The Natural State is very proud of its heritage. Arkansas does well in preserving the past, too. Historic downtown areas and museums that focus on specific eras from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement are all over the state. Taking a trip to these Arkansas locations, though? They’ll make you feel as if you’re actually still in the era represented. These places are a must-visit for history buffs and culture aficionados who want the authentic feel of being in the moment.
10. Arkansas Post
VIDEO Best known as the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley, the Arkansas Post served as capital of the Arkansas Territory from 1819 to 1821. The area was designated as a state park in 1929, and by 1960 it became a National Memorial and National Historic Landmark.
9. Belle Grove Historic District
Located north of the central business district in Fort Smith, the Belle Grove Historic District experienced developmental growth between the years of 1870 and 1930. Soon after the city of Fort Smith was established, the Belle Grove district became home to local wealthy residents. Belle Grove is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the state
8. Downtown Eureka Springs
Downtown Eureka Springs is a mix of beautiful Victorian architecture and modern day culture. Between visiting the historic locations such as the Crescent Hotel and enjoying a meal at a quaint restaurant in the area, you'll feel like you're somewhere in history, yet still here in the modern world---it's an interesting feeling to experience.
7. Calico Rock
VIDEO The scenic beauty of Calico Rock is enhanced with its notable downtown historic district. Twenty-three buildings and structures comprise Peppersauce Bottoms, a ghost town district on the east side of Calico Rock, is also an interesting place that will make you feel as if you're someplace that hasn't changed for ages.
6. Boxley Valley
VIDEO Taking Highway 43 from Ponca to Boxley will jog your mind to think; Is this nearly what it looked like in this area 150 years ago? One thing is for certain: Boxley is big on preserving Ozark culture...and it's one of the best places to watch elk in Arkansas.
VIDEO Beaver, Arkansas is located in Northwest Arkansas just north of Eureka Springs on Table Rock Lake. The historic Beaver Bridge, noted for its scenic beauty, has been used for the Civil War documentary 'The Blue and the Gray'. To the south of Beaver is the theme park Dinosaur World, opened in 1967 and closed since 2005, but still a popular destination for urban explorers.
Located in the Ozark mountains, Tontitown was founded in 1898 by Italian settlers. Tontitown, known for grapes and wine, has been host to the Tontitown Grape Festival annually since 1898.
Located on the Black River, the small town of Powhatan was the economic hub of Lawrence County in the era before the Civil War. The war itself brought the town's boom to a complete halt. The 1888 Powhatan courthouse still stands as a reminder that the small town served as the home of county government from 1869-1968.
The Jackson County town of Jacksonport is situated along the White River. The area was once an integral stop for steamboats on the river. The town served as a transportation hub for Confederate forces during the Civil War. The history of Jacksonport has been preserved so visitors can get a feel of how life was during the turbulent Civil War era.
1. Historic Washington
VIDEO Located in Hempstead County, Historic Washington State Park is a museum village that takes visitors back to the pioneer settlement of Washington, Arkansas. Washington functioned as a major trading point, eventually becoming the Hempstead county seat. Washington was also the capital of Arkansas from 1863 to 1865 when Little Rock was threatened during the Civil War. All of the history has been preserved at this living historic museum, where tour guides make the experience an authentically "old world" Arkansas visit.
Once you’ve visited these awesome places you’ll be ready for a second trip back to learn even more about Arkansas history. Let’s talk about these historic locations: How was your experience when visiting Jacksonport to learn more about Civil War history? What’s best about visiting downtown Eureka Springs? Is it admiring the Victorian architecture while looking at modern art and merchandise? Leave a comment about the impression these areas left on you!