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Babymoon Inspiration: Civil Rights Tour of Little Rock, Arkansas

Baby Jackson is here, but a few weeks before his arrival, my husband and I took a wonderful trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for our babymoon and we can’t wait to go back with our new bundle of joy. Today we are giving you some serious babymoon inspiration with a Civil Rights Tour of Little Rock, Arkansas.

For a little background, my husband works in education policy and I love all things historical, so this educational trip that took us throughout the city hitting all sorts of museums, historical sites, and great restaurants, was exactly the kind of babymoon we wanted. If you are looking for a babymoon or a weekend getaway with meaning, history and great food, please be sure to add Little Rock, Arkansas to your travel list. If you want to learn more about this city, click here.

Here is a recap of my trip and some tips for planning your Little Rock babymoon as well.

 

Babymoon Inspiration: Civil Rights Tour of Little Rock, Arkansas

Where to Stay: 

If you are looking for a fun and affordable place to stay, please be sure to check out The Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Little Rock. They have a great rooftop bar and it’s located in the middle of all the downtown restaurants and nightlife.

 

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Civil Rights Trail:

     

     

    The Civil Rights Trail debuted in 2018 to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the 155th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The national trail spans 14 states and includes over 100 historic churches, schools, museums, memorial sites and more from the Civil Rights era in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Six historical landmarks in Little Rock are included on this new Civil Rights Trail. Here is a recap of some of my highlights from the Little Rock, Arkansas portion of the Civil Rights Trail.

    • The Central High School National Historical Site and Visitor Center opened in 2007 to mark the 50th anniversary of the school’s desegregation. The landmark includes historic clips, interactive displays and interviews with the Little Rock Nine, who were symbols of courage in the fight against segregation. Central High School is the only functioning U.S. high school located within a national historic site.
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    The campus is absolutely striking. If you are an architecture buff, this is a must-see on your next trip to Little Rock, Arkansas.

     

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    When you enter the school, one of the first things you see is a display dedicated to the Little Rock Nine showcasing their images from the past to the present.

     

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    Be sure stop by the visitor bookstore. As a new mom, this store has a great children’s book collection and is perfect for babymoon shopping.

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    • The Clinton Presidential Center is home to the Little Rock offices of the Clinton Foundation, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum and the Clinton School of Public Service. Bill Clinton served five terms as the Governor of Arkansas before becoming the 42nd President of the United States, serving for two terms, from 1993 to 2001. Clinton is the recipient of numerous awards for his approach to civil rights throughout his political career.
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    As a southern hostess myself, I had to take a picture of this replica of a Clinton State Dinner. Can’t get enough of those gold chairs and linen.

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    When we visited, the main exhibit was dedicated to how music influences campaigns and politics. If you have time, make sure to see this part of the tour

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    On loan to the museum was this beautiful piece featuring Maya Angelou, an Arkansas native herself and a true Black Southern Belle.

    • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and celebrating Arkansas’s African-American culture and community. The Center’s name is taken from the Mosaic Templars of America, a black fraternal organization founded in Little Rock in 1883 whose headquarters sat on the prominent West Ninth and Broadway location.

     

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    This museum is a required stop for any African-American Art buff or history lover who is visiting Little Rock.

     

     

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    I absolutely adored this piece from the museum’s private collection. Can’t get enough of this image of Black Southern Belle love.

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    This was another beautiful piece dedicated to the Little Rock Nine. We adore this beautiful stained glass inspired art.

     

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    There was a beautiful exhibit on the African American sororities and fraternities in the local Little Rock community. This is a perfect stop to make with the sorority girls in your life.

     

    • The Little Rock Nine Memorial, or “Testament,” pays homage to each member of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The life-size statues are located on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol and each member of The Nine is identified on bronze plaques.
    little_rock_nine_statue Babymoon Inspiration: Civil Rights Tour of Little Rock, Arkansas

    Be sure to stop by this memorial. It is beyond moving and a beautiful piece of art. Image by Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

    • The Daisy Bates House at 1207 West 28th St. is a National Historic Landmark and was the home of Arkansas NAACP president Daisy Bates. The house became the virtual headquarters for those engaged in bringing about the racial integration of Little Rock Central High School.

     

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      This painting of Daisy Bates was absolutely beautiful. I could not get enough of the gold antique framing and bold yellow background. The decor of the Daisy Bates home was a highlight of my trip.

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      Daisy Bates was a true Black Southern Belle and known for her style and grace as well as activism.

       

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      We could not get enough of this beautiful master bedroom in the Daisy Bates home. The peacock bedspread was absolutely gorgeous in person not to mention these matching mint green shades and printed pleat curtains

    • The Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail was created by the Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity to acknowledge the sacrifices and achievements made by those who fought for racial and ethnic justice in Arkansas. The trail begins on the sidewalk outside the Old State House and extends down West Markham Street and President Clinton Boulevard to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

    Places to Eat

    Flying Fish:

    My husband had to try a little Delta inspired food and get some classic gumbo and catfish, so we had to try Flying Fish. It also has ample seating so for a pregnant mom needing to lift her legs, this place was heaven-sent.

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    We couldn’t head to Arkansas without trying some catfish. This po’ boy did the trick.

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    I didn’t grow up with gumbo but my husband did and he said this bowl was the closest (in flavor) to his grandmother’s recipe.

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    Always love a classic green awning and wide open window.

    42 Bar and Table

    Located inside the Clinton Presidential Museum, this upscale restaurant with a riverfront view is a perfect location for a brunch outing or dinner date on a babymoon.

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    Crabcake salad was a light option that left me plenty of room for dessert.

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    Speaking of dessert, this bread pudding was exactly what the doctor ordered for a babymoon. I would travel back to Arkansas just to eat the whip cream that was on top.

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    Had to get a picture of the presidential seal!

    Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co:

    If you are looking for a little fusion fun, this restaurant is where it is at. A mixture of Asian and southern cuisine mixed with beautiful interior design, this fast casual restaurant is a perfect cosmopolitan place to try in the middle of Little Rock.

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    Sim’s BBQ

    I love some good BBQ and after inquiring with quite a few locals, I found out that Sim’s BBQ is the place to try. Founded in 1937, this Little Rock staple did not disappoint. I would suggest ordering the pulled pork sandwich as a meal.

     

    Cajun’s Wharf: 

    This place is perfect for a night on the town and was even willing to make a mocktail Hurricane for me. A great spot for late night or relaxed fun during a babymoon – this dinner option is for anyone who wants a riverfront view and crawfish.

    Big Orange

    If you want to hang out away from downtown and enjoy a baby or babymoon friendly brunch, this high-end burger spot is a great option. I had the turkey burger and enjoyed every minute of it, not to mention the sweet potato fries were done to perfection.

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    Loved the industrial decor and contrast of the orange and white interiors.

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    A burger always tastes better with an egg on top.

    Where to Shop

    Midtown Vintage Market

    I always stop by a good antique store no matter where I travel, and the Midtown Vintage Market is a perfect stop for a design-loving Black Southern Belle and a perfect place to get nursery inspiration while on a babymoon.

     

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    Loved this booth featuring a classic floral print wingback chair as well mid-century modern wooden pieces. Just the inspiration you need for a southern nursery with modern style.

     

    Haus Werk

    I always have to make a little time for shopping and decor inspiration when I travel. Haus Werk was a great option for an expecting mom. With a women’s, home and baby section, this store is a must-see for luxury items and gifts.

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    My husband loved this man section and I must admit it is quite chic. Can’t get enough of the espresso wood.

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    Loved this fun display and truly adored the original floors in this store. I picked up an Arkansas cookbook. Can’t wait to make some new dishes at home!

     

     

    5 TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR BABYMOON IN LITTLE ROCK:

    • Schedule Tours at Historic Sites: Be sure to schedule your tours ahead of time and ask about wheelchair accessibility or elevators, especially if you are taking your trip at the end of your pregnancy.
    • Plan to Rent a Car: A car is helpful to have and with Little Rock being so car and parking friendly, definitely worth it to rent upon arrival.
    • Research Museum Exhibits that May Interest You: Little Rock is an art lover’s dream. To keep yourself on track during your babymoon, plan a list of exhibits you want to see and when.
    • Don’t Be Afraid to Explore: Don’t be afraid to put on your GPS and get on the highway without a destination, you can find some random fun just by sightseeing the beautiful homes and architecture that Little Rock has to offer. It’s an easy break for a tired mom or mom-to-be during a babymoon.
    • Ask your Hotel about Local Places to Hangout: If you want to try something different or off the beaten path, be sure to ask your hotel staff some of their favorite places to visit, they may also have discount coupons or passes for you to use as a guest of the hotel.

    *DISCLOSURE*

    This is a sponsored blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    SAMPLE WEEKEND AGENDA:

    Friday:

    3:00 PM

    Visit Central High School (The still-functioning school of the Little Rock Nine). Be sure to check visiting hours of operation before planning your visit.

    6:00 PM:

    Dinner ideas:

      • Copper Grill (Elegant bistro serving Southern-influenced American dishes)
      • Raduno (Brick-oven pizza restaurant that also serves sandwiches and salads)

    8:00 PM:

      • Explore the River Market District (The centerpiece of Little Rock’s downtown, featuring restaurants, shops, bars, nightlife, museums and hotels)
      • Visit Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge (1970s inspired bowling alley with lounge and patio

     

    Saturday:

    9:00 AM

    Breakfast ideas:

      • At The Corner (Modern diner serving made-from-scratch brunch favorites)
      • The Root Café (Chill café with a patio located near Mosaic Templars. Serves sandwiches and salads made with locally sourced ingredients)

    10:00 AM

    Tour of the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum (Features Little Rock Nine Congressional Medal alcove)

    11:30 AM

    Lunch ideas:

      • River Market District (A variety of restaurants and culinary offerings are available in this downtown hub)
      • 42 Bar and Table (Restaurant located below the Clinton Library with views of the pedestrian bridge. Menu features a blend of local favorites and internationally-inspired cuisine)
      • The Root Café (Chill café with a patio located near Mosaic Templars. Serves sandwiches and salads made with locally sourced ingredients)

    1:15 PM

    Tour of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (Museum dedicated to telling the story of the African-American experience in Arkansas.)

    2:30 PM

    Afternoon Fun

    • Visit the Old Statehouse Museum (Features a variety of exhibits highlighting Arkansas state history. Latest exhibit “A Piece of My Soul: Quilts by Black Arkansans”)
    • Explore the River Market District (The centerpiece of Little Rock’s downtown, featuring restaurants, shops, bars, nightlife, museums and hotels)
    • Visit The Arkansas Arts Center (Museum contains an international collection of art and special exhibitions)
    • Ride the METRO Streetcar (Operating historic replica streetcars that spans Arkansas River and links destinations across the city)

    5:00 PM

    Visit the Little Rock Nine Memorial (Bronze sculptures that pay homage to the Little Rock Nine and their work to integrate Central High School.)

    6:00 PM

    Dinner ideas:

      • Copper Grill (Elegant bistro serving Southern-influenced American dishes)
      • Raduno (Brick-oven pizza restaurant that also serves sandwiches and salads)

    8:00 PM

    Evening Activities

    • Grab dessert at Loblolly Creamery (best ice cream in town – made with local ingredients)

    Sunday:

    11:00 AM

    Visit Daisy Bates House (Historic home of the former, president of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP, who served as a liaison between the local school board and the Little Rock Nine). Be sure to check hours of operation before planning your visit.

    12:00 PM

    Brunch/lunch ideas:

      • The Root Café (Chill café with a patio located near Mosaic Templars. Serves sandwiches and salads made with locally sourced ingredients)
      • At The Corner (Modern diner serving made-from-scratch brunch favorites)
      • Cache (Chic spot in the River Market district serving brunch and eclectic dishes)

     

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    Michiel Perry

    Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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