River Market | River Market | Public Place | Community
What downtown is for other cities, the River Market is for Little Rock — namely, the cultural hub. During the day, the city's hungry hordes congregate inside the Ottenheimer Hall, the official name of the building most locals call the River Market, where more than a dozen full-time vendors offer everything from paninis to pad thai. From May to October, on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, produce lovers from miles around come to the open-air pavilions behind the hall to one of Arkansas's longest running farmers' markets. Particularly on Saturdays, the market takes on a carnival-like feel. During the temperate months, the 10,000-capacity Riverfest Amphitheatre on the banks of the Arkansas River hosts big-name concerts. More often — as in at least three nights every week — the throngs pack the district for its lively bar scene, which includes two of the city's best venues, an underground dance club, an Irish pub and two dueling piano bars (they're dueling dueling piano bars). Cruising the strip is popular (if annoying), too. The River Rail Trolley winds throughout the district, and across the bridge to North Little Rock, and makes stops at the Clinton Library and Heifer International, the area's main tourist destinations. The trolley looks nice — particularly at night — but it's a traffic irritant and a terrifically inefficient way to travel. Only tourists ride it.

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