I’ll admit that I haven’t spent much time in Arkansas. A few friends and I were driving from South Carolina to Oklahoma in 2000 for a conference and we spent the night in Little Rock. We had a delicious meal of catfish and then we continued through the Ozark Mountains onto Oklahoma. That being said, I’ve done some research into what I might do if I ever went back to Arkansas.
We all like a good deal, and Arkansas has helped us out in more ways than one. First, they gave us Wal-Mart! You can still go and visit the 1st one in Bentonville. There is a museum at the old location of Walton’s 5 and dime store. http://walmartstores.com/AboutUs/287.aspx Wal-Mart has gone from Walton’s 5 and dime store in 1962 to having 2.1 million employees in more than 9,884 locations around the world today!
The state tourism website provides a list of 101 FREE things to do in Arkansas - http://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/101things/ . Two places on this list that I’d like to go visit are the Cedar Falls at the Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton - http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com/, and the Old Mill in North Little Rock - http://www.northlittlerock.org/entries.aspx?id=233§ion=1&subsection=19&filter1=&filter2=&filter3=. These areas just look amazing! Cedar Falls is one of many beautiful places in that state park and the Old Mill is featured in the opening of Gone With The Wind. Be sure to check out its old fashioned country store too.
|Photo found of the Old Mill online|
The list also recommends checking out the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs - http://thorncrown.com/. It has so much glass! I think it would be a cool place to praise and worship God. There is a similar church in Nebraska that I visited and will talk about in another post.
|Photo found online|
Another place in Eureka Springs that has really interested me is the Great Passion Play http://www.greatpassionplay.org/. It’s been there over 40 years and has a top of the mountain gospel music dinner theater, interactive living Bible tour, and a Bible museum exhibit. The play is America’s #1 most attended outdoor drama. For more information on the town of Eureka Springs located in the Ozark Mountains visit - http://eurekasprings.org/.
Have you ever dreamed of going to Paris? You can always check out Mount Magazine State Park in Paris, Arkansas - http://www.mountmagazinestatepark.com/. It has a breathtaking view of the mountains and it’s one of the tallest places in the state. It would make a perfect place to go “leaf peeping” in the fall.
|Photo found online|
For more leaf peeping, you should drive on the Talimena National Scenic Byway http://talimenascenicdrive.com/.
When visiting Little Rock, you should first visit the state capitol building - http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/stateCapitolInfo/Pages/default.aspx. Most state capitals (if not all) will allow you to tour the capitol building. Arkansas provides guided and audio tours. Be sure to check out the various monuments on the capitol grounds as well. Also, Little Rock has a Peabody hotel just like the one I’ve visited in Memphis, TN. Peabody hotels have a duck parade in the morning and afternoon as the ducks go from their penthouse room to the water fountain in the lobby and back. Its fun to see at least once in your life - http://www.peabodylittlerock.com/peabody-ducks/. Lastly, no matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, you should visit the Clinton Presidential Center and Park. It has the largest collection of presidential documentation and artifacts in US history. http://clintonlibrary.gov/ You can also see what the oval office looked like when Bill Clinton was president.
Arkansas is home to some odd things as well. Emerson hosts the annual Purple Hull Pea Festival / World Championship Rotary Tiller Race every April - http://www.purplehull.com//. I’d like to see what a purple hull pea tastes like, but a rotary tiller race and the world championship at that!? Hmm. Well, that sure is different!
|Photo off of their website|
Next, an entrepreneur in the town of Lead Hill is building a theme park called the Ozark Medieval Fortress - http://ozarkmedievalfortress.com/en-us/. The castle is in the making and won’t be done till 2030, but you can visit it now and they have various activities. STRANGE! Lastly, you can go to a town in Arkansas and be in Texas (it’s a 2 for 1 deal). This town is Texarkana - it’s a city in Texas and in Arkansas. Texarkana has the only US post office that is in two states at once! http://www.texarkana.org/Texarkana_USA/
These are just a few of the things I’d like to do in Arkansas if I go back; it’s not a complete list. If you know of anywhere else in Arkansas we should check out, please leave a comment below. See you next week when we explore what’s just round the corner in California.
**Pictures were found online**