Conway is a college town in the Central region of Arkansas, northwest of Little Rock. Do not be deceived into thinking Conway is just another suburb of Little Rock. The "City of Colleges" has crafted its own unique identity, with beautiful college campuses, peaceful nature trails, access to two gorgeous lakes, one impressive river, and plenty of restaurants and shops to boot.
Interstate 40 travels around the eastern and northern portions of Conway, with four exits allowing access to city itself. Exit 129 empties onto the southern divided highway, Dave Ward Drive, which is the fastest way to get to the University of Central Arkansas campus. Exit 127 and Exit 125 both provide relatively easy access to Hendrix College and Central Baptist College, as well as the historic downtown area. Though Exit 124 is labelled as an exit for Wooster, it can be a convenient way to bypass the occasional downtown traffic to reach destinations in West Conway. On Dave Ward Drive, please take care to follow the posted speed limit, especially when empty roads may tempt you to continue at interstate speeds, as this is a favorite spot for Conway PD to catch unsuspecting motorists.
One Greyhound Bus each morning can take you from North Little Rock to Conway, and another one can take you back to the capital in the evening. The Greyhound station in North Little Rock is located near Riverfront Park, while the stop in Conway can be found in front of the Flash Market, a difficult and somewhat treacherous walk away from most points of interest.
If you are a student at one of the universities, be on the lookout for carpooling options or shuttle buses, especially around school breaks. It is possible to take an Uber to or from Little Rock for around $30, and a taxi would be more expensive. If you have connections in the area and time to plan ahead, it is usually best to pay a friend or acquaintance to take you to or from Little Rock.
By far the best way to get around town is via car or bicycle. Conway has its fair share of cyclists (Conway Advocates for Bicycling), and the city has made great efforts to become more bike friendly. Bicyclists may be pleased with the availability of bike lanes and planned bike routes.
The mascot of the high school football team is a 'Wampus Cat'. A statue exists at the football stadium.
- EcoFest. Is a small (2500+ person) festival focused on environmental awareness. It takes place in the fall, usually September.
- Toad Suck Daze. Is a large (100,000+ person?) festival. It takes place in the spring, usually May.
- The Faulkner County Fair [dead link] takes place ever fall, usually September. It takes place a little ways outside town at the Expo Center and Fairgrounds. It also includes a parade through downtown.
- Comic Conway. Is a local comic, anime, and gaming convention. It takes place in the late fall, usually November.
- Chains for the Cure is a local disk golf tournament. It started in 2013, takes place in October, has a small entry fee, donates proceeds to a charity.
- Conway Composers' Concert is a free concert that takes place twice per year.
- ArtsFest is an annual festival.
- Light up the Night is an annual festival in downtown Conway during an evening in September.
- There is a corn maze southwest of town on Lollie Rd where 89N turns north into Sand Gap Rd. The maze is open in the fall season and has various supporting activities such as fair-style food and a children's playground.
- The Pumpkin Patch is southwest of town on Lollie Rd where 89N turns north into Sand Gap Rd. It is open in the fall season with various children's rides and such - and of course pumpkin-picking. It's much more popular than you might expect: there were dozens of cars in the parking lot one October Saturday afternoon.
- During football season UCA has tailgating for several hours before each home game on Bruce Street.
- The UCA physics department has monthly showings in both their planetarium and observatory.
- Reynolds Performing Hall. Is a performing arts theatre with performances every couple weeks throughout the year.
- Science Night takes place one per month in downtown. It features panel discussions on topics in science. (As of September 2014; it will likely follow the academic year schedule as it is organized by the UCA society of physics students) The venue has changed from time to time: first it was at "The Locals", but as of 2016 it has been at "Kings".
- Family-friendly bike rides take place on the last Sunday of every month. They start at 2pm in Simon park, and are organized by the group "Conway Advocates for Bicycles".
- Tucker Creek Trail. Is a 3.5 mile fully paved recreation trail following Tucker Creek. It starts off of Tyler Street at Gatlin park and goes south. Eventually it forks and terminates in two places: Wal-mart at Hogan Lane and Reedy Road. This is a popular trail, expect to run into numerous other patrons of the trail.
- The preserve behind Hendrix village. These are unpaved walking trails that meander through the woods behind Hendrix village and the Wal-mart at Harkrider. The woods is actually an engineered basin to handle runoff waters from the local shopping centers, so there are numerous boardwalks and levees.
- The Jewel Moore Nature Reserve [dead link]. These are unpaved walking trails that meander through the nature preserve at the southern end of UCA.
- The Stone Dam Creek Trail is a short paved trail following the creek through some residential areas and into UCA campus. There is no crosswalk when it crosses Dave Ward Dr.
- There are at least two disk golf courses in town. One is at the southern end of UCA near the Stone Dam Creek Trail and Jewel Moore Nature Reserve. The other is just north of town at Beaver Fork Lake; it's park of a park near Kinley Dr (as of 2014 the park is not labeled on Google Maps).
- Cadron Settlement Park. Is a typical public park on the outskirts of town with some woodsy trails, picnic tables, and a boat launch.
- Toad Suck Ferry Damsite Park. Is a typical public park and campground on the outskirts of town. It has few, if any, trails. There are numerous picnic tables, however. This is a popular park, expect to see lots of other people.
The downtown area is small, but fairly pedestrian friendly. Many small-town shops exist, including a mix of clothing and antique stores.
- Mike's Place, 808 Front Street (Across from City Hall and Simon Park). noon-late. Steaks, seafood, and more with a hint of New Orleans. Medium Price.
- Colton's Steak House & Grill, 120 E Oak St, ☏ .
- Jade China Restaurant, 559 Harkrider St, ☏ .
- The Fish House, 116 S Harkrider St, ☏ .
- Stoby's Restaurant, 805 Donaghey Ave, ☏ . A local tradition! Great sandwiches, lighter fare, pies and cakes to die for!
- Pia's Fine Italian Dining, 915 Front St, ☏ .
- Oak Street Bistro.
- The Locals, 1024 Van Ronkle St. 9-8 TWThF; 11-5 Sat. Coffee Shop. It has tables for people to use.
Virtually all of the hotels are near the two main interstate exits (125 and 127), probably around a dozen or so total.