Archive for the ‘Area Events & Activities’ Category

Shermans Travel Names 10 Free Attractions in Little Rock

September 4th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Arkansas_Governors_Mansio-Little_Rock-20000000001586359-500x375

During a visit to The Empress, there is always a wide array of events, attractions, dining experiences and outdoor activities available (and the expert knowledge of our concierge to point you in the right direction). But did you know that Little Rock had a variety of attractions that you can visit for FREE?

Travel deal and advice website Shermans Travel recently blogged about “10 Free Attractions in Little Rock”. According to writer Kimberly Button, “Long known for its political prowess as Arkansas’ capital, the riverfront city of Little Rock is now showing off a softer side, with an eclectic mix of history and nature that appeals to travelers. Surprisingly, some of the biggest attractions at this offbeat destination are also the free ones.”

Here is their list of attractions that you will be amazed at the low price (hint:free):

1. Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
There’s no escaping the fact that President Bill Clinton got his start to the White House in this city, so why not embrace it and tour his former home? Eleven governors have set up residence with their families in the circa 1950 Georgian colonial mansion. Tours must be scheduled in advance.

2. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
The Little Rock Nine were nine African American students who tried to enter an all-white school following the Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education. It was at this high school, still open to students, that racial barriers began to crumble during the highly televised event. Ranger-led tours are free of cost, but reservations are required.

3. Historic Arkansas Museum
All things Arkansas are celebrated at this destination that showcases art and artifacts from the state from the past 200 years, including a Knife Gallery highlighting the story behind the bowie knife.

The attractions above are all within walking distance of the Empress and are amazing historic sites. The remainder of the list includes The Old Mill, The Old Statehouse Museum, H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden, Heifer Village, Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, The Witt Stephens Jr. Arkansas Nature Center, and Riverfront Park.

– See more at: http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2014/08/25/10-free-attractions-in-little-rock-arkansas/#sthash.JKEvdfOB.dpuf

Book your stay at www.TheEmpress.com
H_U__Lee_Garden_And_Gate_by_joelht74
sculpture

South Main Cornbread Festival, a Taste of the South

October 30th, 2013 by Lisa

southern-cornbread-c

Only 5 blocks from the Empress is Main Street’s own Bernice Gardens, home of the Annual Arkansas Cornbread Festival.  The event will draw people throughout the state to the South Main neighborhood of Little Rock.  Focusing on the South’s  history and  one of it’s favorite dishes (Cornbread!),  the festival brings local restaurants and amateur chefs to the table to cook up their favorite cornbread recipe to win cash, prizes and Cornbread Glory!  Join the Empress along with party goers from all over  Arkansas as we enjoy delicious cornbread, local music, and handmade craft vendors the first Saturday of every November.
Follow the Cornbread Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/arkcornbread13/

https://www.facebook.com/ArkansasCornbreadFestival

 

https://twitter.com/arkCornbread13

 

Contact Information

Cindy Hedges
501-663-4181

cindyhedges@me.com

Cooking Classes at Eggshells

August 27th, 2013 by Lisa

diver scallops at eggshellsLooking for something unique and interesting to do in Little Rock?  How about a cooking class at Eggshells Kitchen Company?  The very best local chefs come into Eggshells to teach you how to make a signature dish of theirs.  Recent classes included a fresh pasta class with Scott McGehee, restaurateur of Zaza, Big Orange, and Local Lime and a chicken and dumplings class from Matt Bell of the fabulous new South on Main.

The next class available is on September 9th at 6pm and sounds like a deliciously-fun good time! John Masching of 1620 Savoy will be teaching participants how to make his mouth-watering diver scallops with Sofrito, Jalapeno, Oyster Mushroom, Asparagus, Hollandaise Sauce and Bacon Lardons.  Sounds just divine, right?

You will be offered a glass of wine with this class and all the free water you can drink.  You are also welcome to bring any beverage you wish to enjoy during your lesson and the subsequent eating frenzy.

You can sign up for the class at Eggshell’s Website and the cost is $50 per person. Why not combine a great nights getaway with your favorite guestroom at The Empress?  Call us for all the room details and other great ideas to make this a really special getaway!  501-374-7966.

 

Little Rock named one of The Top 10 Most Unexpectedly Romantic

January 2nd, 2013 by Lisa

What does Little Rock have in common with Pittsburg, Providence and Long Beach?  All of these cities were included in Yahoo’s “Ten Unexpectedly Romantic U.S. Cities.  Other cities lauded were:  Minneapolis, Cleveland, Lanai City, Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Washington D.C.

Little Rock is proud to be among such company, and The Empress of  Little Rock is proud to be listed as one of the top things to do in one of the top unexpectedly romantic cities!  Yahoo! Travel’s Melissa Burdick Harmon says of the historic bed and breakfast “Arrive early at the posh, Victorian-style Empress of LIttle Rock Hotel, for a couple’s massage, some downtime in the garden, and maybe a carriage ride along tree-lined streets and past the Governor’s Mansion”.

Want to know more Little Rock Landmarks mentioned for an unforgettable romatic getaway?  It was suggested that visitors try Ciao Italian Restaurant, 1620 Savoy and The William J. Clinton Library and Museum.   You can see the article from Yahoo! Travel here.   The Empress would also like to suggest a hike up Pinnacle Mountain, a visist to Cedar Falls at Mount Petit Jean or a drive along Arkansas’ backroads to enjoy the amazing fall foliage.  Check out Packages from The Empress that includes these favorites, such as the Gone With the Wind PackageValentines Day Packages or the Romantic Waterfall Package.

 

 

Packet House serves Great Food with a side of Amazing Architecture

October 26th, 2012 by Lisa

We’ve all driven by that big old house on Cantrell by Dillard’s Corporate Offices and thought, “That house is beautiful…why isn’t anybody doing anything with it?’  Well, after a few years of sitting empty, someone finally IS doing something with it.  The McDonald-Wait-Newton House, more commonly known as The Packet House, has recently opened it’s doors to the public as a restaurant.

Wes Ellis, the Owner and Executive Chef, describes the cuisine as modernized Southern Comfort Food and the descriptor seems apt to me.  My friend and I dined at The Packet House on a recent Thursday.  We were led through the suprisingly (in my opinion) modern interior to a small room tucked into the back of the house that also led out to a deck.  The atmosphere would have been great if it weren’t for the other occupants of this room (a group of around 15 young women celebrating a birthday) with white table clothes and sparse modern deco.

My companion ordered the trout and I ordered the duck breast.  The menu descriptions didn’t do justice to the perfectly cooked duck sitting in a sweet tomato reduction with good ol’ southern hoppin’ john on the side.  Halfway through our meal we decided to switch plates and I was very pleased with this decsion as well.  His trout was pan seared with the skin still on, sitting on ratatouille and drizzled with a lemon beurre blanc.  We enjoyed a very nice bottle of Reisling with the meal, one of my new favorites that I will be searching out in stores.

Would I recommend this restaurant to guests?  I most certainly would, both for the food and for the beautiful house that it is served in!  What better place to send guests from one beautiful historic mansion than to another!

 

Tour Guide Linda Howell presents “Haunted Little Rock”

October 10th, 2012 by Lisa

The Haunted America division of The History Press has recently released “Haunted Little Rock”, a book by Little Rock’s own Linda L. Howell.  The book provides pictures, stories and eyewitness accounts of reported “hauntings” in Little Rock.  Included in the book are tales of such landmarks as Mount Holly Cemetery, Robinson Center Music Hall, Reed’s Bridge and of course, The Empress of Little Rock.

Both history and eyewitness “sightings” are detailed in the book to give readers a fun and educational read.  Did you know that Curran Hall once had a “guardian” cat named Scout whose supposed job it was to protect the premises?  Have you heard the ghost exercising in the employee workout room in Little Rock City Hall?  Several employees say that they have.    Have you seen the grave of the Indian Woman “Elizabeth” in Mount Holly Cemetery?  If so, did you know that her body isn’t really there?  The marker was moved there by request of Albert Pike, but her body is still buried somewhere on the North Little Rock side of the river.

These stories and more will entertain and enlighten you as your read more about The Empress of Little Rock and other purportedly haunted spots in Little Rock in Linda’s book, available for purchase in The Empress gift shop.  We love the beautiful picture of The Empress on the cover!  You can also join Linda for Haunted Tours of Little Rock, every Friday night in October!!!  During the tour, Linda takes you to several of the Haunted spots in her book, starting at MacArthur Museum and entering The Empress for a view of our tower card room.  It is a frighteningly fun night for all!

Haunted History Makes for Eerily Awesome Tour!

September 25th, 2012 by Lisa

According to its website, “It is the objective of Haunted Tours of Little Rock to show you places located in the city’s Historic District, The Quapaw Quarter, where our prominent citizens once lived…….and some still do.” The Empress is proud to be a part of the tour, which takes you into the Hornibrook Mansion and up to the “haunted card room”, where you might be lucky enough to play a hand with Mr. Hornibrook.  The tour also takes it’s guests to such spookily familiar places as The Arsenal at MacArthur Park, Curran Hall, The Hanger House and Mt. Holly Cemetery.

The tour will run at 7pm on Friday nights through September and October.  If you can’t make the ghost tour, join The Empress for our regularly scheduled tour, offered every day at 11:30 and 3:00.  The cost is $7.50 and includes a tour of all three floors of The Empress of Little Rock  and an overview of its history.

Razorback Tailgating Package!

August 15th, 2012 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Get out your big foam fingers, your noisemakers, your red and white pom poms…limber up your lungs for a few rounds of Wooo Pig Sooie, it’s Razorback Game Time!!!  The Hogs are coming to Little Rock on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 6pm.  As always, tailgating at War Memorial will be a high point of the weekend and Razorback fans will be out in full force!  So pack your bags with your favorite gameday outfit and head to The Empress, we will send you to the game in style by adding our Champagne Picnic!  A tailgating picnic to beat them all, it will include: crusty bread, gourmet cheeses, decadent pate, luscious fruit, indulgent desserts and tasty condiments.  We just hope you can stop eating for long enough to call the Hogs!

River Market on Ice Starts this Weekend!

November 16th, 2011 by Lisa

Just in time for out of town friends to enjoy over the Thanksgiving Holidays, Arvest opens its “River Market on Ice” Winter Celebration.  An Ice Skating Rink will be located in one of the River Market’s open-air pavillions overlooking Riverfront Park and the Arkansas River.  Starting November 19th, the ice rink will be open Monday-Friday from 4-9pm, Saturday from 10am-10pm, and Sunday from 12-8pm.

Grab your jacket, scarf and the hand of a loved one and get out on the ice!  And remember to check us out at www.TheEmpress.com for holiday specials and add-ons to make the most of your stay in Little Rock

The Empress’ Guide to Halloween Happenings

October 19th, 2011 by Lisa

The Empress invites you to stay in the luxury of an 1888 Gothic mansion (some say we have our own ghost) while visiting some of Little Rock’s spookiest Halloween attractions.  The Haunted Cathedral runs from October 22-31 at EMOBA’s Cultural Center and has haunted mazes, floors that fall from beneath you and a carnival atmosphere.  The Haunted Hayride is at Immaculate Heart of Mary School (October 21 and 22) .  Don’t forget Boo and The Zoo for some kid friendly fun and then hit Boo Bash at The Peabody on October 29 for an all adult Halloween extravaganza!  We cannot wait to experience all the fun times that this creepy holiday has to offer and we hope that you can join us!!!