There are a lot of great places around the Natural State to show friends and family who are visiting. Most out of town visitors will mention wanting to try great barbecue or see the River Market and Presidential Library. Or, if you’re in Fayetteville, you’ll find people asking about places on Dickson Street to try out. Here are a few more locations—less mentioned but equally cool—to add to the list of places to see:
15. Fort Chaffee Barbershop Museum
Chaffee Crossing Historic District in Fort Smith is an authentic World War II district that's now a museum that features amazing exhibits year-round and fun events, such as a yearly 'Elvis Hair Cut Day' festival in April and a Veterans Day parade in November.
14. Historic Downtown Pocohontas
Known to many as the first supply stop in Arkansas, the town of Pocohontas has a historic downtown area that has its roots in roads that brought money and numerous out-of-towners to the area to do business. Business is still good, as the town's downtown area is still an attraction worth visiting.
13. Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
Situated along Lake Fayetteville on 42 acres, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is an incredible place for gardeners and flower fans to marvel over 12 unique, beautiful, and individually themed gardens.
12. Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival
The Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival will take place throughout March this year at the Wye Mountain UMC Daffodil Field. Welcome spring with a trip through seven acres full of more than 20 varieties of jonquils, daffodils, and narcissus. Arts and crafts are also on display at the festival, and concessions are available too.
11. Arkansas Railroad Museum
The Arkansas Railroad Museum in Pine Bluff has a lot of cool railroad memorabilia on display from a variety of Arkansas railroads. Train enthusiasts will like the exhibits and will definitely want to visit the gift shop.
10. Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
Civil War history enthusiasts will want to see the battlefield at Prairie Grove. The battlefield is now the feature attraction at its own state park, and visitors can learn all about the battle via a walking trail with markers that tell about what happened between the Confederate and Union forces that clashed there in December 1862. The battle reenactments that take place at Prairie Grove are also excellent to see as well.
9. Daisy State Park
Daisy State Park can be found on the shore of beautiful Lake Greeson. The park has picnic areas, campsites, and trails for hiking and biking. The Bear Creek Motorcyle Trail is especially popular for bikers and ATV riders.
8. Ozark Folk Center State Park
The Ozark culture is celebrated and lived in full at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View. Everyone from wool-weavers to blacksmiths will show you the earliest tools of the trade, and mountain music is at the heart of it all with live performances regularly scheduled in a theater that seats a thousand visitors.
Best known as one of one of the most beautiful recreation areas in Arkansas, Lake Dardanelle is located in Russellville, nearly halfway between Fort Smith and Little Rock. Lake Dardanelle, along with Old Post Road Park (also in Russellville,) is a great location for viewing bald eagles throughout the winter and early spring.
6. Helena/West Helena
Located on the Mississippi River, Helena is rich with culture and history. For those uninitiated towards Delta region life, a trip to the Delta Cultural Center on Cherry Street is definitely in order. Music purists plan their calendars around the King Biscuit Blues Festival, a multi-day event that celebrates the best of what's going on in the blues music scene.
5. Hillcrest Historic District
Little Rock's historic Hillcrest District, a fun mix of hip young culture mingling with old town style, is located on the west end of the capital city's downtown area. Hillcrest, along with the Quawpaw Quarter, has beautiful homes that date back to the early 1900s. It is Hillcrest that has seen the most growth in recent years, as the area is very vibrant with a number of upscale restaurants, bars, art galleries, and boutiques.
4. Mulberry Mountain
Situated in the Ozark National Forest along the beloved 'Pig Trail' Highway 23, a National Scenic Byway, is beautiful Mulberry Mountain. Rustic and known as the home of summer music festival Wakarusa, the lodging resort features cabin rentals, a campground, and a huge variety of outdoor activities available for visitors of all ages.
3. Toltec Mounds
Fans of archaeology appreciate how well the state of Arkansas has preserved the Native American mounds located in Lonoke County. The mounds, which date all the way back to the late Woodland Period circa 600-1050 CE, are the tallest surviving prehistoric mounds in the Natural State.
2. Jacksonport State Park
History buffs will enjoy seeing the Jackson County courthouse that once served as the home of the county seat from 1872 to 1892. In addition to exhibits that entertain and educate visitors about the area's history, the Jacksonport State Park itself offers additional facilities such as a wildflower conservation area, boat access to the White River, and a campground.
1. Ozark Cafe
It's fine to take a friend to Cotham's when you want to show a non-Arkansan how great the food is in the Natural State, but the Ozark Cafe in Jasper is a phenomenal place to show an out of towner how we do our meals. The Ozark Cafe is one of the oldest cafes in Arkansas. It was established in 1909. It's also been featured by major media outlets such as New York Magazine and Delish.com, thanks to their amazing burgers and their nostalgia-rich soda fountain.
These impressive places are educational, entertaining and most importantly; they’re fun. Next time you’re asked for recommendations by someone who’s from out of town looking for something more than just a highly recommended restaurant, give them the full experience of what life in Arkansas is like.