Spring break is upon us and you may be wondering where you can go to be close to lots of things to do. Arkansas is full of small towns and small cities, and what you’ll find below are thirteen places in the Natural State where you’re definitely not going to run out of things to do. Be at peace, moms and dads, grannies and pop-pops. Here are 13 places you can go where boredom is not even an issue. Though if you’re not suffering from the spring break blues, these towns are also perfect places to spend a nice spring weekend.
With a premier museum of American art, Crystal Bridges, a children’s museum called the Amazeum, and tons of shopping, good eats, and gorgeous trails, Bentonville is an up-and-coming city where you can adventure your heart out.
2. Little Rock
Little Rock is brimming with cool places to visit. From museums to historic sites to some of the most well-renowned eateries in the Natural State, Little Rock is a great place to stay in a historic hotel and explore a beautifully developed riverfront area.
In Jasper you’re not going to find much in town. Instead, you’ll find more natural wonders around town than you can shake a stick at. Gateway to the Buffalo National River and Hawksbill Crag, home of the Arkansas Grand Canyon—well, there are so many natural wonders near Jasper your eyes will be exhausted from all that beauty.
4. El Dorado
El Dorado was an oil boomtown back in the day, and they take pride in their history. They have a nationally-recognized downtown area that you’ll want to explore, where they hold community events that will delight you. They also have ten parks you can visit and numerous salons and spas where you can find a little much-needed pampering.
5. Hot Springs
Hot Springs is the most popular tourist destination in Arkansas, and a lot of that has to do with all the things you can do there. You can visit the hot springs there, of course, but you can also explore Bathhouse Row, shop, eat, and play the ponies at Oaklawn. Hot Springs is also home to a huge botanical garden called Garvan Woodland Gardens, and that’s 210 acres you definitely want to explore.
6. Mountain View
Mountain View is a small town, but it’s also a town full of music, culture, and incredible scenic beauty. In Mountain View you can learn about the culture of the Ozarks at Ozark Folk Center State Park. You can also have a zipline adventure at Loco Ropes, explore Blanchard Springs Caverns, and visit Mirror Lake, which has just about the prettiest waterfall anywhere.
7. Eureka Springs
Ah, Eureka Springs. It’s a gorgeous little place where you can enjoy the quirky little shops, explore the most haunted spots in the Natural State, listen to live music, eat absolutely delicious food, and stay in historic hotels. You can also see one of the most impressive chapels in Arkansas, Thorncrown Chapel. The entirety of the city limits of Eureka Springs is on the National Historic Register, so no matter where you go in Eureka, you’re exploring historic treasures. It helps that the town also has that unmistakable, quirky Eureka charm.
If you’re looking for night life, you won’t want to miss Dickson Street after dark. In addition to cool pubs and bars, you’re going to find great shopping in Fayetteville, and some of the most unique restaurants anywhere. Combined with Fayetteville’s gift for having numerous, fabulously well-attended community events, Fayetteville is definitely a town where you’ll want to stay awhile.
9. Fort Smith
Arkansas’s second largest city is decidedly blue collar, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find art, culture, and great food there. Fort Smith has made a splash with its Unexpected Festival of Murals, giving its downtown a unique look you’ll want to see for yourself. There’s also the Fort Smith National Historic Site, which preserves its history as a true old west gem. Diverse populations typically mean diverse and delectable food, and Fort Smith has that to offer too. Besides, who doesn’t want to visit a town that houses its visitor center in a former brothel.
Paris is another tiny town set near truly stunning natural beauty. Paris is the home of Mount Magazine State Park, which not only contains a gorgeous lodge, but also has breathtaking overlooks and an incredibly scenic lake. With its own Eiffel Tower, cool shops, and great places to eat, downtown Paris is a totally adorable, idyllic place to explore.
Murfreesboro has something no other place in the world has: a diamond mine where you can pay to become a prospector for a day. Someone has recently discovered a huge diamond there, so there’s a possibility that you could walk away from your small town exploration with treasure in your pocket. You should also check out the treasures at Ka-do-ha Indian Village, where you can buy souvenirs and learn about the Native American history of the area.
Jonesboro is the home of Arkansas State University, which means it’s also home to the ASU Museum. Jonesboro also has a charming downtown you don’t want to miss and holds community events on a regular basis. If nature’s your thing, you’ll want to check out nearby Craighead Forest Park and Forrest L Wood Crowley's Ridge Nature Center.
Something incredible is hiding in the lowlands near Brinkley, and you’re going to want to go looking for it. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was thought extinct until someone spotted one near Brinkley. On top of truly amazing birding, you’ll also find Louisiana Purchase State Park, where you can wander through a swamp without waders, because the park has its own extensive boardwalk. You may also be interested in the Central Delta Depot Museum, where you can learn about the history of the central Delta region.