Things to Do in Eureka Springs Arkansas
This funky Ozark Mountain town has a little something for everyone. The shopper, the foodie, the outdoorsman, and the whole family can find enjoyment here, or it could be a great weekend getaway destination for Mom & Dad.
Situated about halfway in between Branson and Bentonville on the northern edge of Arkansas, people flock here to take in the natural beauty of the area, the architecture of the downtown buildings, bathe in the healing waters of the numerous hot springs, or just take in the quirky vibe of this Ozark hotspot.
Places to hike, fish, bike, canoe, kayak, and paddle board abound in the area surrounding Eureka Springs. With the town being surrounded by three lakes and two rivers, there is abundant opportunity for outdoor adventure. There are several outfitters that can provide the gear you need to take advantage of all the activities.
Rent a canoe or kayak from Trigger Gap Outfitters, get a bike from Adventure Mountain, or find your board at SUP Outfitters. Nestled into the hills are two golf courses within a short distance of the city: Holiday Island and Carroll County Country Club. Mountain biking trails are carved into the grounds around the Great Passion Play, Lake Leatherwood City Park, and Black Bass Lake.
Shopping, Arts, and Exploring
Chain stores are forbidden in Eureka Springs. Mom & Pop and one-of-a-kind stores are the norm here. Make sure to put on your walking shoes because parking is very limited due to the layout of the winding, sloping Main Street which is the only thru street within the city limits. Eureka Springs is a haven of the arts.
It has been named one of the “Top 25 Art Towns in America”. Over 300 of the town’s residents are working artists. Getting a piece of original art is an easy thing to do. There are a variety of galleries, studios, and art events. Victorian architecture and all its iterations are on display in the steep hills and ravines. The steepness is exemplified by one hotel having 7 ground floors! The entire downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Trolleys operate and stop at various places and also provide narrated tours of the town. You can even explore an underground part of the city on this walking tour.
A visit to Eureka Springs cannot be complete without checking out some of the upward of 60 natural springs within the city limits. The city evolved into a spa & resort town due to the believed healing properties of the waters. Many springs are preserved with gardens and parks built around them. A few of the notable springs are Basin, Calif, Crescent, Grotto, Harding, Magnetic and Sweet. There is even a Natural Springs Trail that takes you along Spring Street in the heart of downtown and you get to explore the city as an added bonus. Make sure and add the Blue Springs Heritage Center to your itinerary, where a cold water spring pumps 38 million gallons daily into an aquamarine lagoon. Stand on the bluff that was once a Native-American Osage trading post.
From upscale fine dining to local joints slinging smoked meats, you can find something for everyone’s tastebuds. Start the morning off with a hearty breakfast at Mud St. Café or a piece of quiche at Nibble’s Eatery. For those java junkies, grab a cup at Eureka Springs Coffee House.
Lunch options abound in this walking-friendly town. Try some of the local BBQ, we know it can’t compare with our hometown spots, but you might be surprised. Sauced Barbecue & Brews https://www.saucedbbqeureka.com/ got the thumbs-up from some touring mountain bikers. Watch their video here. Grab a burger at Sparky’s Roadhouse. Eat your lunch al fresco and enjoy a breathtaking view atop the Crescent Hotel while grabbing a slice at Skybar Pizza. For those that can’t decide between burgers, BBQ, or pizza, the Rockin’ Pig Saloon is your kind of place.
After all the hustle and bustle of shopping, exploring, kayaking, canoeing, golfing, or just walking the historic downtown, you need a good meal to finish up the day. Feast on hearty plates of pasta at Ermilio’s, enjoy a 5-star dining experience at Rogue’s Manor, overlooking Main Street while eating at the Balcony Restaurant & Bar in the iconic Basin Park Hotel, relax in the cave-like setting of the Grotto Wood-Fired Grill & Wine Cave or go for some plain ol’ red meat at Gaskin’s Cabin Steakhouse.
Numerous spas, resorts, and historic hotels are located in Eureka Springs. There is even a place called Eureka Springs Treehouses, Caves, Castles, and Hobbits!
Hopefully we have piqued your interest enough to set aside some time for a family trip or maybe even a romantic getaway for you and your significant other to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
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