Little Rock is the steady but unremarkable capital of Arkansas. Typical of mid-America, the downtown area is laid out on a rectangular grid with mostly average modern architecture, a sprinkling of older historic structures, and a waterfront park along the Arkansas River. North Little Rock is a growing, business-friendly and mainly progressive middle class center across the river.
The area’s economy is supported by the state government, a very large teaching hospital associated with the University of Arkansas, and a smattering of private employers mainly in the service sector including retail, direct marketing, and a modest amount of high tech. Notable attributes include the low cost of living for a capital city and state center, and the availability of healthcare resources.
There is a small assortment of cultural assets, mostly local in character. Recreation consists mainly of college sports, a few minor league teams and nearby watersports. For a capital city, incomes are relatively high especially in relation to the low cost of living. Housing costs are particularly low but air service is lacking and violent crime has been enough of an issue to garner some unwanted journalistic attention.
Little Rock is situated between the Ouachita Mountains to the west and the flat Mississippi River Valley lowlands to the east. Hilly residential areas west of the city rise to 600 feet. The climate is continental with an element of humid subtropical, particularly in summer. Winters are mild, but outbreaks of cold air are common. Precipitation is fairly well distributed throughout the year with the majority arriving in summer as thunderstorms. Snow is negligible but occasional ice storms can be severe. First freeze is early November, last is late March.