As the capital of Arkansas, Little Rock is the cultural and economic hub of the state. Named for a small ("little") cluster of rocks along the Arkansas River that served as a landmark for river traffic, Little Rock has long provided the state with a place for its corporations, universities, museums and green spaces. Notable employers include the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Dillards Department Stores and the Clinton Foundation.

Residents enjoy opportunities for cultural enrichment at the Arkansas Arts Center, which houses pieces by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, and "The Rep" (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), which presents contemporary dramas, comedies and more. Little Rock is host to Wildwood Park For the Arts, the largest park dedicated to the arts in the entire South and the setting for year-round festivals and outdoor concert series.

Fans of outdoor activities will find themselves right at home being so close to hiking, hunting, river rafting and horseback riding. Favorite areas include Lake Maumelle, a hugely popular destination for boating and fishing, and the trails leading to the cone-shaped peak of picturesque Pinnacle Mountain. Close to the base of the mountain is the popular BoBrook Farms, which provides visitors with pick-your-own fruits and veggies as well as a winery with wine made from the farm's own produce.

The food scene in Little Rock is varied and delicious. Upscale dining options abound and include southern specialties at Capital Bar & Grill (try their pimento cheese) and the elevated fare at Natchez (be sure to partake in the wine pairings). There is also a wide range of excellent local spots, with favorites including the crawfish boils at The Faded Rose and Little Rock's beloved food truck The Gourmasian, which serves the best shrimp and grits around. Of note, especially for dog owners is Bark Bar, the area's favorite off-leash dog park/space that provides food and drink for the humans too.

Real estate options in Little Rock are plentiful and accessibly priced, with most homes going for around $198,000. Favorite neighborhoods include the boating community of Lakewood, where residents enjoy fishing and swimming in the local lake, and the diverse community of Indian Hills, which meanders along the riverfront. Home styles vary, with options including everything from historic mansions to cozy one-story ranches. Residents report that buying a home in Little Rock means you're buying into safe, well-established neighborhoods with plenty of amenities and outdoor fun.