Mother Nature is showing off again. This time of year is perfect for spending your lunch break basking in the sun, an early morning outing (who says you can't do breakfast outside?) or watching the sun set over the river — all with plenty of snacks by your side.
It would be a shame to let the warm weather go to waste without at least one picture perfect picnic, and not surprisingly, The Natural State's capital city sports more than a few beautiful views with plenty of space to spread out. Here's a breakdown of some of our favorites.
Two Rivers Park
A 1,000-acre space at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Maumelle Rivers, Two Rivers Park (pictured above) is a perfect shady spot overlooking the Arkansas River and I-430 bridge in west Little Rock. Just past the Two Rivers Bridge that is connected to the Arkansas River Trail, you'll find several picnic tables and cozy spots to throw down that blanket.
Food Stop: Looking for an ideal place to pick up lunch? Stop by Newk's Eatery in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center and grab a hearty salad (The Favorite never disappoints), a tray of sandwiches or even a pizza.
Clinton Presidential Library
This hot spot in downtown Little Rock is so gorgeous everyone should make a least one stop here. Set up at one of the picnic tables, take over one of the many benches that line the sidewalk parallel to the river or spread out that blanket on the lush green lawn in front of the library. You'll get beautiful views of the super-modern library, Clinton Presidential Bridge and the William E. "Bill" Clark Presidential Park Wetlands, as well as the Arkansas River and downtown Little Rock.
Food Stop: On your way, stop by At the Corner in the River Market and pick up a delicious sammy or wrap for delicious on-the-go perfection. One of our favorites is the adult grilled cheese with cheddar, ricotta, cheese curds and mixed berry jam.
Located just a few minutes from downtown Little Rock, this park is situated right on the banks of the Arkansas River next to the Big Dam Bridge. Several pavilions are lined up and picnic tables are scattered all around the park, so there are plenty of options to enjoy the great outdoors during your lunch hour (and a playground for the kiddos). The picturesque views of the river are top-notch, as well as the bridge and the bluffs on the North Little Rock side of the River Trail.
Food Stop: If you don't have a lunch already prepared, stop by one of the restaurants on Rebsamen Park Road and get your food to-go. Spots like Maddie's Place, Buffalo Grill and The Fold make for a fantastic non-traditional picnic lunch.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
If you're on the other side of Little Rock, this state park is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown and enjoy nature. There are several picnic sites and two pavilions to enjoy your lunch, including wide open spaces for a picnic on the grass.
Food Stop: If you want to opt for something quick and tasty that won't weigh you down, Taziki's is a great stop along the way to the state park.
The sprawling downtown Little Rock park right on the Arkansas River is filled with plenty of spots to eat your grub outside while taking in the spectacular views of all of the park's cool features (sculptures, splash pads for the kiddos, etc.) and the river. Picnic tables are scattered around the park, with many located right behind the River Market.
Food Stop: Not in the mood for a full-on meal, but feeling a bit peckish? Pick up a sweet or savory pastry and your drink of choice from Nexus Coffee & Creative. Bonus: The Ottenheimer Market Hall re-opens May 1 with a full range of eats from authentic Mexican food and Asian cuisine to pizza and vegetarian dishes.
So grab your sunnies, your SPF and your copy of Soirée and get out there.