Brimming with charm, natural beauty, incredible attractions, downhome restaurants, as well as unique shopping experiences, small towns are the heart and soul of Arkansas. From towns nestled inside the picturesque Ozarks to those tucked along the serene river valleys, the
small towns in Arkansas are must-visit destinations in the United States. Teeming with southern hospitality, folks from these towns are perhaps the most warm and welcoming people you’ll ever meet. It’s no wonder that each year, thousands of visitors flock to these delightful places to experience all that they have to offer.
While there are quite a few small towns in Arkansas that are worthy of a visit,
Eureka Springs belongs at the top of the list. Featuring gorgeous Victorian-style architecture, rich history, natural Ozark landscapes, trendy art galleries, as well as incredible attractions, Eureka Springs is one of the best small towns in Arkansas. With just over 2,000 residents as well as a true sense of community, it’s guaranteed that this quintessential town is overflowing with southern charm. Without further ado, here are the best things to do in Eureka Springs, that are perfect for a small-town getaway in the United States.
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Is Eureka Springs Worth Visiting? The short answer is absolutely, yes! It's by far the best small town in Arkansas.
Main Street Eureka Springs, 65 N Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
This gorgeous town is such a unique place to visit. With stunning architecture, funky art galleries, trendy restaurants, specialty boutiques as well as natural beauty, Eureka Springs is packed with endless possibilities for entertainment. Equally notable, the town's rich history makes it a haven for history buffs. Downtown Eureka Springs is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which makes it a fascinating town to explore.
If you’re wondering about its unique name, it's derived from the healing springs throughout the area.
Blue Spring Heritage Center, 1537 Co Rd 210, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Founded in 1879, people flocked to the area to experience the magical springs for themselves. As a result of the many springs, the city grew in popularity, which eventually attracted prominent investors who helped to build the gorgeous town that it is today. Many of the springs are accessible to those who would like to visit on a day trip to Eureka Springs.
How To Get To Eureka Springs Located in Northwest Arkansas, Eureka Springs is approximately 200 miles away from the capital city of Little Rock.
However, there are several airports that are closer to the town, so Little Rock isn’t your only option. In fact, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) is less than 50 miles away, and the winding drive through the small towns in the Ozarks will be quite the adventure. Take I-49 to US Highway 62 that will lead you right into the heart of Eureka Springs. Here’s an
with full details of the drive.
Getting Around Eureka Springs You’ll be delighted to know that Eureka Springs is a walkable town, so the best way to get around the quaint Main Street is on foot, or you could opt to ride a bike.
However, for the best experience, we recommend using the local trolley service. For a small fee of $6 for adults and $2 for children (7 to 11), you can ride the trolley all day long. Truly, it will be a unique way to see different parts of the town.
The good news is, no matter how you decide to explore Eureka Springs, you’ll have the opportunity to leisurely browse the art galleries, view the quirky art installations, shop at the specialty boutiques, dine at trendy restaurants, and more. Though it’s not needed to explore downtown, a rental car is recommended as many of the attractions are located outside of the heart of the town.
Discover more about Eureka Springs by watching this incredible fly-through video by BasinParkHotel1905: VIDEO Best Time To Visit Eureka Springs
The best time to visit Eureka Springs is every season of the year. The town offers attractions and activities for all types of travelers.
Spring and Summer are great for outdoor and water recreation, so nature lovers will enjoy the warmer weather. Vibrant wildflowers are in bloom and the nature trails are brimming with lush greenery. Plus, the town comes alive at night with its many bars and restaurants, some offering outdoor seating, which is great for people watching.
During the Fall and Winter, the town features spectacular festivals as well as lots of holiday events. In fact, it’s one of the best small towns to visit during the holiday season. And the fall foliage in the Ozarks is unlike any other, the stunning hues will warm your heart. Honestly, there is no better way to spend the colder months than in this small, charming mountain town.
Where To Stay In Eureka Springs Whether you’re searching for luxurious accommodations, rustic mountain cabins, charming bed and breakfasts, or trendy hotels in the heart of downtown, you’ll find it in Eureka Springs.
Crescent Hotel and Spa, 75 Prospect Ave, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Located in the Historic District,
The Crescent Hotel
is by far the best hotel in town. Built in 1886, this iconic hotel features luxurious accommodations that include serenity spas, fine dining restaurants, exquisite rooms and suites, as well as world-class accommodations. And for those who are into the paranormal, you’ll be happy to hear that this hotel is known as America’s Most Haunted Hotel. On average, a night at this spooky hotel will be around $200, making it an affordable place to stay.
SUGAR RIDGE RESORT, 1216 County Rd 113, Eureka Springs, AR 72631, USA
If you prefer more rustic accommodations,
Sugar Ridge Resort
would be the perfect getaway for you. This 75-acre mountaintop resort is perched above Beaver Lake, so the views are spectacular. Featuring comfy log cabins with fireplaces as well as jacuzzis, this resort is perfect for couples, but also has accommodations for families or weekend girls’ trip getaways.
Let's begin our morning at one of the most iconic restaurants in town.
Located in the heart of downtown, housed inside a rustic underground dining space, you'll find
Mud Street Cafe
. This legendary restaurant boasts the best coffee in all of Arkansas, so be sure to grab a cup of their aromatic brew. Of course, breakfast is a staple, and Mud Street dishes up country favorites that will give you the needed fuel for the day.
Mud Street Cafe, 22 S Main St G, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
You can opt for a hearty breakfast that includes eggs, pancakes, grits, bacon, and more, or enjoy a flaky pastry with a warm cup of mocha or expresso instead. You really can't go wrong here.
Now that you're all fueled up, the best way to kick off a stay in this beautiful town is to explore the gorgeous Ozarks.
Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway, 299 N Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Hop on board the
Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway
for a one-of-a-kind excursion. Narrated by a knowledgeable Conductor, the train ride meanders through picturesque Ozark landscapes as well as several nearby points of interest. You'll learn lots of history on this 1-hour long adventure and it's well worth the $19 price tag for adults and $10 for children between 4 and 11. Kids under 4 are free.
After that fun excursion, let's stroll and explore the historic downtown.
Eureka Springs Downtown, 5-19 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Staircase "UP", 2-34 N Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Lined with stunning architectural buildings, unique boutiques, flowing springs, art galleries as well as quirky art installations, you'll find lots of hidden gems around every corner of the town. Be sure to visit the iconic Rainbow Stairs to take some incredible Instagram worthy pics or images for your personal collection. You can easily spend the entire day exploring all that this historic town has to offer.
Day One, Afternoon – History, Museum, and Landmarks If after all your exploration you've developed an appetite, I recommend visiting a local hidden gem for a quick bite.
Sparky's Roadhouse Cafe, 147 E Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Sparky's Roadhouse Cafe
is a quirky neighborhood joint that serves mouthwatering comfort food and delicious beer. You'll love the vintage garage and sports-themed decor as well as the open-air patio. Between the food and the fun atmosphere, a visit to Sparky's will be one of your most memorable dining experiences in town.
Eureka is known for its Victorian-style architecture that can be seen as you travel around the town, but for the best experience, we recommend the Eureka Springs Tram Tours.
Eureka Springs Tram Tours, 137 W Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Eureka Springs Historical Museum, 95 S Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
On this tour, you will literally see hundreds of gorgeous homes and historical sites, various points of interest as well as several healing springs from which the town was named. There is lots to learn on this guided tour and it will be a fun adventure for history lovers or just anyone who enjoys exploring historic small towns. At $19 for adults and $9 for kids, this is a must-visit attraction while on your day trip. If you're interested in more history, visit the Eureka Springs Historical Museum on Main Street.
No trip to Eureka is complete without visiting the most stunning piece of architecture in Arkansas.
Thorncrown Chapel, 12968 US-62, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
is an awe-inspiring glass chapel that is nestled in the woodlands on the outskirts of town. Designed by renowned architect E. Fay Jones, this award-winning architectural wonder has been visited by millions of people from around the world. You'll experience serenity and peace while you marvel at this stunning creation. There is no fee to visit the chapel, but donations are welcomed.
Let's complete the evening by dining at one of the most eclectic restaurants in town.
Local Flavor Cafe, 71 S Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Local Flavor Cafe
is perhaps the quirkiest restaurant in the Ozarks. The dining space is lined with beautiful artwork as well as a vintage lamp collection that creates the most calming ambiance. Not only is the restaurant artsy, but the food is also visually stunning. This is where art lovers and foodies unite to enjoy the most sensory dining experience in Arkansas. On a nice evening, sit on the patio and enjoy the pretty views of the area.
After a long day of tours and history, you deserve a night of luxury at the Basin Park Hotel.
Basin Park Hotel, 12 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
Located in the heart of downtown Eureka, this full-service hotel boasts a spa, a balcony restaurant, bars, ghost tours, and more. So, you can easily continue an evening of adventure or bask in a comfortable night of rest. The choice is yours to make the best of your small town getaway. You'll be happy to know that a night at this historic hotel is around $150 and as a guest, you'll receive 2 free tickets to the Downtown -N- Underground Tour. As your Eureka Springs travel guide, I advise you not to skip that offer.
Day Two, Morning – Outdoor Adventure And Exploring The Ozarks After a restful evening, start your morning with breakfast at Nibbles Eatery.
Nibbles Eatery, 79 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
This trendy cafe is located just a short distance from the Basin Park Hotel. There, you'll find the most delectable breakfast selections in town. With a "passion for community and good food," this family-owned eatery is brimming with charm and a great representation of small-town hospitality. Expect to find good coffee as well as a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.
Outdoor adventure abounds on the second morning of our Eureka Springs vacation.
Eureka Springs Zipline, 2250 State Hwy 23, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
For the dare devil, enjoy soaring above the treetops over the picturesque Ozark Mountains. For $55, Eureka Springs Zipline offers a one-of-a-kind adventure unlike any other. If ziplining is not your thing, opt for exploring one of the many hiking or biking trails in the region. There are waterfalls, flowing creeks, lakes, incredible rock formations, and more to discover all around this gorgeous mountain town.
Plus, with its proximity to Beaver Lake, you will have access to an abundance of water excursions.
Beaver Lake, Arkansas, USA
From paddleboarding to kayaking to boating to swimming and more, the adventures on the lake are endless. If you're a water enthusiast, this crystal-clear lake will be your very own paradise oasis and you could easily spend an entire day basking in all its glory. There are so many hidden gems along the lake including Hogscald Hollow, where you can kayak underneath a waterfall grotto.
Discover the beauty of the lake from this short video. VIDEO Day Two, Afternoon – Winery, Local Gems, Dining It's time to relax a bit and enjoy some of the finer things in life. And by that, I mean, having a glass of wine while marveling at the peaceful countryside.
Railway Winery & Vineyards, 4937 State Hwy 187, Eureka Springs, AR 72631, USA
Pack a picnic basket and drive to Railway Winery located in the hills of the Ozarks just 8 miles north of town. This gorgeous haven is perfect for a summer or spring afternoon. Enjoy tasting artisan wines or drinking local Arkansas craft beer on tap. This is the most adorable winery and farm in the area that also sells jellies, coffees, wine accessories, and more. It's the perfect place to sit and reminisce about your incredible vacation thus far.
After the winery, let's take the scenic drive back to town and spend the evening inside Basin Springs Park.
Basin Spring Park, 4 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
This sanctuary hosts various concerts and events throughout the year, and it's a great place for an evening stroll. There are hiking trails that meander through the hills, where you'll glimpse flowing springs as you trek. There are also lots of other springs in the area including the
and Grotto Spring that are surrounded by immense natural beauty. The tram tour covers several springs on the tour, but I recommend that you explore them at your leisure.
For dinner, you'll love Grotto Wood-Fired Grill and Wine Cave located in the heart of downtown Eureka Springs.
Grotto Wood-Fired Grill and Wine Cave, 10 Center St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, USA
As the name indicates, this fine dining restaurant features a wine cave, and it also has a spring flowing through the dining area. The menu includes eclectic selections that will captivate your taste buds by creating a sensory dining experience. As one of the best restaurants in Arkansas, you'll be impressed by the ambiance as well as the chef's creations. Be sure to make reservations to secure your visit to this very popular eatery.
After a long day of exploration, it's time to rest for the evening and we recommend the Angel at Rose Hall Bed and Breakfast.
Angel at Rose Hall Bed and Breakfast
As one of the only AAA 4-diamond award B&Bs in Arkansas, you'll be completely impressed by the luxurious accommodations. Beautifully decorated, no detail was overlooked, and you'll be sleeping in sophistication that is good enough for royalty. Small town B&Bs are brimming with hospitality and Angel at Rose Hall is one of the best. If you're traveling with kids, opt for an enchanting treehouse, hobbit cave, or castle accommodations instead. The little ones would absolutely love these one-of-a-kind places.
Brimming with history and charm, there is no doubt that Eureka Springs is the best destination for a small town getaway in the United States. And while the attractions in this article are just a snippet of things to do in Eureka Springs, they do reflect the essence of the town. From its rich history to its gorgeous Victorian-era architecture to its quirky art installations to its healing springs to its natural Ozark beauty as well as its incredible dining and accommodations, there is no denying that Eureka Springs is a place unlike any other.
So, the next time you’re searching for a small town for an unbelievable getaway, place a day trip to Eureka Springs at the top of your list. Chances are, you’ll want to visit this stunning mountain town every chance you get. And as your Eureka Springs
travel guide, I welcome you back in the warmest way to bask in all its glory.
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More to Explore
THINGS TO DO IN EUREKA SPRINGS
What are some more fun things to do in Eureka Springs?
As you can tell, Eureka Springs is one of the best small towns in the United States, and there are endless adventures for all types of travelers. The town has so much to offer, and aside from what was listed above, here are some more fun things to do in Eureka Springs that I recommend:
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge - a big cat rescue sanctuary where you can get up close and personal with the gentle felines. You can also spend the night inside a rustic cabin and wake up to the sounds of lions caroling
Onyx Cave - one of the best show caves in the area. It features tours that promises a unique underground adventure
Quigley's Castle - this is not a castle, but a stunning home that was built using quartz crystals, rocks, and natural stones that features intricate art installations and sculptures
Lake Leatherwood City Park - a local park with a lake as its main attraction. There are multi-use trails as well as some hidden gems tucked inside
Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours - many places in Eureka Springs are known to be haunted and if you love the paranormal, this tour is for you
Intrigue Theater - offers incredible performances by local artists. Art and theater lovers, don’t skip this attraction
Christ of the Ozarks - a 67-foot statue of Jesus that weighs 2 million pounds that was built in 1967. It’s a sight to behold
Pivot Rock Park - lesser-known attraction featuring fascinating rock formations
St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church - another stunning architectural structure surrounded by natural beauty
Gotahold Brewing - an award-winning dog and kid friendly brewery featuring games, live music, a beer garden, food trucks, and more.
Zarks Fine Design Gallery - local art gallery featuring contemporary paintings, pottery, blown glass as well as fine jewelry
Discover more about Eureka Springs by reading our previous article about this quirky small town in Arkansas .