By Kathy Barnett/Editor
Leave the hubbub of the city behind and take a leisurely and scenic drive approximately 40 miles from the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area along Highway 62. A tourist destination for generations, Eureka Springs is secluded between two mountains of lush, hardwood forests with winding mountainside streets. With a flair similiar to a Swiss Village, Eureka Springs is known as The Extraordinary Escape for Outdoor Adventure year round. By day, hike, boat, shoot or bike and by night return in time for a nice dinner and a cozy evening unwinding in front of the fireplace. It’s not your average tourist town during the winter where crowds gather to rush from attraction to attraction. It’s just a good get away destination to relax and renew relationships with each other. Yet it is still conveniently located near shopping, dining and exploring.
Shop, dine, play and stay, all in one great location! With over fifty unique shops and galleries, Eureka Springs is a shoppers paradise. During the winter in Eureka Springs, find bargains and specials, especially on pieces of art or antiques. Foodies will enjoy everything from fine dining to quick lunches. Walking tours, kid-friendly shops and more offer fun for the whole family. For the older crowd, Eureka Springs is home to more than 20 bars and clubs. When you stay at one of our amazing, historic downtown hotels or B & Bs, all this and more is within walking distance! For the more adventurous, you can make reservations at a more eclectic place like a tree house, old gas station, hobbit cave, or even a haunted hotel. During the winter months, you have a better chance of finding an available date for these lodging options on the dates you’re wanting. Look for winter specials.
Boat, Float or Fish – Eureka Springs is surrounded by three lakes and two rivers, perfect for boating, canoeing, rafting, or kayaking. Explore the rock shelters of Table Rock Lake are impressive and full of striped bass. Enjoy pastoral scenes from the Kings River , full of smallmouth bass. The White River, below Beaver Dam, is known for its state record trout. Rediscover America’s First National River… The Buffalo River.
Hiking – Discover postage stamp parks, historic natural springs, authentic Victorian architecture hiking the quaint winding streets in downtown Eureka Springs. Enjoy the pristine woodlands and protected birding areas of Lake Leatherwood and Black Bass Lake. Hiking downtown is a great way to get to know the city and scout out your favorite shops and restaurants for later.
Mountain Biking – You don’t have to be a hardcore biker to appreciate the legendary and epic mountain trails near Eureka Springs at Lake Leatherwood Park. Bikers and spectators come from all over for area sporting events like the Fat Tire Festival and The Eurekan Multi-Sports Festival.
Caving – Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs is a great place to hike or bike. Arkansas is home to nearly 2,000 documented caves but most are located on private property. Eureka Springs is centrally ideally located near Arkansas caves that are open to the public. Onyx Cave is the easiest cave to explore and Cosmic Cavern holds one of the largest underground lakes. Mystic Caverns and War Eagle Cavern also close by.
ART AND CULTURE
Eureka Springs is understandably located at the very heart of the Arkansas Art Trail. Home to more than 400 working artists, we are home to dozens of fine art galieries. Don’t miss the May Festival of the Arts, an annual month-long celebration of all things art! If you can’t make it in May, there is always Second Saturday. The Second Saturday Art Gallery Stroll happens on, you guessed it, the second Saturday of every month. Eureka Springs is also home to writers, musicians and even Opera in the Ozarks!
More than 20 million have seen the Great Passion Play, America’s largest attended outdoor drama, a depiction of Jesus’s last days on earth.
THE EUREKA MYSTIQUE
Although this Ozark town is known today for its incredible Victorian architecture, arts, antiques and natural beauty, the original attraction was the water. Legend has it that the Native American tribes of the area believed that the cold spring water could cure many ailments, and the surrounding land was considered sacred ground. Victorian-age health-seekers deemed the hills full of miracle cures, and flocked to the area by the thousands, creating a stylish retreat amid the grand, green curves of nature.
Eureka Springs has remained sacred ground on several levels. Gurus and merchants alike feel that soul-deep pull toward the rejuvenating springs below the downtown Historic District, and know they’ve found something special. People are still drawn to the healing power of this small community tucked in the mountains, but relaxation has replaced the miracles found in water. From day spas and Victorian bed and breakfasts to music shows and bumper boats, Eureka Springs has it all. And even though more than a million people walk along the winding streets each year, the town is still sacred to anyone who has stopped, smiled, and realized that their heart has come home.
People are still drawn to the healing power of this small community tucked in the mountains, but relaxation has replaced the miracles found in water. From day spas and Victorian bed and breakfasts to music shows and bumper boats, Eureka Springs has it all. And even though more than a million people walk along the winding streets each year, the town is still sacred to anyone who has stopped, smiled, and realized that their heart has come home.