Arkansas Travel Guide
Arkansas is dubbed the ‘Natural State’ because of its sweeping beauty both on top of land with the Ozark Mountains, lakes and cliffs and below it in the many caverns and caves that punctuate this historical southeastern state.
An Arkansas vacation may start in the capital of Little Rock where visitors are greeted by the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, complete with a replica of the Oval Office and the largest collection of Presidential papers and artifacts in the country.
Built in 1836, the Old State House Museum once served as the capitol building for the state and hosted the 1861 secession convention. Today it is home to many displays featuring Arkansas history, quilts, Civil War flags, pottery and gowns worn by the First Lady.
Those travelers to Arkansas who want to step back into history can do so at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. Central High was the school where the ‘Little Rock 9’ were admitted despite protest and unrest due to the civil rights difficulties of the 1950’s. Today there is a museum and visitor center located across from the school detailing the history of the site.
With over 700 animals, birds and reptiles, the Little Rock zoo is a great place for a family to spend the day learning about the animals and their habitats. But if your family is looking for something more hands on, a trip to the Crater of Diamonds State Park should be on the agenda. Located in the town of Murfreesboro, this park allows travelers to Arkansas to dig for real diamonds and if you find any, you can keep them. The park also includes lots of hiking trails, a visitor center, places to camp and the Diamond Springs Water Park that provides tons of fun for the whole family with slides, pools and other water activities.
The Hot Springs National Park is situated in charming little town of Hot Springs, and is a great addition to any Arkansas travel guide as it is a historic landmark as well as a great place to visit. In the 1900’s a series of bathhouses were built that still stand today that were replacements for the original wooden structures that were used in the 1800’s. With 47 hot springs in the area, the park also has trails, scenic drives, camping facilities and of course the chance to take a dip in one of the hot springs themselves.
An Arkansas vacation need not be had entirely on top of land, not with the plethora of caves and caverns that abound in the state. Cosmic Caverns is a magical underground world located in Berryville. It was first discovered in the Ozarks in 1845 and boasts underwater lakes that are bottomless to go with the many amazing rock formations like cave bacon, soda straws and stalactites. Guests can also go panning for gemstones in a similar fashion to how they used to pan for gold.
The Blanchard Springs Caverns is a part of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest and was formed by a flowing mountain spring that still flows to this day causing the cavern to be a forever changing formation of rocks and lakes. Mirror Lake sits at the bottom of the cavern and is home to trout and the cave site is a beautiful landmark for spelunkers and ordinary visitors alike. The main cave is well lit and has pathways and handrails for anyone to go and appreciate the majesty first hand and there is also an undeveloped area where people can climb, crawl and slide amid the rock formations. This is a magical place for travelers to Arkansas to discover and also includes an exhibit hall, displays and videos of the geological splendor.
No Arkansas travel guide would be complete without the quaint Victorian towns like Eureka Springs, located in the northwest of the State. The downtown section of this town is on the National Register of Historic Places for its cozy bed and breakfasts, historic hotels, and Victorian era homes. You can take a step back in time when your Arkansas vacation leads you to this area, complete with gardens, a doll museum and a sparkling underground world just waiting to be explored.
Bentonville in Benton County is home to 72 historical homes as well as being the headquarters of the giant retailer Wal-Mart. Here, your travels to Arkansas will allow you to explore the history of the store in the Wal-Mart Visitor Center, visit one or two of the 140 Civil War sites or take in the Museum of Native American Artifacts along with its 6.5 acres of native plants and trails.
Arkansas is home to the nation’s first National River in the Buffalo River, that offers tourists and locals alike the chance to go white water rafting, or hike a trail to take in the magnificent limestone bluffs, and other geological marvels, historic homesteads and numerous waterfalls along its banks.
An Arkansas vacation offers you history from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement along with natural attractions aplenty. Stunning historical homes and soaring cliffs of stone along with plenty of museums and other tourist attractions make Arkansas the place to be.