As Cupid’s arrow draws near, it’s time to plan an extraordinary Valentine’s Day experience in Central Arkansas. While candlelit dinners and roses are classic, why not elevate the romance by embracing the great outdoors? From breathtaking sunsets to tranquil picnics, Central Arkansas offers a plethora of romantic settings to celebrate love in nature’s embrace.
Breathtaking Sunset Options
1. Sunset Spectacle at Big Dam Bridge
What could be more enchanting than witnessing the sun’s golden descent over the tranquil waters of the Arkansas and Little Maumelle Rivers? Head to the Big Dam Bridge, a beloved landmark in Little Rock, and stroll hand in hand with your beloved along the expansive pedestrian bridge. As the sky transforms into a canvas of warm hues, steal a moment for an intimate embrace and create memories against the backdrop of nature’s splendor.
You can access the top of the bridge from either the Little Rock or North Little Rock side of the river. #protip: Take a thermos of hot chocolate with you to toast the day.
2. Hiking Romance at Flatside Pinnacle Mountain
For couples seeking adventure intertwined with romance, Flatside Pinnacle Mountain offers the perfect blend. Embark on a scenic hike hand in hand, reveling in the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. As you ascend, each step brings you closer to panoramic views that will leave you breathless. At the summit, find a secluded spot to cozy up and bask in the awe-inspiring vista as you celebrate your love amidst nature’s grandeur.
To get to Flatside Pinnacle Mountain you’ll need a vehicle that can handle gravel forest roads and you should leave the Little Rock area at least 1.5-2 hours before sunset. (Here is a Google Map) The hike up from the gravel parking lot is short but can be strenuous. Take a flashlight or headlamp each, the summit can be a bit treacherous so we recommend finding a spot and not moving around a lot. #protip: Leave early and stop by the Williams Junction Store for a tasty meal to take to the top.
3. Tranquility at Emerald Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat to Emerald Park, a hidden gem nestled in North Little Rock. Here, tranquility reigns supreme, providing couples with a serene setting for a romantic rendezvous. Take a leisurely stroll along the park’s trails, hand in hand, and relish in the peaceful ambiance. Find the perfect spot to sit and gaze into each other’s eyes as you savor the simple joys of being together in nature’s embrace.
This gem in North Little Rock provides beautiful views of both the State Capitol building to the southeast and sunsets this time of year to the southwest. (Google Map for the parking lot) #protip: The Emerald Park Trail is a beautiful walk or bike ride during the day with beautiful views across the river at almost every turn.
What’s more romantic than a picnic for two? Central Arkansas offers an array of picturesque parks where you can spread out a blanket and indulge in a gourmet feast.
1. Knopp Park: This 45-acre community park is nestled in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Little Rock, Arkansas. The park offers a variety of amenities, including scenic views of the Arkansas River and downtown Little Rock, hiking trails, and picnic tables. The park can be accessed at the end of Ozark Street in Hillcrest. While the park does not offer direct sunset views, watching the final light of the day hitting the downtown Little Rock buildings can be beautiful.
2. Two Rivers Park: With its sprawling green spaces and scenic riverfront views, Two Rivers Park provides an idyllic setting for a romantic picnic. Settle down on a grassy knoll, soak in the tranquil ambiance, and savor each bite as you toast to your love amidst nature’s beauty. Cross the Two Rivers Bridge from the River Mountain Road parking lot, turn to the right once you are over the bridge grab a picnic table, or bring a blanket and spread out on the grass.
3. Pinnacle Mountain State Park: For couples seeking adventure along with their picnic, Pinnacle Mountain State Park offers the perfect blend of outdoor recreation and scenic beauty. Choose from one of the park’s designated picnic areas, surrounded by towering trees and stunning vistas, and enjoy a romantic al fresco meal amidst the wonders of the natural world. Remember that the park closes one hour after sunset so time any hiking or mountain biking excursions appropriately.
This Valentine’s Day, step outside the ordinary and embark on an outdoor adventure in Central Arkansas. Whether you’re marveling at a sunset, hiking to new heights, or enjoying a picnic for two, let nature be the backdrop for your love story as you create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.