Little Rock, Arkansas

7 Most Beautiful Cities In Arkansas

Arkansas is one of the nation's most naturally-beautiful states, with mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests surrounding exciting cities. These cities boasting vibrant history, entertainment, and unique attractions amongst modern comforts for all budgets, are the seven most beautiful in the state. 

Hot Springs

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Aerial view of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The city, nestled cozily within the Ouachita Mountains, is most known for its thermal hot springs. It is a top tourist destination for its central location, many lakes and parks, and wellness procedures. The renowned Hot Springs National Park is set strategically in the heart of the downtown district. Other exciting attractions in the town include theme parks, annual festivals, and Oaklawn Park, home to the Arkansas Derby. One must take a stroll through the beautiful and serene Garvan Woodland Gardens, followed by a visit to one of the city's many bathhouses. The active will enjoy hiking in the fresh air at the wildly-scenic Ouachita State Forest, as well as the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail and the Lake Catherine State Park, with water access and recreation.

The Grand Promenade is a popular gathering place for strolls and people-watching, with many outdoor terraces at restaurants, cute cafes, and bars. For entertainment, there is the scenically-renowned Bathhouse Row, the Oaklawn Racing and Gaming, a visitor center, and lavishly-decorated hotels for memorable stays. Hot Springs ranks fourth on the top 100 Small Art towns in America, with a historic district full of beautiful architecture, including old hotels and motor courts in Art Deco style. There is also the popular Hot Spring Music festival and a documentary film festival in October at the historic Malco Theater. The kids love seeing animals at the Arkansas Alligator Farm or the Petting Zoo with cougars, wild boars, emus, deer, and more.


Bentonville, Arkansas
Sunset over Beautiful downtown Bentonville in spring. Editorial credit: shuttersv /

The thriving city of 50,000 in the northwest corner of the state is the headquarters of three Fortune 500 companies of Walmart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. It is a naturally-beautiful city with green scape, parks, and surrounding forests. Bentonville boasts rich history and culture along the architecture-laden steers, with attractions and vibrant events. The city is most known for fabulous art pieces at venues with paintings and sculptures, outdoor art, an art studio, and an outdoor concert arena. Notable heritage sites include the renowned, free-entry Crystal Bridge museum with works by Kohn Singer Sargent, Georgia O'Keefe, Gilbert Stuart, and Andy Warhol.

One must also take a free tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's house and visit Walmart's original five-and-dime store, while the 21 c Museum Hotel offers the most atmospheric staying experience. There is exciting nightlife, an interesting culinary scene, and many sporting events. The active will enjoy hiking and mountain biking through the immense, scenic outdoors. It is little known that thanks to Walmart, some of Bentonville's citizens are amongst the world's richest people, who continue to invest in the city's development through their residency. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport is under half an hour from downtown, with flights to and from 15 destinations, including New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. 


Conway, Arkansas
Toad Suck State Park, Conway, Arkansas.

Conway is a quickly-expanding central city with some 65,000 lucky residents living in what is known as the top place to live in Arkansas. It is a fair claim to fame with the city's thriving proportions and home to Hewlett Packard and Insight Enterprises, along with three higher learning institutions. Conway was founded by Asa P. Robinson, the chief engineer of the Little Rock-Fort Smith Railroad, which helped industrialize and populate the city. The educational hub of the region with a moniker "city of colleges" boasts well-educated and high-earning residents. There is the Hendrix College, Central Baptist College, and the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College, along with two-big Torreyson Library and Bailey Library.

The city is bounded by an immense, namesake lake at southeast, and the grand Arkansas River flowing just west. The hot and humid summers and mildly-cool winters are perfect to enjoy the city's natural privileges through a variety of outdoor pursuits. Conway is also laden with attractions and entertainment, including the Cadron settlement Park, Hogwild Family Fun Center, Escape Mystery Rooms, Jack's Ultra Sports, and the Baum Gallery. It is home to historic districts with scenic streets, such as the Asa P. Robinson Historic District and the Hendrix Addition Historic District. There are tons of restaurants for any taste and purpose, along with residential parks that host various events throughout the year. The cultured will enjoy the Orchestra, art viewings, regular theater performances, and music at venues and along the streets.


Fayetteville, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The city, set deep within the beautiful Ozarks, with the Boston Mountains just an easy drive away, brims with natural scenery. Fayetteville spreads scenically along seven hills with a panoramic backdrop of sky-reaching peaks that appear to guard the city. It is known as the "Athens of the Ozarks" for its innovative approach, academia, and historically-charming center. The suburban feel offers s great respite from the bigger cities, with laidback bars, cute cafes, and refreshing parks. Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas's main campus and a popular destination for the lively vibe and youthful spirit on the streets. There are myriad student-geared attractions in entertainment, culinary scene, and shopping experiences. The world-famous Dickson Street Bookstore boasts over 100,000 rare books, while the Cannibal and Craft is known for fabulous cocktail concoctions unlike anywhere in the state.

Dickson Street is the city's beating heart, where public buildings are intermixed with countless boutiques, historical sights, event venues, and nightclubs. The Bordinos is a luxurious restaurant serving delicious Italian cuisine within an impeccable setting known for its service and atmosphere. There is also the purely-American Mockingbird Kitchen, various bars, trendy shops, and art studios. Fayetteville is a city of a prominently artistic and cultured crowd, with live music on the streets, theater, performances, and exciting annual festivities. The marvelous historic downtown square features architectural wonders in the surroundings of beautifully-landscaped gardens. The farmers' market is a weekly ritual, a gathering place for shopping, mingling, and absorbing the local culture. There is ample wilderness and green scape with well-worn hiking trails and great biking paths waiting for active nature enthusiasts with fun, sights, and adventures. 

Fort Smith

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith National Historic Site sign at Fort Smith. Editorial credit: Scott K Baker /

Fort Smith is a border city and second-largest in Arkansas, with a through-running immense Arkansas River. The city "Where the New South Meets the Old West" boasts a colorful heritage as a frontier town that propelled westward expansion. It was a supply depot and starting point for gold diggers during the Rush on the southern route across the plains. It is a lively and culturally-diverse city, with art and historical heritage showcased proudly on the streets. Fort Smith is renowned for its great hospitality, restaurants, and entertainment scene, along with notable attractions that helped shape the country.

The Fort Smith National Historic Site reminisces of the former court for the Federal Government in the Western District of Arkansas. The National U.S. Marshals Museum continues to tell the story of the oldest law enforcement agency and the most dangerous Marshals Service. The beautiful Belle Grove Historic District is great for atmospheric strolls that transport back in time, while a 1930s electric downtown trolley offers a historically-charming ride through the center fare. The active will enjoy hikes and recreation at the immense Lake Fort Smith State Park to the north, whereas the vintage Pullman Railcar through the Ozark foothills offers the most scenic journey with the state's best natural sights from the window and comfort of one's seat.

Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas
Aerial view of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Little Rock is the "predictable option" to settle for convenience and a highly-desirable destination among tourists for sights and entertainment expected from the state's capital. There are award-winning restaurants for any taste, populated bars, and diverse shopping opportunities for never-a-dull-moment. Little Rock is known for big ideas, new music, and a strong sense of community which is surprising for the most populous city in Arkansas. One will feel at home in no time on the streets full of cultural attractions, art, and proudly-displayed history. The well-known River Market offers scenic vistas during shopping and lunching on cuisines from around the globe.

The market, museums, and restaurants are easily accessible via the landmark Arkansas' longest walking and biking bridge. The notable local favorites include The Box Turtle, Heifer Village at Heifer International, and South on Main renowned for cocktails. The RiverFest hosts various musical events, while the Stone's Throw Brewing is a friendly pub with a famous outdoor-garden setting and vegan options. There is an impressive list to dive into the state's diverse culture, including the Arboretum, Arts center, Repertory Theatre, and the Wildwood parks of arts. The old Central High School, a National Historic site, tells a real-life story about student-body desegregation. 


Paragould, Arkansas
The Historic Greene County Courthouse in Paragould, Arkansas.

The state's largest city of the 19th century grew around a crossing and was named by the postmaster-general who combined the words "Paramore" and "Gould." It is set-perched at the top of Crowley's Ridge, along the Crowley's Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway. The beautiful and thriving city with a community feel is a mega-popular tourist destination. The surrounding bountiful nature includes many lakes, streams, and rivers for scenic explorations, summertime water fun, relaxing strolls, and picnics along the banks. 

The vibrant and growing city is full of historical charm, old architecture-laden streets, and tradition, religion, and culture on display. One must stroll through the beautiful downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places and visit the historic fair that has been going strong for over a century. The nation-renowned Art and Stroll is the state's largest Zombie walk that gathers thousands in one big, fun event. Pruett Street is the main thoroughfare that defines the city and boasts the world-famous Collins Theatre. It is a popular place for strolls, mingling, and people-watching among the convenient home-style restaurants and family-friendly lodging options.

Arkansas' cities boast prominent characters and unique atmospheres enriched by beautiful parks and gardens. These cities, with streets-laden with scenic history, culture, and art, surrounded by natural pursuits, offer seven unforgettable experiences. 

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