Touring Arkansas means learning about the state’s geography and past. Many of the best places to visit in Arkansas are in the state’s northwest, where the Ozark Mountains offer rough scenery and beautiful views.
Historic buildings and a variety of museums make cityscapes just as interesting as they were before. We’ve made a list of some of the best places in Arkansas to help you plan your trip.
Why Should You Visit Arkansas?
There are many places to go fishing, hiking, shooting, and golfing. There are almost 250 lakes and rivers, more than 200 golf courses, and thousands of acres of state and national wildlife areas.
With more than 9,000 miles of rivers and streams, Arkansas is a paradise for people who love water and fishing.
What is the Place in Arkansas that People Visit the Most?
Little Rock is one of the best places to visit in Arkansas. Little Rock is the state’s biggest city and official capital. It is conveniently located in the middle of the state, making it the perfect place to start your journey through Arkansas’ many towns and cities.
Little Rock Central High School, which is a National Historic Site, is the most-visited place in the state capital. In 1957, a group of African American students called the “Little Rock Nine” tried to attend the school, but they were turned away, even though the US Supreme Court had ruled in 1954 that segregation rules in schools were unconstitutional.
Top 10 Best Places List to Visit in Arkansas
Arkansas is called “The Natural State” for a reason. It is home to both the Ozark and Ouachita mountain ranges, which show off a lot of beautiful scenery. It has beautiful scenery and natural wonders, like rivers that rush past rocky outcrops and spectacular state parks. It is covered in green forests.
Arkansas has a lot of great natural tourist sites and a huge amount of wildland, which makes it a great place for all kinds of outdoor activities. It also has some lovely small towns and cities.
1. Little Rock
If you don’t know what to do in Arkansas, the state capital is a good place to start. Little Rock is right in the middle of the state on the south side of the Arkansas River.
The city with the most people in Arkansas has a lot of history, and its historic places live well with the busyness of a big city.
2. State Park Crater of Diamonds
A trip to Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park isn’t just a fun thing to do—it could also be a useful one. This land outside of Murfreesboro in southwest Arkansas was made a state park in 1972.
It has peridotite earth that has been giving people diamonds and other gems and minerals since the early 1900s. Since the park opened, more than 33,000 diamonds have been found there.
3. National Forest of Ozark–St. Francis
Ozark–St. Francis National Forest is made up of two different forests: the Ozark National Forest and the St. Francis National Forest. Together, they cover more than a million acres. The landscapes and ecosystems of the two woods are different, and each is a great place to visit in Arkansas on its own.
With 1.2 million acres in northwest Arkansas, the Ozark National Forest is by far the bigger of the two. Most of the forest is in the Ozark Mountains, which are home to the biggest peak in the state, Mount Magazine.
4. The Caves at Blanchard Springs
You have to go underground to see one of the most beautiful places in Arkansas. Blanchard Springs Caverns is a cave system in the Ozark National Forest that is known for being one of the best developed in the country.
It gets its own spot on this list. Since the 1970s, tours have been able to go through the tunnels, which are still the only caves owned by the US government outside of the National Park System.
5. State Park Mount Magazine
Mount Magazine State Park is now one of the most popular places to visit in Arkansas, but it took a while for the land to get the name it deserves.
In 1938, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, Mount Magazine was added to the Ouachita National Forest, but in 1941, it was moved to the Ozark National Forest. In 2002, the 2,234-acre piece of land was finally made into a state park.
6. Lake Beaver
Beaver Lake is a man-made lake in the Ozark Mountains near the Missouri border. It was made when the White River was stopped up by the Beaver Dam in the 1960s. The lake is a famous place for tourists to visit in Arkansas, but it also gives people in the northwest of the state water to drink.
The lake has a surface area of 28,000 acres and almost 500 miles of shores, so it is easy to find places to go for fun. Water sports include wakeboarding, waterskiing, boats, scuba diving, kayaking, and swimming.
Northwest Arkansas’s Bentonville is best known as the place where Walmart started, but there’s more to this city than the world’s biggest store. Bentonville is a starting point for trips to Beaver Lake and other mountain parks, and its many cultural attractions can keep almost any tourist interested.
Most of the best things to do in Bentonville are museums, so a trip there will always teach you something. The world-famous builder Moshe Safdie made a mesmerizing building for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The museum has both permanent and changing displays. The permanent collection shows American art from the past 500 years.
8. The Devil’s Den State Park
Devil’s Den State Park is a must-see in Arkansas. Many people think of it as a symbol of the state. The park is near the state line, just west of the Ozark National Forest.
It was built in the 1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program that gave young men jobs from 1933 to 1942. Devil’s Den is known for being one of the Civilian Conservation Corps projects in the US that is still in good shape.
9. Eureka Springs
One of the best small towns in Arkansas for history fans is just east of Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas. In 2001, Eureka Springs was named one of America’s Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In 1970, the full downtown area of the city was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Eureka Springs Historic District.
10. Petit Jean State Park
At Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas’s first state park, history, and nature are always connected. The park is at the top of Petit Jean Mountain. To the north is the Ozark National Forest, and to the south is the Ouachita National Forest.
The rough terrain of Petit Jean is mirrored in the park’s buildings, which were built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps using stone and wood from the area.
Arkansas has some of the most beautiful scenery and old buildings in the country. There are lots of things to do in Arkansas, whether you want to stay inside or go outside.
Arkansas has many national parks and forests, such as Crater of Diamonds State Park, Ozark National Forest, Buffalo National River, and Ouachita National Forest. Most of the national parks in the state let tourists camp, hike, and fish.