Downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Editorial credit: Rachael Martin /

6 Of The Most Charming Small Towns To Visit In The Ozarks

The Ozarks, or the Ozark Mountains, stretch from Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas in the midwest region of the United States. Many are familiar with the area today because of the wildly popular television show set deep in the Ozarks. However, this is a popular region with several charming small towns and a friendly atmosphere worth visiting. Most towns are small, with larger populations only reaching around 20,000 people. But that adds to the charm of these small towns, which are filled with beautiful natural scenes, rivers, and artsy communities.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Editorial credit: shuttersv /

Eureka Springs is among the most popular towns in the Ozarks because of its natural springs and Victorian-era buildings in the historic district. Notable buildings include the Palace Bath House, Basin Park Hotel, Crescent Hotel, and many more. The town's iconic signal is the Flatiron Flats, a premier hotel with suites overlooking Spring and Center Streets.

The town has been called the "Little Switzerland of America" and The Stairstep Town because of its winding streets and the up-and-down pathways that dot the downtown landscape. Of course, Eureka Springs is famous for its natural springs. Basin Springs is the most famous and can be found off Spring Street downtown and several others. This charming town has a unique blend of artsy culture, unique architecture, and natural attractions.

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

The highway to Siloam Springs, Arkansas
The highway to Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Editorial credit: RaksyBH /

Siloam Springs is a quaint town in the Northwest region of Arkansas that borders Oklahoma. Among the charming natural attractions is Sager Creek, with dogwood-lined parks and rock wall banks that flow through downtown. The downtown scene is also scenic, with a mix of fountains, gazebos, and benches to enjoy the serene creek.

There are several annual community festivals, like the Dogwood Festival and the Light Up Siloam Christmas program, where downtown transforms into a winter wonderland. There is also a ton of history here, including the Crown Hotel, built in 1881, which is the centerpiece of the historic district. Siloam Springs is a friendly and pleasant town that is fun to walk around and better appreciate the natural beauty and historic buildings.

Branson, Missouri

Downtown Branson, Missouri
Downtown Branson, Missouri. Editorial credit: NSC Photography /

Branson is a popular Ozark town in Missouri known as a family-friendly vacation destination. 76 Country Boulevard is the hub of the family entertainment district. Dolly Parton's Stampede, a live theater, the Marvel Cave, and much more are along this stretch of road.

Other attractions include the Titanic Museum and Silver Dollar City, an 1800s-themed amusement park. No other town in the Ozarks offers as many entertainment venues as Branson. The two-story Hollywood Wax Museum is a fun and eclectic venue that should not be missed. Branson's charm comes from these many venues and the kid-friendly activities.

Van Buren, Missouri

Visitor Center and train station in Van Buren, Arkansas
Visitor Center and train station in Van Buren, Arkansas.

Van Buren was founded in 1833 and named after Vice President Martin Van Buren. Today, several cultural and historical landmarks contribute to its charm. For example, The King Opera House on Main Street was established in the 19th century and still operates today.

Other historical sites include the clapboard-sided Drennen Scott House and the Indian Artifact Museum. Culturally, the prime attraction is the Van Buren School District Fine Arts Center, a 1,500-seat concert hall on Pointer Street. This small, charming town offers much more and should be seen in person. There are multiple festivals this year, like the Old Timers Day and Steampunk Festival in May, which would be an ideal time to visit Van Buren.

Claremore, Oklahoma

the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma.
The Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma. Editorial credit: BD Images /

Claremore, Oklahoma, is a quaint town with a history dating back to the Indian Territory. Though there are many historical sites, the town also has modern comforts. One of the historic sites is the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, a 19,000-square-foot memorial to the legendary cowboy actor from Claremore. The J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum is another landmark museum that houses over 20,000 firearms.

There are charming outdoor adventures, too. The Claremore Mountain Bike Trails draw outdoor enthusiasts, and Claremore Lake is a tranquil picnic area, perfect on a Spring day. Claremore is not only charming due to its attractions and museums; the town people are warm and friendly, which adds to the pleasure of a multi-day visit.

Rolla, Missouri

Aerial view of Rolla, Missouri
Aerial view of Rolla, Missouri.

Rolla is a small and tranquil town in the Ozark region with a significant American Civil War history. It is also home to Missouri University of Science and Technology, a prestigious school that lends an air of prestige to this small town. In 1860, it became a major transportation hub and the first terminus of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, known as the "Frisco Line."

Charming activities include a night at one of the live theatres, Ozark Actors Theatre or the Leach Theatre. The town is also between the Meramac and the Gasconade rivers, so outdoor activities are available. Rolla is a classic Ozark town with friendly people, a lot of history, and modern amenities to offer visitors.

If you plan a visit to the Ozarks, these towns should be at the top of your list of places to visit. There are historic towns like Van Buren and Claremore, as well as beautiful natural springs in Eureka Springs. These towns not only offer historic sites, they are also naturally beautiful and inviting.

There are many outdoor activities like camping, fishing, and hiking, along with quaint downtowns where one can while away the nights with locals. These towns share a deep history that the locals embrace while moving ahead into the future. Finding a local brewery after a day of exploring is sure to fill you in on the unique history of the Ozarks from generations of local townspeople.

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