Arkansas Favorite Tips by deecat Top 5 Page for this destination
Arkansas Favorites: 36 reviews and 30 photos
canoeing the Buffalo River
Favorite thing: Click to see the canoe
There are so many great sounding places and events that I did not experience on my visits to Arkansas thus far. These are the places I want to go to when I return. Why don't you try them when you visit?
Blanchard Springs Caverns is located near Mountain View, and you are able to take a tour of these susposedly spectacular caverns. You are able to go past extraordinary cave formations and along a glistening cave stream. It sounds great.
Arkansas Air Museum located in Fayetteville is housed in an old wooden hangar. this museum features antique airplanes and exhibits about the history of aviation.
Ozark Folk Center is located again in Mountain View. It's a center that is dedicated to preserving traditional Ozark culture. You are able to watch craftspeople use traditional methods to make candles, baskets, and pottery. There are also performances of mountain music.
Fort Smith National Historic Site is located in Fort Smith. It is one of the first U.S. military posts in the Louisiana Territory. They advertise it as a taste of the Old West where you can tour the courtroom where Judge Isaac Parker, the Hangin' Judge presided over. You are also able to visit the jail in which prisoners were held.
Fondest memory: Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is located in Prairie Grove. This is a park that features exhibits that bring the world of a Civil War soldier to life. You are able to visit a reconstructed 19th-century village. This is the spot that on December 7, 1862, Confederate and Union forces clashed in a bloody battle.
I'd like to take a trip down the Buffalo National River to go past towering cliffs and waterfalls. This river is in the Ozarks and was the first stream placed under federal government protection. It's a 150-mile-long stream that plunges down two thousand feet of mountainside to join with the White River.
Petit Jean State Park It's Arkansas's first state park that tops Petit Jean Mountain. It's about 69 miles from Little Rock. It has a 24-room lodge, cabins, and bridges made of stone by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.
I also want to go back to Little Rock to see President Clinton's Museum and Library.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Favorite thing: Arkansas can brag about being North America's only diamond site, and it's located in the southwestern part of the state near Murfreesboro.
The story goes that John Huddleston discovered diamonds on his land about 1966, and he sold that land to Samuel Winston Reyburn for $36,000.00. Reyburn leased the land to several mining companies until 1949. In that time, thousands of diamonds were found.
Two other people (I've forgotten their names) owned sections of the diamond mine from 1952-1972. Then, in 1972, the state of Arkansas bought both sections and made them into a state park called Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Today, the diamonds still lie close to the surface, and companies don't think there are enough diamonds to make a profit so ordinary people are able to search for diamonds in the fields of this park, and they may keep any diamonds that they find.
Fondest memory: In the world's only diamond site that's open to the public, people have found more than 70,000 diamonds! There are about two diamonds per day discovered at this site.
The Arkansas Diamond Company found the largest diamond in 1924 which weighed 40.42 carats, and it was nicknamed "Uncle Sam". Also found were "a sixteen-carat Amarillo Starlight" and the fifteen-carat "Star of Arkansas".
In 1990, a woman visitor found a 3.03-carat diamond, and when it was cut, the jeweler found it to be without flaws! This particular stone was purchased by the Arkansas Parks Department and is on display at the park.
Exhibits and films at the park describe the areas geology and showcase "found diamonds".
People also hike on trails and camp in the park.
Park rangers also rent out digging equipment.
$4.50 entry fee
2.00 for children
Just off of Highway 26 near Murfreesboro about 43 miles from I-30
Visitor Center Hot Springs National Park (Fordyce)
Favorite thing: Hot Springs is more than just its namesake. For instance, since 1904, Oaklawn Park has been holding Thoroughbred Races from late-January to mid-April. It's a nice race track, and it has simulcast races from May to January.
We were also pleased to find that there are some great golf courses.
We didn't go, but I think that people with children would like Magic Springs Theme Park nearby.
Garvon Woodland Gardens, Lake Hamilton, and Lake Ouschita (Arkansas's largest reservoir) provide plenty of good fishing and abundant water sports.
As I love architecture, I found the Art Deco architecture quite pleasing.
Also, there are many boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants located on or near Magnolia-lined Bathhouse Row. These are very elaborate buildings full of tile, brass, and marble fountains as well as incredible stained glass.
The Fordyce Bathhouse(401 Central Avenue) is the grandest of all the bathhouses. There's a statue of an Indian maiden offering a bowl of flowing spring water to deSoto used as its centerpiece. And, oh, the skylight is made up of 8,000 pieces of stained-glass depicting marine scenes. Once it offered a library, music room, a bowling alley, and a gymnasium. Today, it's the park's visitor center.
As in the photo, Buckstaff Bathhouse (501-623-2308) is the only bathhouse still offering baths to the public. It in Classic Revival style.
Behind the Maurice Bathhouse, there are two uncapped, free-flowing hot springs, which are quite fascinating.
Fondest memory: I really loved the Medical Arts Building (236 Central Avenue) because of the impressive Art Deco architecture. It's 16 stories high, and for many years was the tallest building in Arkansas.
I also like The Williams House (420 Quapaw Avenue). It's a Victorian brownstone that was built in 1891, remodeled in 1914, and now has been restored as a bed-and-breakfast inn.
The Mid-America Museum is also in Hot Springs. It's a science museum with an outdoor aquarium. It is filled with freshwater fish that are native to Arkansas. The museum also has hands-on exhibits about weather and flying.
Magnet Cove is just east of Hot Springs. Scientists have counted more than 100 kinds of minerals there. One of the minerals is magnetite. It acts like a magnet, attracting metal objects.
We also enjoyed Josephine Tussaud's Wax Museum.
Best of all was the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, a 216-foot observation post atop Hot Springs Mountain. Two viewing levels offer stunning views of the park and the Ouachita Mountains. Hot Springs National Park is the only nation park within a town.
Old Mill in North Little Rock
Favorite thing: Remember the opening scene in Gone With the Wind? That was the Old Mill Park. There are two stones on the road to the mill that are the original milestones laid out by Jefferson Davis. The Old Mill is an old waterwheel gristmill that is made of stone and is just lovely. The setting is incredible with all the natural stone, wooden log bridge, and the tall vine-covered trees.
Fondest memory: The Old Mill is located at Fairway at Lakeshore in North Little Rock.
Phone Number: (501) 791-8537
No entrance fee
Bath House Row
Favorite thing: Hot Springs is rather small (about 35,000), but it has a cosmopolitan flair about it. This city certainly has a colorful history.
Thousands of years ago, Indians used the hot springs in the area for bathing. They called the region "Valley of Vapors" because of the steam that rises from the hot springs. These baths were important to the Indians; so important that they called it their "neutral ground". thus, different tribes came to bathe in peace.
President Andrew Jackson signed a bill that set aside four parcels of land as a federal reservation. At about the same time, these springs were also attracting many settlers; eventually, a little town emerged as Hot Springs.
Soon, a railroad to Hot Springs was completed, and this new access lead to Hot Spring's development into a world-class resort in the early 20th Century.
Fondest memory: The city made up a slogan of "We Bathe the World"--their slogan turned out to be quite prophetic because famous people such as Harry Truman, Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and Andrew Carnegie came thus making Hot Springs the place to be.
That popularity did not last forever. The town fell on hard times, and most of the bath houses closed. But, because of a renewed interest in health and determined people who believe in restoration, Hot Springs has once again found a following. Bath House Row has been restored, and even though only two of these lovely bath houses are in use today (one as a welcome/information center and one as a working Bath House), they have all been brought back to their one-time grandeur.
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