Eureka Springs, Arkansas
courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
interested in a romantic getaway, a celebration of Ozark arts
and culture, shopping in distinctive boutiques and craft shops,
or the chance to enjoy great hiking, biking, and all water
sports, you’re guaranteed a great escape to Eureka Springs, a
Victorian village located in the northwest corner of Arkansas.
Eureka Springs is about 50 miles northeast of the
Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA); thanks to Wal-Mart,
headquartered in nearby Bentonville, service is good, reasonably
priced, and frequent. It’s about 53 miles southwest of Branson,
MO; combine these two destinations for an appealing getaway.
You’ll need a car to get to Eureka Springs, but parking is
limited in season. Leave your car at your B&B, then either
stroll or take advantage of the
system, with stops at almost every B&B; unlimited travel
costs about $4 daily, plus $1 extra for a narrated tour.
When to Go
With an elevation of 1,200 feet, Eureka Springs enjoys four
distinct but mild seasons, neither too cold in winter nor too
hot in summer. Best of all are the flowers in spring and the
colorful fall foliage. As always, midweek visits are the best
for avoiding crowds and congestion.
Passion Play, depicting Christ’s last days on earth, His
death and resurrection, has attracted crowds for the past 35
years; the seven-story Christ of the Ozarks statue on its
grounds is visible for miles around.
Chapel is an architectural masterpiece, with 425 windows and
over 6,000 square feet of glass.
Nature: An old Ozark folk saying explains that, "It's not
that the mountains are so high, it's just that the valleys are
so deep." This deeply eroded limestone plateau has created a
recreational wonderland of caves, rivers, lakes, and forested
trails, perfect for caving, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and
hiking. About 10 miles west of Eureka Springs is
Beaver Lake, a 28,000-acre lake, created by the Army Corps
of Engineers in the 1960s, offering all water sports and
extensive hiking trails.
If you’d like to experience fauna along with the flora, take
time to visit
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and Foundation, a refuge
for abandoned, abused and neglected “big cats,” especially
tigers, lions, leopards and cougars. You can even
stay overnight at one of their cabins.
For more information on shopping, crafts, festivals, nightlife,
and much more, visit the
Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Restaurants: Check with your innkeeper for local
favorites, but we especially enjoyed
Cabin, about three miles north of town on Highway 23. A log
cabin built in 1864, Gaskin’s is famous for steaks (with
vegetarian alternatives), great atmosphere, and affordable
prices on their specials. In town,
Café Soleil features international and contemporary American
cuisine with creative vegetarian offerings; we enjoyed lunch so
much that we returned to dinner. Another long-time favorite is
Italian Home Cooking, located in a restored Victorian house.
Eureka Springs climbs up and down countless ravines, making for
shady glens and scenic vistas, as well as plenty of steep
staircases and limited parking. If you have difficulties with
stairs and/or walking, be sure to let the innkeeper know when
making reservations. In general, B&B rates are an excellent
value; most guest rooms have whirlpool tubs, and many have
fireplaces, plus refrigerators stocked with soda and bottled
water; light snacks and free wireless Internet, all included in
the price. Although few (if any) innkeepers are native to the
city, they love their adopted home town and are delighted to
recommend its many features, from great restaurants to
intriguing shops and galleries, to a plethora of area outdoor
activities. Limited time did not permit us to visit to all the
city’s lovely B&Bs;
click here for a complete list.
Richard and Jan Grinnell are the gracious hosts and hard-working
5 Ojo Inn.
One of the top values in Eureka is the Honeymoon Hideaway, newly
redone in blue, white, and yellow – crisp, sunny, and inviting,
with a queen-size bed, whirlpool tub, and primitive antiques.
Our tasty breakfast included fresh fruit with cream and a
blueberry muffin, followed by spiced pancakes with peppered
Doug and Beverly Breitling welcome you to
Arsenic & Old Lace, a
Victorian-style home built as a B&B. Furnishings combine period
charm with whirlpool tubs and oversize multi-headed showers. We
enjoyed an amazing breakfast of baked bananas with granola, ham
strata, home fries, just-baked pastry, and melon, watching a
wonderful variety of birds breakfasting at the garden feeders.
The Treetop Suite has a king-size bed and wonderful light
streaming in from the turreted ceiling.
The 1884 Bridgeford House has an ideal location on Spring
Street, in a beautiful residential area, yet an easy walk to
appealing shops. We liked the Mary Bridgeford and the Georgianna
Beaver Lake Cottages & Suites about
10 miles from
town, with luxurious, private lodgings overlooking the lake,
including Jacuzzis for two, glass and marble showers,
fireplaces, and king beds; the cabins include kitchens, decks,
and BBQ grills.
Equally appealing are
Beaver Lakefront Cabins,
with similarly luxurious
accommodations and amenities. Cabins overlook the
lake; additional features include an indoor fishing area and a
64-foot swimming and boating dock.
Just up the hill from Main Street is
Candlestick Cottage, with a
peaceful woodsy setting, close to shops and restaurants. Owners
Denise and Rita are cheerful and welcoming, serving breakfast
year-round on the enclosed treetops porch overlooking a shady
For a secluded setting in the woods, with extremely spacious
guest rooms (all with king-size beds and double whirlpool tubs),
ask for a room close to the deck and gazebo at
Inn Bed and Breakfast; a
full breakfast will be delivered to your door.
On the historic loop, close to downtown shopping is the
the Hills, with three private ground-floor guest rooms, each
with private entrances. Comfortable accommodations, friendly
innkeepers, affordable priced.
One of Eureka’s first B&Bs, the
Heartstone Inn has guest rooms
in the original Victorian house, with additional accommodations
in the added wing and cottage. Owners Rick and Cheri Rojak are
friendly and enthusiastic innkeepers. We especially like the
Victorian Suite and the Country Cottage.
Inn at Rose Hall is a handsome recreation of an 1880s Victorian
mansion, with five suites decorated with period antiques and
stained glass windows. Owner Zoie Kaye pampers her guests with
such breakfast menus as sunrise smoothies, sunshine muffins, and
Mexican eggs. The inn’s romantic atmosphere, makes it perfect for
small weddings and honeymoons.
Set on the Upper Historic Loop, one block from the Crescent
Hotel, Chris & Lisa McCants have done a wonderful job of
renovating the four suites at the
Victoria. Chris, a trained chef, serves amazing breakfasts; you can
enjoy them in your room or in the dining room. Our favorite was
the Clayton Suite, with an intriguing safari accent.
A Colonial Revival home built in 1891,
Red Bud Manor
convenient location in the historic district plus comfortable,
affordably priced guest rooms, and a friendly, welcoming
innkeeper, Deborah Stroup.
House has an ideal location on a quiet lane a flight of steps up
from Main Street. Sophisticated décor from the Painted Lady
exterior to the elegant common areas and guest rooms.
Innkeeper Faryl promises to spoil you with privacy, luxury and
Dating back to 1930s, the
Rock Cottage Gardens offers charming
stone cottages in a garden setting, with an in-town location
that’s quiet yet convenient. Owner Linda Little makes sure her
guests are comfortable, serving full breakfasts is the dining
room of the main house. A small chapel is available for intimate
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