As school starts and the feeling of a fading summer arrives, you might be looking for places to go where you can find some inspiration. Below you’ll find 13 of the most inspiring places in the Natural State, along with gorgeous photos that show the appeal of every single one. So if you’re feeling a little stressed, a little tired, or a whole lot exhausted, you might need to think about a day trip to any of these 13 dreamy spots.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
13. Inspiration Point
If we’re talking about places that always inspire without fail, we can’t overlook the view at Inspiration Point. You don’t have to hike or sweat or do anything but step out of your car to see the sweeping view of the Ozarks framed by wildflowers.
Inspiration Point is located on Highway 62 right outside of Eureka Springs.
12. Tanyard Creek Falls
Tanyard Creek Nature Trail is a wonder to behold, and so are the falls you’ll find while you walk the trail. The scenic falls don’t require a lot of bushwhacking or winding through dense underbrush, and you’re going to soak up a lot of inspiration along the way.
You can find the Tanyard Creek Nature Trail on Westford Lane in Bella Vista.
11. Garvan Woodland Gardens
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a 210-acre, beautifully landscaped botanical garden with water features, gorgeous foliage, and several bridges just asking to be photographed. Whether you’re walking near the lake or exploring the forest from the canopy bridge, you can’t fail to be inspired at this incredible place.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is located at 550 Arkridge Road near Hot Springs.
10. Thorncrown Chapel
We can’t talk about inspiring places without mention Arkansas’s most famous chapel. Thorncrown is a man-made wonder in steel and glass that allows nature to come indoors, offering a sense of balance between natural beauty and man-made beauty.
Thorncrown Chapel is located at 12968 US-62 in Eureka Springs.
9. Buffalo River Wilderness
Any place where you can get a good view of the nation’s first national river is an inspiring place. This is especially true of the area near Ponca, and especially when watching the fog dissipate as the sun rises over the mountains, which is what you see in the image above.
8. Lower White River
Is there anything more peaceful than the sight of old cypress trees growing in the water? The White River is a lovely place to float, fish, or explore at any place where it flows, but the slow tranquility of the lower section is especially inspiring.
You might want to try to visit the White River near the town of Des Arc.
7. Little Maumelle River
The Little Maumelle River is a delight through and through. Perhaps the most inspiring part of that small river is any angle where you can see gorgeous, cone-shaped Pinnacle Mountain in the background. This spot is just a little ways outside of Little Rock, making it a perfect oasis from the city.
6. Arkansas Grand Canyon
You don’t have to drive for days to see a grand canyon. The Arkansas Grand Canyon is waiting up in the Ozarks, a wide valley below a tall mountain that shows all the colors of the season, deep greens in spring and summer and all the color in the fall months. This canyon is especially inspiring at sunrise, as is pictured above.
The Arkansas Grand Canyon is just south of Jasper on Highway 7.
5. Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park
There are only three mounds left at the Toltec Mound Site, but those three mounds are the tallest prehistoric mounds in Arkansas, and they’re seriously impressive. Combined with the unique ecology of the area, the whole state park makes for a journey through some serious wonder.
Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park is located at 490 Toltec Mounds Road near Scott.
4. Crooked Creek Falls
Crooked Creek Falls is one of the most unique waterfalls in the Natural State. The place looks like the perfect setting for a seen in an epic story book, and it’s one place in Arkansas nature where you can feel a million miles away from it all without going very far off the beaten path.
You can find Crooked Creek Falls on Forest Road 25 near Little Missouri Falls Recreation Area.
3. H.U. Lee International Gate & Garden
If you’re looking for a little inspiration in the middle of Arkansas’s largest city, you’ll want to visit the H.U. Lee International Gate & Garden. The intricate gate is your door to the green oasis behind it, which includes sculptures and beautiful landscaping.
H.U. Lee International Gate & Garden is located at 7 Statehouse Plaza in Little Rock.
2. Arkansas Grand Prairie
You can’t do better than the endless views of the Arkansas Delta. Whether you’re there for sunrise, a sunset, or just a nice look at the expanse of flat land in the middle of the day, the Arkansas Grand Prairie never fails to delight.
1. Blue Spring
Blue Spring has a lot of religious significance to the Native American tribes in the area, and it’s not hard to see why one would want to frequent the gorgeous spring and the lagoon it pours into. As far as inspirational places go, Blue Spring is one of the most peaceful and inspiring places anywhere.
You can find Blue Spring Heritage Center at 1537 County Road 210 in Eureka Springs.