Arkansas Quick Facts
Uniquely Arkansas: Crater of Diamonds State Park, the only diamond producing site open to the public
Must-See: Ozark Mountains
Most Unusual: World Champion Duck Calling contest
Highest Point: Mount Magazine, 2,753 feet
Food to Try: Arkansas ham, and persimmon pudding
What to Do in Arkansas:
1 Explore the Ozark Capital of America in Mountain View
2 See Arkansas on the Talimena National Scenic Drive
3 Visit the Mystic Caverns
4 Enjoy a spa day at Hot Springs National Park
5 Stop at the Clinton Presidential Library
Off The Beaten Path | Arkansas
Arkansas is a state filled with beautiful and fascinating natural features, as well as important history. From hot springs to diamond mines, visitors to Arkansas will find plenty of amazing places to learn all about the state, it's history and enjoy its natural wonders. Here are only a few of Arkansas amazing attractions and destinations.
Hot Springs National Park and Hot Springs
Hot Springs National Park is an urban area that surrounds the northern end of Hot Springs, Arkansas. The city of Hot Springs was originally built to accommodate all of the visitors that came to the hot springs, which have been used by people for medicinal and relaxation purposes for over 200 years. Throughout the town and the park there are many things for visitors to explore. One must-see stop is the Fordyce Bathhouse, now restored, which was during its time one of the most amazing bathhouses. Today the Fordyce Bathhouse is the park's visitor center and museum as well. Visitors to Hot Springs can also enjoy exploring the park's many trails. Of course, no trip to Hot Springs would be complete without a bath, within the park, visitors can stop for a traditional experience at the Buckstaff Baths, or try a more modern experience at the Quapaw Baths and Spa.
This region of Arkansas is an amazingly beautiful and historic region of the United States. Visitors to the Ozarks have the opportunity to explore the stunning beauty of the region, while also enjoying the towns and historic sites within the region. Throughout the Ozarks there are many attractions that visitors wouldn't want to miss, including the Ozark Folk Center where visitors can create their own little piece of Ozarks heritage, and Twin Fall, one of the beautiful waterfalls located in the Ozarks.
Central High School National Historic Site, Little Rock
This site in Arkansas commemorates the important events that took place on September 23, 1957. On this day in history, nine African-American teens took a stand against a crowd protesting integration, as they entered Central High for the first time. This important event put the US Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision to its first test. Today visitors can stop at the Visitor Center across the intersection from the High School to see the interactive exhibits and learn about the role this event played in history. Central High School is an operating high school, so visitors cannot tour the school without scheduling a ranger guided tour.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Arkansas has an abundance of diamond mines among other natural features. Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only site producing diamonds open to the public. Visitors to the park can prospect for diamonds in the search field. While prospecting visitors can find many different colors of diamonds, as well as a variety of other rocks and minerals. Crater of Diamonds State Park has had a long history of diamond mining, and visitors can see the evidence in the remnants of the Mine Shaft Building and the Guard House. Visitors can enjoy outdoor recreation beyond prospecting for diamonds if they choose within the natural forest within the park.
Blanchard Springs Caverns
This is one of the most beautiful spots in Arkansas, and within the Ozarks National Forest. Blanchard Springs Cavern is named for Blanchard Spring, which flows out of the mountainside and into Mirror Lake. Above ground visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking and more. Within the Cavern visitors will see a whole new world. As visitors walk on the paths into the caverns they will see how the cavern is constantly changing. Blanchard Springs Caverns has an underground river, the world's largest flowstone and much more. For the adventurous there are Wild Cave Tours, which explore those parts of the caverns that are inaccessible on the regular tour.
Buffalo National River
The Buffalo National River travels for 135 miles through beautiful terrain, and it flows uninhibited, as it is one of the few rivers in the lower 48 states that does not have dams. This river travels east through the Ozarks and flows into the White River. Visitors to this park will find a myriad of activities to enjoy. Floating the river, is of course, one of the most popular activities, visitors can enjoy the river's waters by canoe, kayak or tube. Those visitors that want to try other activities can enjoy horseback riding, fishing, wildlife viewing, and stopping to explore historic sites.
Pea Ridge National Military Park
The Battle of Pea Ridge was fought on March 7-8, 1862, over 26,000 soldiers fought at Pea Ridge during this Civil War Battle. This battle was pivotal during the Civil War, and today visitors can experience one of the most intact Civil War battlefields. Visitors to Pea Ridge have a variety of options for exploring the park, for those that prefer to drive there is a 7 mile tour road. Hikers will enjoy the 7 mile hiking trail, and there is even a horse trail. Along all of these trails there are exhibits, and visitors can also learn more about the Battle of Pea Ridge at the Visitor Center, which features a film, exhibits and a museum.
Fun & Funky Things to Do | Arkansas
Visitors to Arkansas will find a state filled with amazing attractions. The state has a wide variety of fascinating natural features. Here are a few of the fun and funky destinations visitors to Arkansas can explore.
Arkansas Alligator Farm
This fun attraction in Hot Springs is excellent for families is home to many of Arkansas' native alligators. Children will also love the petting zoo, the many different species of animals that call the Arkansas Alligator Farm home, including a variety of primates and Arkansas Mountain Lions. Visitors can also explore the museum and the gift shop.
Located in Berryville, is a fascinating natural attraction in Arkansas. Visitors can take an hour plus tour of the cave. On this tour, people are guided to amazing natural features, including soda straw formations, underground bottomless lakes, and unique animals like the fish living in the bottomless lake and even the Ozark Blind Cave Salamander.
This folk capital of America is a great spot to experience the pioneer lifestyle. Mountain View preserves some of the essential pioneer crafts and industries, including pottery, blacksmithing, basketry, quilting and more. Visitors can see a wide range of tradition pioneer era crafts, music and more at the Ozark Folk Center State Park during the summer.
Travelers to Alma Arkansas can see and enjoy all that the "Spinach Capital of the World" has to offer. In addition to a large bronze statue of Popeye in downtown Alma, visitors can also see the water tower in the shape of a spinach can. Alma also has an annual spinach festival.
World Championship Duck Calling Contest
The town of Stuttgart has an annual Duck Festival in late November. During this festival visitors and residents can observe and compete in the World Championship Duck Calling Contest. In addition to having duck calling contests for all ages and experience levels, the Duck Festival also has exhibits, a party and more.