Although the city might be best known as the home of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, it’s more than just a simple college town. It’s also the home of the Arkansas Air and Military Museum, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Civil War historic sites and a whole host of beloved restaurants. If you’re in the mood for traditional American fare, try Hugo’s, 25 N. Block Ave.
Calling all yogis. The Fayetteville Yoga Fest is May 3-5. More than 60 yoga classes are planned, along with activities like meditation, group hikes, music, art, food and shopping. It’s all centered at Mount Sequoyah, 150 N. Skyline Drive.
Craft beer is booming in Fayetteville, too. Pick up a Fayetteville Ale Trail passport at the visitors’ center, 21 S. Block Ave., or at any of its 15 stops.
Eureka Springs is only an hour northeast from Fayetteville but provides a whole different experience. This little town is nestled in the Ozark Mountains and has earned its nickname, “Stairstep Town.” The Victorian architecture of the historic downtown district is a trip back in time; there’s also plenty to do.
Eureka Springs has several vintage hotels and a great many bed-and-breakfast options. It’s easy to enjoy the wealth of gift shops, candy stores and restaurants in the walkable downtown area. For my money, the Mud Street Café, 22 G S. Main St., serves the best breakfast — and the basement atmosphere can’t be beat.
If you do feel like hopping in the car for a little bit of sightseeing, there are several nearby sites that merit closer inspection.
The Crescent Hotel, 79 Prospect Ave., bills itself as “America’s most haunted hotel” and offers ghost tours to that effect.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, 239 Turpentine Creek Lane, is open year-round and provides a home for dozens of big cat rescues.
Thorncrown Chapel, 12968 Highway 62, is an architecturally stunning house of worship built from materials native to northwest Arkansas. When you are standing inside the sanctuary, the glass walls and cross-timber roof give the feeling that you’re still outside in the forest.
Seven miles north of Eureka Springs you’ll find the town of Beaver along the White River. You’ll also find a historic one-lane bridge into town, which is the only suspension bridge open to traffic in the state.
Opera in the Ozarks, 16311 Highway 62, enters its 69th year this summer. What started as a simple program for a summer music camp has grown into a beloved fine arts institution that has prepared performers for stages around the world. Their operas are staged at Inspiration Point, a few miles west of Eureka Springs. The natural splendor of the location provides a unique backdrop that lives up to the state’s nickname. The company’s performances in June and July include “La Boheme,” “The Abduction from the Seraglio” and “Little Women.”
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, 239 Turpentine Creek Lane, is open year-round and provides a home for dozens of big cat rescues. // Courtesy Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism