Things to Do
Arkansas annually attracts visitors from across the nation and abroad. Many are drawn to its abundant opportunities for outdoor adventures and to its natural beauty, as seen in the state's waterfalls, tour caverns and wild caving experiences, forested mountain trails and scenic drives. Some come to dig for keeper diamonds and quartz crystals.
But there are numerous attractions that make The Natural State a must see vacation destination.
Amenities such as art galleries, live theater, professional sporting events, irresistible restaurants, microbreweries and a variety of lodging options can be found in the larger Arkansas cities. Meanwhile, Arkansas boasts charming small towns that lure travelers seeking a restful reprieve from the hurried pace of modern life.
Live entertainment can be found at numerous music festivals and in clubs, bistros and performance theaters. Arkansas spas include the thermal waters of Hot Springs National Park. Across the state, delightful boutiques, specialty shops, antique stores and quilt shops in the following, making quilt shops offer opportunities for finding one-of-a-kind souvenirs and treasures.
For those interested in a round of golf, the Natural State's offerings include world-class, scenic courses. And, in Arkansas, an afternoon at the track can have any of several meanings: thoroughbred horse racing, greyhound dog racing, or dirt track and drag racing.
Arkansas's varied geography and its location in the U.S. heartland have contributed to make the state's history an intriguing slice of America's story. Arkansas history museums, Civil War battlefields, National Park Service sites and special exhibits across the state relate the history of Arkansas's diverse cultures and history.
In eastern Arkansas, the Mississippi River shaped a land where Delta blues music thrived. Traditional Ozark Mountain folk music, dance and crafts are kept alive in north central Arkansas.
The state's wine country serves its best in the Arkansas River Valley, which is also home to Fort Smith, the “Wild West” town that bordered the Indian Territory until 1907. An oil boom that began in 1921 brought wealth and wild times to towns like El Dorado in southern Arkansas. The Clinton Presidential Library honors the legacy of state native Bill Clinton, who served as U.S. President from 1993-2001. Clinton's boyhood home is open for tours in his birthplace town of Hope.
Arkansas's State Parks
Arkansas parks are scattered across the state, from its highest peaks to the shores of lakes and streams. Overnight accommodations available in recreational parks include lodges, cabins, campgrounds with modern conveniences and even rental teepees and yurts. Many of the recreational parks also offer restaurants, snack bars, hiking trails, pavilions, picnic areas, playgrounds and numerous interpretive programs. Some also feature marinas, swimming pools, tennis courts and boat ramps. One even features the world's only site where members of the public can search for keeper diamonds where the gems naturally occur.
Among the state's historical and cultural parks is a cultural center that preserves traditional Ozark Mountain folk music, dance, and crafts; four Civil War battlefields and a restoration town that once served as Arkansas's Confederate capital; two Native American mound sites; and a museum that tells the story of South Arkansas's oil boom.
Among the National Park Service locations in Arkansas are Hot Springs National Park and the country's first national river, the Buffalo.
Things to Do