Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

12 Prettiest Towns In Arkansas

Arkansas is called the Natural State for a reason. The coastal plains of the southeast and the Ozark plateau rising in the west combine with the state's major rivers to make Arkansas a breathtaking paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Much like its topography, Arkansas is hardly one-dimensional. Besides its natural beauty, Arkansas is chock-full of picturesque, whimsical towns waiting to be discovered. These towns will have you hankering for small-town Southern hospitality long after you have hit the road for home.


Josephine Street in Batesville, Arkansas
Josephine Street in Batesville, Arkansas. Image credit: Misterhaha, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

History lovers will definitely want to make a stop at Batesville. The town has the distinction of having the oldest downtown and the first urban farmstead in the state. Batesville wears its Scottish heritage proudly and townsfolk regularly attend the Arkansas Scottish Festival in Lyon College. Stop by the mosaics at Pocket Park or Bayou Polk Park for great summertime swimming. The Mark Martin NASCAR Museum pays tribute to Batesville's most prestigious stock car racer, while the Old Independence Regional Museum hosts exhibits explaining the area's history.

Van Buren

A beautiful waterfall near Van Buren, Arkansas.
A beautiful waterfall near Van Buren, Arkansas.

Sitting on the banks of the Arkansas River, the city of Van Buren is the second largest in the metropolitan Fort Smith area. Van Buren has a vibrant downtown core full of tasty eateries, antique shops, and historic sights. Lovers of architecture and the arts will want to visit the King Opera House, an expertly maintained Victorian opera house that hosts all sorts of performances. Shutterbugs will love the quaint buildings which have been painstakingly restored. Take an afternoon to trek the Lee Creek Hiking Trails and explore the amazing views of the Lee Creek Reservoir.

Bella Vista

Family with kids biking on bike trail in Bella Vista, Northwest Arkansa
Family with kids biking on a bike trail in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

Quiet, remote, and scenic are the fitting words to describe Bella Vista. About an hour and a half from Van Buren by car, Bella Vista imbibes the beauty of the Ozark Mountains it is situated in. Looking to stretch your legs? Visit Tanyard Creek Nature Trails and take the 45-minute drive to the jaw-dropping War Eagle Cavern. Trust us, the drive is worth it. The Museum of Native American History, the Bella Vista Museum, and the Veterans Wall of Honor are great ways to spend an afternoon for the inquisitive types. The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel is an architectural marvel built from glass by a student of the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright.

Eureka Springs

A church in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
A church in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

This charming Ozark mountain town is known for its charm and its meticulously preserved Victorian architecture. Walk the winding, narrow streets of this beloved Arkansas town of Eureka Springs. Former Victorian-era homes have been transformed into boutiques for small businesses and art galleries, perfect for picking up a memento or just window shopping. Thorncrown Chapel and Christ of the Ozarks are breathtaking structures regardless of denomination or faith. Visit the eponymously named hot springs for scenic views and a therapeutic soak, or Lake Leatherwood, which is perfectly suited for swimming and boating.


Main street in Russellville, Arkansas.
Main street in Russellville, Arkansas.

Russellville is an outdoor adventurer's paradise. Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River are nearby and offer great fishing. Catch largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and white bass, or hike the beautiful trails at Lake Dardanelle State Park and the Ozark St. Francis National Forests. Visitors to Russellville will want to partake in the excellent kayaking, canoeing, and fishing the town has to offer. In town, hit the roller rink at Russellville Skate Station or watch the races at Centerville Dragway 11 miles south of the town.


The town of Bentonville, Arkansas.
The town of Bentonville, Arkansas.

Bentonville maintains a population below 60,000 while still keeping that small-town atmosphere. Visiting the Momentary is a must while in Bentonville. Explore the contemporary art galleries, catch a live performance, or just relax. Best of all, admission is free. The city is also incredibly popular with mountain bikers as the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve's rugged paths are perfect for riding. Foodies will want to swing by the 8th Street Market, where Japanese, Mexican, and other cuisines can be had. Lastly, did you know about the Walmart Museum? A visit to Bentonville would not be complete without a visit to the first location in the country.


Downtown Ozark, Arkansas.
Downtown Ozark, Arkansas. Image credit: Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons.

Sitting between mountains, lakes, forests, and rivers, the town of Ozark has natural beauty in spades. The Arkansas River is a favorite among anglers, while Ozark Lake has 173 miles of shoreline and nearly 11,000 acres of water to enjoy. Ozark has plenty of camping opportunities as well. The town is full of antique shops and crape myrtle shrubs blooming from summer through fall. There are Murals throughout Ozark to be discovered and the award-winning arching bridge, which comes alight in the evening. 

Mountain View

Mountain View Courthouse in Mountain View, Arkansas.
Mountain View Courthouse in Mountain View, Arkansas. Image credit: Sgerbic via Wikimedia Commons.

Mountain View is a three-hour drive from Ozark and is perfect for those looking for a slice of traditional Arkansas life. This northern Arkansas town has worked hard to keep its Ozark culture alive, and the town is considered the folk music capital of the world. There is plenty to Mountain View besides folk music, however. Visit the White River and Blanchard Springs Caverns. Visit the Ozark Folk Centre State Park and the Stone County Museum to learn more about the town's history, or Loco Ropes Treetop Park, which has rope climbing and zip lines.


Daisy Airgun Museum in downtown Rogers, Arkansas. Image credit: Doug Wertman via Wikimedia Commons.

This small Benton County Town has plenty to do and plenty to see. The War Eagle Mill and the War Eagle Cavern are picturesque and highly photogenic for influencers searching for the perfect post. The Daisy Airgun Museum has an eclectic but worthwhile collection of odd antiques like the largest daisy BB gun in the world. The Hobbs State Park Conservation Area is 12,000 acres of mountainous landscape along the shore of Beaver Lake. There are mountain biking trails, horseback riding trails, and 11 primitive campsites. 

Fairfield Bay

Museum in an 1850 log cabin near the Indian Rock Cave and Trail trailhead in Fairfield Bay, AR
Museum in an 1850 log cabin near the Indian Rock Cave and Trail trailhead in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. Image credit: Brandonrush, via Wikimedia Commons.

A family-friendly lakeside town, Fairfield Bay has a functional marina and pristine beaches for public enjoyment. Fairfield Bay draws plenty of tourists every year thanks to its excellent water skiing, fishing, and boating opportunities. Greers Ferry Lake is one of the most beautiful in Arkansas, and Sugar Loaf Mountain Island is great for hiking. Visit the caves of Indian Rock, found on the National Register of Historic Places, or play a round or two of golf at the two 18-hole championship golf courses. With so much outdoor enjoyment to be had, Fairfield Bay is the perfect place for a digital detox.


City courthouse building in Paris, Arkansas.
City courthouse building in Paris, Arkansas.

Found at the base of Mount Magazine, Paris melds continental vibes with a distinct Midwestern flavor and the end result is sublime. Paris is known for its thriving historic district, modern eateries, its many antique shops, and the Eiffel Tower. In town is a 25-foot recreation of the Eiffel Tower with a water fountain at its base. The Spring Time In Paris Festival is a local favorite. There is a pet parade, a rubber duck race, and a Miss Paris Pageant. Be sure to visit Mount Magazine State Park and climb the tallest peak in the entire state.


Downtown Helena, Arkansas.
Downtown Helena, Arkansas. Image credit: Thomas R Machnitzki (, via Wikimedia Commons.

On the other side of the state from Paris lies Helena, one of the cutest towns in Arkansas. The town is found along the Mississippi River and the paddling here is considered some of the best along the river's length. Helena was designated as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. Visit Freedom Park to learn about African American history during the Civil War. Helena is full of history and the Delta Cultural Center is the perfect place to learn about the region's development. 

Arkansas is equally rich in history, natural beauty, and charm. In the small towns of Arkansas can be found hospitality, vintage Americana, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants comparable to anything you can find in the capital. Then there is the natural beauty of the Mississippi River, the many lakes and hot springs, and the rugged Ozark Mountains. Called the Natural State, Arkansas has certainly earned its name many times over.

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