10 Best Places To Visit In Arkansas, USA

best places to visit in arkansas
| 4 min read

Located in south-central America, Arkansas has a variety of landforms including mountains, dense forests, plain land, and deltas. A number of activities that keep visitors engaged include shopping, site-seeing, hunting, fishing, trekking, etc. Museums, aquariums, zoos, amusement parks and water parks are some of the attractions that can be explored in Arkansas. It also boasts a number of trails for nature lovers and health freaks. Hiking, biking and walking are the popular means of getting on to those trails. Depending upon different interests of different people, guided tours like history and culture tours, food and fine tours, sports tours, agritourism, etc., are also made available. To help you zero down on the place you should visit next, below is a list of some of the best places to visit in Arkansas, USA.

1. El Dorado

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris Litherland used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located south of Arkansas, in the Union County, El Dorado is a historical town. It is also quite popular as the oil “boom-town” of the 1920s. Lately, it has become popular among tourists for its arts, music and entertainment venues, along with the history that the place is known for. Downtown El Dorado is full of numerous historic buildings and architecture from the 1930s. To pay tribute to the city as an oil boomtown, there is Oil Heritage Park. The park hosts special events held in the town during the year.

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2. Little Rock

Skyline of Little Rock, Arkansas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Broooooooce used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Located in Pulaski County of Arkansas, Little Rock is situated on river Arkansas. The ‘Little’ in its name is sort of a misnomer as it is the largest city of Arkansas with a population of around 200,000. There are a number of attractions and places to visit in Little Rock. River Market District is a busy marketplace buzzing with shops, restaurants, bars, museums, hotels, etc. Clinton Presidential Center & Park, Heifer International building, and Central Arkansas Nature Center are some of the important buildings in the area. Other attractions in the area include Arkansas Arts Center, ESSE Purse Museum, and La Petite Roche Plaza, among others.

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3. Hot Springs

Steamy Entrance Springs on Cold Night in Hot Springs National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Steevven1 used under CC BY 4.0

Hot Springs, as the name suggests, has a number of springs that replenish thermal baths with naturally heated hot water. The destination has something to suit every interest and every mood. From family fun to a romantic or relaxing trip, Hot Springs has it all. Hot Springs National Park is an attraction in this place which houses Fordyce Bathhouse that acts as the park’s visitor centre. For people interested in art and culture, Hot Springs hosts a number of music festivals throughout the year.

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4. Jasper

Jasper, Arkansas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Photolitherland used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Jasper is a scenic town of Arkansas and is located in Newton County. Nature has blessed the town abundantly and it is the starting point of river Buffalo, America’s first national river. This place is a dream for outdoor activity enthusiasts with activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, etc. Some of the well-known attractions of Jasper include Arkansas Grand Canyon, Triple Falls, India Creek Trail, and Buffalo River Canoes.

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5. Van Buren

Arkansas River at Van Buren, AR
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brandonrush used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Van Buren is a historic district of Arkansas that has with time become “the place” to shop for unique gifts, original art and extraordinary antiques. Victorian Main Street is one the most popular streets in the area featuring antique shops, historical attractions, art galleries and numerous restaurants. King Opera House is a popular entertainment centre of Van Buren. Other attractions in Van Buren are Lake Fort Smith, Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas River, etc.

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6. Springdale

Emma Ave, Springdale, Arkansas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brandonrush used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Springdale stretches over two counties of Arkansas namely Washington and Benton. Historically, Springdale has been known as an industrial city. Now it is famous for its poultry processing industry. Historical buildings of the place date back to the 1850s and a well-known museum of the area is Shiloh Museum, which offers Ozark history. There are a few things that have made Springdale famous and stand out. They are the annual Rodeo of the Ozarks and AQ Chicken House restaurant.

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7. Batesville

Best places to visit in Arkansas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Misterhaha used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Located in Independence County and along the banks of the White River, Batesville is its largest city. It is the regional manufacturing and distribution hub. Popular attractions of the area include Mark Martin NASCAR Museum built in the honour of Mark Martin. This museum houses his various racing mementoes. Other popular attractions are Batesville Community Centre and Aquatic Park, Old Independence Regional Museum and Melba Theatre.

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8. Magnolia

Pioneer mural in Magnolia, AR IMG 2310
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Named after Magnolia tree, the native tree of Arkansas, Magnolia is located in Columbia County. It was founded in the year 1853 and though initially, it was a cotton farming city, today it is known for its petroleum and natural gas industries. Main attractions and places of interest in Arkansas include the courthouse square with numerous shops and restaurants. The street is lined with Magnolia trees. Other places of interest include Southern Arkansas University, Lake Columbia, and many more. The two main festivals of Magnolia that attracts visitors from across the world are Magnolia Blossom Festival and World’s Championship Steak Cook-off.

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9. Conway

EM Downtown
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jljgates used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Conway is known as the City of Colleges as it houses University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. In addition to contributing to higher learning, these institutions also act as centres for art and cultural events. Conway is also known for its sporting events and have a number of parks and recreation departments to support them. Indulging in outdoor sports is a great way to spend time in Conway. It is home to the largest man-made game and fish commission lake in the United States, Lake Conway that spans 6700 acres (2711.4 hectares). Some of the well-known attractions of Conway include Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Baum Gallery of Fine Arts, Cadron Settlement Park and Conway Expo Centre & Fairgrounds.

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10. Fort Smith

Fort Smith, Arkansas History Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eringrapejuice used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Fort Smith, the second largest city of Arkansas, is a place where the old and new cultures of the region meet and it is reflected in their slogan “Where the New South Meets the Old West.“ It is situated on the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma and because of its truly American heritage, has been voted among the top True Western Towns by a few publications. Historic places and events that interest tourists include National Historic Site Museum and Old Fort Days Rodeo. The place is also famous for a number of outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, canoeing, etc.

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Explore Arkansas just the way you like

Depending upon your interest, Arkansas offers a variety of places that can be explored. From outdoor activities to spending time in museums knowing about the history of the place, there are many ways in which you can make an itinerary that is perfect for you. So go and explore this region the way you like it!

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Shivani is a marketer by profession and a writer by passion. She is a founding member at MeeHappy Wellness, an employee wellness initiative in India. Shivani has had the good fortune of working in...Read more

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