When you’re showing friends from out of town around the Natural State, they may ask to see certain places they’ve heard of and you’re happy to oblige–but don’t forget that there are a good number of alternative locales around Arkansas where tourists can get a good feel of what our great state is all about without having to endure heavy weekend crowds or busy popular restaurants! Instead of doing these usual activities around Arkansas when you’re showing out-of-towners around, try these ideas instead:
10. Instead of partying in the River Market, find the White Water Tavern for a good time!
It's just a quick cab ride past the State Capitol if you want to have some "off the beaten path" fun, where many Arkansas luminaries and famous people have been known to gather. Enjoy the live music and the friendly staff. You'll always get a cold beer and a great cheeseburger when you take a break from the dance floor!
9. Instead of navigating the Promenade at Chenal, shop at the Outlets of Little Rock.
The Outlets of Little Rock have been open for a few weeks now and most of central Arkansas has had a look at the new shopping complex, with its 75 businesses full of brand name clothes, shoes, accessories and dining options! The traffic in this southwest area location is a little more easy to navigate than that in West Little Rock--especially if you're from out of town--so check out the Outlets of Little Rock instead of trying to fight WLR traffic!
8. Instead of visiting the Museum of History in Ft. Smith, go to the Clayton House.
The Museum of History in Fort Smith is a popular spot when visiting on the Arkansas Border, but you can completely immerse yourself in a different day and time at the Clayton House-- which is the only Victorian-era home in the area authentically restored and open to the public.
7. Instead of visiting Thorncrown Chapel, visit St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church.
As beautiful as Thorncrown Chapel is, it's a landmark that can often be filled with daily worshippers or in use for a beautiful wedding. St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church of Eureka Springs is a structural wonder worth seeing as well, with absolutely gorgeous architecture and a rich history.
6. Instead of touring the Crescent Hotel, check out Intrigue Theater.
The Crescent Hotel draws ghost-hunters and paranormal lovels from all over, but if you want to see high drama in real time, check out the excellent performances at Intrigue Theater on Mountain Street--where you'll never be disappointed and you'll definitely be thrilled!
5. Instead of staying near the Little Rock national airport, try to find a downtown hotel.
It may seem smart to stay as close to the airport as possible if you're from out of town and perhaps catch a taxi, rental car, or public transportation to the more interesting parts of Little Rock--but what you may not know is that you can get a downtown hotel room for as low as $88 a night and be a few blocks away from browsing the River Market.
4. Instead of trying the famous Fayetteville BBQ, go on the Fayetteville Ale Trail.
Now is an excellent time for craft beer lovers to take a trip on the Fayetteville Ale Trail! Breweries have excelled in northwest Arkansas over the past couple of years, and even if you don't indulge in a cold one, you'll be quite intrigued at the process of how these beverages are crafted!
3. Instead of visiting the Gangster Museum, visit The Galaxy Connection.
People who take a trip to Hot Springs often hear about and take a trip to see the Gangster museum when they want a little taste of pop culture history, but The Galaxy Connection, located at 906 Hobson Avenue, brings the dignity of a museum and the fun of a collector's store together--where comic junkies and modern pop culture lovers can congregate and check out a lot of cool items!
2. Instead of dining in the River Market, find a Hillcrest restaurant.
Everybody from out of town likes to see what's up in the River Market in Little Rock, but if you want a really upscale feel about the capital city, take a drive up to Hillcrest where there's a number of diverse restaurants and hip bars where you can have a much less crowded and much more fun evening!
1. Instead of going to the Clinton Presidential Library, visit the Old State House.
The Presidential Library is an amazing place, but if you really want to get a feel of the entire state of Arkansas's history, your best bet is to head down to the Old State House Museum--where you can get your fill of history about not only Clinton, but the rest of the state's former leaders as well, in addition to some knowledge about Arkansas culture.
What’s nice is that if there’s enough time, you can see it all in Arkansas! What other recommendations would you give to Arkansas travelers who are looking for “off the beaten path” places to have fun other than in Little Rock, Hot Springs or Fayetteville? Where are the good ‘non-tourist’ locales? Sound off in the comments!