Date: September 1, 2021 | Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Molly Anne Sandefur |
No one descriptor can contain this central Arkansas town | A Special At Home in Arkansas Promotion
For years, Conway has been known as the City of Colleges, thanks to the three institutions of higher education based there: the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, and Central Baptist College. However, recent visits to the town 30 miles north of Little Rock have us ready to add a few other options for Conway’s nickname. How about the City of Coffee? With Blue Sail Coffee, Zetêo, Round Mountain, T.H.I.N.K. Coffee, and now a location of Northwest Arkansas’s 7Brew opening soon, there’s more than enough local java for every student in the city.
Another moniker we’ll propose is the City of Creativity. Conway boasts the Baum Gallery of Fine Art, a museum for the visual arts on UCA’s campus that often shows touring exhibitions in addition to student work. It is also the headquarters for the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, the state’s only professional Shakespeare company, which performs work by the Bard (and other popular plays and musicals) every summer. Simply take a walk downtown and you’ll find new murals springing to life from old buildings’ walls, a sign that the city is always changing—and often defying definition. Read on for more of our favorite spots to shop, dine, and visit in Conway.
Don’t miss downtown’s Park Hill Home (facebook.com/parkhillhome), a curated collection of timeless home décor, tabletop accessories, and antique reproductions, all with a nostalgic sensibility and Southern charm. From baby accessories to children’s clothing, visit Simply Sweet Kids (shopsimplysweet.com) to shop for tots big and small. With cards, candles, and gifts like puzzles and glassware, Classic Touch (conwaysclassictouch.net) is so much more than a flower shop; stop by to treat yourself or a loved one.
Located on downtown’s Oak Street, Streetside Creperie (streetsidecreperie.com) is open for breakfast and lunch, serving sweet and savory crepes in a quaint cafe atmosphere. Blue Barn Bakery (thebluebarnbakery.com) has a mission of baked goods for all; you’ll find keto, gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan options all on the menu. At Hatchet House BBQ (hatchethousebbque.com), people come for the axe throwing and stay for the barbecue (and live music!).
For a dose of area history, visit Cadron Settlement Park (conwayparks.com), where attractions include the historic blockhouse re-creation, exhibits about the Trail of Tears, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and more. Founded in 1984, the Conway Symphony Orchestra (conwaysymphony.org) has been providing classical music concerts and educational opportunities in central Arkansas for more than three decades. Join them for a free outdoor concert in Laurel Park on September 17.