Arkansas, The Natural State, is a wonderful place to visit. It has beautiful mountains, rolling hills, and valleys filled with hardwoods and pines. The rivers flow, the streams rush over rounded rocks, and the crawdads scurry about in creeks and brooks. The eastern third of the state that runs along the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers is known as the Arkansas Delta, and with its fertile soil, the state produces many crops. With its clay layer, the region near Stuttgart is perfect for growing rice and produces the most rice grown in the country. In addition, it also attracts water foul and many migrating birds. It is a landlocked state located in the South Central United States and has a diverse culture with very friendly people. It is the smallest state west of the Mississippi River. While this is Bev’s home state, we’d love it even if it weren’t! Read on to learn more about traveling here.
First, a little history…
The state has a rich history of Native American settlements before the country’s expansion. It was part of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase and gained American statehood in 1836. While Hot Springs National Park did not officially achieve the designation until 1921, it was the first land that Congress set aside for the enjoyment of people in 1832, forty years before Yellowstone was declared the “first” National Park in the US.
Travel Guides for this State
Find your adventure! Organized by city name…
Ozark–St. Francis National Forest
The forest is divided into Ozark National Forest and St. Francis National Forest. While you will find the highest mountains in the state inside the Ozark National Forest, St. Francis National Forest is home to the most diverse forests in the country. You will find 630 kilometers of hiking trails in this area, along with multiple campsites, picnic spots, swimming areas, and scenic drives. If you are visiting the forest, exploring the Blanchard Springs Caverns is a must!
Mount Magazine State Park
The park is named after its popular tourist point, Mount Magazine. This is the highest point in Arkansas and is 839 meters tall. There are many hiking trails where you can enjoy the surrounding views of the forests, hills, and Arkansas River Valley. The park has a visitor center where you will find exciting exhibits on the park’s wildlife and nature as well as barbecue facilities and campsites.
Hot Springs National Park
The park was set aside by the federal government to protect the thermal springs in 1832 before the idea of a National Park existed. It later became a National Park. It is located in Garland County. Native Americans believed that the hot springs in the Ouachita Mountains had healing properties. The park offers 47 thermal springs, drinking fountains with spring water, and breathtaking mountain views.
Petit Jean State Park
The Petit Jean State Park is located in north-central Arkansas and is a wooded forest. It was the first state park in Arkansas. There are many activities to enjoy. The history behind the park’s name is tragic. According to the locals, the park was named after a young French woman who tragically died in the 18th century while exploring the area with a French expedition traveling on the Arkansas River. It is said that she disguised herself as a man so she could accompany her lover; however, he was unaware of her presence. She became sick and died, and her disguise was discovered. She is buried on the top of the mountain, and as a side note, when standing at her grave, one can see Bev’s grandfather’s farm below in the valley along the river. She has many fond memories of playing with her cousins there.
Garvan Woodland Gardens
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a botanical garden founded by Verna Cook Garvan. Garvan began to develop her property as a show garden in 1956. Over the years, the gardens began to include other scenic structures and overlooks. There are more than 120 species of wildflowers and native shrubs inside the garden.
Some other notable places:
Arkansas Air Museum
Mammoth Springs State Park
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crystal Bridges American Art Museum
Bill Clinton Presidential Library
Journey to another state!
“Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you’ve been all along!”