The Natural State is full of hidden wonders. In fact, it’s so full of hidden wonders that wondrous things can seem run-of-the-mill to native Arkansans. The 13 things you’ll find below, however, shouldn’t seem run-of-the-mill to anyone. They’re absolutely epic, and you need to start thinking about crossing them all off your bucket list as soon as possible.
1. Sleep in a hobbit cave.
You can do just that at 526 West Van Buren in Eureka Springs. If a hobbit cave isn’t your cup of tea, Eureka Springs Treehouses also has treehouses (shocker, I know) and adorable little castles. No matter which you choose, this place will make your dreams come true.
2. Have brunch in a castle.
You can have brunch at the Castle on Stagecoach, which is located at 6601 Stagecoach Road in Little Rock. If you follow them on Facebook, you can see when exactly they’re having these fairy tale brunches.
3. Visit the gallows of an Old West hangin’ judge.
At the Fort Smith Historic Site you can see the gallows of Judge Isaac C. Parker. During the heyday of Judge Parker, the entire Oklahoma Territory was under the jurisdiction of the Fort Smith court, and he hanged plenty of outlaws. You can find the historic site at 301 Parker Avenue in Fort Smith.
4. Take an excursion train just for the view.
The Arkansas-Missouri Railroad runs a number of excursions you can choose from, including trips to and from Springdale, Fort Smith, and Van Buren. The Ozarks come to life from the train, and you're going to love how gorgeous your ride is. You can check out your options
5. Have a train deliver your food to your table.
The little train tracks that run around the top of All Aboard at 6813 Cantrell Road in Little Rock carry trains with precious cargo. That cargo is your food. Yes, it’s true. They have tiny trains that deliver your food to your table.
6. Browse an antique mall you’ll want to live in.
Arkansas Peddlers at 617 Highway 65 North in Greenbrier has 24,000 square feet of treasures. You never know what you’ll find there, but one thing is for sure—you won’t want to leave.
7. Tour a cheese factory.
Please note, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese has permanently closed.
Kent Walker Artisan Cheese makes lovely, local cheeses that you’ll want to try. They also have tours where you can see that cheese being made. Kent Walker Artisan Cheese is located at 323 South Cross Street in Little Rock.
8. Fly through the canopy at an adventure park.
Loco Ropes is an adventure park hiding the forest of the Ozarks. They’ve got all the climbing and ziplining adventures you could ever want. Loco Ropes is located at Ozark Folk Center State Park at 1025A Park Avenue in Mountain View.
9. Paddle a river called "skull crusher."
The name "Cossatot" roughly translates to "skull crusher." While the Cossatot River does have some rough spots, there are also perfectly peaceful waters to be found there.
10. Spend hours and hours and hours hiking to a waterfall.
Here are some directions to Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls: drive way up into the woods until you find the trail. Then walk and walk and climb and keep walking and climbing until your feet fall off or you’ve reached approximately 6.1 miles. Having said that, Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls is the tallest waterfall between Appalachia and the Rockies, and it’s well worth the journey.
11. Sleep on top of the highest point in Arkansas.
Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas, and the Lodge at Mount Magazine is one of the finest lodges in the Natural State. You can find this stunning lodge at 577 Lodge Drive in Paris.
12. Eat on top of a working gristmill.
You see that gorgeous old mill across that historic bridge? That’s War Eagle Mill. It’s the only working gristmill in Arkansas. If you want to try their goods, simply go to the top floor. There you’ll find the Bean Palace, which is a delicious restaurant that uses ingredients produced in War Eagle Mill. War Eagle Mill is located at 11045 War Eagle Road in Rogers.
13. Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Okay, it isn’t THE Golden Gate Bridge, it’s Arkansas’s own Little Golden Gate. It leads into the tiny town of Beaver, and it’s one of the most picturesque spots in the Natural State. The Little Golden Gate Bridge, also called the Beaver Bridge, is on Highway 187 and crosses Table Rock Lake.