Arkansas is called The Natural State for a reason. It is a beautiful destination brimming with gorgeous natural rocks, lakes, streams, trees, and riverbeds. If your family loves the outdoors, Arkansas is definitely a state you will love to visit. Not only is it the home of the first national park, it boasts many natural beautiful waterfalls, trails, and golf courses giving everyone something to enjoy.
Top Reasons to Visit the Natural State
This list is comprised of both specific destination ideas as well as general topics you will find prevalent throughout the state. While Arkansas can be a rather hot and humid destination in the summer months, it is also a very mild climate for winter. It makes it a wonderful vacation destination year round for many families.
Outdoor adventures in the Natural State
- Hike trails throughout the state
- Enjoy the 2,340+ lakes and reservoirs in Arkansas
- Camp at one of many campsites and lakes around the state
- Float the Buffalo River
- Check out the multiple waterfalls throughout the state.
- Fish on Lake Ouachita with a Bass Fishing Guide
- Explore the Ozarks with hiking, fishing,
- Geocahe adventures can be found throughout the state
- Visit Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge
Family entertainment in the Natural State
- Magic Springs and Crystal Falls – Located in Hot Springs, Magic Springs and Crystal Falls, is a small town amusement park has tons of great roller coasters and thrill rides right alongside the smaller kid friendly options. A combination of amusement park and water park makes this ideal for all ages. Summer months include evening and weekend concerts that often feature big ticket artists. Day passes and annual passes are available online.
- Maxwell Blade’s Theater of Magic – Hot Springs has a Vegas style magic act that is truly unforgettable. With the 2017 opening of the renovated Malco Theater, Maxwell Blade presents a family friendly magic show that is worth every penny of admission.
- Ron Coleman Crystal Mine – Quartz Crystals are a huge attraction in the Jessieville and Hot Springs Village area. The Coleman’s have owned and operated one of the largest crystal mines of the region for many years. There are zip line adventures, on hand dig sites, and a wonderful gift shop to explore. Ron Coleman Mine has tons to offer the entire family!
- Blanchard Springs Caverns – Mountain View is the home of many fun activities for the family, but one popular destination is the Blanchard Springs Caverns nearby this city. These caves are home to many unique rock formations, bats, and a great way to educate kids while having fun.
Romantic destinations in the Natural State
- Petite Jean State Park – An ideal for romantic overnight stays, camping, hiking, or just a leisure drive through the area
- Eureka Springs, Arkansas – This is the ideal destination for those who love the arts. With multiple local shops, boutiques, and unique events it appeals to the art crowd and those who love mysticism and natural living. There are even great cottages and tree houses to rent for a weekend getaway!
- Mount Magazine State Park – This is a great romantic picnic destination for outdoor exploration for those who love outdoor beauty. Mount Magazine State Park is a perfect option in the Natural State for you with lodging, hiking, exploring, and unparalleled views.
- Hot Springs National Park – The city that is a national park is a popular tourist destination. Not only does it appeal to families, it has several amazing options for couples. Romance happens easily with great restaurants, events, and local spas that cater to couples.
- Little Rock, Arkansas – At the center of the state is the capital city along with one of the larger areas. While it holds small town charm, the city also includes a great local theater for live Broadway style performances, amazing Riverwalk areas, and the Clinton Presidential Library. Food and the arts are prominent in this area and offer a lot of great experiences for couples.
- Mountain View, Arkansas – In the Mid-North of the state lies a small town that is full of history, folk art, and down home comfort. While this is no big city, the small town bed and breakfast or motels will give you a romantic and warm welcome. The downtown area is well known for weekend music and events year round. Arts, crafts, local scenery, and a great view of the Ozarks are a perfect background for romance.
General travel ideas for the Natural State
- Visit the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs National Park. This landmark hotel has been the preferred stay to many celebrities through the years. It even boasts a room often visited by Al Capone. The Arlington Hotel and Spa also has on-site shopping, restaurants, dance floors, and of course, the popular adjacent spa experience that is common in Hot Springs National Park.
- Go scuba diving in Lake Ouachita. This lake is one of the clearest and beautiful in the region, and as a man made lake also includes areas that are over old towns. Some dives can bring back hidden treasures of years past for historians.
- Hike Pinnacle Mountain. Outside Little Rock is a great view that requires a hike that isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll enjoy some exercise while also taking in a view of the region that is stunning. Pinnacle Mountain State Park is ideal for those who love outdoor adventures.
- Visit Hope Arkansas during the Watermelon Festival. Every August the city of Hope celebrates watermelons and has a festival full of music, games, carnival experiences, and of course, the best sweet watermelon you’ll ever eat. Schedule your stay in the state for the Hope Watermelon Festival and learn why this is the states most popular fruit.
- Visit a Gone with the Wind Landmark. The Old Mill in Little Rock is the home of one of a water mill that was used in the movie Gone with the Wind.
- Dig for Diamonds. Head to Murfreesboro to the Crater of Diamonds State Park and dig for diamonds in one of the best diamond mines in the United States.
- Explore Garvan Woodland Gardens. One of the most beautiful structures in the state is located outside Hot Springs National Park at Garvan Woodland Gardens. This garden is open year round with beautiful floral displays, walking paths, an on-site chapel often used for weddings, as well as the annual specialty Christmas light displays.
Looking for great reasons to visit the Natural State? This list is ideal for helping you plan a trip to Arkansas. Whether you are going for a romantic getaway, an outdoor adventure, or a family friendly vacation this is a great place to begin.