Eureka Springs, AR has attracted artists, adventurers, illusionists and entrepreneurs, who, together, shaped this picturesque spot in Arkansas. You will discover unique buildings designed to house tropical plants, chapels presenting mystery shows, and pivoting stones larger than men. Here, you can travel in a historic tram while learning about the city's history and architecture, or have dinner aboard a romantic train. You can also enjoy a selection of healing springs located all over this AR town and throughout its surroundings.
© Quigley's Castle
Quigley's Castle is a magical place, a product of the vivid imagination of one very special lady. Located just south of Eureka Springs, the historic house was designed by Elise Quigley and built by her husband and their neighbor using the lumber from their property. On the outside, the house is covered with stones and rocks she collected during the trips she has taken since childhood.
Unusual for its time, the house has huge windows, and tropical plants are growing from the soil that is left inside of the house. The plants stretch two stories high and are still thriving just as they were during Elise's time. Elise planted a lush garden outside of the house that she continued to work on throughout her whole life. The fascinating house is today a museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nobody passing by can resist stopping in to have a look, and the family is now charging admission.
274 Quigley Castle Rd, Eureka Springs, AR 72632-9144, Phone: 479 253-8311
2.Blue Spring Heritage Center
© Blue Spring Heritage Center
Only five miles from Eureka Springs, Arkansas, you will find The Blue Spring Heritage Center, a 33-acre garden with lush woodlands, sprawling meadows, and rolling hillsides covered with native plants and a range of hardwood trees. A beautiful lagoon fed by the nearby Blue Spring is filled with trout, and it is a serene place to sit by and relax.
The garden is also a historic site that was inhabited during the Mississippian and Early Archaic periods. Several Native American peoples lived in the area for thousands of years, and there are artifacts that have been excavated at the Blue Spring Shelter that attest to that. Blue Spring Heritage Center has been popular among tourists since the late 40's and is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
1537 County Road 210, Eureka Springs, AR 72632-9418, Phone: 479-253-9244
3.Eureka Springs Historic District Tram Tours
© Eureka Springs Historic District Tram Tours
There is no more entertaining way of exploring Eureka Springs historic downtown than on board one of the colorful trams that bring to life old trams that were roaming the streets of Eureka Springs since 1891. Knowledgeable local guides narrate the tram tours, and they will share with you the love for their city, bringing to life its history, culture, and architecture. The tours start at the Visitors Center on West Van Buren Street just west of the stately Queen Anne Mansion and take about an hour and half. The tram makes two stops.
The first stop will allow you 15 minutes to explore the majestic 1886 Crescent Hotel and to enjoy spectacular views of the city from its 4th floor observation terrace. A stroll through the hotel gardens is also worth spending a few minutes. The second stop is at Grotto Spring, one of about 63 springs in the city, and there are more than 1,200 springs within a seven mile radius of the city limits. During the trip, you will pass by hundreds of beautiful old homes and historic structures that tell the story of the city's past.
137 W van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632-3650, Phone: 479-253-9572
4.Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway
© Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway
The Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway is a private tourist railway that was established in 1981 in Eureka Springs. It follows the route and brings to life the historic 1882 Eureka Springs Railway. The train offers four and half-mile narrated excursion rides that take passengers on a trip of about one hour to the "Junction" Arkansas and back.
Passengers can also enjoy gourmet lunch or dinner in a beautifully decorated Eurekan Dining Car. The four and half mile-trip takes about one hour, just enough time for you to enjoy your meal. An authentic 1940-era diesel locomotive pulls the train.
299 N Main St, Post Office Box 310, Eureka Springs, AR 72632-3144, Phone: 479-253-9623
5.Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
© Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a 459-acre sanctuary in Eureka Springs for abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats, mostly tigers. The Jackson family started with two of their own lions in 1978 but soon acquired a large number of animals from illegal trade that were living in horrendous conditions. At the time, there were very few sanctuaries of the kind, and the number of people who owned exotic pets that grew to be unmanageable grew rapidly.
Today, they offer lifetime sanctuary for those animals that cannot be rehabilitated and returned to the wild. Their spacious ranch offers spacious natural habitats for the large exotic animals that now number 130, among them lions, cougars, black bears, bobcats, tigers, a monkey, a coatinumdi, a grizzly bear, and a serval. The refuge is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and depends on donations for its funding.
239 Turpentine Creek Ln, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-5841
6.Eureka Springs Historical Museum
© Eureka Springs Historical Museum
The Eureka Springs Historical Museum is located in the historic 1889 Calif Building in the city's Historic District. Its mission is to collect, preserve, document, and exhibit objects, mostly photographs and art, about the cultural history of Eureka Springs. The first floor of the museum houses permanent collections such as Our Native American History, Fires-The Big Ones!, Eureka Springs, The City That Water Built, and Travel and Tourism.
The temporary exhibit The Original Ozark Folk Festival is also on this floor. The second floor gallery contains exhibits such as Crescent College, Schools, and Medicine, and an Art Gallery that exhibits artwork of artists that contributed to bringing the artist boom to Eureka Springs.
95 S Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-9417
7.Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
© Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour
The Crescent Hotel is a historic hotel on Prospect Avenue in Eureka Springs, Arkansas with a reputation as one of America's most haunted buildings. Hotel guests can enjoy a Ghost Tour for a small fee, or they can just wait for a ghost to appear in their rooms. Built in 1886 as a luxury resort for the rich and famous who came to Eureka Springs for its healing waters, the hotel had a turbulent history and changed owners and its purpose many times. The hotel is said to be haunted by at least eight ghosts.
Among them, you might find a young woman who is said to have jumped from the roof, a nurse who worked in the hotel while it was a hospital, the ghost of Dr. John Freemont Ellis, Theadora (a cancer victim), and others. The hotel was part of the TV show Ghost Hunters, presenting the ghost of a man wearing a hat and nodding his head. The guests of the hotel are known to roam the corridors, which is nice to know if you're trying to capture an image of ghosts with your camera.
75 Prospect Ave, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-9766
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8.Things to Do in Eureka Springs: Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge
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Pivot Rock, one of several unusual natural rock formations at Pivot Rock Park, is located on Pivot Rock Road on the outskirts of Eureka Springs. The park became a favorite tourist attraction more than 100 years ago and has nice paved pathways that wind between the strangely shaped rock formations and the serene, lush natural scenery of the Ozark Mountains. The best description of Pivot Rock comes from an Arkansas writer in 1935, who described it as "a top balanced on its pointed end."
The rock is about twice the average height of a person. Besides Pivot Rock, the park has a few more interesting features such as a charming little natural stone bridge, ravines, steep bluffs, and small caves. The legend says that the park and the caves were used by Jesse James and his gang as a hideout.
1708 Pivot Rock Rd, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
9.Intrigue Theater, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
© Intrigue Theater
Unique to Eureka Springs and famous for its ghost appearances, Intrigue Theater is the creation of illusionist Sean-Paul and his wife, Juliana Fay, who appears as a medium. The couple run their show out of the historic Gavioli Chapel in Eureka Springs' historic district. It was built in 1901 as a church but now serves as a private building used for weddings and other events, including the performances of Intrigue Theater.
The couple started their most famous show on Halloween in 2012 in the mysterious Crescent Hotel's Crystal Ballroom, already famous for its ghost tours and spirit appearances. The rest of the year the couple takes their performances to other mysterious, haunted venues in the region. The mysteries of Golden Age of Magic inspire these illustionists, and they appear dressed in Victorian costumes while performing tricks such as Ghost Talking and Voodoo to Walking through Brick Walls.
80 Mountain St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632-3315, Phone: 855-446-8744
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Located just a few miles from the historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas and known as Eureka Springs West, Beaver Lake is a jewel high up in the Ozark Mountains and a source of the beautiful White River. With 487 miles of scenic shoreline and 31,700 acres of spectacular nature, Beaver Lake area is perfect both for those seeking solitude or looking for recreational opportunities.
It's one of the clearest lakes in the country, and because of high visibility, it is particularly popular among scuba divers. You can also enjoy canoeing White River, visiting Thorncrown Chapel, and hiking around Lake Leatherwood. Huge limestone bluffs, deep mysterious caves, and many natural springs will delight photographers and nature lovers alike.
4022 Mundell Rd, Eureka Springs, AR 72631-8911
11.What to Do in Eureka Springs: Ozark Mountain Ziplines
© Ozark Mountain Ziplines
Ozark Mountain Ziplines operates canopy tours in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Catering to individuals, families, scout groups, and more, the company uses professionally trained guides and high-quality gear to help every visitor have a safe and fun experience. The company has roots in Costa Rica, which is widely considered to be one of the best areas for canopy tours worldwide.
The canopy tour in the Ozark Mountains includes 10 ziplines, suspended tree platforms, a couple of short hikes, and a sky bridge. The tours run regardless of the weather. Up to 10 people are permitted to participate in group tours.
208 W Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-363-6699
12.Lake Leatherwood, Eureka Springs, AR
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Lake Leatherwood City Park, also known as LLP, is located on the north side of Eureka Springs. The 1,600-acre park frames Lake Leatherwood, a 100-acre body of water. The lake, which is fed by Lake Leatherwood Dam, is open for fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking.
LLP is also a prime spot for hiking, running, biking, picnicking, birding, and all kinds of team sports. The government-directed Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built several structures inside the park in the 1930s. As a result, all of Lake Leatherwood City Park is recognized as a historic district.
1303 County Road 204, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
13.Things to Do in Eureka Springs: Onyx Cave Park
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The centerpiece of Onyx Cave Park is Onyx Cave, a well-preserved grotto that features an array of stalactites and stalagmites. Guests can see the cave during a 30-minute self-guided tour. The cave is accessible throughout the year, although visiting hours vary depending on the season.
Guests of all ages can easily enter the cave since there are steps, ramps, and a smooth trail at the site. After touring the cave, visitors can check out the gift shop to see all sorts of onyx souvenirs. Admission to the cave is $7.50 for adults, $3.50 for kids over the age of three, and free for kids under three.
338 Onyx Cave Lane, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-9321
14.Quicksilver Gallery, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
© Quicksilver Gallery
Opened in 1991, the Quicksilver Gallery displays all kinds of arts and crafts from more than 120 local, regional, and national artists. Pieces in the gallery are made in different mediums, including wood, metal, ceramics, jewelry, glass, and more.
There are also paintings, photographs, and other types of two-dimensional art pieces. One of the most unique aspects of the gallery is its hands-on musical instrument exhibit, which includes gongs, chimes, and singing bowls. Quicksilver Gallery, open seven days a week, is a member of the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce as well as the Eureka Springs Gallery Association.
73 Spring Street, Eureka Springs, AR, Phone: 479-253-7679
15.Keels Creek Winery
© Keels Creek Winery
Keels Creek Winery sits about three miles outside of Eureka Springs. The winery began with an eight-acre vineyard that the owners planted in 2004. The vineyard now contains four types of white grapes and three types of red grapes. With help from Dr. Douglas Hausler, a retired analytical chemist, Keels Creek Winery improved its production rates and boosted the quality of its homegrown grapes.
As a boutique winery, Keels Creek only makes wines with locally grown products. In addition to the vineyard, the winery features a Spanish-style building that houses Keels Creek Art Gallery. Guests can come enjoy fine wine while viewing work from local artists.
3185 E Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR, Phone: 479-253-9463
16.Bear Mountain Riding Stable & Dude Ranch
© Bear Mountain Riding Stable
Bear Mountain Riding Stable is currently home to twelve happy horses. The stable offers hour-long trail rides along a beautiful, tree-lined lane in the Ozark Mountains. The rides are suitable for people of all ages and all skill levels. The stable also has space for weddings, birthday parties, and other types of special events.
A window in the indoor event center allows the horses to pop their heads in the room to say hello to the guests. The indoor event center can accommodate up to 150 visitors. At the adjacent dude ranch, guests can rent rooms in luxurious wood cabins. The guest quarters include large porches, a full kitchen, an entertainment center and a large Jacuzzi.
15290 Highway 62 West, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-6990
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17.Inspiration Point Fine Arts
© Inspiration Point Fine Arts
Inspiration Point Fine Arts (IPFA) refers to the Ozark region's premiere opera company. The organization got its start in 1950 as a summer music camp for young people. It eventually evolved into a top institution for students of voice, instrumental music, and other art forms. The opera company holds unique and exciting performances throughout the year.
Outside of performances, Inspiration Point Fine Arts puts on master classes, holds auditions, runs an orchestra, and organizes special events and trainings. IPFA also offers camps for youth in piano, voice, and string performance.
16311 Highway 62 West, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-8595
18.Adventure Mountain Outfitters
© Adventure Mountain Outfitters
Adventure Mountain Outfitters is a popular store for bicyclists in the Ozark Mountains Region. Established in 2008, the store is owned by Denton West, an experienced bicyclist and bicycle mechanic. Adventure Mountain Outfitters offers all types of bicycle equipment, sport clothing, and custom bike fixes and builds, and they provide bicycle repairs and guide and shuttle services.
The store also has other types of outdoor equipment available for rent, such as kayaks and canoes. Lastly, visitors can stop by the shop for information about bike trail conditions and tourist attractions in the area.
151 Spring Street, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-0900
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19.Eureka Springs Attractions: Thorncrown Chapel
© Thorncrown Chapel
Thorncrown Chapel is a 48-foot-tall worship center near the Ozark Mountains. The unique chapel has drawn more than six million visitors since it opened in 1980. It features 425 windows, 6,000 square feet of glass, and 100 tons of native stone and colored flagstone.
Designed by accomplished architect E. Fay Jones, Thorncrown Chapel's majestic appearance has earned it multiple awards, including the Architects' Design of the Year Award for 1981 and the American Institute of Architects' 25-Year Award. The chapel is open to the public free of charge. It is also available to use for weddings and other special ceremonies.
12968 Highway 62 West, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-253-7401
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20.Christ of the Ozarks
© Courtesy of michael langley - Fotolia.com
Christ of the Ozarks is an iconic statue of Jesus Christ that stands 1500 feet above Eureka Springs. The intricately carved statue was built entirely by hand. The artist poured 24 layers of white mortar over a steel frame to complete the 67-foot-tall piece of art.
The foundation of the statue consists of 340 tons of concrete supported by steel. Christ of the Ozarks is one of the main attractions that visitors enjoy seeing during the Great Passion Play, an annual performance that depicts the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead, Christ's entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. Thousands of visitors attend the play each year.
935 Passion Play Road, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
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21.Eureka Springs Historical Downtown
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Downtown Eureka Springs has interesting shops and fun attractions for visitors of all ages. The main shopping area contains more than 50 stores that sell various types of merchandise. Kids love stopping by the Meteorite Store, KaleidoKites, and Two Dumb Dames Fudge Shop. Adult visitors will find scores of art galleries tucked among the boutiques.
For dining, visitors can opt for a high-end gourmet experience or grab a meal in a family-friendly eatery. The nightlife scene in Eureka Springs is lively, with more than 20 bars, dance clubs, and live music venues scattered throughout the downtown area. Lastly, there are plenty of lodging options for out-of-town visitors who want to be close to all the action.
22.Basin Spring Park, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
© Basin Spring Park
Local lore names Basin Spring Park as the site of an ancient healing spring. Native Americans, early settlers, and Eureka Springs locals used the spring for more than 100 years. The first visitors came in 1879, and in 1890 the local government adorned the area around the spring with limestone walls, fountains, and walking paths.
The park was renovated again in 1920. Now visitors can relax near the spring while listening to live music and taking in the beautiful surroundings. Basin Spring Park is located close to popular shops and restaurants in downtown Eureka Springs.
12 Spring Street, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
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23.Funnel Cake Factory, Eureka Springs, AR
© Funnel Cake Factory/Facebook
The Eureka Springs Funnel Cake Factory is a cafe that serves all sorts of tasty treats and savory meals. Some of its staple dishes include stuffed corndogs, deep fried s'mores, deep fried pretzels, classic soft-serve ice cream, and funnel cakes topped with all types of delicious fruits and sauces.
The Eureka Springs Funnel Cake Factory is located along Main Street in the heart of the city. The Funnel Cake Factory is open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM throughout the week.
27 S Main Street, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
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24.Eureka Springs Attractions: Pine Mountain Village
© Pine Mountain Village
The Village at Pine Mountain is a popular shopping, dining, and entertainment venue for people of all ages. The village contains several unique attractions, including a large souvenir shop, a cozy bookstore, and an authentic leather shop that sells everything from handbags to business card holders.
At The Fresh Harvest Tasting Room, visitors can taste rare delicacies like infused olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Black Jack Adventure and Eureka Van Tour, two local tour providers, also have offices at Pine Mountain Village. Aside from shopping and dining, the village routinely hosts shows, festivals, and other events.
2075 E Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
25 Best Things to Do in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
- Quigley's Castle, Photo: Quigley's Castle
- Blue Spring Heritage Center, Photo: Blue Spring Heritage Center
- Eureka Springs Historic District Tram Tours, Photo: Eureka Springs Historic District Tram Tours
- Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway, Photo: Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway
- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Photo: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
- Eureka Springs Historical Museum, Photo: Eureka Springs Historical Museum
- Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Photo: Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour
- Things to Do in Eureka Springs: Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge, Photo: Courtesy of george burba - Fotolia.com
- Intrigue Theater, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Photo: Intrigue Theater
- Beaver Lake, Photo: Courtesy of Alexandre - Fotolia.com
- What to Do in Eureka Springs: Ozark Mountain Ziplines, Photo: Ozark Mountain Ziplines
- Lake Leatherwood, Eureka Springs, AR, Photo: Courtesy of Foto Request - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Eureka Springs: Onyx Cave Park, Photo: Courtesy of ojoel - Fotolia.com
- Quicksilver Gallery, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Photo: Quicksilver Gallery
- Keels Creek Winery, Photo: Keels Creek Winery
- Bear Mountain Riding Stable & Dude Ranch, Photo: Bear Mountain Riding Stable
- Inspiration Point Fine Arts, Photo: Inspiration Point Fine Arts
- Adventure Mountain Outfitters, Photo: Adventure Mountain Outfitters
- Eureka Springs Attractions: Thorncrown Chapel, Photo: Thorncrown Chapel
- Christ of the Ozarks, Photo: Courtesy of michael langley - Fotolia.com
- Eureka Springs Historical Downtown, Photo: Courtesy of bonniemarie - Fotolia.com
- Basin Spring Park, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Photo: Basin Spring Park
- Funnel Cake Factory, Eureka Springs, AR, Photo: Funnel Cake Factory/Facebook
- Eureka Springs Attractions: Pine Mountain Village, Photo: Pine Mountain Village
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of bonniemarie - Fotolia.com