From Lexington and Jackson TN to waterfront camping in Little Rock, Arkansas
Our journey continued from Lexington, Tennessee, a very small town along US 412 and just south of the I-40 to downtown Jackson, Tennessee as part of our 17 day RV journey across parts of America.
We traveled through downtown Lexington, which has some historic structures as well as some interesting old mid-century remains in original condition on both sides of its downtown. The city’s web site has little in terms of enticement to visit and refers visitors to the state’s website on Lexington which has very little as well.
Despite this lack of self-esteem, the town did have a main street and you could easily take a break here and discover some things. We opted to stop in nearby downtown Jackson, which is very easily accessed off the I-40 so you have no excuse to not stop here and check it out though Lexington is only about ten miles from the interstate.
Downtown Jackson is the county seat, and like many small towns that are the seat of local government it seems to have survived and has sufficient shopping, restaurants and historic buildings to more than keep you occupied and interested. It is also of importance in American Civil War history and is the home of Casey Jones, of the railway fame, and also has a shopping village along with museums and other things to do, called Casey Jones Village, which we didn’t visit but looks interesting.
The town itself has quite a few historic buildings and the downtown is fairly compact with easy walkability and ample parking. There are restaurants and shops and the courthouse square is equally nice. The town’s bus station is an incredible art deco style and really stands out as a nice piece of architecture and signage.
Being midway between Nashville and Memphis has probably helped the town and music history is prevalent here as well. No matter your interest, there is good reason to stop and visit the town and it is very close to the Natchez Trace State Park as well.
We cruised past Memphis on the I-40 (yes, sometimes we do take the Interstate system) on our way to Little Rock, Arkansas. We discovered there was a downtown RV Park in North Little Rock along the river and across from downtown Little Rock. It didn’t disappoint us at all.
While it would be best to describe it as a nice parking lot along the river with full hookups for RVs and free wireless, it wouldn’t be fair to say because in this instance the location is really incredible. There is a back gate you can walk over the pedestrian bridge to the Clinton Library and along from there it is an easy walk into downtown Little Rock. We decided to take a taxi back but it was a nice stroll getting to the downtown.
In addition to the Clinton Library there is a festival marketplace called River Market that is fairly new. It was nice to see that cities were still investing in this type of urban renewal despite these falling somewhat out of favor. It now seems that most cities have something like this.
Another nice feature about the downtown is that some of the urban structures have been preserved and a proper tram/trolley line still operates albeit with replica cars. It is just over a three mile loop and honestly unless you were going to North Little Rock, you could walk the line quicker but a nice loop around is great for sightseeing. A farmer’s market also operates at the River Market. There is no shortage of restaurants and shops and you can easily fill a day in downtown Little Rock.
We opted to go to The Flying Saucer. This is a great restaurant and beer hall that has its own brewed beers on tap. The food was excellent and we opted for a platter of artisanal meats and cheeses which was fantastic. While I don’t recall which beers I tried, the fun of it all is trying them. It was a great place with lots of friendly people and the inside is smoke-free. I do remember that the beer was more powerful than what I was used to so we opted for the taxi home and the waitress suggested doing that anyway after dark so be warned about that recommendation.
You could probably stay several days at the RV park or any hotel in the area if you don’t have an RV and enjoy a few days of visiting Little Rock. It was a surprisingly interesting, fun and historic town that exceeded our expectations!