It’s a truth very nearly universally acknowledged that Arkansas natives would rather find natural spaces and little one-of-a-kind spots out in the middle of nowhere than have to deal with crowds, tourists, or both. For the most part, we’re not wrong. There’s something to be said for finding quiet spots. However, we are wrong to overlook places simply because they have a touristy appeal. Below you’ll find 11 places that shouldn’t be overlooked by native Arkansans just because they’re popular with a different crowd.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Old State House (Little Rock)
The Old State House may seem like a destination for intrepid school age children, and it is a good place for that too, but you’re missing out on some of the coolest history in the Natural State if you pass this relic by. Some of its greatest hits include: being the oldest remaining state house west of the Mississippi and being home to a duel between state senators that ended in a murder on the house floor. Yeah, bet you thought politics today were crazy, huh?
You can find the Old State House at 300 West Markham Street in Little Rock.
2. Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo (Hot Springs)
If you’re looking for a touristy town in Arkansas, Hot Springs definitely makes the list. But look, y’all, it’s not the town’s fault that there are so many awesome things to see and do there. One of the more exceptional attractions in Hot Springs is Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo. They’ve got tons of gators, even some little guys you can hold, and lots of other animals too.
Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo is located at 847 Whittington Avenue in Hot Springs National Park.
3. Hemingway-Pfeiffer House (Piggott)
This house in the small town of Piggott might not look extraordinary, but it was made extraordinary by the people who lived there. You see, Ernest Hemingway penned part of his novel
A Farewell to Arms while living in that house. Today the house and neighboring barn are a museum preserving Hemingway’s history in Arkansas. It is managed by Arkansas State University.
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum is located at 1021 West Cherry Street in Piggott.
4. National Park Aquarium (Hot Springs)
National Park Aquarium really is a neat little place. It’s not only home to several varieties of fish, but also tortoises, lizards, invertebrates, and just about the prettiest frogs you’ve ever seen. It is definitely a good place to take the kids, but it also may be exactly what you need to feel like a kid again.
National Park Aquarium can be found at 209 Central Avenue in Hot Springs.
5. The Clinton Presidential Center and Park (Little Rock)
Situated on 17 acres on the Arkansas River in Little Rock, the Clinton Presidential Center is actually one of the most impressive presidential libraries in existence. It’s the largest in size, the most expensive, and no matter how you feel about the Clintons, you should consider visiting. The combination of architectural feat combined with natural space and a wealth of artifacts make it a must see.
The Clinton Presidential Center is located at 1200 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock.
6. Snake World (Berryville)
This small roadside attraction isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re into snakes you absolutely can’t do any better than Snake World. There are 70 species of snakes at Snake World, and you’ll get the chance to learn about all of them on your tour.
Snake World is located at 3380 Highway 62 West in Berryville.
7. Arkansas Air & Military Museum (Fayetteville)
Housed in an historic wooden hangar, the Arkansas Air Museum is as impressive for its building as it is for the pristine collection of aircraft within. This museum covers the history of aviation in the Natural State from the days when made its way to Arkansas all the way through the wars fought from cockpits. Many of the vintage aircraft are still in flying condition.
The Arkansas Air & Military Museum is located 4290 South School Avenue in Fayetteville.
8. Bauxite Historical Association Museum and Teeth (Bauxite)
If I’ve learned anything about Arkansas during my time writing articles for y’all, it’s that at one point in our beloved state’s history of being awesome at producing things, Arkansas was responsible for NINETY percent of the world’s bauxite production and may just have helped us win wars with the aluminum produced from that bauxite. You can learn about that illustrious history at the Bauxite Historical Association Museum, which features an impressive collection of bauxite teeth. Yes, you read that right. They’re actual teeth.
The Bauxite Historical Association Museum (and its teeth) are located at 6707 Benton Street in Bauxite.
9. Monster Mart (Fouke)
Monster Mart isn’t just a convenience store. It’s also the place to go if you’re interested in exploring the myth of the Fouke Monster, who is also called the Boggy Creek Monster. He’s said to haunt the area surrounding the small town of Fouke. Monster Mart preserves this legend by keeping artifacts and selling memorabilia. You can see footprints, buy books, or chat with locals.
Monster Mart is located at 104 US-71 in Fouke.
10. Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum (Hot Springs)
You don’t have to travel to a major city to see creepily lifelike figures made out of wax. You can drive right down to Hot Springs and visit Josephine Tussaud instead. This wax museum has all the draw of its much larger counterpart, but on a smaller scale, for a cheaper price, and much closer to home.
You can find Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum at 250 Central Avenue in Hot Springs.
11. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Rescue (Eureka Springs)
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Rescue is responsible for the care of exotic wildlife whose former lives included abuse and neglect. Turpentine Creek is the largest facility of its kind that is open to the public. As in it’s the largest in the whole world. You’re going to have such a beautiful time walking around the habitats of these rescued animals.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is located at 239 Turpentine Creek Lane in Eureka Springs.