After word had spread about the “healing” waters in the local springs, Eureka Springs, Arkansas was founded on July 4, 1879. Thousands soon flocked to the town in order to build shanties for the expected guests, and now, there are many places to visit in and around Eureka Springs. See Victorian homes and tour the entire downtown area, which all has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. With one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, museums, and restaurants, this small town is sure to accommodate anyone who decides to visit.
WHERE TO STAY
The Heartstone Inn Bed & Breakfast is a homey B&B located on the Historic Loop of Eureka Springs. With just a short walk to downtown, there are many activities and restaurants to visit nearby. Their attention to detail, amenities and personal concierge service sets the Heartstone Inn apart. With 11 modern and traditional rooms to choose from, there is sure to be something you will love. To top everything off, there are expansive decks, porches and a gazebo, so that you can take in the Ozark Mountains that surround you.
WHERE TO EAT
The Filling Station Restaurant
This small, local diner is a great place to stop and get some lunch or brunch with your crew. What sets The Filling Station apart from other brunch spots in the area is that it is a casual, inexpensive, but quality diner. Serving both breakfast and lunch, the restaurant has some great choices alongside their breakfast buffet.
Local Flavor Cafe
The Local Flavor Cafe is a 10-minute walk from the Heartstone Inn B&B. Dishes are derived from Southwest, Italian, French and American influence, but they make sure it is known that their first priority is the freshness of each dish. The restaurant is a great stop for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, and they cater to all tastes.
Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway Lunch or Dinner Train
If you’re looking for an experience in Eureka Springs, the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Lunch/Dinner Train is a must. Each train ride offers a full-course meal as well as a two-hour train ride. The train operates from June through October. Each dinner train starts at 5 p.m. and each lunch train starts at noon. There are also excursion train rides which last for an hour. Children must be five years old for the dinner excursion.
WHAT TO DO
At Onyx Cave Park, there are 30-minute self-guided tours through the Onyx Cave. Discovered in 1891 and toured ever since 1893, the cave has a rich history being the oldest toured cave in Arkansas. Other activities the park provides include panning for semi-precious gems for younger guests and axe throwing.
Only a few steps away from the Heartstone Inn B&B, the Ozark Mountain Ziplines are a must for adrenaline junkies. You will zip down 10 ziplines, cross one swinging bridge while standing on suspended platforms, all while being 250 feet above the ground. Reservations for this activity are recommended, but walk-ins are always welcome.
Founded in 1992, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a big cat rescue, is one of the largest in the United States and has grown to one of the top 10 attractions in Arkansas and the most popular in Eureka Springs. There are countless, large enclosures meeting the needs of each species, including lions, cougars, leopards, tigers, and bears.
About a 30-minute drive from the center of Eureka Springs lies Hobbs State Park, the largest state park in Arkansas. This beautiful park holds over 50 miles of trails, including mountain biking and horseback riding trails. The park is also connected to Beaver Lake which provides scenic views and is a great place to launch kayaks. ■