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.
Northwest Arkansas is home to some of the greatest motorcycle rides in Arkansas and the nation. From the Pig Trail to Eureka Springs, Arkansas’ roads wind through the mountains and race wild rivers. See eagle, elk and more as you enjoy breathtaking scenery. With so many things to do along the way, you are sure to return for more unforgettable rides. EurekaSpringsMotorcycleRides.com just launched a new website and included the Arkansas Art Trail. Designed with motorcycle enthusiasts in mind, the routes work just as well for any mode of transportation so pack your bags and hit the road for fun and inspiration this fall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the incredible photographic possibilities of the iphone, ipad with this workshop. Edward C. Robison III takes you on a tour of Autumn in the Ozarks and shows you how to create and edit beautiful photos using apps for the iphone, ipad and ipod touch.
Robison has photographed landscapes throughout the United States and currently resides in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Robison’s photographs have been featured in the Sierra Club’s Calendar and can also be seen on the Arkansas Art Trail.
Edward sits at the table overlooking the Crescent garden in Eureka Springs. With a contemplative smile he begins his story. “We had to helicopter into a remote part of the canyon and repel down,” he says calmly.
Inspiration point in the autumn captured by Eureka Springs photographer, Edward C. Robison III.
Edward C. Robison III is an accomplished landscape photographer. His connection to nature and his recognition of what is sacred are profound in his photographs. It is what draws people to his work.
It was an internship with renowned landscape photographer Michael Fatali that led Edward to a remote slot canyon in Utah. Having helicoptered in, Edward found himself in an isolated place where few people ever have the chance or courage to travel to; it changed him. Surrounded by natural beauty and mentored by Fatali, Edward found his purpose. Fatali openly acknowledges that he photographs, “places of mystery” where he feels, “at peace with the power of the Earth’s spirit.” Fatali believes his photographs are reflections of the “light and power” of nature. His influence on Edward’s work is unmistakable. Edward’s richly layered yet masterfully simple photographs are meditative moments. They allow the viewer to intimately connect with a sacred space in nature that they may have never witnessed on their own.
Edward brings a love of the landscape to his work. Growing up in the great outdoors, he attributes his passion for nature to time spent exploring with his father. His acute perception to the natural processes surrounding him inspired his creativity early. He began capturing nature’s moments with paint on canvas. As a young adult he followed his passion with formal art studies. Edward studied at the Kansas City Institute of Art, an institutional leader in visual arts education. “The Kansas City Institute stressed the importance of substance in art,” Edward says. “It is where I learned just how important it is to incorporate a strong spiritual element in my work.”
More than just the likenesses of a place under beautiful light, Edward’s photographs are like the quite hum of bees in a field or a softly stirring breeze through woodland trees. They nudge the viewer to joie de vivre, an exuberant enjoyment of life. With what he describes as a “sensitivity and energetic connection with nature,” he finds and captures the beauty of nature in less suspecting places. “I think I see things differently,” Edward confesses. “My appreciation of nature allows me to find the sacred in my own backyard. I try to show others what I have discovered through my work.”
Hawksbill Crag in the Buffalo River National Park captured by Edward C. Robison III.
Although Edward has photographed Yellowstone and other high profile sites, he is perhaps most recognized for his photographs of less famous (less traveled) places in the central United States and most recently in Arkansas. The ethereal qualities of Edward’s photographs have naturally placed them in the internationally acclaimed Sierra Club Desk Calendar 4 years in a row and although he could call anywhere home, Edward C. Robison and his family still live in Eureka Springs where he continues to find beauty in his backyard. His work is featured on the Arkansas Art Trail. His book, Postcards from Eureka, he records the beauty of the quirkly little Ozark Mountain town, Eureka Springs. His gallery, Sacred Earth, is located just west of Eureka Springs on the Arkansas Art Trail and catalogs his progress and travels. His work can be viewed and prints can be obtained from the Sacred Earth Gallery website.
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.