Missouri is a Southern state covered by grassy plains and the forested Ozark Mountains. Take a road trip along the famous Route 66, absorb culture at the famous Gateway Arch, visit one of the 92 state parks and historical sites, and don't forget to tuck into a plate of slow-cooked barbecue.
Known as The Natural State for its stunning scenery and abundance of outdoor adventures, harmony meets nature in Arkansas. Cities like Little Rock, Bentonville, and Hot Springs offer a cosmopolitan feel, while a visit to Eureka Springs will reinvigorate you. The Delta region is where the blues was born, and many musicians, including Johnny Cash, made their mark. Here are our top five things you can’t miss during a visit to Arkansas:
Take a Soak in the Hot Springs National Park
47 thermal springs flow from Hot Springs Mountain to create the ultimate spa in Hot Springs National Park. This park is the nation’s oldest unit in the national park system and features more than 30 miles of hiking trails through the picturesque Ouachita Mountains, along with many scenic drives and picnic spots. Pop into the bathhouse for a soak or just enjoy the rising vapours. Visit Superior Bathhouse Brewery, where you can try a beer that utilises the thermal spring water of the area as its main ingredient. This is a world-first!
Step Back in Time in Arkansas
Arkansas has a wealth of history which spans across its vast landscape, with heritage trails documenting land and water routes along the Trail of Tears, Butterfield Trail, Southwest Trail and Civil War Trails. Join any of the heritage trails in Little Rock, where you can visit the Clinton Presidential Center, the Old State House Museum, which was once Arkansas’s first capitol building, and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, which is the site where nine black students gained worldwide-attention for attempting to enter the previously all-white school.
Visit the Gangster Museum of America in Hot Springs to learn about the likes of the Power Brokers from the late 1800s and Al Capone, who was a regular in Hot Springs from the 1920s onwards. Head to the Sultana Disaster Museum in Marion, Arkansas, where you’ll hear about ‘The Titanic of the Mississippi’ and one of the greatest forgotten events in American history.
Arts in Arkansas
Check out the world’s largest collection of American artwork at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This Moshe Safdie-designed museum is set in Arkansas’s pastoral wilderness. Amenities include a Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, and an impressive library. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
Explore the Great Outdoors in Arkansas
The Arkansas Ozark Mountain Region offers exciting and inspiring year-round outdoor adventures for anyone that loves getting outside and is suitable for travellers of all ages. The Ozarks provide a look into the state’s rich history and offer a stunning backdrop for a range of outdoor activities such as trout and lake fishing, waterboarding and skiing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, canoeing on America’s First National River, zip-lining, and golfing. There are many charming mountain towns where you’ll find antique shops to impromptu folk music gatherings.
Search for Diamonds
You might not know that Arkansas is home to some of the world’s largest volcanic craters. At the Crater of Diamonds State Park, a unique experience allows visitors to search a 37-acre ploughed field and volcanic crater for a variety of rocks, gemstones and minerals. You can then have your diamond certified at the park’s Diamond Discovery Centre.