinton and I knew I’d want to stop at the Clinton Center and Park to explore the museum and earn a stamp in my Presidential Libraries passport.
Yet, as I read through LittleRock.com to search for other things to do, I quickly discovered that Little Rock is a very family friendly city and my list of “must visit” spots quickly grew! I was warned that Little Rock gets hot in the summer; Indeed, on the weekend we visited, it rose to almost one hundred degrees each day. However, the heat did not interfere too much with our plans- there are so many family friendly things to do inside (many of them are FREE!) that we could beat the heat and still have a lot of fun exploring the city. We found Little Rock to be very pedestrian friendly (drivers actual stop for people waiting in a cross walk!) and easy to walk from place to place. We walked to almost all of the following places from our hotel, but you could also take a Rock Region Metro Streetcar, which kids might enjoy. I am already planning another visit to Little Rock; it looks like they have just as many activities for year round fun!
This week marks 5 years since we started this family travel blog. We started road tripping in summer 2012, so it’s a double celebration of 10 years of road tripping and 5 years of sharing our adventures on our little corner of the ‘web.
We’re proud to share that we’ve gained a LOT of followers and readers over the past two years (since we last did a Google analytics deep drive) and we thought this week would be a perfect time to share a blog recap.
Visiting state capitol buildings is one of the first things we do when visiting the capital city. It’s a little ironic that it took our family, who has lived in Connecticut for almost 20 years, this long, but we recently, finally made it to the CT Capitol for a tour.
Connecticut was founded in 1662 and is known as the Constitution State, as it was the first state to adopt a constitution. Built in 1878, the Connecticut Capitol building, located in downtown Hartford, was designed by Richard M. Upjohn to replicate a Victorian Gothic style. The building overlooks Bushnell Memorial Park’s 41 acres in the heart of Hartford and was restored in the 1980s to the original colors and design. The addition of the Legislative Office Building (LOB), which opened in 1988, allowed for office space for Connecticut’s 151 Representatives (each representing approximately 25,000 constituents) and 36 State Senators (each representing approximately 90,000-100,000 constituents). The “LOB” also allows for more public meeting spaces and opportunities for state officials to meet as committees and with public interest groups. The first and second floors of the LOB and the first floor of the Capitol are both open to the public; upper level floors house private offices and chambers and guests must be accompanied by officials.
Built in 1888, two years before Wyoming became the 44th state, the Wyoming State Capitol building sits at one end of 24th Street in Cheyenne and is the centerpiece of the Capitol Square. Wyoming is called the “Equality State” because it is home to the first female governor (Nellie Taylor Ross in 1925-1927) and the first female Justice of the Peace (Esther Hobart Morris in 1870). The Capitol building, one of 20 state Capitols designated as a National Historic Landmark, expanded in 1890 and 1917, and went through an extensive four-year restoration process from 2015-2019. The restoration included a tunnel that connects the Capitol Building to the Herschler Building, home to many of the state agency offices.
On our massive summer 2021 road trip through Utah, Colorado, and South Dakota, we passed through Cheyenne on our way to South Dakota. We were sad that we had not made plans to stay more than just the morning (#returnvisit coming ASAP!), but we are grateful we had the chance to explore the Capitol building.
Visiting about a state’s history is one of our favorite activities and whenever we’re in a capital city, we make time to tour the state Capitol complex. The buildings are architecturally beautiful and the guides are usually enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and engaging. To date, we have toured capitol buildings in Massachusetts, Rhode Island (#5), New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Arkansas (#6). On our summer 2021 road trip, we spent the day in Denver (we were in town primarily to see the Rockies) and made time for a tour of the Capitol.
At one time, Denver was the second largest city in the West (behind San Francisco) and was part of the Gold Rush of the 1860s. Originally, what is now considered the state of Colorado was part of the Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico territories. In 1861 Colorado was declared a territory and became the 38th state in America. At first, Colorado City and then Golden were declared state capitals until 1867 when Denver became the permanent state capital. Construction on the Capitol building started in 1886, was completed enough for the building to be occupied in 1893, and then fully operational in the early 1900s. The building was designed on an axis in the form of a Corinthian Cross and closely resembles the design of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.