During the 1980s, Arkansas’s outreach to tourists became more aggressive than before, reflecting a maturing understanding of tourism as a growth industry. It is known for its abundant park and wilderness areas, with terrain encompassing mountains, caves, rivers and hot springs. In the mid-1980s, the Arkansas parks system began promoting Arkansas as “the Natural State” and the nickname proved popular, largely eclipsing the older “Land of Opportunity” in public esteem and currency. The rugged Ozarks region in its northwest has hiking trails and limestone caves such as Blanchard Springs Caverns. Its capital, Little Rock, hosts the Clinton Presidential Center, housing Bill Clinton’s presidential archives.
There’s never a shortage of holiday activities in Arkansas. Due to the mild climate, you can easily attend a Christmas parade, watch tree lightings, go shopping, sit on Santa’s lap or enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. Cities and towns across Arkansas get into the spirit, decking the halls and bringing people together. The Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights returns for its 23rd year with a statewide celebration of the holiday season featuring parades, lighting ceremonies, open houses, Santa visits, concerts, live nativities, illuminated displays and more. To check out events in your area – and all across the state! – visit www.Arkansas.com/TrailofHolidayLights.
Experience the natural beauty of Arkansas’s top winter vacation spots by renting a cozy cabin tucked away in the woods or one next to a picturesque stream. There are also luxurious resorts and lodges with photo-worthy mountain and lake backdrops. If you prefer an urban destination, check into a hotel for a few nights and enjoy being close to great shopping, dining, events and more for an extended weekend getaway.