Things to do on a trip to Arkansas

Wondering what people do in Arkansas for fun?

Arkansas is one of the nicest places you can in the south of the US for a family vacation, or romantic weekend getaway, though it is surprisingly under the radar of many people traveling to the south. You can enjoy everything from camping and touring civil war sites to antique shopping and rodeo shows...Arkansas is a "diamond in the rough" waiting to be discovered by you!

Spend a day at a farm

Agritourism is a big thing in Arkansas and visiting a farm for a fun day out is one of the best things to do on a trip to Arkansas. At a farm you’ll be able to do cool things such as shopping for fruit and veg, get lost in a corn maze, picnicking, petting animals, and even enjoying hayrides on a tractor.

Arkansas is home to hundreds of farms all across the state so you won’t have a problem finding one. Some of these include: Parks Brothers Farm (Van Buren), Mountain Home Berry Farm (Mountain Home), McGarrah Farms (PeaRidge), Suzanne's Fruit Farm (Hampton), and Arkansas Frontier (Quitman).

Experience the arts and crafts culture

A trip to Arkansas would not be complete without passing by one of the smaller towns in Arkansas to explore the arts and crafts culture. Places such as Ozark Folk Center (Mountain View), Blue Spring Heritage Center (Ozark), and the Ozark Heritage Arts Center (Leslie) are good places to see art, as well as cool artifacts such as rare antiques, period clothing, civil war rifles, etc.

Shopping for arts and crafts in Arkansas is definitely popular, and the flea-markets in Hardy, Tontitown and Alpena are excellent places to hunt for antique bargains and shop for handmade handicrafts. Saying this, if you want to enjoy the best shopping opportunities, be sure your visit to Arkansas coincides with one of Arkansas' annual craft fairs. Craft fairs are a good time to see the locals show-off their craftsmanship skills and buy original goods.

There are many arts and crafts fairs in Arkansas held between spring and fall, though some of the top craft fairs in Arkansas are the War Eagle Mill Spring Craft Fair in Rogers (May 4-6), the Calico Rock Artisans Demonstration in Calico Rock (June 16), the Spring Antique Show in Eureka Springs, and the CraftsFest in Mountain Home (June 15-16).

Visit a haunted house

If you’re planning to visit during the Halloween season, one of the coolest things to do on a trip to Arkansas is to visit a haunted place.

Some of the most popular haunted places to go in Arkansas are the torture chamber in Benton, the haunted cathedral in Little Rock, the haunted hayride in Little Rock, Basin Park Hotel (Eureka Springs), Allen House (Monticello), and King Opera House (Van Buren).

Dig for diamonds

Crater of Diamonds State Park is without a doubt, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Arkansas and a cool place to go for a fun day out with the family.

Diamond digging is the most popular thing to do at Crater of Diamonds, though you can also do other cool stuff at the park such as camping, wildlife watching, fishing, hiking, ranger-led walks, and other hands-on activities provided by the visitors center.

Attend a rodeo show

Anyone will tell you that a rodeo experience is second to none and attending a rodeo event is one of the “must do” in Arkansas. One of the best times to experience a rodeo show is during one of Arkansas’ annual rodeo events such as the Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale (July4-7), the Central Arkansas PRCA Rodeo in Conway (June3-4), and the Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith (May28-June2).

If you’re traveling in the fall, you can catch rodeo and livestock shows at the Arkansas State Fair (Little Rock) in mid October.

Watch the races

Betting on horses is a popular recreational activity in Arkansas so horse racing betting is something else you can do for fun while on vacation in Arkansas. Oaklawn Park (Horse Springs) and Southland Park are two popular racetracks where you can watch live greyhound and horse racing.

Mind you, you don’t necessarily have to do any betting at the racetracks…just soaking in the jolly atmosphere of the cheering crowd while watching the thoroughbreds is simply amazing!

Take a scenic cruise

If you’re planning to do a lot of leisure activities in Arkansas, one of the most relaxing things you can do in Arkansas is hopping aboard a paddle wheeler for a river cruise or riverboat tour.

The Arkansas River runs across the heart of Arkansas and jumping on a cruise is a fantastic way to explore the state from the comfort of a boat. The Arkansas Queen paddle-wheeler cruises the Arkansas River and offers sightseeing cruises for about $15 per person.

You can also river cruises on Beaver Lake and Lake Hamilton with both Beaver Lake Cruises and Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat. If you prefer to hire a boat, head to Greers Ferry Lake…the lake has a few boat rental marinas where you’ll be able to hire ski boats, pontoons, and houseboats.

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