While spending two weeks in Eureka Springs might have seemed like a long time (for us) at first, there was certainly no shortage of things to do there. Even with working those two weeks, we still had time to enjoy the area, and here is the next ten of my Top 20 things to do in Eureka Springs, Arkansas:
11. Leatherwood Lake. – We wish we could have made time to take the kayak out on this lake – it was just beautiful. We did do a hike around half of it – out to the walking bridge across the dam. It was overcast, but absolutely beautiful and we felt really good getting back to nature.
12. Ghost Hunting – There are several ghosty things to do in Eureka Springs. We began our haunted evening with a two woman play at the Crescent Hotel called “Not Really A Door”. It was wonderful; funny and very well acted.
Then we checked out a 10:30 PM tour of “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” at the Crescent hotel. The hotel has quite an interesting history, and we enjoyed hearing the stories as we walked the halls of the hotel. We even spent time in the creepy old morgue.
13. Paranormal – We discovered a Theatrical Seance at the charming New Orleans Hotel in the heart of downtown. It was quite an experience with amazing audience participation. We sat in a circle as one woman matched a piece of paper with its owner and then myself and three others sat in the middle with our hands on a glass that moved like a Ouija widget. Trippy! Vince, the “entertainer”, was great and we really enjoyed his late night show.
14. Thorncrown Chapel – This amazing church in the woods was an architectural masterpiece, and the setting couldn’t have been more serene. I’m glad we stopped to see it.
15. Quigley’s Castle – or the “Ozark’s Strangest Dwelling” was just outside of town and a wonderful find. The granddaughter of the rock hound builder gave the tour – which was basically wander the house and gardens at your own pace. Mrs. Quigley and her husband built the house out of rocks collected from their property.
She included some amazing features, such as a wall of butterflies and an indoor greenhouse – IN the house! Talk about bringing the outdoors in! I loved this place.
16. Caves – There are plenty of caves and caverns in the area. We visited Cosmic Cavern, Onyx Cave, and War Eagle Cavern – all for business. We didn’t actually take any of the tours because of time, but they all looked interesting and the grounds were all amazing. I’m sure we’ll be back to one or more of them.
17. Eating and Drinking – We did our fair share of partaking of the local eateries, and they were all just terrific. The atmosphere of dining outside on balconies or in the heart of downtown made it even more special. There were no Chile’s or Applebees – only a couple of fast food chains on the outskirts along the highway. We sampled good german, mexican, and asian fusion food among others. I hardly cooked at all – we were working after all!
18. Walmart Museum – in Bentonville is only about thirty minutes away from Eureka Springs. In the downtown square sits a modest looking building that houses all of the information on how Walmart began. It was very interesting and I’m so glad we went. Plus, it was FREE! The storefront looks just like it did in 1951.
Bentonville is also home to Jason, one of our friends from our staging days, so we had to get in touch and meet up with him. It was great to see him again.
19. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – This world famous FREE museum was started by one of the Walton (Walmart) girls. It was spectacular. We arrived rather late in the day, but started our visit with a short (and hot) hike through the amazing grounds.
They also have a Frank Lloyd Wright house that was moved onto the property, so I was very excited to tour that. We did a self-guided audio tour that was very interesting.The whole area was really cool, even the building was a work of art, and we admired all types of interesting artwork.
20. Branson, Missouri – Also not too far in the other direction is the famous city of Branson. An hour away, I figured we had to check it out while we were so close. Again, we started rather late in the day (after work!) and it was very hot while we strolled through the Waterfront District. Pretty enough, but mostly corporate shopping and dining. We drove up to a lookout which was cool. The drive through the main strip reflected lots of ways to drop a dollar. We thought of seeing a show, but they were out of our budget. They also had a lot of roller coasters and amusement rides, but it was weird to me how they were all separate – as opposed to something like Six Flags, where they are all together under one admission.
It was too hot to do a lot of walking. We thought of doing a Riverboat tour, but didn’t plan out our time correctly. Maybe next time. Tom liked this town a lot more than I did, which is still curious to me because I felt it was so commercial.
Well, that’s it for my 20 things to do in Eureka Springs list. I’m sure I could have expanded that to one-hundred without trying too hard. There is always some type of event going on there. I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed the Ozarks, but I certainly did.
So, don’t you want to visit Eureka Springs now? I can’t wait to get back.
Peace & Love Joy