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Discover a world of natural beauty and diversity as you travel the scenic drives and byways in Arkansas. Explore The Natural State from the ancient Ouachita and Ozark mountains to the Delta flatlands, next to the beautiful Mississippi River.
Arkansas really hits the mark when it comes to road trips as it’s accessible from many locations, including Memphis and St Louis. You don’t have to go out of your way to experience the beauty along Arkansas’s scenic byways, plus you’ll discover authentic and charming experiences along the way.
Check out our list of stops along the scenic drives and byways of Arkansas:
Great River Road National Scenic Byway
In Arkansas’ Delta, the Great River Road runs through 10 states along the Mississippi River. Arkansas’ section of the route crosses the east side of the state from north to south. Travellers will enjoy both the scenic river and shaping landscapes along the way. This family-friendly trip immerses visitors in art, culture, history, food, and more. From Marianna to Helena, the route encounters the woodlands of the St. Francis National Forest on Crowley’s Ridge, and provides a wide range of activities for travellers.
The Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home
The Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is a stop along the Sunken Lands Cultural Roadway, and is an official loop off the 10-state Great River Road National Scenic Byway. Now owned by Arkansas State University, the house has been restored. If you’ve ever seen the movie Walk the Line, you’ll recognise the road leading to Johnny Cash’s home and a building in the Colony Circle as settings for the film.
Ozark Mountain Region
The Ozark Mountain Region covers a large section of northern Arkansas and most of the southern half of Missouri. It extends from Interstate 40 in central Arkansas to Interstate 70 in central Missouri. Four regions make up the Ozark Mountain area in Arkansas: Norfork Lake, White River, Bull Shoals Lake, and Buffalo River.
Norfork Lake is a hidden gem. It is only a 15-minute drive from Mountain Home in north-central Arkansas, and is the only Ozark Mountain lake with white sandy beaches! White River in north-western Arkansas is recognised for its premier trout and fly-fishing. Buffalo National River is America’s first National River and the perfect setting for your Ozarks adventure. All spots across the four regions are family-friendly and provide a good dose of outdoor adventure and tranquillity.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park
Located on top of Rich Mountain in Southwestern Arkansas, Queen Wilhelmina provides some of the most spectacular views in the state. Travel the Talimena National Scenic Byway to this park, which is incredibly scenic as it is historic. The original lodge was built in the late 1800s as a Victorian resort named Wilhelmina Inn, in recognition of the young Queen of the Netherlands. One of the latest lodges to be built – Park Lodge - is the main attraction at the State Park. At this 40-room property, you can enjoy first-class hospitality and southern cuisine in the Queen’s Restaurant. The State Park has 41 campsites, picnic areas, and many trails for those that love the outdoors.
The Lakeport Plantation
Next up: onto the Lower Delta. Built-in 1859 and the last remaining Arkansas plantation home on the Mississippi River, The Lakeport Plantation is known as the Jewel of the Delta. It acts as Arkansas’s southern anchor for the ten-state Great River Road National Scenic Byway. Here you will see award-winning exhibits that tell stories of the people who lived and worked on the plantation, including the restoration team that brought the house back to life!
Arkansas High Country Route
Arkansas High Country Route has three interlocking loops that link Little Rock with the Northwest Arkansas corridor around Fayetteville and Bentonville. This offers a perfect cycling route through the Ozark and Ouachita mountains, highlighting northern and western Arkansas's beautiful scenery and towns.
Sylamore Scenic Byway
The Sylamore Scenic Byway passes through the Ozark National Forest. On this beautiful route, you’ll find views of stunning cliffs and mountains, and in the south, Blanchard Springs Caverns is a living cave that is constantly transforming. Three guided tours are led by Forest Service Guides, showcasing an underground river, water-carved passages, and the world’s largest flowstone. Experience crafts and music at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View.
For more information on the scenic drives and byways of Arkansas, visit https://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/motoring-byways/scenic-byways.