Little Rock offers a surprising density of antiques shops, ranging in quality, price, and mood. Spend hours wandering elegant, uncluttered stores or chock-full warehouses, spying finds anywhere from $20 to $12, 000.
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If spring fever has revved you up for antiques shopping, we suggest a drive to Little Rock. You can make a fun weekend in and around this town, with a couple of surprises that have nothing to do with great old stuff.
The Little Rock area offers dozens of antiques shops, and if you're on a serious hunt for something specific, a few phone calls before you come to town will give you a head start. But if you just want to show up and start browsing, that's fine. I found the small newspaper Arkansas Antiques with its large maps especially helpful for getting familiar with all the antiquing areas of town--before I ever left home. To get a copy ahead of time, call Arkansas Antiques in Dardanelle at (479) 229-2493.
In keeping with the theme of the grand past, I stayed at The Capital Hotel downtown. It has history, but also a fresh redo with big rooms and the friendliest staff I've run across in a long time. Weekend rates for couples start at $124; (501) 374-7474, 1-800-766-7666, or If you prefer a sleeker feel, a new Peabody hotel sits across the street.
The closest and fastest shopping you can do from here is The Heights area around Kavanaugh Boulevard. Beware if you're "junk" antiquing: This is more of a district for designers. Some items are neither antiques nor bargains. But you'll see lots of beautiful things. (Most of the shops on this stretch aren't open Sunday. If you see a must-have, go ahead and buy it.)