Attractions August 18, 2016
10 Hidden Gems You Have To See In Arkansas Before You Die
We’ve talked about
nature-loving bucket lists and ultimate bucket lists, but is there more you absolutely have to do in Arkansas? Oh yes, there is more. We’ve compiled a list of incredible must-see locations all over the Natural State, and this time we’ve focused on locations you might not know about. These hidden gems will appeal to nature lovers, art lovers, and waterfall enthusiasts alike. Visit these 10 places to see some of the best spots in this state we all love.
Please note, Terra Studios is temporarily closed.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Sam’s Throne (Mount Judea)
Though this place is popular among the climbing community, many other Arkansans may be missing out on this unique rock formation near the community of Mount Judea. You don’t have to be a climber to take in all the beauty of Judea Mountain and the Big Creek Valley, Sam's Throne is a great spot for hiking, camping, and photography.
2. Natural Bridge (Clinton)
Natural Bridge was actually used as a bridge during pioneer days, but we wouldn’t recommend trying to drive a vehicle over it today. This bridge spans 120 feet, is millions of years in the making, and formed from sandstone. You’ll also find a ranger who can tell you about the history of the arch, and a cabin full of antiques.
3. Terra Studios (Fayetteville)
At Terra Studios you’ll find lots of ways to enjoy the arts. You can experience live glassblowing demonstrations, wander through the sculpture garden, admire the trolls, eat lunch, and even purchase a unique piece of art for yourself. This place has been around for decades, and it’s one of the best places to go in Arkansas. If you haven’t been there yet, you’re missing out.
4. Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum (Piggott)
If you’re into literature, Hemingway, or history, you’ve absolutely got to visit the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott. It’s a beautiful piece of land, and it’s also where Ernest Hemingway lived with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. The whole property has been restored to reflect the time period in which Hemingway lived there, so it’s a step back in time to the 1930s.
5. Garvan Woodland Gardens (Hot Springs)
There are 210 acres of botanical gardens to explore at Garvan Woodland Gardens. Most of the trails are handicap accessible, so this gem is ready for nature lovers of all ability levels. You’ll find more that just amazing plants there, though, there are gorgeous bridges and water features, and you can’t miss the incredible Anthony Chapel.
6. Highway 61 Arch
You can find the only freestanding arch on a highway in Arkansas on the Arkansas-Missouri State Line in Mississippi County, just north of Blytheville. This arch was built in 1927, and remains a landmark to this day.
7. Pedestal Rock Scenic Area (Witts Springs)
It took a long time for these amazing rock formations to form, but the weathering has left something truly incredible for Arkansans to explore. There are two trails there, the Pedestal Rocks Trail is 2.2 miles long and the Kings Bluff Trail is 1.7 miles long. On Kings Bluff Trail you’ll also find Kings Bluff Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the Ozarks, but the real draw here is those incredible pedestal rocks.
8. The Galaxy Connection (Hot Springs)
If you’re looking to nurture your inner nerd, you have to go to the Galaxy Connection in Hot Springs. There you’ll find a collectible toy store, a perfect venue for the birthday party of your favorite nerd, and thousands of square feet of museum space. If you want to view vintage nerdery at its finest, you'll find one of the biggest vintage Star Wars and superhero collections anywhere.
9. Bard Springs Dam (Athens)
We’ve talked a lot about Mirror Lake, but if you want to find a creek dammed by old rock work done by the CCC and resulting in a pool of water and spillover from the creek, look no further than Bard Springs Dam. It’s located in the scenic Ouachita Mountains, and it’s one you’ve got to see. This gorgeous place is located on the National Register of Historic Places.
10. Punchbowl Falls (Lurton)
Punchbowl Falls is located just north of the waterfall paradise, Richland Creek Wilderness Area. It used to be called Dry Creek Falls, because it’s located on the hilariously named, strongly flowing Dry Creek. Punchbowl Falls is a better name for it, because it really looks like a stream of water flowing into a giant punchbowl. It’s quite a hike to get there, though, so be mindful of your skill level.
For more amazing Arkansas attractions,
see this list.
If you’re into weird attractions,
this is the list for you.