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Northwest Paris
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Hot Stops and Photo Spots in Paris

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The real Eiffel Tower in Paris is a destination for 7 million visitors every year. But, a similar experience is found in Logan County, Arkansas. In 2014, a dedication party lit up the square in the town of Paris. Carnival umbrellas and outdoor garden string lights set the mood for a perfect Parisian night, Arkansas-style.

Settlers established the village in the 1820s along an old military route from Fort Smith to Little Rock. Today, Paris, Arkansas, is a popular destination for lovebirds, senior photos and local community events, including an annual Spring Time in Paris Festival.

The Eiffel Tower replica is not the only unique destination in town. History, hard work and grapevine roots run deep and make it a perfect spot for a summer staycation destination, outing, day camp, day trip or weekend driving tour. Make sure your cellphone is charged and ready for some fun photos. If you’ve never had a chance to take a hometown photo scavenger hunt, this city is a great place to start.

Tour the Highlights of Logan County

Downtown Square Murals

Paris was founded in 1879, and like many towns throughout Arkansas, the businesses around the courthouse square were bustling. While most of these original stores are gone, the walls that hold their stories still support the four corners of the town square. To revitalize the area, commissioned artists have painted murals highlighting some of the stories of Logan county, including the railroad, coal miners, old cars, wine glasses and the endangered Shagreen Snail.

Current touring options: Outside or driving touring, no changes.

North Logan County Courthouse

The classical revival-style building was originally built in 1906. This location was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s, and the clock tower and belfry are currently under renovation funded by an Arkansas Historic Preservation grant. The first courthouse was a one-story framed structure, and prisoners had to be carried across town to the “old jail,” which was still used after this new building was created.

Current touring options: Outside touring around the town square, no changes.

Old Logan County Jail and Museum

The historic building is one of the best-preserved examples in the state of a 20th-century jail. Built in 1903, the building was the site of the last legal hanging in Arkansas. Museum visitors can tour the building for the jailer’s quarters and inmate holding space. On display are Civil War relics, Native American artifacts and Paris memorabilia.

Current touring options: Open by appointment only, Wednesday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

Eiffel Tower Park and Lovers Lock Wall

The Lover’s Lock Wall is reminiscent of the tradition that began at Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris, France. It is adorned with locks commemorating monumental wedding anniversaries and newlyweds on excursions during the 2020 restrictions on indoor gatherings. This location is a popular destination with local photographers and engaged couples in the area, as well as lovebirds looking for a destination to have their wedding envelope stamps canceled.

Interesting fact: The tower is painted with the same brand and color paint as the Eiffel Tower in France. The paint manufacturer donated the supplies.

Current touring options: Outside exploring on foot, no changes.

Coal Miners Memorial and Museum and Locomotive Park

The museum is a free learning experience dedicated to the coal-mining industry that established the Paris community in the early 1900s. The names of every miner who worked in the Logan County industry adorn the walls. Tours are available Friday, Saturday and Sunday and include access to a two-bedroom miner’s family cabin and working blacksmith shop.

Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyard and the Arkansas Wine Museum

With the earliest settlers in Arkansas having European roots, winemaking has long been part of the tradition of our state. But this museum boasts a unique distinction as the only one dedicated to preserving the winemaking history of an entire state. The winery also boasts a private family chapel and bell towers named for the Catholic school that occupied this property over 100 years ago.

Visitors to the vineyard can experience an overnight stay in one of two suites that include private tours of the winemaking process and morning and evening strolls through the vineyards.

Current touring options: Indoor exhibits are currently closed, but memorial and outdoor exhibits can be explored.

Subiaco Abbey

Subiaco Abbey is quickly building a name for itself through its brewing and hot sauce businesses. This Benedictine monastery began development in 1877 and offered settlement for German Immigrants. The first three missionaries were sent in 1878, and later, after a massive fire, the full monk group moved to a church located on the present-day site.

The roots of this church date back to the fifth century. The Abbey is home to a monastery, monk living quarters, offices and gift shop for the commercial endeavors. It also contains a college-prep academy that houses and educates 170 boys throughout the school year. The monastery is named for the Subiaco Abbey in Italy, the first church established by Saint Benedictine and is part of the Swiss-American Congregation part of the Little Rock Roman Catholic Diocese.

Current touring options: The church is open to the public, but guests are asked to wear a mask. Grounds can be explored, but no other buildings are open to the public. The Coury House is open for overnight guests on limited reservations and the Bookstore is open with masks requested. The Monks Taproom is open for drive-by business on Saturdays only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mount Magazine State Park

It’s an item on the bucket list for many Arkansas families. The historic lodge and renovated cabins serve as a summer retreat and weekend destination for many seeking Signal Hill, the highest point of elevation in Arkansas.

This state park boasts two unique activities that cannot be found at other parks: hang gliding and distinct rock-climbing experiences. The view of the Petit Jean River Valley makes it clear why early settlers sought to nestle themselves right between the Ozark and Ouachita mountains.

Current touring options: outdoor spaces are open for exploring. Visitor Center, Lodge, and Restaurant are open and masks are required to enter.

Other highlights around Paris include (each store is currently open for in-person shopping):

  • Scot’s on the Square: a flower shop, gift store and home to a spoiled shop kitty.
  • Little Shoppes on the Square: a unique, collective shopping experience with 60 stores in one.
  • Boutique shopping at Island Cowgirl and JA Outfitters.
  • Warren’s Shoes can be purchased in stores in Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Little Rock, but the storefront on the Paris square is a façade for the company’s national headquarters and shipping department in the heart of Logan County.
  • The former Neymeyer’s Garage looks like new. Antique cars line the sidewalks and Route 66 murals decorate building that is continually undergoing renovations.

 

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in South Arkansas with her husband and sweet Boxer, Bailey and one-year-old son! Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now she is using all of those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom!

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