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.
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’.”
Known for its natural springs, Eureka Springs has more than 60 in and around the historic Victorian town. Fifteen of the most prominent ones are within walking distance of each other and maintained by the City of Eureka Springs. More like small pocket parks, the springs are the subject of many photographs and paintings by local artists. Explore downtownart galleries and shops for a glimpse of some of the local art and experience the springs for yourself with a walking or driving tour. Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation put out an official guide to Eureka Springs’ parks, trails and springs. Guides can be found in most Eureka Springs lodging.
Spring is blooming in the Ozark Mountains. Plan to spend spring break in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Whether you visit the Ozarks every year or are new to the area, a trip along the Arkansas Art Trail is an easy way to explore the Ozarks. Take a road trip and spend a couple of days or weeks as you experience one breathtaking vista after another. Visit historical sites and natural settings made meaningful by local culture and artistic communities. Here are some ideas for things to do along the trail this spring.
Have Some Bloomin’ Fun…Stroll by clumps of daffodils as you hike one of many trails through the Ozark Mountains. Capture scenes of blooming dogwoods and a variety of native wildflowers along the Buffalo National River or Pea Ridge Military Park. Visit the natural springs of Eureka Springs. More than a dozen postage stamp green spaces surround the dozens of natural springs that dot Eureka Springs. Visit the impeccably manicured springs by car or on foot.
If you are looking for things to do that will inspire you then Northwest Arkansas may be just the place to visit. If you are not familiar with the state you may think that you have to go to Little Rock, Arkansas to find cultural attractions but that is not true. In fact there are many tourist places in Arkansas that encourage tourists to discover unique ways of life through interesting and engaging cultural activities. Cultural activities keep American heritage alive. Consider participating in one of these five cultural activities with roots in Ozark living:
1. Foreign Interests
Carnegie Library in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Who thought you could travel the world from a small town. In the quirky little town of Eureka Springs, they enjoy experiencing different cultures through foreign film. From Jordan to Demark to France and beyond, foreign films touch on subjects that are important to all people, regardless of where we call home. Don’t speak Dutch? Don’t worry, the films are subtitled. You might be surprised how much you will understand just paying attention to body language. Sometimes, words get in the way. Films are screened in the Eureka Springs Carnegie Library. The library is a beautiful building located in the heart of a quaint little mountain town. Nestled next to the Crescent Spring, one of the many natural springs this town was named for, the library sits at the original entry to the famous Crescent Hotel which sits high on the mountain overlooking the town.
Speaking of films, the 1929 Lyric Theater in Harrison was built to screen the “talkies.” Find the Lyric Theater on the Arkansas Art Trail.
2. Music Traditions
Northwest Arkansas is a mountainous region with a strong music tradition. Today, music is still an important part of everyday life. From classical to old-time music, intimate gatherings enjoy each other as they play acoustic instruments to sonatas, ballads, and folk songs. The Cello Choir is a group of cellists who meet every Saturday at 11am in the beautiful Gavioli Chapel on the historic loop in Eureka Springs. Under diffused light streaming through stained glass, nine or so cellos played by people of all ages play four or more parts. People stroll in and out to listen just a few minutes or the entire hour.
Just outside of Eureka Springs, a hootenanny meets on the historic Berryville town square. A hootenanny, also called a wingding, is an informal group of folks of all ages playing banjos, guitars, fiddles and what have you. Mostly folk music, the hootenanny meets every Friday 7-9pm at the old Grand View Hotel.
The world’s newest art museum just opened in Northwest Arkansas. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art houses an amazing collection of American art ranging from the colonial period through today. With a focus on education, Crystal Bridges offers guests a chance to Draw in the Galleries. Study elements of art while looking at masterworks. Class subjects include Landscape, Portraiture, and Figure Drawing. They are offered every month and registration is required.
Basketmaking or basket weaving is an ancient craft. The Cherokee people of native America have long been respected for their basketmaking skills and best known for their complex “double weave” baskets. Often made from white oak, baskets were valuable articles of commerce throughout history. Today, their value ranges from utilitarian to works of art. Learn to make your own authentic Cherokee “double weave” basket at Fire Om Earth studios and become a link in the chain that keeps American heritage alive.
Stewardship and environmentally conscious thinking is part of today’s culture. Recycling is essential to reducing physical and financial waste and preserves the beautiful natural resources of the Ozark Mountains for future generations. In that spirit, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art teaches art using recycled materials. Bring Your Own Art and make a collage using found objects.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is attracting a lot of national attention and is expected to draw large groups of art enthusiasts to its official opening. Welcoming all “to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of landscape,” Crystal Bridges opens November 11, 2011. With that on the horizon, the Arkansas Art Trail has been launched to help these enthusiasts discover other culturally significant sites and inspirational natural settings. Simply put, the Arkansas Art Trail maps places in the Natural State where nature inspires art.
Inspired by the well known Hudson Valley Art Trail in New York, the Arkansas Art Trail features breathtaking vistas, mountain views, nationally significant sites, and natural settings. These points of visual interest are complimented by architectural features and made meaningful by local heritage and cultural sites. The Arkansas Art Trail includes ten stops that include destinations like Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and historic cowntown Eureka Springs but it also guides trail followers to lesser known but nationally significant points of interest like Boxley Valley and Inspiration Point.
ArkansasArtTrail.com provides resources to guide visitors on their actual or virtual journey along the Trail. Trail travelers are encouraged to do three simple things: wear comfortable shoes, open their eyes widely, and prepare to be inspired. Realistically, viewing the Arkansas Art Trail in its entirety can take three to seven days depending upon how long visitors choose to linger at each site or how many side trips are taken. The Trail has been organized into three legs that take an average of one day to complete. Side trips noted include additional inspirational sites with pictorial samples highlighting each leg of the trail.