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Northwest Bentonville Fayetteville Gentry Harrison Jasper
Northwest Travel 1

2020 Northwest Arkansas Spring Break Ideas

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After what seems to always be a drawn-out and weary winter, spring break is the week families have a chance to enjoy an adventure-packed vacation. Arkansas is an easy pick for your spring break destination because of the natural beauty and rich history if offers. Visitors to the state or familiar residents can choose from a long list of experiences.

Before you pack your bags and head out, take a look at what The Natural State has to offer for Spring Break 2020.

Take Your Spring Break On The Water

Arkansas has some of the most beautiful waterways throughout the nation. An endless amount of lakes and rivers wait to be explored.

Buffalo National River
Boston Mountains to the Ozark Mountains

Arkansas is home to the very first national river, the Buffalo. For fun on this water: spread on the sunscreen, rent a kayak or canoe, and paddle your way downstream. Floating the river is another adventure. Bring or rent a tube and relax as half of your body is submerged in the cool flowing water, while the other half takes in the warm sunshine as the current effortlessly pushes you along.

The Buffalo also has a wide range of fishing for those eager to bring out the bait and reel. Fishers can hope to catch bass, perch and catfish. The river also has many areas perfect for taking a break and relax from the hard work of rowing and fishing.

Add these water adventures to your spring break itinerary:

Baker Ford to Gilbert: 10 miles
Average float time: 4-5 hours
Shuttle departs any time between 8 and 10 a.m.

This section between Baker Ford and Gilbert features scenic views and historical structures, landscapes and artifacts you won’t want to miss. Remember to check water levels before your trip.

Go Underground

Arkansas is known for its natural beauty when it comes to lakes, rivers and forests; but the state also offers some of the most fascinating underground scenery. With over 2,000 documented caves, everyone can find a place to explore below ground.

Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome
Harrison

Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome are sure to meet standards of the cave explorers. The caverns are only about 400 feet apart, allowing travelers to get the most out of their experience.

Mystic Cavern is known for its elaborate calcite formations. These formed through the dripping of water over inorganic material into the cave cracks. Water runs through the cracks, and when in contact with the cave air, some of the calcium bicarbonate in the water transforms back into calcium carbonate, causing calcite to form. As you make your way through the cavern, these large formations hang down like gigantic icicles.  One of the most eye-catching formations is known as the “Pipe Organ.”

If you want a more challenging but rewarding experience, head over to Crystal Dome with its many calcite formations, including remarkable dripstone pillars. These caverns are a fascinating adventure.

Add to your spring break itinerary:

  • Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Mystic Cavern tour takes anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes to fully go through.
  • The Crystal Dome tour is approximately 30 to 40 minutes long.
  • For more details be sure to visit their website.

Start Cycling

The Natural State has over 50 locations with miles of trails and scenic routes available to the public year-round.

Razorback Regional Greenway
Bella Vista to Fayetteville

Whether you’re new to the world of cycling or a seasoned veteran, the Razorback Regional Greenway is the place to go for a physically active journey. This 36-mile trail in Northwest Arkansas took 15 years to plan. The Greenway runs through six downtown areas and offers places to rest while taking in landscape and scenery the Ozarks has to offer.

Add to your spring break Itinerary:

  • Completion time varies and the trail can be started or stopped at any location.
  • Historical sites, parks, and arts and entertainment venues are all located along the trail.
  • Take advantage of the trail map and additional information.

Take a Hike

Arkansas has many beautiful hiking trails, from the luscious green Ozarks to the Ouachita National Forest where the rolling mountains are topped with dark green trees spread out in all directions.

Sam’s Throne
Jasper

Sam’s Throne recreation area is located in the Ozark National Forest and provides a breathtaking hike. The 2 ½-mile trail begins in a forested region and quickly makes its way to the edge of a bluff. This fairly easy trail allows you to take in an expansive view of trees and mountains visible in all directions.

Sam’s Throne also offers rock climbing and camping. The beautiful trail is easy to access and there are many rock climbing routes available to choose from, making Sam’s Throne the place to go for both hiking and rock climbing.

Add to your spring break itinerary:

Roam With Wildlife

Wildlife in Arkansas consists of some of the most fascinating creatures on the continent.

Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari
Gentry

The Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari was ranked at No. 4 by “USA Today” for the “best drive-thru animal safari.” This family destination consists of 400 acres of land with a drive-thru or walk-thru option to see exotic animals including kangaroos, camels, baboons, tigers, leopards and African lions.

The Safari has a variety of activities and allows you to interact with the animals by petting and feeding.

Add to your spring break itinerary:

  • The Safari is open from March to December every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Admission is $15 for ages 13+, $10 for ages 3-12, and free for 2 and under.

Visit the Museum

A destination for museum-lovers, Arkansas has fascinating galleries for visitors to learn about history, science, art and nature.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Bentonville

Located in Bentonville, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will appeal to the eyes of people who appreciate art and elaborate architecture. This exquisite community treasure displays pieces dating from the colonial era to the works of today. Collections consist of American art and rotating galleries allow you to see new works every time you visit.

Crystal Bridges plans special exhibits throughout the year, and they are always adding new artwork to their collection. The architecture at the museum was formed to appeal naturally in the environment where it was built. Massive concrete walls serve as a foundation for the cedar-covered buildings and the copper-topped roofs of the bridges. This unique style is shaped and molded together to allow the light blue ponds to act as a focal point and contributes to the entire structure serving as artwork itself.

Add to your spring break itinerary:

  • General admission is free.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Monday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday- Friday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Learn a Little History

Arkansas became a state in 1836, allowing deep roots to form in a rich history that is today experienced through monuments and preserved destinations.

Rush, Arkansas

Originally a mining town, Rush is one of the few ghost towns in Arkansas. It is located southeast of Yellville and is relatively close to the Buffalo National River. The town was established with the hopes of silver mining, but the deposits ended up being zinc. Rush grew to be a thriving town, and at one point was the center of Arkansas’s mining industry. Toward the end of the first World War, zinc prices began to drop, and many people left.

Rush still has many of the original buildings, along with the closed-off entrances of the historical mines. Soak up interesting facts about Arkansas’s history by exploring this town on the walking trail or behind the wheel on a driving tour. Rush also has a campground located on the Buffalo National River that allows you to get the most out of your experience.

Add to your spring break itinerary:

  • Camping is available at the Rush campgrounds located beside the Buffalo National River.
  • Rush campground has water available and the camping fee is $12 per night.
  • Tours include both walking and driving options.
  • There is no fee to tour Rush Arkansas.

 

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Ethan Briggler is a college student who enjoys spending his time hiking, visiting coffee shops, writing, and meeting new people. He also enjoys traveling and experiencing places he’s never been. As a teen, Ethan has grown up on a small farm in Arkansas. He is always eager to go on road trips or adventures with the people he holds close.

Read more stories by Ethan Briggler

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One response to “2020 Northwest Arkansas Spring Break Ideas”

  1. Phyllis Scherich says:

    Great job Ethan. The details you have added about when and where add much. It makes me want to visit Arkansas – and your family!

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