Discover the new you with a day in one of Eureka Springs Spas. A destination for healing for centuries, Eureka Springs is home to one of the largest spas in northwest Arkansas. New Moon Spa offers the latest in treatments. Prefer something smaller? Individual trained therapists offer personalized services.
There is so much to see and do on the trail. Get more great vacation ideas and itineraries.
Winter is a beautiful time to visit the Ozark Mountains and the Arkansas Art Trail takes you right to the best places. Following the trail is a great way to get familiar with this part of the Natural State. Even if you have visited before, the Arkansas Art Trail will introduce you to something new.
With the calendar flipped over to October, people who visit this Ozark Mountain village have in their minds two things: fantastic fall colors and seeing something unique, unusual and unexplainable. This October visitors will not be disappointed.
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Of course there are the nightly ghost tours of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. This year the interest in “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” should be even greater following their exposure several times on national television programs of the paranormal kind. Those tours, which end in the hotel’s morgue, are nightly year-round; while this October, something weird is going on just down the street from this mountaintop spa resort.
There, in a church that was built in 1901, is the intimate performance venue known as Intrigue Theater. The interior of the Gavioli Chapel has been retrofitted to accommodate guests anxious to see acts of mystery and illusion. Being introduced during all of the October performances, Intrigue Theater’s renowned illusionist Sean-Paul will shock members of his audience by carrying out a revolutionary effect that was introduced to the world in the 1920s but with an added dimension of historic authenticity. He explains:
“The Civil War was a time of hatred and cruelty; a time when brother fought brother; a time when our great nation was literally cut in half. However, here in Eureka Springs there was compassion in the personage of Dr. Alvah Jackson, who would treat wounded soldiers from both the Union and Confederate armies in a makeshift hospital located in a cave near Basin Spring. His medical knowledge coupled with the healing powers of the water taken from the nearby spring saved many a soldier who surely would have died without his care. Unfortunately, many were saved only because of surgical amputations administered under the skilled hands of Dr. Jackson.
“It is this historical backdrop that will set the stage for our most ghastly illusion.”
For that illusion, Sean-Paul will recruit two volunteers from the audience – one to play the part of a union soldier, the other a confederate. Juliane Fay of Intrigue Theater will lie down on a replica of Dr. Alvah Jackson’s surgical amputation table. The newly drafted, mock Confederate and Union Soldiers will strap her down to that table the same way they would a patient about to undergo an amputation. Using Civil War swords and blades, Sean-Paul steps to the table and cuts Juliana Fay in half. Then, symbolic of our once divided country, the two soldiers will pull the body apart into two separate pieces.
“Due to the intense nature of this illusion, we may only use this newly-added effect during this month’s performances,” concluded Sean-Paul. “You may refer to it as our ‘October surprise’.”
These are the sounds of summer in Eureka Springs. Families can enjoy the new Ozark Mountain Ziplines, Intrigue Theater, ghost tours and tales of the macabre at the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, 34 new big cats at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and all water sports on Beaver Lake. These and dozens of other family-friendly venues and events located in and happening around Eureka Springs this summer can be booked online in one easy step.
When the question is inevitably asked, “What’s there to do in Eureka Springs, especially for kids and families?” it can now be answered quite easily and enthusiastically. Heading that list for 2013 is the new Ozark Mountain Ziplines (OMZ). This popular, nationwide craze, which originated in Costa Rica, has never seen a better setting than the Arkansas Ozarks in and around Eureka Springs. OMZ allows guests -ages three to 83- to soar more than 200 feet high over vast, gorgeous, beautiful hardwood trees and limestone cliffs with cable lengths up to 1,800 feet, the length of six football fields.
Another relatively new attraction is Intrigue Theater. Set in a eerie and intimate redeveloped Victorian church, this show takes audience members on a magical, humorous, and mind-blowing venture into the world of telepathy. The audience actually become part of the performance… unfolding, mystical tales, magical demonstrations and introductions to special guests from ‘the other side’ become an interactive experience. Members of the audience often take the stage and, while under hypnosis, regress back to a previous life only to return with physical proof of having crossed over.
And speaking of “the other side”, no building is more famous for their “guests who check out but never leave” than the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Well-respected as a mountaintop spa resort and wedding destination, this Historic Hotel of America takes guests on a hotel ghost tour every night giving them the chance to perhaps meet apparitions like Michael, Theodora, or the Lady In The Mist.
Recognized by many as America’s most haunted hotel, the Crescent has added a late-night nuance to their presentation of the paranormal. “Flickering Tales” has guests, especially teens, sitting around an open campfire -in chairs- and being introduced to regional ghost stories almost lost to history. These macabre stories are theatrically spun by noted international thespian, Keith Scales. Once the hair is suitably standing up on the back of patrons’ necks, Scales leads them into a special trip to the hotel’s infamous “morgue” as the grand finale.
One of the biggest guesses at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) is wondering just how many big cats do they take care of at this 450-acre ranch located just a few minutes from downtown Eureka Springs. But guests should never be too quick to hit the total button because it seems the folks at TCWR are adding to the number of abused, abandoned and neglected lions and tigers (and a bear) all the time.
Most recently, TCWR rescued nearly three-dozen big cats from a nearby county where they were being inadequately housed and cared for by a lady, due to her age and health condition, who could no longer give the animals proper care. With this transition in its final stages, guests can meet the latest “cool cats” at this magnificent and breathtaking refuge that now houses nearly 150 animals including 138 big cats including mountain lions, cougars, panthers, bobcats, oh… and a bear.
On one of America’s most popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ lakes, Beaver Lake, sits Starkey Marina, located just west of Eureka Springs. This floating cavalcade of watercrafts is the lake’s most popular stop for those who like to play on the water. Explore the clear blue 28,370-acre lake with its 480 miles of shoreline for some summer fun.
A brilliant mind hidden by an outrageous hat…the Mad Hatter was a guest at the Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland’s adventures. Today, the Mad Hatter lives in Eureka Springs and every year, he throws a big party in October called the Mad Hatter Ball!
Whimsical hats and outrageous costumes are part of the fun at the Annual Mad Hatter’s Ball in Eureka Springs.
The Mad Hatter’s Ball is the largest fundraising event for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts and is held in the Crystal Dining Room at the Historic 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. A silent auction touts fantastic works of art and gift packages, allowing guests to support the schools mission “to cultivate, promote and encourage artistic expression by providing art education opportunities in a unique environment of beauty and creativity!” Guests are required to wear wild hats and costumes….the crazier…the better. Enjoy great food, hat contests and a whole lot of dancing. Tickets are available at ESSA.