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Local Flair

  • Writer's pictureMarcy Lytle

Across Arkansas

We weren’t quite ready to fly, so we opted for a 10 day road trip through the state of Arkansas! Here’s our trip by city, should you think about making the fun vacation yourself:

Day 1 – We drove to Fort Smith, Arkansas, stopping in Lancaster for a Philly sandwich, and arriving early evening in our hotel. We opted for Hampton Inn this night.

Day 2Fort Smith was our first stop, and even though the visitor’s center was closed, the grounds were open for exploring and learning. What a great piece of property and history! We enjoyed the walk for a good while, and then headed downtown to see the murals that line the walls, inviting visitors to the arts district of Fort Smith. We then headed to Kopper Kettle Candies for a treat, and ate our tuna sandwiches (we brought a lot of food!) in the car.

On down the road, to Van Buren, we stopped at Chapters on Main, a super cute bookstore and coffee shop. Super cute! The courthouse here is the oldest courthouse still in use west of the Mississippi!

Down a ways farther was the city of Alma, where they have a Popeye garden downtown – and no one seems to know why!

Just past here is a scenic route along Hwy 71, a stop at Artist Point (beautiful view). All of Arkansas, really, was a beautiful drive!

This night we stayed in Springdale, at a wonder Inn at the Mill Bed & Breakfast, where the landscape was full of beautiful water features and areas for sitting and reading! For dinner, we enjoyed delicious food at Marketplace Grill.

Day 3 – We had read on line of Monte Ne Underwater City and drove to find it – hidden on a lake. We loved exploring the old ruins!!! Be sure to read about it, it’s so interesting!

On to Rogers, a historic town with 8 blocks of cuteness. And then on to War Eagle Mill. There we bought lots of goodies to take home, walked across an old bridge, observed the beautiful scenery, and loved it all.

We finished in time to visit the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks, very small, but SUPER pretty and a great walk.

We drove past Razorback stadium and snapped a few pics, then back to the same hotel for the night.

Day 4 – Jasper was our first stop – a mountain town with quirky cafes and shops. We hoped to see elk along the way in the Boxley valley, but it was the wrong time of day. In Jasper we ate lunch at Blue Mountain Bakery (yummy club sandwich) and shopped at Emma’s Museum of Junk – we both found treasures in there!

On to Harrison, where we drove down winding roads to the Parker Hickman Homestead – where we got out and walked among these OLD buildings way out in the woods that have stood over time. This was one of our favorite seek-n-find stops!

On down the road, we arrived at Bull Shoals Dam and took pictures, then drove to Mountain Home, AR for the night – staying at the Quality Inn there.

Day 5 – We began the day with a nice walk through Cooper Park, nice trails, and old homes situated along it.

We headed out and stopped in Salem, AR at Hillbilly U Pump, a gas station we had read about on line, with a café inside. It did not disappoint! Super delish fried chicken and green beans, and the inside is worth the stop! Best just to look at the pics! We even found some vintage tea glasses for our son’s new house!

We had time to drive up to Mammoth Spring near the Missouri line, and I’m so glad we did – beautiful!

On to Hardy, AR, a really cute old down with downtown shops. We got ice cream at Hardy’s Sweet Shop and looked at other stores along the strip. We really liked this quaint little city.

Right outside Hardy is Cherokee Village, where we searched and found a lookout, but it wasn’t very impressive.

On to Pocahantas, where we stayed in the Lesmeister House. The owner bought a downtown brick building and converted it into luxury apartments (very affordable!) with all sorts of cool amenities – a bidet, TV over the tub, towel warmer, etc. It was my husband’s favorite overnight stay of the trip. We enjoyed the evening in our room, for sure!

Day 6 – First stop was Davidsonville Historic Park, where a community of people lived for only 15 years and disappeared - it’s kind of a mystery story. We walked there and saw where the town was actually laid out in platts and imagined the town as it might have been.

Not far from there was Powhatan Historic Park, a very cool place to stop , a great courthouse, and history as well! We really enjoyed both of these places!

On through Cave City, where we read that they have the sweetest watermelons, but we saw nothing!

Next stop was Batesville, AR where we drove around Lyons College (pretty), stopped to shop at Dean Baker Wholesale (cool odd place – got a few things) and drove around.

This night was spent in Mountain View, a city we want to visit again! It’s such a cool town, folk capital of the world. People gather in parks nightly to play and sing folk music! One park had benches in shapes of musical instruments, and an elderly lady came outside on her porch and gave us a private concert! There’s also the Ozark Crafts Village nearby where we spent a good while the next morning shopping and walking – seeing all sorts of creative people make their artwork!

Our bed and breakfast was old and quaint, as well, with cookies awaiting us as we arrived J, the Wildflower Bed & Breakfast.

Day 7 – After visiting that Ozark village and enjoying the best lunch (greens, cornbread, okra, etc!) we drove to Drasco and stopped at Hannah’s Little Bakery – got some delicious pastries.

On to Heber Springs, where we paused a bit at Sandy Creek beach – super pretty and clean – on the lake there.

Next stop was Jacksonville, to see Reed’s Bridge – not much to see- but great history to read.

Hurricane Laura was nearing, so we had to miss a couple of stops, as we headed on in to our place for the next two nights – at Rosemont Bed & Breakfast in Little Rock – super great apartment with kitchen and living area.

Day 8 – The rain held off til after lunch, so we were able to get out and see a few cool things in Little Rock. Riverfront Park is a place one could stay all day – sculptures, markets, a cool bridge, parks, etc. We loved walking it. Then we saw the Little Rock Central High School – and the monument to the Little Rock Nine – The Testament. Read about that! The high school is huge and indescribable!

We ate lunch at On the Rail – great BBQ – then headed indoors for the afternoon storms. Enjoyed snacks and TV and our place!

Day 9 – drove to Benton, AR and shopped the town square – I got some cute tops at True Boutique. Cute town.

On to Washington, AR – another one of our faves. What an OLD TOWN with great history and such beauty. We ate lunch at the Tavern in the Historical Washington Park (delicious catfish, green tomato relish, and peach cobbler!) The tavern is amazing. We visited the courthouse – great gift shop – great history, then walked to see the home and award winning trees on the property!!! We want to return when they do their tours and open the homes.

Next town was El Dorado, another cool place, the original Arkansas boomtown! We stayed in Union Square Guest Quarters right downtown, with an old rail car restaurant behind. Loved the place, could walk everywhere from there. Walked downtown, then enjoyed our room.

Day 10 – Walked more, looked for murals, stopped for coffee, and shopped. They have red phone booths on the corners with little libraries inside – so cute! We enjoyed breakfast in that rail car behind the hotel.

Left and headed home, stopping in Kilgore, Texas for ice cream and taking pics of the oil rig towers – what a great town as well.

Made it home!

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