Bordering the Mississippi River is Arkansas, nicknamed “The Natural State” for its scenic beauty that includes mountains, caves, hot springs, lakes, abundant parklands and rugged forest wilderness. Here are some things to do when visiting this picturesque state:
To Market You Go
Little Rock River Market District (pictured) is an ideal place to gather for a delicious meal, specialty shopping or listen to live music in an amphitheater setting. The district also has a farmer’s market, nightspots and a spacious community park along the banks of the Arkansas River.
View a Warhol
Valuable works from masterful American artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol are among the hundreds of works on display in Bentonville at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The elite collection draws more than 600,000 visitors each year.
Root for the Razorbacks
Experience the excitement of Southeastern Conference college football by attending an Arkansas Razorbacks game every fall at the 72,000-seat Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. The stadium is known for great sight lines and no bad seats, and one endzone features a massive 107-foot-long LED screen that shows replays.
Visit ‘The Bill’
In Little Rock is the William J. Clinton Presidential Center & Park, which pays tribute to Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. The facility is on 17 acres next to the Arkansas River and Interstate 30, and highlights include full-scale replicas of the Clinton-era Oval Office and Cabinet Room.
Make Science Fun
More than 100 hands-on interactive exhibits are showcased at the Mid-America Science Museum, a kid-friendly educational venue in Hot Springs. Displays include a billiard ball machine, a sky walk that connects the museum to the surrounding outdoors, and the world’s most powerful Tesla coil that can produce 1.5 million volts of electricity.
The most visited attraction in North Little Rock is Wild River Country, a family-friendly water park with raft rides, long slides and a wave pool. This largest water park in Arkansas includes a lazy river, kids play area and exciting thrill rides with names like Cyclone, Vertigo, Black Lightning and Vortex.
Smell the Roses
With 12 themed gardens and a butterfly house, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is a major tourism attraction in Fayetteville that offers 86 acres of native Arkansas plants and flower gardens around a lake setting. The park is open every day from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and highlights include a lakeside nature trail and a children’s garden.
Get All Gangster
Many of the notorious gangsters of the 1920s and 1930s vacationed in Hot Springs, and the city has a Gangster Museum of America that today attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year. The museum highlights the stories of gangsters such as Al Capone, Frank Costello, Lucky Luciano and Bugs Moran, and attractions include The Outlaw Gallery and The New York Connection.