Bucket List Getaway: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
When building your bucket list of must-see destinations, don’t overlook some of the hidden gems that are right here in the United States–like Eureka Springs, Arkansas! Continue reading below as we dive deeper into what makes this charming town so special, and what you need to know before you head out into the oasis that is Eureka Springs.
Why Visit Eureka Springs?
Tucked in the northwest corner of the state surrounded by rolling green hills and the Ozarks, Eureka Springs continues to wow visitors with its uniqueness and splendor.
The town has always been a strong place for tourism, bringing in visitors from around the world with the lure of its healing natural springs since the 1800s.
In recent decades, Eureka Springs has become a haven for the LGBTQ+ community in the South, further supported by its low cost of living and historical buildings with plenty of quirk and charm.
Plus, it’s hard to beat the majestic landscape of the town and the interwoven elements that make it a truly remarkable place to visit. Come to Eureka Springs for your fix of winding roads, steep wooded valleys, and a welcoming community for all Americans.
Exciting Things to Do in Eureka Springs
Explore the Ozarks
Eureka Springs is an exceptionally pretty town, and it is situated in the Ozarks, home to some superlative upland natural scenery. Get out into Lake Leatherwood City Park, home to some 25 miles of hiking trails through deep green woods, over rushing whitewater streams, and across slabs of moss-kissed granite. If you’re comfortable on two wheels, consider taking a shuttle to the top of a nearby summit and plunging down a 7-mile downhill trail. If you like beautiful landscapes and watching them whiz past you at terrifying and/or thrilling speeds, this is an experience not to be missed. If you engage the outdoors in a more casual manner, or have young kids in tow, check out Black Bass Lake, which can be explored via an easy 1.8-mile loop trail.
Attend a Performing Arts Show
There’s no shortage of live shows in Eureka Springs, a town that likes to shout its appreciation of a good time to the world. The town has gone through many iterations as a tourism destination, and The Aud (i.e. The Auditorium) has seen its fair share of that evolution. Since 1928, this live music venue has hosted the likes of BB King, Willie Nelson, and Emmylou Harris. The Opera of the Ozarks is a beloved, long-running musical institution that showcases high-quality theatrical and musical productions far removed from any major urban center. Eureka Live Underground is known for both its enormous beer garden and a ton of live music, plus a general schedule of bacchanalia. Chelsea’s is a good spot for a pizza, and maybe better for some live music.
Take the Eureka Trolley
The Eureka Trolley is the go-to solution for visitors who want to get around town. Four fixed-loop routes wind around town, but the one for most travelers is the red route – a 3.3-mile track that takes in the town’s well-regarded historic district. Highlights include Spring Street, which coils and twists like a caffeinated snake through downtown, winding past the largest collection of Victorian architecture in the central USA; Ellis Grade, a beautiful lane that ascends the mountain; and the Crescent Hotel, one of the state’s grand dame historical buildings, a structure that looks like Downton Abbey tucked onto an Ozark summit.
– Bailey Schramm is a writer in partnership with outdoor and recreational fabric retailer Seattle Fabrics.