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Travel 2

The Ultimate Guide to Arkansas Adventure

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If you are a parent, there is nothing worse than your kids saying “I’m bored” ten minutes into their summer vacation. But if we’re honest, we’re also guilty of the same thing. How many times have you looked forward to the weekend and then followed up that thought by saying, “there’s nothing to do around here.” It’s okay. I do it, too.

With spring upon us and summer right around the corner, many of us look to get out of the house and do something fun. It’s time to break away from the rut and veer off your usual path and explore all that there is to love about Arkansas.

Sometimes it can be challenging to think outside the box and realize that there really is a whole big world outside our doorstep. So, to make it easier for you, I’ve put together this list of Arkansas adventures to plan this summer. It doesn’t matter if you plan a staycation, a day trip or even if you are new to the state; there is no excuse for saying “I’m bored” anymore!

Author’s Note: Arkansas is an ever-evolving place, and unfortunately, businesses come and go. Some of our previous posts list locations that may have since closed. We always recommend that you check with a business for current operating hours before heading out.

Arkansas adventure

Outdoor Activities

Arkansas is known as the Natural State, and for a good reason. We have 52 State Parks, FREE for day-use and nine Arkansas Game and Fish Nature and Education centers, including the newly opened Ozark Highlands Nature Center in Springdale. And those are just the beginning!

If you are new to exploring the outdoors, begin with our How to Get Your Family Outdoors guide and then check out these outdoor activities across the state of Arkansas.

Arkansas’s 10 Tallest Mountains

Hiking Whitaker Point

Hiking Sugarloaf Mountain

5 Single Night Backpacking Trips

25 Urban Hikes and Walking Trails

Kayak Fishing

Arkansas Water Trails

Ozark St. Francis National Forest Multi-Use Trails

Ron Coleman Mining

Arkansas Bluff Shelters

Glory Hole Waterfall

 

Arkansas adventure

Play

Play is vital for development in children and crucial for mental health in all humans (and even in animals). So it’s important to laugh and have fun, and you and your family will enjoy these playful activities on your Arkansas adventures.

Where to Play Disc Golf in Arkansas

Rose Bud Off-Road Adventure Park

Arkansas Zip Line Parks

Arkansas Water Parks

Panning for Gems at War Eagle Caverns

Old School Arcade

Footgolf

NEA Hobbies Indoor RC Racetrack

Ax Throwing

Amazeum

Arkansas adventure

Museums

Arkansas is home to countless museums that give us insight into the past, the future and the things that make Arkansans tick. You don’t need to wait for a school field trip to visit these museums.

Fairfield Bay Log Cabin Museum

Crystal Bridges Museum

Interactive Science Museums

16 South Arkansas Museums

The Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie

Clark County Historical Museum

Blythe’s Scott County Museum

The ASU Museum

Ruland Junction Train Museum

The Old Statehouse Museum

Desha County Courthouse

The Historic Arkansas Museum

Faulkner County Museum

Esse Purse Museum

Historic Sites

You can find historic sites in nearly every town in Arkansas. We have a rich history, and it’s something to be proud of. If you aren’t sure where to start, here is a sampling of my favorite historic sites in Arkansas. You may learn something new!

Finding the First Schoolhouse in Arkansas

Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail

Arkansas’s National Treasures

Mount Holly Cemetery

Historic Evergreen Cemetery

Chase the Gangsters in Hot Springs

Bathhouse Row

Monte Ne: Arkansas’s Underwater Resort

Marlsgate Plantation

The Old Mill

Van Buren Historic District

Sinking of the Sultana

Historic Trains – Depots, Locomotive and Railcars, Cabooses

Historic Churches

Arkansas adventure

Scenic Drives

Sometimes it’s more about the trip and less about the destination, and Arkansas is full of scenic drives that make it worth spending a few bucks on some gas money. So grab your camera and hit the road for an Arkansas adventure to see what makes us known as The Natural State.

4 Reasons You Should Drive the Sylamore Scenic Byway

A Family Drive ‘round the Boston Mountains Scenic Loop

Explore the Arkansas Side of the Talimena Scenic Byway

Top 8 Fall Color Road Trips

If you travel by means other than a car, you should check out these 3 Arkansas RV Trips and our guide to Exploring the Natural State by Motorcycle.

Photo of Knightfire BBQ by Kevin Shalin.

BBQ Joints

States surrounding Arkansas may be more well known for their BBQ, but Arkansas is not to be overlooked. Gathering from styles around the country, you can experience Texas, Memphis, Carolina, and Kansas City influences in BBQ joints around the state. Each has put its own twist on the classics creating Arkansas’s melting-pot style of BBQ. And no Arkansas adventure is complete without BBQ!

Knightfire BBQ – Searcy

Lindsey’s BBQ – North Little Rock

Ridgewood Brother’s BBQ – Russellville

McClard’s BBQ – Hot Springs

Suttle’s Road Hog BBQ – Beebe

Photo of Yellowjacket Drive-In by Kevin Shalin.

Favorite Arkansas Restaurants

When it comes to food, Arkansas has an eclectic mix of options. Look past the fast-food joints and chain eateries and check out the tasty fare being handmade by hard-working Arkansans daily. Next time you think, “there’s no place to go eat,” you need to pull up this list and pick a random spot. You won’t be disappointed.

5 Places to Dine on The Water

5 Great Steaks from Around Arkansas

The Mighty Rib’s 10 Favorite Restaurants 2020

Top 10 Donut Shops in the Natural State

10 Must-Try Food Trucks in Central Arkansas

20 Arkansas Restaurants for Quick Day Trips

Top 10 Taquerias in Little Rock

3 Food Stops in Hot Springs

Favorite Sandwiches Around Arkansas

8 Favorite Fried Catfish Spots Around Arkansas

8 Great Cinnamon Rolls in Arkansas

10 Favorite Desserts in Arkansas

 

Arkansas Breweries

2020 was a challenging year for some breweries, and several struggled to stay afloat, ultimately closing their doors. But that doesn’t mean that Arkansas’s beer industry is headed to the dumps. In fact, the industry is still growing by leaps and bounds, so I’d recommend you start by checking out these Nine New Breweries in Arkansas. When you’re done with those, check out some of our old favorites like:

Ozark Brewing Co. – Rogers

Eureka Springs Brewery – Eureka Springs

Gotahold Brewing – Eureka Springs

Country Monks Brewing – Subiaco

Central Arkansas Breweries

Superior Bathhouse – Hot Springs

Lost Forty Brewing – Little Rock

Point Remove – Morrilton

Rock Town Distillery – Little Rock

Stone’s Throw Brewing – Little Rock

And don’t miss out on Arkansas Wine Country and the Arkansas Wine Trail, Post Familie Vineyards, or Tontitown.

Arkansas adventure
Photo courtesy of Arkansas Parks & Tourism

Places to Stay

It doesn’t matter if you want to rough it in the backwoods of Arkansas or stay in a boutique hotel in one of Arkansas’s biggest cities; we have a fantastic assortment of unique and exciting lodging establishments.

8 Unique Getaways

10 More Unique Getaways

20 Unique Airbnbs: Boats, Yurts and Farms

Coolest Arkansas Airbnbs

The Hideout Urban Glamping

9 RV Rental Spots

9 Unique Cabins

12 Campgrounds in Central and Northeast Arkansas

Houseboat Rentals

Lindsey’s Resort

The Crescent Hotel

Historical Getaways: Inns and Bed & Breakfasts

What will your itinerary for the Ultimate Arkansas Adventure look like? We can’t wait to hear about all the places you visit this season!

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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and virtual assistant while raising her young son. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas. Julie loves adventure. Not necessarily "scare-your-pants-off" adventure but the kind where you seek out new and exciting things. New foods, new places, new experiences. On her blog, Seek Adventures, Julie shares about the outdoor and travel adventures of her family as they camp and standup paddleboard across the South. You can also learn more about her writing on her site Seek Adventures Media.

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2 responses to “The Ultimate Guide to Arkansas Adventure”

  1. […] This summer, if you’re out in the woods, or simply listening from your porch, you’re likely to hear the call of cicadas. Whether you love or hate the buzzing song, it’s all part of summer in Arkansas. […]

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