The next time you find yourself passing through certain small Arkansas towns to other bustling locations, you’ll want to make at least one or two stops. There are some really cool places around the Natural State where you’ll find educating and entertaining sights and activities. These towns may not have much compared to larger towns around the state, but each place has something that’s definitely worth checking out.
12. Morris Antiques
Morris Antiques in Keo is one of the mid-South's largest dealers of fine antiques. Visitors will discover grand vintage American and European antiques dating from the 1750s to the 1960s at this ever-expanding shop.
11. Visit Grisham's Famed "Painted House"
Located in Lepanto, the movie set farmhouse used in the 2003 Hallmark Hall of Fame filming of John Grisham’s novel, A Painted House, has been re-assembled in Lepanto. The house is open for tours. The movie itself features many recognizable locations, including downtown Lepanto. The house also displays memorabilia used in filming the movie.
10. Arkansas Museum Of Natural Resources
Located in Smackover, the Museum of Natural Resources features exhibits that relate the history of Arkansas to the 1920s oil boom that caused a sensation in south Arkansas. The museum’s Oilfield Park contains full-size derricks as well as other equipment used during that era.
9. Lakeport Plantation
Now owned by Arkansas State University, this last remaining antebellum plantation home on the Mississippi River in Arkansas has been restored as a museum. Lakeport Plantation located near Lake Village takes a closer look at the culture of the Mississippi River Delta. Exhibits and artifacts are featured at this historic site that will educate you on life on the Delta during the late 19th-century.
8. Arkansas Post Museum State Park
Arkansas Post Museum State Park in Gillet includes a number of culturally important exhibits as well as authentic Delta items such as Native American pottery. This southeast Arkansas state park features exhibits and artifacts about Arkansas Post, known as the first permanent European settlement in the state.
7. Parkin Archeological State Park
Located on the St. Francis River, Parkin Archeological State Park preserves the 17-acre Mississippi Period Native America village (dating from A.D. 1000 to 1550). Tours are conducted here from July through October.
6. Historic Washington State Park
Located in the small, historic town of Washington, this 19th-century village contains Arkansas's largest collection of antebellum homes that are open for tours. The small town of Washington served as Arkansas’s Confederate capitol from 1863 to 1865. Activities at the park include a re-created blacksmith shop and 19th century constructed buildings.
5. Pea Ridge National Military Park
Pea Ridge National Military Park notes the success of the Union's effort to secure river control and protect the St. Louis arsenal, providing for the supply of General Grant's Vicksburg campaign. Covering 4,300 acres, the park includes a self-guided tour with photo worthy exhibits, a museum, book store, and a visitor's center.
4. Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Esteemed writer Ernest Hemingway wrote parts of A Farewell to Arms and other works at the childhood home of his wife, Pauline (daughter of homeowners Paul and Mary Pfeiffer), at their house in Piggott. The house is still available to tour with original furnishings and memorabilia related to Hemingway's visits to Piggott are featured.
3. Museum Of The Arkansas Grand Prairie
Located in Stuttgart, the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie features the history of the people who worked to make Arkanas a prominent name in rice production. The exhibits at this museum include duck hunting, pioneer life, and historic farm equipment that will educate visitors on the history of rice milling.
2. Lake Chicot State Park
Known for being Arkansas’s largest natural lake and North America’s largest oxbow lake, Lake Chicot State Park offers a multitude of activities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Sitting on the edge of the Mississippi River Delta, Lake Chicot is one of the more popular parks in the area due to the unique Lower Delta culture.
1. Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash
Ray Cash moved his family to Dyess in 1935 and likely could never imagine the interest that's accumulated in the five-room home over the years. The restored boyhood home of entertainment legend Johnny Cash, owned by Arkansas State University, is open to a public full of Cash aficionados. The house is furnished just as it had been when Cash spent his time there as a boy.
Many Arkansas residents know and love these locations, but we must be sure to let out of towners know how awesome small town Arkansas places can be. Talk about the great experiences and fun activities you’ve participated in when visiting these small town attractions over the years!