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If there were ever a place where the hills were alive with the sound of music, it is Mountain View, Arkansas. Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, folk music is what fuels the community and the economy. From the Music Roots program which brings music to the children to the evenings of pickin’ and strummin’ in the Pickin’ Park on the square, music is alive and well and can be found, quite literally, on every street corner.
Although paved roads didn’t meander through until the 1960s and 70s, Mountain View has been a small tight-knit community since the 1870s. A passion for preserving the past, embracing simpler times and continuing a tradition of folk music continues today. There is so much to love about Mountain View.
Known as the Folk Music Capital of the World, Mountain View is also a fisherman’s paradise with access to the White River and some of the best trout fishing in the state. Hikers and outdoor lovers will want to check out Sylamore Creek and Blanchard Springs.
If you long to view some of the beauty that contributes to Arkansas being called The Natural State, to hear music that reflects Arkansas and the South, or to experience a town that is the epitome of Americana, head to Mountain View for a weekend.
Wildflower Bed & Breakfast
Originally built as a commercial hotel in 1918, guests can enjoy a quaint room and a made-from-scratch breakfast directly on the square in downtown Mountain View.
The Dogwood Motel
The Dogwood Motel is a great lodging option for families who aren’t interested in staying at a bed and breakfast. The swimming pool is perfect for kids, and the rooms are clean and comfortable.
Ozark Country Inn
This 1906 Victorian-style inn features two wrap-around porches and eight rooms with private baths. Breakfast is served daily at 8:00 and consists of eggs, bacon, sausage gravy, biscuits, taters, fresh fruit, pancakes/waffles or French toast, and of course juice and coffee.
Pinewood offers cabins on the square in Mountain View and down in the valley just down the road from the Ozark Folk Center. The affordable cabins are clean and nicely decorated. A pool is located at both locations.
If you prefer to rough it a little and enjoy the great outdoors, one of the local campgrounds or RV parks will be just what you are looking for.
Airbnbs give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the comforts of home or experience a completely new way of living. Mountain View has a ton of cool locations, but these are some of our favorites.
Emerald Gypsy Skooli – Converted School Bus
Jack’s Bend ON Sylamore Creek
Gateway 9 Tree House
The Nook on Main
Tommy’s Famous Pizza, BBQ & Ribs
For nearly 30 years, Tommy’s Famous has been a dining staple and cultural landmark situated at the edge of town. Stop by and enjoy some of the best pizza and BBQ you have ever eaten and thank the Miller family for being a part of the Mountain View community for so long.
The Skillet Restaurant
Located at the Ozark Folk Center, the Skillet serves up Southern country favorites on their breakfast and lunch menus, Wednesday-Saturday. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can enjoy delicious dinner specials, and the weekend breakfast buffet and Sunday buffet will have you bursting at the seams. The Skillet closes for the season in late October, so head by there soon.
PJ’s Rainbow Cafe
Any self-respecting Southerner has tried chocolate gravy at least once. My first experience with chocolate gravy was at the Rainbow Cafe nearly 20 years ago, and it’s been my go-to order every time we are in the area. Open every day except Monday, you will find a delicious selection of down-home good ole country cooking!
Established in the 1940s, Krispy House has been a family-owned and operated burger joint since 1968. A fan favorite is the hot and crispy Friday night catfish plate, but you won’t want to miss trying one of their legendary burgers.
If steak and seafood are what you are craving, head over to Angler’s on the White River for delicious food and great service. The dining room overlooks the river and the salad boat (a salad bar in a real boat) is fun for the whole family.
JoJo’s Catfish Wharf
Overlooking the White River, JoJo’s is the best place to get a piping hot catfish dinner. They’ve been named one of the top 11 catfish restaurants in Arkansas and you won’t be disappointed. The housemade hushpuppies, green tomato pickles and tartar sauce turn your catfish into a full meal.
Mountain View Music
This one shop stop is calling to music lovers. Explore the music shop, spend some time pickin’ on the porch or just enjoy hanging with locals and music lovers alike.
OK Trading Post
If you’ve always wanted to try riding a horse, the OK Trading Post is a great place to get started. This unique experience is perfect for anyone who loves animals and loves the outdoors. They are open seven days a week April through October and by reservation during the rest of the year.
This living history state park is one of the best attractions in Mountain View. Walking into the park is like stepping back in time to explore the arts, crafts, and music of yesteryear.
For nearly 10 years my family has been enjoying the tree-top adventures at Loco Ropes. They offer varying levels of ropes courses, zip lines and my favorite treetop adventure – the HotShot Free Fall!
Since 1962, the Dulcimer Shoppe has been handcrafting dulcimers that are known around the world. If you are lucky, you will see one of the craftsmen at work but regardless, the shop is a gem and you must visit.
The Stone Amphitheater is a lovely place to take a picnic lunch or enjoy some light hiking. This hidden gem is easy to overlook if you don’t know it’s there. On a beautiful day, you may hear a concert, witness an engagement, or catch a glimpse of a bride.
Beans and cornbread, music, dancing on the Courthouse Square, handmade crafts and outrageous outhouse races! The dinner bell will ring at noon and the “Bean Fest Cooking Champion” will be crowned. Outhouse races will follow dinner and an evening show will finish us out on Saturday evening. Make plans to attend!!
The event combines some of the biggest names in the bluegrass world with some of the most popular local performers. Acts will include The Redmond Keisler Band, The Ellis Family, Shannon Slaughter, the King James Boys, the Dave Adkins Band, Ralph Stanley II, The Clinch Mountain Boys, Simply Southern Cloggers, Spillwater Drive, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Sylamore Special and more.
Tickets can be purchased online.
Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism unless otherwise noted.
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