A southern US state bordering the Mississippi River, Arkansas is home to an endless amount of beauty and adventure. The abundant park and wilderness areas are ideal for anyone who has a love for the outdoors, with plenty of different landscapes, including mountains, caves, rivers, and hot springs. The Ozark Mountains boast some of the greatest appeal in Arkansas, alongside the Buffalo National River. While there are many big cities to explore, the small towns scattered across the state offer deep charm, rich histories, and access to some of the most beautiful sights and adventures.
North Little Rock
North Little Rock has had many names, but North Little Rock stuck in 1917. The town sits on the Arkansas River, offering unique attractions like the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and Dickey-Stephens Park. It is also home to the Old Mill, and old water-powered mill, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Take a dive into the town's history and explore the historic district, where you'll find endless restaurants, antique malls, and shops for an evening well spent. Further, be sure to pay a visit to the Arkansas National Guard Museum, which tells the history of the Arkansas National Guard. Spend a little time outdoors, perusing through the Arkansas River trails. As an added bonus, Little Rock is right across the river, ideal for anyone who wants a taste of the city life alongside the small town charm.
Conway is 30 miles northwest of Little Rock and offers an endless array of adventures. Lake Conway, spanning 6,700 acres, is the ideal spot for a fishing or camping trip, though Beaverfork Lake is another popular spot for recreational water activities.
Be sure to pay a visit to the National Historic Site of Cadron Settlement Park, which is home to a restored blockhouse and exciting bike trail. You'll find many walking, hiking, and biking trails scattered throughout the town of Conway, featuring scenic lookouts, wildlife, and beautiful soundscapes. Conway is also known for its golfing community, so don't forget to stop at one of the golf courses and try your hand at the game.
Situated in the northeast of Arkansas, near Missouri and Tennessee, Paragould boasts a relaxing, inviting atmosphere with plenty to do in the beautiful outdoors. Crowley Ridge State Park sits in the heart of the town, with plenty to do in the flowing lake, including fishing, swimming, and paddle boating.
The downtown district of Paragould is on the National Register of Historic Places, with plenty of entertainment opportunities, such as the Collins Theatre, which has been part of the town for nearly 100 years. Another unique stop is the Paragould War Memorial, which features a seven-foot bronze Statue of Liberty, which is the oldest standing recreation of the New York Statue of Liberty.
Springdale sits on the Springfield Plateau in the Ozark Mountains and offers easy access to the bustling cities of Fayetteville and Bentonville. It is a great spot to visit if you are looking to ride the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad, especially the ride called "A Window Seat to History," which traverses through the scenic mountainscape and valleys.
If you are in search of a taste of history, visit the Shiloh Museum, delving into the depths of Ozark history with a focus on architecture from the 1850s. Popular destinations for recreational water activities include Beaver Lake, while Devil's Den State Park and Withrow Springs State Park are only an hour away, ideal for camping and hiking excursions.
Named after Arkansas pioneer Richard Searcy, the town of Searcy is home to the Little Red River and White Sulphur Springs, two popular spots for relaxation, camping, swimming, and adventuring. Riverside Park and Berryhill Park offer beautiful views, ideal for a photo op to commemorate your trip.
The historic downtown district is the heart of the town, with plenty of dining, entertainment, and recreational activities available. Many popular events take place on the main street, including a farmer's market every Saturday and Tuesday, "Get Down Downtown," and a trick or treating event in October. You'll also find lots of shopping spots lining the streets, including a cool record store, lots of books, and also unique vintage locations.
A beautiful Ozark mountain town, Heber Springs boasts easy access to Greers Ferry Lake and the Little Red River, which are popular fishing and camping spots. You'll also find a historic downtown area, which houses a museum, antique shops, and a county courthouse. Spring Park is one of the top attractions, with beautiful mineral springs that are the best spot to relax.
If you visit at the right time, you'll catch theWorld Championship Cardboard Boat Races, which occur annually at the Little Red River. The Annual Heber Springs Fireworks Extravaganza is another top event in the summertime, where visitors and locals alike enjoy the most gorgeous display of lights in the sky.
Situated at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, which are a continuation of the Ozark Mountains, Arkadelphia is the ideal place for an outdoors getaway. It is near the Ouachita River and Caddo River, where canoeing, kayaking, and fishing are popular activities. DeGray Lake and DeGray Lake Resort State Park are only 10 miles away from the town, the perfect spot for mountain biking and sightseeing.
When you get back from a day of hiking and exploring, visit Feaster Park for a picnic or sunset view. Extend your stay in one of the town's many cozy bed and breakfasts or inns, and enjoy wandering the streets, lined with unique shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Towns You Need to Arkan-see
Arkansas is a beautiful state, home to an endless array of exciting towns, perfect for a weekend escape or special getaway in the great outdoors. While cities like Little Rock, Fayetteville, and Hot Springs are plenty of fun, these small towns are ideal for a more tranquil visit. Plus, they offer easy access to some of the most beautiful sights, and the big cities aren't too far away!