What Is Conway, Arkansas Known For? (besides the obvious…)

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What Is Conway, Arkansas Known For?
Conway, Arkansas is predominantly known as a vibrant college town, hosting three higher education institutions: the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, and Central Baptist College. This academic presence infuses the city with a youthful energy and contributes to a diverse and lively cultural scene. The city is also recognized for its strong economy, particularly its growing technology sector, earning it the nickname “The City of Colleges.” Conway’s downtown area is noted for its historic charm, local boutiques, and variety of restaurants. For outdoor enthusiasts, Conway offers Lake Conway and Beaverfork Lake, both popular for fishing and boating, along with an extensive network of parks and trails.

Conway, Arkansas, located 25 miles north of Little Rock, is a vibrant city known for its educational institutions and diverse range of industries. As the seat of Faulkner County, Conway has developed into a renowned hub for education, arts, technology, and thriving businesses. The city is particularly known as the home to the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, and Central Baptist College, which play a major role in the city’s identity and development.

In addition to its academic prominence, Conway also boasts a strong economy, boosted by major industries like American Transportation, Acxiom, Frigidaire, Virco Manufacturing, and Kimberly Clark. This diverse combination of industries has contributed to the city’s growth and innovation throughout the years.

Furthermore, Conway’s commitment to the arts is evident with the presence of the Conway Symphony Orchestra, which has been entertaining audiences since its first concert in 1984. The city’s dedication to education, industry, and creativity has ensured its lasting reputation as a significant contributor to Arkansas’ cultural and economic landscape.


Conway, Arkansas, located in central Arkansas’ Faulkner County, is well-known for its esteemed educational institutions. The city is a prominent hub for higher education in the region, with several notable colleges and a strong public school system.

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) plays a significant role in the city’s educational landscape. As a public university, it offers a wide range of degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, making it an essential resource for those seeking to advance their education in central Arkansas.

In addition to UCA, Hendrix College contributes to the academic prestige of Conway. This private liberal arts college emphasizes experiential learning and provides students with a personalized education, fostering an environment that encourages intellectual curiosity and personal growth.

Another reputable institution in the city is Central Baptist College, a private college with a strong focus on faith-based education. Founded by the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas, it strives to integrate Christian values and academic excellence to prepare students for a fulfilling life and career.

Furthermore, Conway’s public school system, the Conway School District, serves over 10,000 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The district is the eighth largest in Arkansas and is recognized for its focus on academic achievement, as evidenced by state test scores showing that 43% of students are proficient in math and 47% in reading.

In conclusion, Conway, Arkansas’ commitment to promoting quality education is evident in its robust higher education institutions and dedicated public school system. This dedication has cultivated a well-rounded community that values lifelong learning and intellectual growth.

Arts and Culture

Conway, Arkansas, is a thriving hub for arts and culture, offering a rich and diverse range of artistic experiences for residents and visitors alike. The city is home to multiple educational institutions, which contribute to its vibrant arts scene and foster a creative environment.

One of the city’s notable events is the annual Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, held each June. This festival showcases a variety of Shakespeare plays, drawing actors and audiences from all over the region. Hosted by the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and Hendrix College, the event is a beloved tradition in the community.

In addition to theater, the city boasts a thriving music scene, highlighted by the Conway Symphony Orchestra. This talented ensemble performs a varied repertoire, ranging from classical masterpieces to contemporary works. Concerts are held at various venues throughout the year, making the orchestra a significant contributor to the city’s cultural offerings.

Visual arts enthusiasts will appreciate the Baum Gallery, located on the UCA campus. This contemporary art gallery regularly features exhibitions by local, regional, and national artists. The space serves not only as a showcase for artistic talent but also as an educational resource for students and the community.

For those seeking more eclectic entertainment options, look no further than UCA Public Appearances and Hendrix Special Events. These programs bring a diverse array of performances to the city, including concerts, dance productions, and more. With something to suit every artistic taste, these events enrich Conway’s cultural landscape and provide opportunities for audiences to expand their horizons.

In summary, Conway, Arkansas, offers a dynamic and engaging arts and culture scene. From theater to music, visual arts, and eclectic performances, the city is a haven for artists and audiences alike, making it a truly vibrant destination for all who love the arts.

History and Landmarks

Conway, Arkansas, has a rich history and several notable landmarks that make it an interesting destination. The city was founded by Asa P. H. Robinson, a chief engineer for the Little Rock – Fort Smith Railroad, following the Civil War. Conway became the county seat of Faulkner County in 1873, and its town square, courthouse, and churches were donated by Robinson.

One significant landmark in Conway is the Cadron Settlement Park, a location that preserves the city’s early history. This park is situated near Cadron Creek and features a recreation of a blockhouse from the historic settlement. It also offers interpretive signs about the area’s history and serves as a resting point for travelers on The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

Another important site in Conway is the Faulkner County Museum, which offers exhibits and information about the county’s history, culture, and people. Housed in a restored 1913 jail building, the museum provides a glimpse into the past, showcasing artifacts and stories of life in Conway and the surrounding area.

The Trail of Tears, a significant national historic site, passes through the Conway region. It marks the forced relocation of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes from their homelands to the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) between 1830 and 1850. The trail is a poignant reminder of the struggles these Native American tribes endured during their journey.

Additionally, the area around Conway was once home to a French trading post, highlighting the early European presence in the region. European traders and trappers established posts like these to engage in trade with the Native American tribes, exchanging items like furs and metal tools. While no physical remnants of the trading post exist today, its legacy adds to the rich history of Conway and its diverse influences.

In summary, Conway, Arkansas is home to several historical landmarks and sites, reflecting its rich past and cultural heritage. From Cadron Settlement Park to the Faulkner County Museum and the historic Trail of Tears, visitors to Conway can experience and learn from the city’s storied past.

Outdoor Activities

Conway, Arkansas is known for its abundance of outdoor activities, fueled by its close proximity to beautiful lakes, rivers, and parks. The largest man-made Game and Fish Commission lake in the United States, Lake Conway, spans 6,700 acres and serves as a popular destination for Arkansas anglers. Boating and fishing enthusiasts have ample opportunities to cast their lines and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

Another favorite spot for water recreation is Beaverfork Lake. This site attracts locals and tourists alike for its fishing, boating, and picturesque views. Both Lake Conway and Beaverfork Lake are havens for outdoor adventure seekers, providing a perfect backdrop for spending quality time with nature.

Conway is also nestled along the Arkansas River, giving residents and visitors access to even more recreational activities. Toad Suck Park offers a scenic getaway along the river’s edge, with picnic areas, playgrounds, and more. The park is named after the Toad Suck Lock and Dam, a prominent feature in the area that manages the flow of the Arkansas River. This location allows for lovely views and peaceful strolls along the river’s banks.

In conclusion, Conway, Arkansas is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of opportunities for fishing, boating, and exploring nature. With destinations like Lake Conway, Beaverfork Lake, and Toad Suck Park, there’s always an adventure waiting in the great outdoors of Conway.

Toad Suck Daze Festival

Toad Suck Daze is an annual springtime festival held in the vibrant city of Conway, Arkansas. The popular event traces its origins back to 1982 when it first began on the banks of the Arkansas River in a neighboring township named “Toad Suck.” Over time, the festival moved to its present location in downtown Conway and has since grown to span eight city blocks.

At the Toad Suck Daze Festival, visitors can find designated areas catering to various interests. These areas feature shopping, food stands, hands-on children’s activities, and musical entertainment, ensuring a diverse range of attractions for everyone to enjoy.

One of the most notable events organized during the festival is the Toad Suck Run, which includes a 10K and 5K race that starts at Conway High School. Other exciting activities across the three-day event include tricycle races at the Centennial Bank Toad Dome, as well as choir performances and kid-friendly firefighting competitions organized by the Conway Fire Department.

Throughout its history, Toad Suck Daze has become a significant annual event for Conway, Arkansas. The festival showcases the city’s spirit, provides entertaining activities for all visitors, and continues to draw a large crowd each year, solidifying its status as a beloved tradition.

Downtown Conway

Downtown Conway, located in Arkansas, showcases the charm of a small town while offering a variety of activities and attractions to its visitors. With an assortment of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, there’s plenty to see and do in this vibrant area.

For starters, Downtown Conway features an array of unique restaurants catering to different tastes. From locally-owned gems to popular chains, you’ll be sure to find satisfying and mouth-watering meals to enjoy. Some notable establishments include charming diners and cafes nestled among the streets, offering various cuisines for a well-rounded dining experience.

In terms of shopping, a diverse range of retailers can be found in the area. Visitors can explore the many boutiques, galleries, and antique shops with a charming atmosphere. Some of these local favorites include the historic Jenifer’s Antiques and a variety of specialty stores offering unique finds to suit various preferences.

Visitors seeking accommodation in the heart of the city can choose from multiple hotels available in Downtown Conway. Conveniently located near various attractions, these establishments cater to different budgets and preferences, ranging from budget-friendly stays to more luxurious options offering a wide range of amenities for guests.

For entertainment, the downtown area is no stranger to live music. With a strong presence of local artists and musicians, you can find various venues hosting bands and solo performers throughout the year. These live performances contribute to the lively atmosphere and provide an enriching experience for visitors.

In summary, Downtown Conway, Arkansas, is an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike with its distinct charm and myriad offerings in dining, shopping, lodging, and entertainment.

Sports and Entertainment

Conway, Arkansas, situated between Little Rock and Memphis, offers a variety of sports and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike. Known for its high-quality facilities and attractions, the city has something for everyone.

One popular spot for entertainment in Conway is the Conway Family Bowl. This modern bowling alley provides a fun atmosphere for families and friends to enjoy a game of bowling while also offering an arcade area with various games for additional amusement.

For those who enjoy solving puzzles and mysteries, the Escape Mystery Rooms are an exciting and unique experience. These escape rooms provide groups with a challenging and immersive adventure where they must work together to solve puzzles, find clues, and ultimately escape the room within a given time limit.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Conway houses several parks and recreational areas where individuals can engage in activities such as archery, fishing, and hiking. The city’s well-maintained parks and green spaces offer a natural and serene environment for residents and visitors to unwind while participating in their favorite hobbies.

In summary, Conway, Arkansas boasts a range of sports and entertainment options, ensuring that everyone, from adventurers to leisure seekers, can find something to enjoy in this charming city.

Economy and Infrastructure

Conway, Arkansas, is a growing city with a population of approximately 70,000 people. It is located in Faulkner County and is known for its strong and diverse economy. Key local businesses contributing to the city’s economy include Acxiom, Home Bancshares, Inc., and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Conway’s cost of living is lower than the US average, making it an attractive place for both businesses and residents.

The city’s infrastructure plays a significant role in supporting its economy. Connect Conway is a project that aims to build a safe, equitable, and accessible transportation system. This initiative focuses on investing in 15 miles of bike and pedestrian infrastructure, connecting ten city parks, seven schools, three major retail areas, three higher education institutions, and fourteen major employment centers.

Conway is also home to a thriving arts and cultural scene, encompassing both educational art museums and various performances. These institutions and events contribute to the city’s vibrant atmosphere and attract visitors, further boosting the local economy.

In addition to its economic and cultural assets, Conway has a supportive Chamber of Commerce. This organization helps local businesses grow and prosper, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit within the community.

Under the leadership of Mayor Bart Castleberry, Conway remains focused on fostering economic growth and enhancing the city’s infrastructure. The Metro Connect Conway initiative is another key component of the city’s development strategy, seeking to create further connections between Conway and the surrounding metropolitan areas.

In summary, Conway, Arkansas, enjoys a robust economy and continuously improving infrastructure. The city is known for its thriving local businesses, vibrant arts scene, and commitment to enhancing its transportation system—making it an attractive place to live and work.

Demographics and Population

Conway, Arkansas, is a city located in the southwestern part of Faulkner County. According to the U.S. Census, Conway had a population of 20,715 in 2020. The city’s demographics show a diverse racial composition, making it an interesting area to explore and study.

The racial composition of Conway, based on the most recent ACS data, is as follows:

  • White: 73.68%
  • Black or African American: 17.92%
  • Two or more races: 3.63%
  • Other race: 2.63%
  • Asian: 1.95%
  • Native American: 0.21%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0%

It is important to note that the Hispanic population is represented within these racial categories, as individuals can be of any race.

Conway’s diverse demographics provide a vibrant cultural atmosphere in the city. While the majority of the population is White, there is still a significant percentage of Black or African American residents, as well as representation from various other racial groups. This mix of cultures and ethnicities contributes to the distinctive character of Conway and enriches the community’s cultural landscape.

In conclusion, understanding the demographics and population composition of Conway, Arkansas, is crucial when analyzing the city’s distinctive features and studying its development. This diverse mix of cultures and ethnicities makes Conway a unique and vibrant place to live and visit.

Travel and Accommodation

Conway, Arkansas, is a charming city known for its mix of modern and historic attractions. Travelers have various comfortable accommodation options, including hotels and Airbnb rentals, while visiting this thriving destination.

Hotels: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Conway is a popular choice, offering modern amenities and comfortable lodgings to its guests. Another option is the business-friendly hotel located at 2350 Sanders Rd, known for its clean rooms and helpful staff. This hotel provides guests with free breakfast, WiFi, and parking.

Airbnb: Conway is also home to a variety of Airbnb rentals, catering to different budgets and preferences. Staying in an Airbnb allows visitors to experience the local culture firsthand and explore residential neighborhoods for a more authentic feel. Many rentals are situated near attractions, making it convenient for sightseeing and enjoyment.

As the largest man-made game and fish commission lake in the United States, Lake Conway covers 6,700 acres and attracts anglers from all over. Beaverfork Lake is another popular site for water recreation, providing opportunities for visitors to engage in outdoor adventures.

For those interested in shopping, dining, and entertainment, Conway offers numerous options. Some of the top attractions include Jennifer’s Antiques, Escape Mystery Rooms, and Art On The Green. The city also has magnificent historic sites and natural wildlife areas that make it a must-visit destination.

When planning your trip to Conway, Arkansas, you can feel confident knowing that various accommodation options are available to make your stay memorable and comfortable. Whether you choose a hotel or an Airbnb rental, remember to take the time to explore and immerse yourself in this lively city’s unique charm and attractions.

Performances and Events

Conway, Arkansas, is known for its lively arts scene and various events that draw locals and visitors alike. One notable venue in Conway is the Reynolds Performance Hall, which hosts a wide array of concerts and events throughout the year.

This venue is home to both professional concerts and free outdoor community performances, offering a diverse selection of musical experiences for everyone to enjoy. Reynolds Performance Hall is committed to promoting the fine and performing arts within the region, making it a cornerstone of the arts scene in Conway.

A popular annual event in Conway is the Holiday Performance, which brings festive cheer through music and traditional holiday songs. This event showcases local talent and often features a children’s concert to engage audiences of all ages.

In addition to these events, the Conway community and nearby colleges often host a range of campus performances, appealing to a wide audience. This includes theatrical plays, dance showcases, and various activities that further enrich the cultural scene in the city.

In summary, Conway, Arkansas, is a thriving hub of arts and culture, offering residents and visitors an engaging and diverse selection of events, performances, and experiences. With a focus on both professional and community-based events, as well as fostering the arts among the younger generation, Conway is truly a city that embraces and celebrates the arts.