Though most locals consider it a suburb of Little Rock, Sherwood is actually an independent municipality that was incorporated in 1948.
In many ways, it’s the best of both worlds. It still maintains its smalltown charm, but due to its proximity to Little Rock, residents and visitors have access to many cultural and recreational activities that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
Sherwood had less than 30,000 residents at the time of the last census, which ranks it in the top 15 largest towns in the state.
Below are 14 of the best things to do in and around Sherwood.
1. Lake Cherrywood Park
Located near Sherwood’s downtown area on Summit Street, Lake Cherrywood Park’s key attraction is the lake. It’s a perennial favorite with local anglers, who come to fish mainly for the bass and catfish that are periodically restocked by the Arkansas Game and Fish Department.
The park offers other leisure amenities, like a playground, swing-set, and basketball courts. If you’re more into picnics, lounging, or relaxing with a good book, there are some covered gazebos as well.
The park is easy to get to and is an especially pleasant place for a morning or afternoon stroll -especially in spring and fall.
2. William J. Clinton Presidential Library
Located in nearby Little Rock, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library is a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Whether you’re a fan of Slick Willy or not, from a historical perspective, it’s an interesting place to visit; it documents the ex-president’s meteoric rise from humble beginnings to the national and international stages.
The library is near the shores of the Arkansas River and was opened in 2004.
In addition to the library, the building is the headquarters of the Clinton Foundation and located near the University of Arkansas School of Law.
3. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
In America in the ‘50s, a heated debate raged about the desegregation of schools, and no city in the country played more of a front and center role than Little Rock.
Little Rock Central High School was the scene of a dramatic confrontation that pitted blacks against whites; African American children made their way to the school after an order to desegregate from then-president Dwight Eisenhower.
The school is located on West Daisy Drive, and though it’s still a functioning high school, it’s also a nationally recognized historic site that really should be visited when you’re in town.
4. Little Rock Zoo
With hundreds of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish from all over the world, visiting the Little Rock Zoo is a great way to spend a few hours of your time in the Sherwood and Little Rock areas.
The zoo has gone out of its way to cater to families with children, and there are a variety of interactive exercises that will keep the little ones you’re traveling with interested, engaged and active.
A few perennial favorites are the adorable penguins, massive rhinos, and big cats.
Tours are available if you’d like to get more insight into each animal. If you’d rather see things at your own, pace that’s okay too.
5. The Old Mill
Little Rock’s Old Mill has been restored to nearly original appearance, and though some of the construction is recent, you’ll never notice, and it won’t detract from the site’s quaintness.
Like it did in centuries past, The Old Mill still grinds wheat and other grains into flour using water and stone wheels, which is nearly unheard of in these days of speed, electricity and modern food factories.
The Mill lies along a scenic portion of the Arkansas River. In addition to its natural splendor, it’s open for tours. There is a store and restaurant on site, so you can sample some of their products and pick up some to take home.
6. Arkansas Museum of Discovery
For young children, learning and entertainment don’t often go hand in hand, but a trip to the Arkansas Museum of Discovery might change all that.
It’s been designed with kids in mind and is full of exhibits, displays and interactive activities that give kids a hands-on insight into interesting science topics like gravity, math, electricity, and magnetism.
There’s a little something for everyone, no matter the age – it’s not unheard of for parents to learn a thing or two as well.
This is a great place to spend a few morning or afternoon hours out of the summer heat or winter cold.
7. Big Dam Bridge
Rumor has it that Little Rock’s Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian-only dam in the country.
Depending on the season, the dam is a great place to do a bit of bird watching. It is typically home to pelicans, red-tailed hawks, and other birds of prey – like kingfishers, who come to snack on the reservoir’s abundant fish.
Biking and jogging are allowed on the path, but motorized vehicles are prohibited. There are restroom facilities available.
The views from above the reservoir are impressive; if the water is flowing through the spillways, it’s an especially dramatic sight.
8. Funland Amusement Park
Though the Funland Amusement Park doesn’t sport the world’s biggest coasters or Ferris wheels, it’s a great place to spend a few family-friendly hours.
Compared to lots of larger amusement parks, it’s reasonably priced, and since it’s got rides that are suitable for nearly every age, nobody will feel that they were short-changed.
A few favorites of little ones are the rides that simulate the space shuttle, trains, and helicopters. Of course, like all amusement parks, they’ve got a horse carousel.
For those with grumbling stomachs, the food stands serve classics like hot dogs, cotton candy and soft pretzels.
9. Riverfront Park
According to local legend, the city of Little Rock was named after a place along the Arkansas River where barges and boats moored to the shore using a rock as an anchor.
Now, that site is part of Riverfront Park, a favorite recreation area along the river.
The park has a massive playground and plenty of paved paths winding their way along the river, making it an excellent spot for walkers, joggers, and cyclists.
The views from the trails are some of the most unobstructed you’ll see in the area, and there’s a tall bridge that’s a great vantage point making the view across the river an often photographed one.
10. Esse Purse Museum
There aren’t many museums in the world that are solely dedicated to showing purses in all their different styles, sizes, and colors.
Located on Main Street in downtown Little Rock, the Esse Purse Museum is hip, fashionable, and one of those quirky tidbits of Americana that should be checked out if you can spare an hour or so.
The museum gives excellent insights into not only purses but more generally to the plight of women over the decades.
The museum is very well done, and though it’d be interesting for some, it’s probably not a great place for those with little children.
11. River Market District
Located along Markham Street in Little Rock, the River Market District consists of thousands of square feet of shops, stalls, and tables that sell a wide variety of items.
The indoor market is open year-round and is a favorite spot for locals and visitors looking for jewelry, prepared food, health and body products, and a host of other things.
The proprietors are local; when you buy things in the market district as opposed to mega-retail stores, you’re supporting the local economy and entrepreneurs.
It’s a great place to pick up uniquely Arkansas gifts and keepsakes.
12. Rock Town Distillery
The Rock Town Distillery’s claim to fame is that it’s Arkansas’ first legal distillery and has been in constant production since prohibition was repealed.
In addition to their historical legacy, they also produce some of the most sought after spirits in the region; if you’d like to see how it’s all done, tours of the facility are available.
Previous guests have noted that the guides are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and that the spirits they sampled after the tour were out of this world.
Some of their tastiest products include natural flavors from apples and peaches, and they also make old-style moonshine.
13. The Arkansas River Trail
With dozens of miles of trails winding their way through Little Rock and the surrounding countryside, the Arkansas River Trail system is the city’s premier destination for those looking to get outside, stretch their legs, and see some fantastic sights along the way.
Sections of the trail run along both shores of the river, and it even goes to Pinnacle Mountain, which is a fair distance outside city limits.
Two bridges take visitors across the river to Big Dam Bridge and the River Market District.
Many guests start in the morning with a coffee or breakfast downtown, then head out to the countryside before the temperature gets too intense.
14. Arkansas Arts Center
For all things related to art, the Arkansas Arts Center is a must-see when visiting the Sherwood and Little Rock areas.
The center has a wonderful venue for performing arts such as dance, live music, and theater productions. It’s also home to some permanent art collections in its museum section.
With so many options, it’s a good idea to check out their website to see when they’re open, and what’s on the calendar when you’ll be visiting.
The center also includes scenic outdoor grounds, a great place for a sandwich or cold drink after you’ve had your fill of the art.