15 Most Fun Things To Do In Arkansas, United States

Arkansas is famous as The Natural State among the states of America. Its diverse landscapes, a rich history, and warm hospitality provide a memorable journey for visitors. 

When someone asks me, “Why is Arkansas so popular?” my answer to that person is always that Arkansas is known for its lakes, hot springs, rivers, frequent storms, extreme weather, folk music tradition, the only active diamond mine in the United States, and the list goes on. 

Arkansas has 52 state parks that offer a vast variety of enjoyable and memorable experiences such as hiking trails, world-class fishing, mountaintop cabins, lakeside camping, and many more.

According to a study, conducted by Tourism Economics, 48.3 million people visited Arkansas in the calendar year of 2022. And Little Rock, Arkansan (in 2023) alone is a $9.2 billion industry.

Even after being a heavily toured American state, Arkansas is considered quite an affordable vacation destination since it has so many free attractions, or some places require only a little entrance fees.

Regarding the food, questions like, “What is Arkansas best known for?” can simply be answered by saying that Arkansas is famous for its Arkansas Possum Pie, Southern Hush Puppies, and Southern Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy.

Spring and Fall are undoubtedly considered the best seasons to visit this beautiful state due to their ideal temperatures, while summer and winter can be a little unbearable for an outdoor outing experience. Therefore, I chose the spring season for my trip last year as well.

During the tour, I visited all the famous tourist attractions in this state that have been a source of huge interest for tourists worldwide, and I was not disappointed at all. Arkansas really is an incredible place.

In this article, I will list down all the places that you need to add to your bucket list and visit whenever you plan a trip to Arkansas. Following are the places that left a lasting impact on me during my tour.

1) Visit Hot Springs National Park

When someone asks, “What is the prettiest place in Arkansas?” Hot Springs National Park always comes to everyone’s mind.

Visit Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is an American national park that has 47 thermal springs and 26 miles of hiking trails. Their bathhouse experience is one of the many reasons why this park is really well known. 

This national park was basically created to protect the springs and provide public access to the bathhouse. Today it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Arkansas State.

The ancient thermal springs, incredible geology, mountain views, abundant creeks, and forested hikes make Hot Springs National Park a beautiful and unique destination. 

According to the natives, the spring water here is even said to have medical benefits for the human body.

My tour of this national park started by hiking the Sunset Trail on West Mountain, then I visited the Mountain Tower and headed to the  Fordyce Bathhouse Museum and Visitor Center where I learned about the history of the area’s bathhouses.

This place also offers recreational activities like hiking, biking along the trails, bird-watching, wildlife viewing, camping, fishing, bathhouse experience, and many more. 

My overall experience at Hot Springs National Park was pretty relaxing and calming. The serene nature of the park cleared my head and, in a sense, healed me physically and mentally.


Hot Springs, AR 71901, United States

2) Explore Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a museum that contains a world-class collection of art that spans five centuries. The art collection features some of the most renowned artists’ artworks.

Explore Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

For extra fees, the museum offers a nighttime light and sound display on the museum’s trail. I attended the “North Forest Lights” experience which turned out to be incredible.

The indoor as well as outdoor art collection at the museum left me speechless. The art collection was fascinating, of course, but what captivated me the most was the building’s mind-blowing architecture.

We learned that the spaceship-esque architectural design was created by the world-renowned artist Moshe Safdie. In other words, the architecture of this building is art itself!

I also checked out the cafe and Eleven Restaurant and later took a light stroll on the walking trail outside the museum building which was decorated with beautiful sculptures. 

The ideas behind the artworks left me truly awestruck and appreciative of their efforts. Overall, it was a really enjoyable as well as informative tour. This museum is truly a National treasure that deserves more recognition and appreciation.


600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712, United States

3) Book A Tour Of The Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only mine in North America where the public can search for real diamonds in their original volcanic source. Here, people search for a variety of rocks, minerals, and gemstones in a 37-acre field. 

Book A Tour Of The Crater of Diamonds State Park

You can bring your own equipment or borrow the park’s tools to search for the precious stones, and any rock or mineral you find is yours to keep. 

Before heading to the field, we learned a lot about stones and minerals found in the state park, their history, and how to find them at the Diamond Discover Centre. There we also saw some real, uncut diamonds.

Quartz, jasper, garnet, amethyst, agate, and many other rocks and minerals are naturally found in this area. The collection of beautiful stones in the center was also impressive.

Unfortunately, my friends and I couldn’t find anything even after working hard for two hours in the field. But we weren’t sad or disappointed since it was a new and really enjoyable activity and we made good memories.

After working hard in search of diamonds in the sun, we visited and relaxed at the cafe and aquatic playground and later checked the gift shop at the state park.

What are you waiting for? Plan a trip to Arkansas, visit this incredible place, and have the experience of your lifetime!


209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, AR 71958, United States

4) Reserve A Shared Golf Cart Tour of Bentonville

When visiting Arkansas, Bentonville is a place that you cannot miss out on. And the best way to explore Home to Walmart’ is by booking a shared golf cart tour. 

Reserve A Shared Golf Cart Tour of Bentonville

These tours are usually guided by locals and you get to experience the open-air rundown on all there is to do and see in the beautiful city of Bentonville. 

Through these guided golf cart tours you get to witness several museums, murals, Instagram hotspots, gardens, and much more. 

During my tour, we passed through the town and saw many hidden gems such as explosive art scenes, Bentonville’s secret hotspots, and local-only hideouts.

Starting from the 21c Museum Hotel, our golf cart took us to Compton Gardens, Crystal Bridges, Momentary Museum, Slaughterpen trails, the Square, and many other city highlights.

I would definitely recommend you book one of these shared golf cart experiences so that you can see and learn about the culture of Arkansas up close.


Bentonville, Arkansas, United States

5) Take An Off-Road Tour At Lake Ozarks

Taking an Off-Road Tour at Lake Ozarks is a must when you’re booking a tour to Arkansas state. To experience this exciting Lake Ozarks adventure, I went to a private cattle ranch in Omaha. 

Take An Off-Road Tour At Lake Ozarks

Off-roading is an exciting yet peaceful experience that is famous for leading you to breathtaking views and hidden gems. And Ozarks off-roading adventure is the highlight of visiting Arkansas State.

I was grouped with a small crowd of people and then we were given a guided tour along the trail on a 6-person UTV. 

The ride was approximately 1 and a half hours long and we rode through woods, ridges, wooded trails, steep hills, valleys, and a creek.

During the tour, we got to see the scenic view of the beautiful Ozarks and witness the wildlife in their natural habitat as well. It was a very exciting tour overall.


28270 MO-135, Gravois Mills, MO 65037, United States 

6) Stay At The Haunted Crescent Hotel and Spa

Crescent Hotel and Spa is a landmark hotel widely known as the “symbol of hospitality” for the state of Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain region. It is one of the most historic hotels in America.

Stay At The Haunted Crescent Hotel and Spa

However, the hotel is famous as “America’s most haunted hotel” and offers a ghost tour for a fee. And when I heard about this hotel, I couldn’t hold myself from booking a tour there.

I have always been a fan of horror movies since they gave me chills but nothing compared to the experience of actually staying at the 1886 Crescent Hotel. The ghost tour was thrilling beyond my expectations.

Besides the haunted stuff, the hotel itself is a delightful place to stay, which includes facilities like the New Moon Spa and Salon, a Conservatory, Sky Ball Gourmet Pizza (a place for incredible sunsets and views), and many more.

My stay at the hotel was surprisingly very pleasant. The hotel staff and service were top-notch. Activities like ghost tours, dining, yoga, swimming classes, etc were very enjoyable.

So if you’re planning to visit Arkansas, you should definitely pay a visit to this historical yet haunted place.


75 Prospect Ave, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, United States

7) Visit To Thorncrown Chapel Is A Must

Thorncrown Chapel is a chapel located in the woods just outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This beautiful glass-enclosed architectural monument is considered one of the most modern and mesmerizing chapels in America.

Visit To Thorncrown Chapel Is A Must

It was included in the Bored Panda’s “50 Most Extraordinary Churches Of The World.” And after witnessing this wonderful structure, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The chapel’s architecture features a 48-foot-tall structure with 425 windows. Its interior is designed in a way that even when I was inside the building, it felt like I was standing in the middle of the Ozark forest surrounded by tall trees.

This place has been a popular wedding destination and a magnet for couples from all over the world. Its 6,000 square feet of glass is the highlight.

Wedding ceremonies are arranged indoors as well as outdoors in this chapel. It seats up to 100 guests and offers a changing room with a full-length mirror, music system, a piano, and can also provide a minister.

So whether you’re planning a wedding or not, Thorncrown Chapel is a place that shouldn’t be missed whenever you’re visiting Arkansas State.


12968 US-62, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, United States

8) Blanchard Springs Caverns Adventure

I have visited quite a few caverns, and Blanchard Springs is undoubtedly at the top of the list, so add this to your Arkansas bucket list now! 

Blanchard Springs Caverns Adventure

It is a cave system located in the Ozark–St. Francis National Forest.

These caverns are one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere. It is a “living” cave having growing formations of stalagmites, flowstones, stalactites, and columns.

Blanchard Springs Caverns is a three-level cave system, i.e., Dripstone Trail, Discovery Trail, and Wild Cave Tour. There is a constant year-round temperature of 58°F and nearly 100% relative humidity. 

With the help of our kind guide, we strolled through large, beautifully lit rooms with handrails and paved trails. Passing through the 1-hour Dripstone Trail, the immensity and the beauty of rock formations simply took my breath away.

Then, we toured the “Water Works” exhibit hall, explored speleothems,  and watched “The Amazing World Below” movie, which educated us about the underground world. This place is truly a wonder of nature.


704 Blanchard Springs Road, Fifty-Six, AR 72533, United States

9) Learn About Big Cats At Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

If you’re a big cat lover like myself, look no further than the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. It is a wildlife refuge for abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats. 

Learn About Big Cats At Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Founded in 1992, this place started as a family’s mission and is now one of the largest big cat sanctuaries in the USA. This refuge situated in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is home to over 100 animals. 

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge primarily started as a sanctuary for tigers and has become a home to several other animals like leopards, cougars, ligers, bobcats, hyenas, servals, caracals, bears, and many more.

During our tour, we learned that for over 30 years, this place has rescued over 500 animals and provided them with a lifelong home and care, rehabilitating them physically and mentally.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge works to end the Big Cat Trade through public education of people. They believe that if we all preserve and protect these incredible and endangered animals, one day, we won’t need any sanctuaries like Turpentine Creek.


239 Turpentine Creek Ln, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, United States

10)  Visit The William J. Clinton Library and Museum

William J. Clinton Library and Museum is the presidential library of Bill Clinton and home to the Clinton Foundation (Little Rock office) and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

Visit The William J. Clinton Library and Museum

My visit to this place was a very interesting experience. The interactive exhibitions, engaging programs, and extensive collections of artifacts at this place documented President Clinton’s life very well.

It was fascinating to see, that the aspects of Clinton’s presidency were broken down into topics that were presented thoroughly through documents and photographs. 

My favorite part of the tour was viewing the replicas of the Cabinet Room and Clinton’s Oval Office. The exhibit showing the table setting of the State Dinner was quite elegant.

William J. Clinton Library and Museum offers family-friendly special exhibitions, an award-winning on-site restaurant, 30 acres of public park, and a museum where you can find unique gifts and memorabilia.

Attracting hundreds and thousands of visitors to its grounds every year, this historical place is a must-visit if you are planning a trip to Arkansas State.


1200 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, AR 72201, United States

11) Explore The Buffalo National River

The Buffalo National River was the first National River that was designated to the United States in 1972. This place is home to Arkansas’ most beautiful scenery.

Explore The Buffalo National River

With its countless waterfalls, towering bluffs, incredible wildlife, remote unspoiled locations, and historic and pre-historic culture, this place provides mid-America’s finest outdoor experiences.

Buffalo National River offers a diverse variety of activities that are guaranteed to give you an unforgettable experience such as paddling the river by kayak, canoe, or tube.

Other fun activities such as guided tours, camping, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, night sky viewing, backcountry camping, picnicking, visiting historic districts, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, etc made our trip even more memorable.

What are you waiting for? Schedule a trip to Arkansas and visit this beautiful piece of heaven today!


Arkansas, United States

12) Go To The Christ Of The Ozarks

A trip to Arkansas is simply incomplete without visiting the Christ of the Ozarks statue which is a monumental sculpture of Jesus located on the Magnetic Mountain in the Victorian village of Eureka Springs.

Go To The Christ Of The Ozarks

Whether you’re religious or not, a tour of Great Passion Play theme park in order to witness this 67-foot-tall incredible and monumental landmark is a must. 

During my tour, I learned that this statue was inspired by the Jesus statue in Brazil, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the largest statues in the world.

This place is free to visit as it doesn’t require an entry fee. A small chapel and a small segment of the Berlin Wall are present nearby. There are many other attractions in the Great Passion Play theme park as well.

Other popular attractions in the Great Passion Play theme park include watching the Great Passion Play, visiting the Bible Museum, taking a Holy Land tour, and exploring Thorncrown Chapel.


937 Passion Play Rd, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, United States

13) Visit The Old Mill

Remember the old water-powered grist mill in the opening scene of the 1939 classic film Gone with the Wind? What if I told you that the 1800s-inspired grist mill is still present today and you can visit that place as well?

Visit The Old Mill

The Old Mill is an iconic installation of art and history having an authentic recreation of an 1880s water-powered grist mill. This place is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

I was fascinated by the artwork displayed here which was created by the Mexican artist Senor Dionicio Rodriguez. 

The wonderful artwork included breaches and bridges that seemed to be made of wood but in reality, were of concrete. This folk-art style is called “faux bois.”

It is an immaculately landscaped and maintained recreational spot that is perfect if you want to take pictures, read a book, or simply enjoy the lovely gardens and nature. Spring is considered the best season to witness the unparalleled beauty of this place.

After my tour, I finally understood why The Old Mill is a highlight for locals and visitors in North Little Rock. People of all ages can come here and appreciate its natural beauty.

I hope you enjoy visiting The Old Mill and have a lovely time with your friends and family there. I would love to revisit this place sometime. 


3800 Lakeshore Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72116, United States

14) A Trip To Garvan Woodland Gardens

If you are a fan of botanical gardens, look no further than Garvan Woodland Gardens! Which is a 210-acre botanical garden and woodland garden owned by the University of Arkansas.

A Trip To Garvan Woodland Gardens

This place holds several attractions on the same ground including the Bob and Sunny Evans Treehouse, Millsap Canopy Bridge, Hixson Family Nature Preserve, the Anthony Chapel, and breathtaking botanical landscapes. 

Garvan Woodland Gardens offers multiple breathtaking sights and fantastic photo opportunities. Most trials are ADA accessible and pets are allowed with a fee except during Holiday Lights.

My favorite part of the tour was witnessing the breathtaking displays of countless species of flowers such as roses, magnolias, camellias, and over 160 different types of azaleas.

Chipmunk Cafe located behind the Garden Railroad is a place to grab some snacks or lunch, in case you’re feeling hungry. Its menu features wraps, salads, fresh-made gourmet sandwiches, desserts, and other snacks.

Here, countless walking trails wander past lakes, waterfalls, creeks, trees, shrubs, and flowers of all types. To put it in simple words, Garvan Woodland Gardens is a perfect place to sit and simply enjoy the peace in the woods.


550 Arkridge Rd, Hot Springs, AR 71913, United States

15) Tour Eureka Springs’ Downtown Area

Eureka Springs’ entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places. The streets of this north Arkansas town are lined with extraordinary Victorian homes surrounded by cliffs.

Tour Eureka Springs’ Downtown Area

It’s a well-known fact that Eureka Springs is a shopper’s paradise. So my friends and I decided to take a walking tour of downtown and visit block to block in search of one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, craft emporiums, and art galleries.

 In this incredible town, we found many artists working in their studios and displaying their artwork. Not only in the galleries or museums, this artistic expression can be seen all over town including on benches, staircases, and other places.

This area is famous for its award-winning restaurants that serve authentic Italian, Indian, Czech-German, Mediterranean, Chinese, Mexican, and many other food options.

Although there are countless recreational points, parks, mountains, and other natural landscapes in Eureka Springs, this downtown experience is simply unmatched which is exactly why you should add it to your Arkansas bucket list!


Arkansas, United States


Needless to say, Arkansas is an incredibly beautiful State that offers a diverse variety of places with numerous exciting experiences.

My tour to Arkansas state included other destinations as well, but I have only included the locations that were the most enjoyable and memorable to me. 

I hope you will consider visiting these places on your tour as well as discover new locations on your own and make beautiful memories with your friends and loved ones.