A major cultural, government, economic, and transportation city in the South, Little Rock is a surprisingly affordable place to visit. Before its modern incarnation, the Little Rock area was home to several native peoples, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Caddo, and Osage. When European settlers arrived, they noticed a stone outcropping on the Arkansas River bank, which they used as a landmark. In 1722, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe dubbed it La Petite Roche, or “The Little Rock,” and the name stuck.
Today, Little Rock is home to major cultural institutions such as the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the Arkansas Arts Center, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The capital city also boasts a number of history museums, historic districts, and corporations, making it a well-rounded city that attracts plenty of visitors each year. Whatever your personal reasons for visiting Little Rock, it's important to find the right hotel that allows you to experience everything this vibrant city has to offer.
Best Time to Visit Little Rock, AR
Little Rock experiences four distinct seasons, so the best time to visit depends on what you're hoping to experience here.
The city comes to life in the summer, yielding perfect opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and other outdoor recreation. As “The Natural State,” Arkansas offers plenty of state parks, many of which are convenient to central Little Rock. Summer temperatures tend to top out in the high 80s, which may seem a bit hot to some out-of-towners, but it's a perfect temperature for taking advantage of the local water park. Since tourism is at its peak during the summer, expect hotel rates to be at their highest for the year.
Fall is an ideal time to visit Little Rock if you want to avoid both the heat and the crowds. Perfect for fishing, picnicking, water sports, hiking, camping, and antiquing, fall provides the perfect climate suited to enjoying the outdoors. Hotel rates start to fall in September, so as long as you avoid coming on a day when the Razorbacks play, you can keep your vacation well within budget.
Arkansas experiences mild winters with the occasional snowfall, so don't be afraid to book a trip midwinter. On average, Little Rock's winter temperatures stay in the 40s, so you will want to bring a few layers, but heavy winter gear is rarely required. Best of all, hotel rates are at their lowest, giving you more choices that conform to your budget.
Nature comes alive during an Arkansas spring, making it the best time of year to stroll through Little Rock's many historic neighborhoods. These districts have been around since the 1890s and feature flowering bushes and grand magnolia trees in the spring, so it's hard not to be in awe of this flowering season in Little Rock. Luckily, hotel rates remain low through May, which is great news for any traveler looking for a springtime escape.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Little Rock, AR:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts displaying average nightly cost trends by star rating class in Little Rock, AR. Analyze these illustrations to calculate the most cost effective months to book a room in Little Rock for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Little Rock, AR
4 Star Average Prices: $136.55
If you prefer luxurious accommodations when you travel, you're in luck, as Little Rock offers several unique choices.
Capital Hotel is a five-star downtown landmark property that opened in the late 1870s. Located a block from the Old State House, this delightful hotel with its elegant portico boasts a grand lobby with stained-glass skylights, a chic bar and grill, an upscale American restaurant, five meeting rooms, and valet parking. Guests can also obtain passes to a local spa and health club. Rooms are refined with classic, subdued decor, floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, premium bedding, and free Wi-Fi access.
For more contemporary luxury accommodations, head to Little Rock Marriott. Situated within walking distance of the Clinton Presidential Center, this modern accommodation features an on-site steakhouse, a cafe, an exercise room, a sauna, a business center, meeting space, and an available airport shuttle service. Guest rooms feature iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with premium cable, work desks, coffee makers, and views of the city or river. Club-level rooms include access to the lounge, which offers a free continental breakfast and evening refreshments. Upgrading to a suite will also get you a separate living space.
A classic downtown hotel, DoubleTree Little Rock is located just one block from a heritage streetcar stop, making it easy to get around town without your car. Guest rooms feature custom-designed beds, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs, while suites add kitchenettes and separate living areas. If you feel like splurging, though, book an executive room or suite, which provides access to the Executive Lounge's breakfast and evening hors d'oeuvres. You will also love the on-site Southern restaurant, fitness center, outdoor pool, business center, and free area shuttle service.
Affordable Hotel Options in Little Rock, AR
3 Star Average Prices: $89.86
Finding an affordable hotel in Little Rock is easier than you might think.
Motel 6 off I-430 is a straightforward budget property less than five miles from the University of Arkansas. Guest rooms feature granite countertops, wood floors, modern furnishings, free Wi-Fi internet access, 32-inch flat-screen TVs with expanded cable, and available mini-fridges. The property also features an on-site coin laundry for guest use, an outdoor pool, free parking, and free morning coffee.
Extended Stay America – Little Rock – Financial Centre Parkway is conveniently situated at the intersection of Interstates 630 and 430, offering easy access to the War Memorial Stadium and downtown. Guest studios are unfussy, featuring flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and kitchenettes. Guests can also enjoy a free continental breakfast, free parking, a coin-operated laundry, and pet-friendly rooms.
If you're flying in, consider booking Days Inn & Suites Little Rock Airport, which is located a little over a mile from Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. The property features an on-site restaurant, meeting rooms, and an outdoor pool, while both a free airport shuttle service and a complimentary continental breakfast are provided. Guest rooms feature free Wi-Fi access, mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers. Upgraded rooms add kitchenettes, and kids 17 and under stay free with a paying adult relative.
2 Star Average Prices: $64.56
Which Little Rock hotels have real discounts?
If you plan your trip carefully, you can save even more money during your stay in Arkansas' capital city by taking advantage of discounts.
Most area hotels, including Holiday Inn Presidential, offer special discounts for certain types of travelers. Seniors, AARP members, AAA/CAA members, military families, state and federal government workers, and corporate travelers may be able to save as much as 20 percent off the property's best available rates by showing your ID or other proof of eligibility at check-in.
Higher end properties such as Robinwood Bed & Breakfast frequently offer their own special packages. Breakfast in bed specials, romance packages, and even elopement packages may be available depending on where you book, entitling you to extra perks like a bottle of Champagne, in-room candles, or even a wedding cake. Just be sure to do your research on your favorite property and keep an eye out for special offers, as they often change with the seasons and won't last.
Best Value Options in Little Rock, AR
Little Rock offers many mid-range hotels that give you plenty of bang for your buck. SpringHill Suites Little Rock West is a modest property offering guest suites with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, ergonomic chairs, pullout sofas, iPod docks, and kitchenettes. A free hot breakfast and parking are provided, and there's an on-site business center, convenience store, exercise room, and indoor pool to enjoy.
Holiday Inn Little Rock West – Chenal Pkwy is located off Interstates 630 and 430 in the Financial District. Rooms feature all the expected amenities, with suites adding sitting areas for extra space. The hotel also features an American restaurant, a business center, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and two boardrooms, making it ideal for business travelers.
Top Attractions in Little Rock, AR
With so many places to see in Little Rock, you may be wondering where to start. The Clinton Presidential Center is arguably the city's biggest draw, as it's Bill Clinton's presidential library. Political history buffs may also appreciate the Old State House, the Arkansas State Capitol, and the Historic Arkansas Museum.
The Little Rock River Market District is the best place for experiencing unique shopping, live music performances, and incredible food. After enjoying a bite to eat, head to the Arkansas Arts Center, which includes a children's theatre in addition to its exceptional arts collection. Other significant attractions throughout the city include the Arkansas Museum of Discovery, Little Rock Zoo, and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.
It would take multiple visits to experience everything Little Rock has to offer. No matter what your itinerary includes, you'll find a vibrant, diverse city worth coming back to. Whether you're looking for an affordable accommodation or a luxury hotel in the heart of downtown, you can find the perfect Little Rock hotel to meet your needs and budget.