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26 Fabulous Things to do in Eureka Springs

26 Fabulous Things to do in Eureka Springs

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Head to the northwest corner of Arkansas and you will find the charming town of Eureka Springs nestled in the Ozark Mountains. The things to do in Eureka Springs draw visitors from all over the world.

Eureka Springs, AR has been a tourist destination for generations thanks to the mineral rich hot springs that gave the town its name.

While the hot springs still flow in Eureka Springs, that is not the only draw to this small town any longer.

Today, visitors can enjoy numerous outdoor activities, a charming historic downtown area, museums, wildlife preserves, and even underground caves.

Let’s dive into all of the attractions in Eureka Springs that are just waiting for you to explore them!

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    A Quick History On Eureka Springs

    Eureka Springs was founded and named on July 4, 1879. The town was originally a site that existed in the legends of the Native Americans that roamed this land.

    The tribes told of the healing waters in the mountains. It was the waters of Basin Spring that drew visitors from all over to enjoy the healing waters of the mountain town.

    When words of the healing waters continue to spread, people flocked to the area. They built tent cities all over the area to partake in the waters of the hot springs.

    The city then quickly developed and investors took note of the city’s success. They then formed the Eureka Springs Improvement Company in 1882. This improvement company brought the railroad and other amenities to the city to meet the growing population.

    The historic town center and the Crescent Hotel soon followed suit. The city of Eureka Springs was built in two short years, and many of the buildings still exist today.

    This interesting history is what landed the entire town of Eureka Springs on the National Registry of Historic Places.

    Today you can still see this throughout town when you see the Crescent Hotel, the Basin Park Hotel, and the Bath Houses throughout.

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    Historic Downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas

    A great place to start your visit to Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a visit to the historic district in downtown Eureka Springs.

    Lined with buildings boasting gorgeous Victorian Architecture, Spring and Main Street are the perfect streets to get a feel for the historic district.

    Here you will find eclectic boutique shops carry everything from unique housewares to clothing items.

    Be sure to check out Basin Spring Park during your time in downtown.

    Basin Spring Park is located next to the historic Basin Spring Hotel. Basin Spring Park is home to the original spring in Eureka Springs that was used by Native Americans and pioneer settlers.

    If you’re lucky, there will be live music being played in the historic bandshell located in Basin Spring Park during your visit.

    Of course, the downtown Eureka Springs area is also home to some great restaurants, art galleries, and evening entertainment options.

    Marvel At Thorncrown Chapel

    The Thorncrown Chapel is a gorgeous 48-foot tall chapel tucked away in the woods of the Ozark Mountains.

    Thorncrown Chapel is an architecturally unique chapel that has won multiple awards and draws millions of visitors to its doors annually.

    When you visit Thorncrown Chapel, you will immediately see why!

    Thorncrown Chapel features 6,000-square feet of glass, 425 windows, and 100 tons of native stone and flagstone.

    The natural light coming through the windows mesmerizes visitors inside, while the abundance of glass allows you to feel as if the Ozark forest is engulfing you.

    Designed by architect E. Fay Jones, Thorncrown hosts public services on Sundays between April and December. You can also rent the chapel for weddings throughout the year, just book early as this chapel is in high demand!

    You can visit Thorncrown Chapel daily between April and November, and some limited hours in March and December.

    Address: 12968 Highway 62 West, Eureka Springs,AR 72632

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    Visit the Great Passion Play

    The Great Passion Play is a Christian based productions that brings to life the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament accounts of the last seven days of Jesus of Nazareth.

    The Great Passion Play depicts accounts surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection.

    Occurring several times throughout the year, the Great Passion Play can be seen Memorial Day to October.

    The Great Passion Play employs over 150 actors and uses live animals on a multi-level stage to truly immerse the audience in the experience.

    During your time here, be sure to explore Passion Play Rd to see the other attractions that this area has to offer.

    There is a huge monument called the Christ of the Ozarks. The Christ of the Ozarks monument is a larger-than-life statue of Christ on the side of the Ozark Mountains.

    Visitors can also take the Holy Land tour offered on site that includes a replica of the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem and a recreated Marketplace.

    You can also enjoy a Noah’s Ark petting zoo, a museum, and the mountain biking trails on site.

    Address: 935 Passion Play Road, Eureka Springs, AR72632

    See Quigley’s Castle

    If you want to see a unique dwelling during your visit to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, then you definitely want to visit Quigley’s Castle.

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Quigley’s Castle was built as the dream home for Elise Quigley.

    Elise’s love for gardening is apparent when you visit the house. Not only will you see plants and flowers outdoors, but you will also notice that there are full-size trees growing inside the house as well.

    There are also several interesting collections on site for you to view. These include a collection of fossils, arrowheads, and butterflies.

    Visitors are welcome to come and do a self guided tour of the home March through November.

    Address: 274 Quigley Castle Rd, Eureka Springs, AR

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    Make Friends With Big Cats

    One of the unique things to do in Eureka Springs, AR, is to pay a visit to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

    Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a rescue operation for large animals, including big cats.

    In addition to the big cats, which include tigers, leopards, lions, bobcats, and cougars, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge also houses bears.

    The refuge offers guided tours daily and special behind the scenes tours on the weekends. This allows visitors to learn more about the big cats and the rehab efforts of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

    If you are so inclined, you can even stay on the property in one of their treehouses or their adults-only safari lodge.

    Address: 239 Turpentine Creek Lane, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

    Tour Onyx Cave Park

    Head east of Eureka Springs, AR and you will find Onyx Cave Park, a cave opened to visitors to tour.

    Onyx Cave Park has welcomed visitors since 1893 to the small cave on site. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of Onyx cave to see the features of the cave and the wildlife located inside.

    You can try your hand at panning at the Gem Panning station before finding the perfect souvenir in the on site gift shop during your visit to Onyx Cave.

    The address for Onyx Cave is: 338 Onyx Cave Lane, Eureka Springs, AR 72632

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    Visit a Winery

    Date Ideas Dallas-wine tasting

    Wine enthusiasts will be happy to know that you can visit a winery during your time in Eureka Springs.

    Keels Creek Winery is a boutique winery offers visitors the opportunity to try their delicious wines made from locally harvested grapes.

    Here you can do a wine tasting of their red, white, blush, and dessert wines. Their tasting room is the perfect place to find a new wine that you love.

    Surrounded by artwork from local artists, the Keels Creek Winery is a great spot to enjoy some local wine and support local artists.

    Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge

    Pivot Rock Park was naturally produced over 100 years ago.

    This is one of the interesting natural attractions in Eureka Springs where you can see numerous interesting rock formations.

    Walking along the pathways, you can look for two of the park’s most interesting features, Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge.

    Ask the locals and they will tell you that this park was once used as a hideout for outlaw Jesse James!

    Address: 1708 Pivot Rock Road, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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    Visit The Crescent Hotel

    Even if you aren’t staying at the Crescent Hotel, you should still take time to visit this 1886 historic hotel.

    Sitting on the hilltop above the historic district, the Crescent Hotel is one of shining jewels of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

    The Crescent Hotel offers numerous activities for guests and visitors to enjoy. These range from haunted tours to spa treatments.

    There is a great ghost tour that takes place after dark in the hotel that tells you all about the spirits that haunt these historic halls.

    This is definitely one of the attractions in Eureka Springs that you don’t want to miss.

    Address: 75 Prospect Avenue, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

    Learn Local History at the Eureka Springs Historical Museum

    You will find the Eureka Springs Historical Museum in the Eureka Springs historic district inside the historic 1889 Calif Building.

    The museum houses relics from the local community that focuses the cultural history of the city.

    The displays here include collections focusing on the Native American history, the historical fires in the city, travel and tourism, and the hot springs of the city.

    There is also artwork created by local artists on display in the museum.

    Address: 95 S Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632,

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    Ride a Train

    If you want to experience what it was like when the rail service arrived in Eureka Springs in 1883, then pay a visit to the Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway Company.

    The historic rail line allows visitors the chance to hop aboard the historic line daily. The train rides include a sightseeing ride, a lunch ride, and a dinner excursion.

    These seasonal journeys are available April through October.

    While here, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the museum on site as well. In addition to the collection of railroad items on display, you can also visit the gift shop to find the perfect souvenir.

    Please check their website for the most up to date information on operating hours and prices.

    Address: 299 North Main Street, Eureka Springs, AR

    Beaver Lake

    Outdoor enthusiasts will definitely want Beaver Lake to be on their list of things to do in Eureka Springs.

    You will find this lake located a few miles from Eureka Springs in the Ozark Mountains.

    One of the main draws for this lake is the 487 miles of scenic shoreline that the lake offers. This is the perfect area to enjoy a relaxing day on the lake.

    Beaver Lake offers numerous recreational opportunities. Scuba divers love the crystal clear water and photographers will be in heaven with the dramatic limestone cliffs and wildlife found around the lake.

    Of course, the lake is also great for fishing, skiing, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

    This lake is one of the places to visit in Eureka Springs for a great family friendly getaway.

    Address: 4022 Mundell Rd, Eureka Springs, AR 72631-8911

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    Lake Leatherwood City Park

    Another great Ozark lake in to add to your list of things to do in Eureka Springs is Lake Leatherwood city Park .

    Located on the north side of Eureka Springs, Lake Leatherwood is a 100-acre lake located on the property of a 1,600-acre park.

    Lake Leatherwood is one of the great places to visit to enjoy some outdoor recreation. The family friendly activities on this lake include boating, canoeing, fishing, and kayaking.

    You can also spend the day enjoying the hiking, running, or biking on the trails of the park.

    There are also numerous structures located on site that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. These buildings allow Lake Leatherwood to be listed as a historic district in Eureka Spring, Arkansas.

    St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church

    Another building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church is a beautiful church located near the downtown historic district.

    The church is famous for its Bell Tower and the gorgeous architecture of the building.

    The grounds of the church are perfect to take some outdoor photographs thanks to the flora and fauna in the area.

    You can also go inside of the church to see the Bell Tower and the stained glass windows. Take time to do the self guided tour of the church and visit the on site gift shop to view the religious items and jewelry for sale.

    Address: 30 Crescent Drive, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

    Visit the Blue Spring Heritage Center

    The Blue Spring Heritage Center is one of the historic attractions in Eureka Springs that should definitely be your list of things to do in Eureka Springs.

    Blue Spring Heritage Center has welcomed visitors for over 70 years.

    During your visit, you can see the artifacts that are on display throughout the park. These artifacts include the remains of an old mill, and the Blue Shelter, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    There are also numerous gardens and greenspaces that will be the perfect addition to your Eureka Springs, Arkansas itinerary.

    Address: 1537 County Road 210, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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    Take a Cruise on the Belle of the Ozarks

    The Belle of the Ozarks offers a 12-mile narrated cruise on Beaver Lake for visitors to enjoy.

    The cruise will take you to areas all over the lake including an ancient Indian burial ground, submerged caves, and more.

    The cruise will not only give you the opportunity to learn more about the history of Eureka Springs, but it will also give you the opportunity to relax and possibly see some of the local wildlife.

    Get a Spa Treatment

    The healing waters of the Eureka Springs hot springs have drawn visitors here since the 1800s.

    Today, you can enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in town to help get the healing juices flowing in your body.

    There are several spas and wellness centers in the Eureka Springs area that would be delighted to have you visit.

    Enjoy Local Art

    Eureka Springs is a thriving local art community. Several of the Victorian architecture buildings on Main Street house art galleries and shop showcasing the works of the local Eureka Springs artists.

    If you find yourself visiting Eureka Springs on the second Saturday of the month, then you will definitely want to join in on the 2nd Saturday Art Strolls offered by the Eureka Springs Gallery Association.

    Throughout town you will also notice several public art displays. One of our personal favorites is the Humpty Dumpty sculpture sitting on the wall in Basin Spring Park.

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    Take a Tour of Eureka Springs

    Taking a tour of Eureka Spring is a great way to get to know the city better.

    There are several tours of Eureka Springs available including walking tours, a trolley tour, and more.

    One of our favorite tours is the Downtown-N-Underground Tour. This takes you to underground sites around town that are not usually seen by visitors.

    It allows visitors a unique perspective on Eureka Springs history.

    Holiday Island Marina

    Those of you visiting during the warm months of the year won’t want to miss some time out on the water. That is where a visit to Holiday Island Marina comes in handy.

    This marina allows visitors to enjoy renting a watercraft so that guests can get out on the water.

    The marina, which is located on Table Rock Lake, offers all sorts of watercraft rentals. These include jet skis, pontoon boats, and more.

    Holiday Island Marian also offers an on-site snack bar serving up everything from ice cream to pizza.

    Holiday Island Marina has everything you could possibly need for a fun and safe day out on the lake.

    They even offer life vests, fishing equipment, and anything else you could possibly need.

    A visit to Holiday Island Marina is the perfect addition to your Eureka Springs itinerary, especially in the warm summer months.

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    Do a Ghost Tour at the Crescent Hotel

    Another one of our favorite tours in Eureka Springs is the ghost tour offered by the Crescent Hotel.

    The Crescent Hotel’s tumultuous history only adds to the intrigue of this tour.

    Originally built as a luxury resort for the rich visiting Eureka Springs, Arkansas in the late 1800s, the hotel later changed owners numerous times.

    The Crescent Hotel even served as The Baker Cancer Hospital in the early 1900s, meaning the building had several people pass away on site.

    A ghost tour of the hotel introduces guests to the spirits that haunt the hotel. You never know, you have have an encounter of your own during the tour!

    This is definitely one of the unique attractions in Eureka Springs downtown district.

    You can grab a souvenir from the hotel gift shop if you really love your tour!

    Address: 75 Prospect Ave, Eureka Springs, AR 72632

    Try Horseback Riding

    people on horses

    Imagine taking a horseback ride through the Ozark Mountains during your vacation.

    If that appeals to you, then you will definitely want to add Bear Mountain Riding Stable to your list of Eureka Springs things to do.

    The stables have 10 horses that are suitable to riders of all ages and skill levels.

    They also offer an event center to host weddings, family reunions, or other large group gatherings.

    Go Ziplining

    Those of you wanting an adrenaline rush will get your fill when you do one of the outdoor zipline tours offered by Ozark Mountain Ziplines.

    The zipline tours offered by Ozark Mountains offer trained professionals and high quality safety gear to be sure that everyone has a safe time on their canopy tour.

    The Ozark Mountain Zipline consists of 10 ziplines for guests to enjoy. You can soar from the treetops on this outdoor adventure!

    Address: 208 W Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632

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    Head to Inspiration Point

    Inspiration Point is an incredible scenic overlook in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

    This is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic, take a gorgeous picture, or just enjoy some time being outdoor in nature.

    Here you can see the White River and views of the valley 500 feet below. This is the perfect place to visit any time of year, allowing you to see the gorgeous Ozark Mountain scenery.

    If you can visit during the fall then you will be treated with the changing of the gorgeous fall foliage. This is such a treat to see the beautiful colors of orange, red, and yellow as the trees begin the process of shedding their leaves for winter.

    You will definitely want to bring your camera when you visit Inspiration Point as the view from this vantagepoint are fabulous.

    Aviation Cadet Museum

    A visit to the Aviation Cadet Museum is another great thing for history buffs to enjoy during their visit to Eureka Springs.

    The museum is dedicated to sharing and honoring our military’s aviation accomplishments.

    Kids (and kids at heart) will love the hands-on exhibits throughout the museum that allow you to get up close and personal with history.

    Some of the noteworthy items on exhibit at the Aviation Cadet Museum include historical planes, a fighter bomber used in the Vietnam War, and a T-29 training plane.

    This museum is a great attraction for lovers of aviation, history, and flight.

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    Michelle Snell founder of That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel

    About The Author

    Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

    Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

    Book Your Flight:

    We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.

    Book Your Vacation Package:

    If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.

    Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!

    For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.

    Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”

    Book Your Accommodations:

    We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!

    There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.

    Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!

    HotelsCombined is another cool site. They allow you to compare all of the top travel sites with one search to ensure you are finding the best deal out there. Kayak works in this way as well.

    If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.

    Tour Companies We Trust:

    We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!

    For a guided city tour, check out City Sightseeing and BigBus Tours. These bus tours are so much fun and easy to hop on and hop off at top attractions in cities around the world.

    CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.

    Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.

    Looking to Save Time and Money?

    Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!

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    Erin

    Saturday 30th of April 2022

    This looks like so much fun! I would love to see inspirational point! And later, get a spa treatment too.

    thattexascouple

    Friday 6th of May 2022

    Those are all great things to do! I mean, especially a good spa treatment!

    Melissa

    Monday 25th of April 2022

    The chapel, lake, and winery are the spots for me! There’s so much to do in Eureka Springs though, I’d have to come back for more.

    thattexascouple

    Monday 25th of April 2022

    Those are great choices. It really is a charming and fun little town!

    Jeanine

    Sunday 24th of April 2022

    This is a fantastic guide filled with so much information to make any trip you take there amazing... I love your trees and the changing colour with the seasons...we don't have a lot of that in Australia...

    thattexascouple

    Sunday 24th of April 2022

    Thank you so much, Jeanine! You will have to come visit from Australia and see it in person. :)

    Erin

    Sunday 24th of April 2022

    I've never been to Eureka Springs, but now I want to! You have definitely put it on my radar for when I head west later this year. Thanks for some great tips. I had no idea there was wineries, tigers, and other great things to see.

    thattexascouple

    Sunday 24th of April 2022

    This is so great to hear, Erin. I hope you love it as much as we do!

    Sage Scott

    Wednesday 16th of March 2022

    So many great things to do in Eureka Springs! I think I'd put Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge at the top of my must-see list, followed by spa time and wine!

    thattexascouple

    Wednesday 16th of March 2022

    There really is! We love it there. There is just enough to do to stay busy and to relax!