THING TO DO

Explore the Park's Visitor Center

Little Rock Central High School NHS visitor center and exhibits

Explore the park visitor center's detailed exhibits and learn about the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School through interviews, news footage, audio/video recordings of those directly involved plus watch our new park interpretive film (unavailable during COVID-19 pandemic limited access). The visitor center also features accessible restrooms and a Jefferson National Parks Association (JNPA) bookstore with items related to the stories of civil rights and various gifts and souvenirs to take home from your visit to this site. 

The exhibits begin by examining the laws and court cases that established cultural and legal precedents and determined opportunties for African Americans including the Civil Rights Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v Board of Education. Learn about the massive resistance in the South that provoked opposition in Little Rock to integration during the 1957 crisis, the significance of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's use of the 101st Airborne to enforce federal law, and how the courage and determination of the Little Rock Nine carried them through a turbulent school year once inside Central High School and beyond.

Read about other stories and heroes of the civil rights movement, listen to recordings of Little Rock Nine remembering the crisis, ask park rangers for more information about this key moment, or work on a Junior Ranger book to earn your badge. 

Visitors should always park in the free Visitor Center parking lot. Central High School is an operating public high school with over 2,500 students, grades 9 through 12. Visitors may walk around the reflection pool and front steps of Central High on their own, but must be on a ranger-led tour to enter the active high school. Exhibits, film and bookstore are all located in the National Park Visitor Center. Traffic/parking can be congested on school days between 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. All ranger-led tours begin inside the visitor center unless otherwise listed. The visitor center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. CST/CDT to 4:30 p.m. CST/CDT and closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day unless otherwise designated. 
Details
All ages are welcome, but minors must be with an adult, parent, or guardian.
Pets are not permitted within the visitor center; this restriction does not apply to service animals. All pets must be leashed or otherwise restrained in accordance with 36 CFR 2.15(a)(2).

Individuals in possession of pets must have on their person a bag or device for the containerization and removal of pet excrement. Individuals shall immediately containerize and dispose of excrement deposited by their pet in a trash receptacle or remove it from the historic site.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Physical address:
2120 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202

Take the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard exit (2B) off Interstate 630.  Go south on Martin Luther King, Jr (away from Arkansas State Capitol).  Turn right (west) onto Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive.  The Visitor Center and Visitor Parking will be on your Right at the intersection of Daisy L. Gatson Bates and Park Street, directly across from the historic Magnolia Gas Station and diagonally across from Central High School campus.  All visitors should park and begin visit at the National Historic Site Visitor Center.  
We recommend that groups of 30 or more planning to come to the visitor center should contact the National Historic Site before scheduling a visit.
The visitor center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. CST/CDT to 4:30 p.m. CST/CDT and closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day unless otherwise designated. 
Accessibility Information
The visitor center provides the Durateq® Assistive Technology System with three services for visitors: Audio description (AD) of the exhibits in the visitor center for visitors who are blind or have low vision; Assistive Listening (ALS) in the multi-purpose room and at the audio stations in the visitor center for visitors who are hard of hearing; and Handheld Captions (HC) at the audio stations in the visitor center for visitors who are deaf.

Visitors may check out a handheld device which provides accessible services from a park representative at the Visitor Center desk. Content is automatically activated on the devices via “invisible” infrared emitters installed throughout the exhibit space. 

Service animals are allowed inside the visitor center. A wheelchair is available for use - ask at the visitor center front desk.

Last updated: September 24, 2021