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15 Best Places to Visit in Arkansas

15 Best Places to Visit in Arkansas

Touring Arkansas means getting acquainted with the state’s geography and historical past. Many of Arkansas’ finest locations to go to are peppered all through the state’s northwestern area, the place the Ozark Mountains reward vacationers with rugged terrain and breathtaking vistas. Cityscapes show to be simply as gratifying thanks to the preservation of historic structure and the presence of numerous museums. We’ve compiled an inventory of a few of the state’s high locations to assist you construct your Arkansas itinerary.

Related: 15 Best Airbnbs in Arkansas

Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
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1. Little Rock

If you’re stumped about what to do in Arkansas, begin with the state capital. Little Rock sits on the south financial institution of the Arkansas River, proper in the center of the state. Arkansas’ most populous metropolis is wealthy in historical past, and its traditionally vital areas coexist harmoniously with the bustle of a various metropolis.

The state capital’s most visited website is Little Rock Central High School, a chosen National Historic Site. In 1957, a gaggle of African American college students often known as the Little Rock Nine was enrolled on the college however denied entry in spite of the 1954 US Supreme Court ruling that declared college segregation legal guidelines to be unconstitutional. Ranger-led excursions of the varsity delve into the historical past and legacy of the Little Rock Integration Crisis. Other in style historic websites embrace the William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum and the Arkansas State Capitol.

The River Market District is the hub of Little Rock’s downtown. The district’s Ottenheimer Market Hall is a first-rate lunch spot, providing delectable worldwide cuisines. River Market’s different highlights embrace dwell music and handicrafts from native artisans. Riverfront Park is one other beloved Little Rock spot. Sprawling alongside 11 blocks of the riverbank, the park contains a historical past pavilion, a sculpture backyard, an amphitheater, a splash park, and extra.

Large rock fronts the Ozark Diamond Mine
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2. Crater of Diamonds State Park

A go to to Crater of Diamonds State Park isn’t only a enjoyable factor to do in Arkansas – it might be a helpful expertise, too. Named a state park in 1972, this land simply exterior of Murfreesboro in southwest Arkansas consists of peridotite soil that has yielded diamonds and different gems and minerals to searchers for the reason that early twentieth century. More than 33,000 diamonds have been discovered in the park since its opening.

The foremost attraction is the park’s 37-acre area, the place guests are invited to seek for gems, rocks, and minerals. What’s extra, their discoveries are theirs to hold. The park has mining instruments for hire, or you’ll be able to deliver your individual tools so long as it isn’t battery-operated or motorized. Park employees members will determine your findings free of charge in addition to providing mining demonstrations and varied interpretive packages.

The park has a number of campsites for guests who need to maximize their luck by spending a number of days trying to find gems. If digging for diamonds isn’t your pastime of alternative, haven’t any worry, as there are different actions right here. The Little Missouri River runs via the park, and anglers can fish for largemouth bass, catfish, bream, and trout. Other outside services embrace picnic websites and strolling trails.

Haw Creek Falls, Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
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3. Ozark-St. Francis National Forest

Encompassing multiple million acres, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest really contains two separate forests: the Ozark National Forest and the St. Francis National Forest. The two forests have totally different topographical options and ecosystems, and each are Arkansas points of interest in their very own proper.

The Ozark National Forest is by far the bigger of the 2, stretching throughout 1.2 million acres in northwest Arkansas. The majority of the forest is situated in the Ozark Mountains, which embrace Mount Magazine, the tallest peak in the state. The Ozark National Forest is notable for its magnificence all through the altering seasons, with an abundance of wildflowers in the spring and fiery foliage in the autumn. The forest consists of 5 designated wilderness areas and a whole lot of campsites.

Read more: 13 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Arkansas

The St. Francis National Forest is located in east-central Arkansas, shut to the state border. The forest covers 22,600 acres and is extremely biologically numerous relative to its dimension. This range has created habitats for quite a lot of wildlife, together with white-tailed deer, waterfowl, squirrels, and wild turkeys. The St. Francis and Mississippi rivers and a number of lakes have made the forest a preferred spot with anglers thanks to the presence of largemouth bass, striped bass, catfish, bream, and extra.

Blanchard Spring Cavern in Arkansas, USA
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4. Blanchard Springs Caverns

One of probably the most stunning locations in Arkansas can solely be seen by venturing underground. Situated inside the Ozark National Forest, Blanchard Springs Caverns is thought for being probably the most rigorously developed cave programs in the nation and deserves its personal spot on this record. The caverns opened for excursions in the Seventies and stay the one caves owned by the US authorities exterior of the National Park System.

Blanchard Springs Caverns are sometimes referred to because the Living Cave as a result of their contents are repeatedly altering. Dripping water recurrently deposits calcite onto the rock formations, which proceed to develop because of this. Three totally different excursions of the caverns are supplied by educated Forest Service guides. The Dripstone Trail is a straightforward stroll that lets guests see nearly each kind of rock formation that exists in the cave system. The Discovery Trail winds via the decrease stage of the caverns and features a view of the underground stream. The Wild Cave Tour is a strenuous journey that explores undeveloped parts of the cave system.

Above floor, Blanchard Springs has much more points of interest. Among these are a waterfall and a few spectacular springs, which embrace areas for swimming and fishing. Campsites and climbing and biking trails are additionally obtainable.

Grand View of Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas, USA
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5. Mount Magazine State Park

Mount Magazine State Park could also be one of many high points of interest in Arkansas right this moment, but it surely took some time for the land to obtain the designation it deserves. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mount Magazine grew to become a part of the Ouachita National Forest in 1938, solely to be transferred to the Ozark National Forest in 1941. The 2,234-acre stretch of land was lastly devoted as a state park in 2002.

At 2,753 toes excessive, Mount Magazine is the tallest peak in Arkansas and its sprawling views entice locals and vacationers alike. The park’s elevation makes it a first-rate spot for dangle gliding, sport climbing, bouldering, and rappelling. The Huckleberry Mountain Trail, a preferred and difficult multiuse path that leads to the Ozark National Forest, accommodates hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and all-terrain automobiles. Additional climbing trails range in size and problem, so there’s a path to go well with hikers of all ranges.

If at some point on the park doesn’t really feel adequate, take into account making the most of on-site lodging. Campsites can be found, however vacationers searching for a really comfy expertise might go for a keep in one of many park’s cabins or the Lodge at Mount Magazine, each of which provide gorgeous views of the Petit Jean River Valley and the Blue Mountain Lake.

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7. Bentonville

Bentonville in northwest Arkansas is finest often known as the birthplace of Walmart, however there’s extra to this metropolis than the world’s largest retailer. Bentonville serves as a gateway to Beaver Lake and varied mountain parks, and its numerous cultural establishments can have interaction nearly any traveler.

A visit to Bentonville is inevitably an academic one, since many of the metropolis’s high points of interest are museums. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is housed in a mesmerizing construction designed by the world-famous architect Moshe Safdie. The museum contains a everlasting assortment that depicts 5 centuries of American artwork in addition to dynamic short-term reveals. The Museum of Native American History has no admission cost and explores 14,000 years’ price of Indigenous tradition. The Scott Family Amazeum specializes in interactive reveals and experiences that gasoline youngsters’s curiosity about science, know-how, engineering, artwork, and math.

Visitors who want to get their blood pumping are in luck, as Bentonville is thought to some because the Mountain Biking Capital of the World. Cyclists who experience round city get to admire the 100 installments that make up Bentonville’s public artwork program. Just a few miles northwest of downtown is the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. The protect combines pure drops with synthetic obstacles to create difficult programs.

View of Walmart Museum downtown Bentonville, Northwest Arkansas
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9. Eureka Springs

Just east of Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas is likely one of the finest small cities in Arkansas for historical past buffs. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Eureka Springs certainly one of America’s Distinctive Destinations in 2001, and town’s whole downtown space was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 because the Eureka Springs Historic District.

Read more: 50 Fun Things To Do & Places To Visit In Arkansas

The hottest vacationer attraction by far in Eureka Springs is its downtown historic district. A good portion of the downtown space was constructed between 1880 and 1910 and demonstrates well-preserved examples of Victorian structure. A go to to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum offers additional perception into the city’s previous in addition to an artwork gallery and heritage gardens. Unique boutiques and eating places and an energetic nightlife scene contribute to the district’s charms.

Some of Eureka Springs’ most-visited spots require a brief drive out of town heart. Families flock to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge about 9 miles south of downtown. The refuge particularly serves uncared for and abused massive cats, specializing in cougars, leopards, lions, and tigers. Roughly three miles northwest of downtown is the long-lasting Thorncrown Chapel. The distinctive construction opened in 1980, and its distinctive wood and glass design has attracted greater than seven million guests.

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10. Petit Jean State Park

History and geology are perpetually intertwined at Petit Jean State Park, the primary designated state park in Arkansas. The park is situated on the high of Petit Jean Mountain, with the Ozark National Forest to the north and the Ouachita National Forest to the south. Petit Jean’s rugged terrain is mirrored in the park’s structure, which was constructed in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps utilizing native stone and wooden.

Petit Jean Mountain rises 1,120 toes above the Arkansas River Valley, so it’s no shock that a few of the park’s most beloved spots are its overlooks. Multiple overlooks provide views of the Petit Jean River, Cedar Creek Canyon, and varied mountains. Don’t overlook your digicam; these vistas are in style with photographers, particularly at sundown. Another must-see for shutterbugs is the Cedar Falls Trail; its namesake 95-foot waterfall is likely one of the most photographed waterfalls in the state.

Petit Jean’s CCC-built cabins and lodge have made the park a terrific historic trip spot in Arkansas. In truth, Mather Lodge is the one lodge in Arkansas constructed by the Corps. The lodge options 24 visitor rooms and a eating room with massive home windows that give visitors a scenic view of Cedar Creek Canyon.

Beautiful street view downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA
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11. Buffalo National River

In 1972, the US designated the decrease 135 miles of northern Arkansas’ Buffalo River because the nation’s first National River. The Buffalo National River is certainly one of just a few rivers in the decrease 48 states to stay undammed. The river’s path via the Ozark Mountains has resulted in a waterway surrounded by large bluffs.

The hottest pastime on the river is paddling, which could be carried out by way of kayak, canoe, or tube. The river’s water stage relies on rainfall, so the size of the paddling season varies from 12 months to 12 months. The river additionally attracts anglers thanks to its 12 species of recreation fish, together with smallmouth bass and rainbow and brown trout. Activities corresponding to climbing, bird-watching, tenting, and horseback driving can be found on the river shores.

The Buffalo National River is likely one of the finest locations to go in Arkansas to have interaction in some severe stargazing. The river was designated as an International Dark Sky Park in 2019 after the National Park Service adjusted the restroom and facility lighting in order to cut back the results of sunshine air pollution. The park hosts a number of night time sky packages all year long, so astronomy followers might want to control the Buffalo National River’s occasion calendar.

Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas, USA
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12. Fayetteville

With a inhabitants of 87,590, Fayetteville is likely one of the largest cities in Arkansas. The metropolis is lower than 30 miles south of Bentonville however has its personal distinct persona and points of interest. Fayetteville payments itself because the leisure capital of northwest Arkansas, and the presence of the University of Arkansas campus ensures {that a} youthful vitality pervades town always.

The Dickson Street Entertainment District is all about enjoyable. By day, take pleasure in downtown’s distinctive boutiques, eating places, and artwork galleries. After darkish, bars and golf equipment provide dwell music most nights of the week. A standout is George’s Majestic Lounge, the oldest repeatedly operated dwell music venue in the state. The lounge opened in 1927 and commenced internet hosting music and social occasions as early because the Thirties. For massive names in dwell music and comedy, try the Walton Arts Center’s occasion calendar.

Read more: 10 Best Places to Visit in Arkansas

Fayetteville residents take pleasure in town’s in depth path system, which incorporates paved multiuse paths in addition to pure, unpaved trails for mountain biking. The metropolis can also be house to a portion of the Razorback Regional Greenway, a 36-mile shared-use path that connects Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers, and Bentonville.

Late fall colors from atop the Tie Slide overlook, Buffalo National River, Arkansas
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13. DeGray Lake Resort State Park

Are you planning an outdoorsy trip in Arkansas however aren’t a fan of roughing it? DeGray Lake Resort State Park could be the best spot for you. Located on the shores of its namesake lake in the Ouachita Mountains, DeGray Lake Resort State Park combines comfy lodging and a plethora of facilities with a beautiful pure setting.

The star of the park, unsurprisingly, is the 13,800-acre DeGray Lake. The lake’s sandy seaside is a favourite with households, and shaded picnic tables close by present a welcome respite from the solar. The seaside faces a chosen swimming space in the lake that’s off-limits to boats. The remainder of the lake is complemented by a full-service marina with watercraft leases, dock area, and a bait and deal with store.

Not a fan of water sports activities? No downside. The resort park additionally options an 18-hole championship golf course, a disc golf course, and an escape room. Six distinct climbing trails could be loved with a information or by yourself, and a guided horseback driving expertise takes visitors alongside the lakeshore and thru stands of pine bushes, with no equestrian expertise required. Amenities on the lodge embrace a heated swimming pool, sand volleyball courtroom, playground, and health heart.

Downtown Fayetteville in Arkansas, USA
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14. Lake Hamilton

One of the state’s hottest lakes, Lake Hamilton is a superb alternative for a weekend getaway in Arkansas, notably if you happen to’re based mostly in or round Hot Springs. The 7,200-acre lake stretches about 18 miles lengthy, offering loads of shoreline for resorts, condominiums, motels, and eating places.

The synthetic lake was created in 1932 when the Carpenter Dam impounded the Ouachita River. The dam was constructed to generate hydroelectricity, however the ensuing reservoir proved to be a helpful vacationer attraction that continues to profit Hot Springs’ financial system. All the standard water sports activities can be found right here, together with swimming, waterskiing, parasailing, boating, and fishing. The Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat gives sightseeing cruises on the lake.

For just a little break from the water, take into account an outing to Garvan Woodland Gardens, situated on a 210-acre peninsula that juts into the lake and is accessible by boat. The botanical gardens, which belong to the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, are incredible for followers of pictures. A bonsai backyard, stunning bridges, a koi pond, and a youngsters’s journey backyard are only a few of the points of interest right here. If you need to see the bottom blanketed with tulips and wildflowers, make sure that to cease by in spring.

Geese on Degray Lake in Arkansas, USA
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15. Hot Springs

Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs is likely one of the finest locations to go to in Arkansas for some relaxation and rest. The resort metropolis is known as for the world’s pure heated springs, which have been loved for hundreds of years by residents and guests alike. Whether you select to loosen up with a rejuvenating spa remedy or a meditative sojourn into nature, you’ll go away Hot Springs feeling refreshed in each physique and thoughts.

For a peek into Hot Springs’ historical past as a resort vacation spot, go to Bathhouse Row, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark District in 1987. The website is operated by the National Park Service and contains eight bathhouse buildings constructed between 1892 and 1923. Most of the buildings have been repurposed, however the Buckstaff Bathhouse has been repeatedly working since 1912 and nonetheless gives thermal remedies right this moment. Hot Springs’ fashionable spas present a wide selection of remedies starting from thermal baths to Swedish therapeutic massage to reiki therapeutic.

If train is your means of enjoyable, deal with the paths in Hot Springs National Park. The park has 26 miles of trails in complete, and their forested environment will make you overlook that you just’re a stone’s throw from town. Visitors can spend the night time in nature on the park’s Gulpha Gorge Campground, which additionally has areas for swimming and picnicking.

There isn’t any scarcity of gorgeous and fascinating issues to see in Arkansas, so long as you understand the place to look. Whether your most well-liked view is of mountains and canyons or historic structure and bustling downtowns, Arkansas has loads of fascinating locations that immediate vacationers to cease and stare.

Read more Places to travel in arkansas – Indochina Airlines

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