How To Spend A Perfect Weekend In Quaint Eureka Springs, Arkansas (2023)

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a charming town in the Ozark Mountains, perfect for a weekend getaway. With beautiful scenery and a quaint, historic downtown, it’s no wonder that this town is a popular tourist destination.

Eureka Springs is an excellent destination with lots of history, natural beauty, and exciting activities. My husband and I visited in the fall and found plenty of things to do in this small town, and you can easily walk to most of the attractions. Here’s how to make the most of your time in Eureka Springs.

We were provided lodging and some meals and activities during our visit to Eureka Springs. All opinions are my own.

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Things To Do In Eureka Springs

1. Take The Eureka Springs Tram Tour

Get an overview of the town and its history on the narrated tram tour. The tour takes you past hundreds of old homes and historic buildings. You will also see the healing springs that date back to the late 1800s and made Eureka Springs famous. Lasting approximately 90 minutes, the tram tour is a great way to become familiar with different things in the town and figure out what you want to revisit.

Another option is the trolley. It stops at various locations throughout town, and is an easy and inexpensive way to get around the area if you don’t want to walk.

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2. Admire The Architecture

Various styles of architecture, from “Gothic Revival” to “Queen Anne,” are sprinkled throughout the town. Architectural Digest reports Eureka Springs is recognized as having one of “the largest collection of unspoiled Victorian houses in the central United States.”

During your tram tour, or while walking around the historic district, take time to admire the beautiful architecture and feel like you are taking a few steps back in time.

(Video) 10 REASONS WHY PEOPLE LOVE EUREKA SPRINGS ARKANSAS USA

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3. View The Art

There are numerous art galleries in the small town of Eureka Springs. As you explore the town, be sure to stop in and check out the local works of art.

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4. Shop Unique Boutiques

Shop ‘til you drop at one of the many unique boutiques in downtown Eureka Springs. You can find plenty of souvenirs in the charming and quirky shops lining the district’s sloping streets. You will find stores selling unique foods, soaps, socks, sweets, and various other items.

We spent an afternoon shopping. My favorite stores were the sock store, the nut house, and the soap stores.

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5. See The Christ Of The Ozarks Statue

A modern statue of Jesus stands 65.5 feet tall on Magnetic Mountain and looks down on the town and surrounding area of Eureka Springs. The statue and the view of the town and countryside are stunning when you visit Christ of the Ozarks.

6. Watch The Great Passion Play

The Great Passion Play is offered near the Christ of the Ozarks Statue from the spring season through the fall season. It is “America’s #1 Attended Outdoor Drama,” according to the Institute of Outdoor Theater and Drama at East Carolina University at Greenville.

Hosted in an outdoor amphitheater, it features a multi-level set, live animals, special lighting and sound effects, and over 100 biblically-costumed cast members create the thrilling and epic drama of Jesus Christ’s last days on earth.

7. Visit Thorncrown Chapel

Noted as one of the most beautiful chapels in America, Thorncrown Chapel is a remarkable structure just 3 miles from downtown Eureka Springs. The Chapel is 48 feet tall, standing amongst the trees in the woods. A true sight to behold, the structure consists of 6,000 square feet of glass and is one of America’s most photographed buildings.

8. Ride The Train

Ride the scenic Eureka Springs and Northwest Arkansas Railway through the Ozark Mountains. The Excursion Train is narrated and takes you on an hour ride, or ride in the Eurekan Dining Car to taste recipes from 100 years ago on the 2-hour trip. It is another chance to go back in time to when locomotive transportation was king.

(Video) Exploring Eureka Springs Arkansas

Pro Tip: It’s only available April through early October.

9. Explore The Caves

The Onyx Cave is Arkansas’s oldest Show Cave. Onyx is a small cave located 6 miles east of Eureka Springs. You can enjoy this mysterious cave at your own pace with a headset that provides a self-guided tour.

Located near Beaver Lake, War Eagle Cavern is a seasonal attraction offering cave tours, a children’s maze, and gem panning. If you are the adventurous type, they also offer spelunking tours.

Speaking of the underground, consider taking an Underground Eureka Springs tour to learn the hidden secrets of downtown Eureka Springs.

10. Visit Eureka Springs Historical Museum

Learn how Eureka Springs became a Victorian health spa and so much more. The Eureka Springs Historical Museum will educate and entertain with various permanent and temporary exhibits.

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11. Check Out The Views From Inspiration Point Overlook

Gorgeous panoramic vistas can be found all over Eureka Springs, but the view from Inspiration Point Overlook is absolutely spectacular. A cliff sitting 550 feet above the White River provides breathtaking views of the Ozark landscape.

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12. Explore Beaver Lake

A 32,000-acre water playground, Beaver Lake, located approximately 30 miles west of downtown Eureka Springs, is the perfect place to bike, hike, swim, dive, fish, paddle, boat, and more.

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13. Take A Ghost Tour

Ghost tours are offered at various hotels across the town. We stayed at the Crescent Hotel and participated in an evening ghost tour within the hotel when we visited. It was a fun way to learn the spooky history of the hotel and the ghosts who supposedly roam the halls. (I did not see or feel any spirits while there.)

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The tour was fascinating and educational. We were there two nights before Halloween, so a great time to enjoy some ghost stories. It is a must-do activity when visiting Eureka Springs.

The Basin Hotel is also thought to be haunted and hosts “Paranormal Investigations.”

Pro Tip: The whole town celebrates Halloween. Every place is decorated. Halloween weekend is one of their busiest times. So if you plan to visit near the holiday, be sure to make your reservations far in advance.

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14. Visit The Springs

The town became famous because of its springs. The natural springs are said to have healing properties. Although they are cold springs, they are thought to be therapeutic, and the water is heated for use in the spas located throughout the town. Basin Spring Park is where the original spring is located. It also features benches to sit and relax.

15. Go Mountain Biking

Some of the state’s best mountain biking trails can be found in Eureka Springs. There are a variety of trails for all skill levels. Many of the trails are downhill and provide shuttle services back up the mountain.

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16. Visit The Spas

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a massage or soak in a tub of water thought to have healing benefits. The famous spring water is pumped throughout the town. It is heated and used in various spas for therapeutic benefits. I visited the New Moon Spa at the Crescent Hotel when I was in Eureka Springs. The Basin Hotel has a 1905 Spa, and the old Palace Hotel is now a hotel and bathhouse with spa facilities.

Restaurants In Eureka Springs

17. Rogue’s Manor Restaurant And Lodging

Located on Spring Street near the historic Sweet Spring, Rogue’s Manor features fine dining and a unique lounge. Lots of locals were eating and drinking there when we visited.

We enjoyed a special intimate dinner at Rogue’s Manor. I ordered the pork tenderloin with a sweet apple relish. It was so tender and delicious. The food and service were excellent.

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18. Crystal Dining Room

We enjoyed breakfast at the Crystal Dining Room in the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. They were only open for breakfast and weekend evenings when we visited due to COVID-19 issues. But I’m told they are open for both breakfast and dinner now.

Learn about other dining options in Fantastic Restaurants To Try In Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

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Hotels In Eureka Springs

19. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

This historic hotel is located on a hill above downtown and offers beautiful views of the Ozark Mountains. It looks like a hotel out of a movie or fairy tale as you drive up the mountain. It has been featured in a few films and TV shows.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is supposedly haunted, which is a big draw for many. They offer ghost tours and a variety of activities for all ages at the hotel. We stayed at the Crescent Hotel when we visited Eureka Springs.

20. The Basin Park Hotel

The 1905 Basin Park Hotel is in a prime downtown location. Guests can walk to the cafes, bistros, galleries, shops, and night spots. The Hotel features the Balcony Bar and Restaurant with views of Spring Street and Basin Spring Park.

21. Oak Crest Cottages & Treehouses

You might enjoy the Oak Crest Cottages & Treehouses for a unique stay. It’s located a short drive from the historic shopping district and only minutes from the Passion Play.

There are dozens of bed and breakfasts scattered throughout the town.

Looking for a fantastic weekend getaway, look no further than Eureka Springs. This charming town has plenty of activities to keep you busy, as well as delicious food and comfortable places to stay. Whether you’re interested in ghost tours, shopping, or spa treatments, we guarantee you won’t be bored. Eureka Springs is definitely worth a visit!

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If you just can’t get enough of Eureka Springs’ healing energy, check out these stories:

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FAQs

How do I spend a day in Eureka Springs? ›

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1 Mar 2022

What is special about Eureka Springs Arkansas? ›

Located in the rolling green Ozark Mountains on the north edge of Arkansas, Eureka Springs is a hotspot for travelers. Visitors flock to the small urban area for both its charming Victorian-era city center and the natural beauty surrounding it, including a wealth of mineral springs for bathing in.

How do you get around Eureka Springs? ›

Getting around Eureka Springs is easy. Many things are within walking distance but parking can be tricky. Park at your Hotel, Motel or Bed and Breakfast then take the trolley, walk or call a cab. Free shuttle service is available when you stay at the Crescent Hotel or Basin Park Hotel.

What is the best time of year to visit Eureka Springs Arkansas? ›

The best time of year to visit Eureka Springs is probably during the spring. Though some people have different opinions, the spring offers the best weather, before it gets too hot and humid in the summer, and after the colder months have faded from the winter.

Is Eureka Springs worth visiting? ›

Come explore Eureka Springs, and see why it is consistently ranked as one of the best small towns to visit in America. You'll find comfortable accommodations and everything you need at Arsenic & Old Lace Bed and Breakfast.

Does Eureka Springs Arkansas have any hot springs? ›

There are over 47 hot springs in the city. Eureka Springs, on the other hand, has 66 cold springs.

Can you swim in Eureka Springs? ›

The first swimming beach is directly off Highway 187 on the northern side of Beaver Dam. It is plainly visible from the highway. Another is at Dam Site Park South. Known locally as “The Island,” this charming area is also accessed from Highway 187, just to the south of Beaver Dam.

How far is Eureka from Hot Springs? ›

How long is the drive from Eureka Springs to Hot Springs? The direct drive from Eureka Springs to Hot Springs is 245 mi (394 km), and should have a drive time of 4 hrs 30 mins in normal traffic.

How late do the trolleys run in Eureka Springs? ›

The Yellow Route runs from March to October. From May through October, the Yellow Route will stop running on Saturdays at 6:00 pm. There will be a Blue/Yellow Route that will run from 12pm to 8pm on Saturdays.

Do you have to pay for parking in Eureka Springs? ›

There are pay for parking lots downtown as well as meters. Most hotels and lodgings provide free parking for visitors staying at that establishment. For day visitors, the City of Eureka now offeres Park & Ride options.

How do I pay for parking in Eureka Springs? ›

For the first time, locals and visitors in Eureka Springs can pay for parking with a mobile application. The PassportParking app is available in all on-street spaces and parking lot spaces. Signage and decals are available to instruct drivers on how to use the PassportParking application.

Can you drink from the springs in Eureka Springs? ›

springs is no longer considered safe to drink.

How did Eureka Springs get its name? ›

On July 4, 1879, Eureka Springs was founded, and named by a small group of people, around the "healing springs," as the Indians had called them.

What is the best month to go to Arkansas? ›

The beautiful Fall months of September to October are the best time to visit Arkansas. The vistas are breathtaking with the warm colors of Fall being painted across the State. The state typically has a cooler climate. So winters are the time that see very little tourists and everything is pretty cheap then.

What is the best month to visit Hot Springs Arkansas? ›

The best time to visit Hot Springs is August to October and February to April. Many of the attractions in and around Hot Springs revolve around the water, so travelers will be most comfortable visiting during the warmer months, when drying off won't immediately induce shivering.

What is the best month to visit Little Rock Arkansas? ›

The best time to visit Little Rock is from March through May and from September to October, when daytime highs hover between the mid-60s and low 80s. You'll also score slightly lower hotel rates in spring and fall than you will during the busy summer season.

How many springs are in Eureka Springs? ›

There are upwards of 60 natural springs within Eureka Springs' city limits, many tucked away in small caves, nooks, and crannies. As its name may suggest, springs have played a large part in the history of Eureka Springs.

Does it snow in Eureka Springs AR? ›

Eureka Springs, Arkansas gets 47 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year. Eureka Springs averages 9 inches of snow per year.

What is hot springs best known for? ›

Nestled amidst the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, Hot Springs is a lovely resort city. It's most known for its naturally heated waters and the grand and elegant bathhouses that sprung up in the early twentieth century.

Can you sit in hot springs in Arkansas? ›

Soak in the Springs

The Buckstaff Bathhouse - Orginally opened in 1912, the Buckstaff is the only facility on the Row that has never fully closed since it first started offering baths. For information about services, rates, and reservations, please visit their website or call them directly at (501) 623-2308.

Can you swim in the hot springs in Arkansas? ›

Hot Springs offers plenty of opportunities to splash and play in nature and some other fun ways to beat the heat (see below). Nearly all of the swimming holes and swim beaches listed are located within state or federally protected areas and nearly all are free.

Is hot springs Arkansas the same as Eureka Springs? ›

Eureka Springs and Hot Springs are both known as tourist towns, but they are still pretty different from each other. They are both historic towns, but they have a slightly different feel to them. Hot Springs is the larger town and feels more city like.

Can you swim in Hogscald hollow? ›

Stay on beautiful Beaver Lake Arkansas and enjoy boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and more!

Is Beaver Lake swimmable? ›

Beaver Beach, at the south end of Beaver Lake, has a shallow, sandy beach — perfect for swimming, picnicking and canoeing around the offshore islands. You can use the nearby ponds for retriever training, or the Equestrian Centre to exercise and train your horse.

How far is Little Rock from Hot Spring? ›

How long is the drive from Little Rock to Hot Springs? The direct drive from Little Rock to Hot Springs is 54.7 mi (88 km), and should have a drive time of 58 mins in normal traffic.

Does Eureka Springs have Uber? ›

RideGuru - Rideshares, Uber, Lyft, Ola, Didi available in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Are dogs allowed at Eureka Springs Park? ›

Home to hundreds of area trails, a leashed pet is welcome to discover the beauty of the Ozark Mountains right alongside you. Don't miss the Eureka Springs Bark Park at Harmon Park near Dairy Hollow.

Is Eureka Springs tap water safe to drink? ›

Based on the various criteria of the assessment, our water source has been determined to have a low susceptibility to contamination. You may request a summary of the Source Water Vulnerability Assessment from our office.

What is a magnetic spring? ›

MagSpring products can best be described as "magnetic springs." The term "spring", however, is to be understood to mean that MagSpring components generate a constant force over their entire working range, while the characteristic curve for a typical mechanical spring shows an increase in force with increasing ...

Why is the Crescent Hotel famous? ›

Built in 1886, there have been hundreds of tales of paranormal experiences at the Crescent Hotel & Spa. Given its history, it's not surprising. Besides being a popular mountaintop resort, the hotel has served as both a girls' college and a cancer hospital–where “Doctor” Norman Baker claimed to have the cure for cancer.

Is Eureka Springs a dry county? ›

Arkansas has 75 counties, 32 of which are dry, and (Packaged liquor, beer and wine sales are currently allowed on Sundays in the cities of Altus, Eureka Springs, Ozark, Springdale and Tontitown; additionally, licensed microbreweries can sell growlers for carry-out on Sundays) and on Christmas Day.

How many people visit Eureka Springs? ›

Eureka Springs and Carroll County host over 750,000 visitors yearly. While visitors come to Eureka Springs year around, March through December are the peak months for visitation. Tourism supports over 2,600 jobs in the county. The average total expenditure per person per trip is $216.

Can you swim in Eureka Springs? ›

The first swimming beach is directly off Highway 187 on the northern side of Beaver Dam. It is plainly visible from the highway. Another is at Dam Site Park South. Known locally as “The Island,” this charming area is also accessed from Highway 187, just to the south of Beaver Dam.

What is hot springs best known for? ›

Nestled amidst the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, Hot Springs is a lovely resort city. It's most known for its naturally heated waters and the grand and elegant bathhouses that sprung up in the early twentieth century.

What does Hot Springs Arkansas have to offer? ›

Outdoor activities in the area include mountain biking, hiking, golf, horseback riding, fishing, digging for quartz crystals and water sports that center around the Diamond Lakes Catherine, DeGray, Greeson, Hamilton and Ouachita. There are also a number of campground just outside the city.

How far is Eureka from Hot Springs? ›

How long is the drive from Eureka Springs to Hot Springs? The direct drive from Eureka Springs to Hot Springs is 245 mi (394 km), and should have a drive time of 4 hrs 30 mins in normal traffic.

Does Eureka Springs Arkansas have any hot springs? ›

There are over 47 hot springs in the city. Eureka Springs, on the other hand, has 66 cold springs.

Are there any springs in Eureka Springs Arkansas? ›

There are upwards of 60 natural springs within Eureka Springs' city limits, many tucked away in small caves, nooks, and crannies. As its name may suggest, springs have played a large part in the history of Eureka Springs.

What happens in a bathhouse in hot springs? ›

Your adventure begins in the changing room, where you will disrobe and be wrapped in a sheet or towel. You will then meet your bath attendant, who will help you into your private bath. After a soak in the tub, you will then be moved to the sitz bath, the steam room, the cooling table, and then the needle shower.

Can you sit in the hot springs in Arkansas? ›

Soak in the Springs

The Buckstaff Bathhouse - Orginally opened in 1912, the Buckstaff is the only facility on the Row that has never fully closed since it first started offering baths. For information about services, rates, and reservations, please visit their website or call them directly at (501) 623-2308.

Can you swim in the hot springs in Arkansas? ›

Hot Springs offers plenty of opportunities to splash and play in nature and some other fun ways to beat the heat (see below). Nearly all of the swimming holes and swim beaches listed are located within state or federally protected areas and nearly all are free.

How many days do you need in hot springs Arkansas? ›

I would say three days. You can see the park in a day but you can not explore it in a day. over a year ago. You can see most of it in one day, but spend the night and take some beautiful hikes.

What is there to do in hot springs at night? ›

Bar / lounge / Sports Bar
  • Martini's on the Bay. 4810 Central Ave., Hot Springs. ...
  • Silks Bar & Grill - Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. ...
  • Splash Wine Bar. 325 Ouachita Ave., Hot Springs. ...
  • 501 Prime. 215 E. ...
  • Bleu Monkey Grill. ...
  • Copper Penny Pub. ...
  • The Lobby Bar at The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa. ...
  • Ohio Club.
5 Feb 2022

How far is Little Rock from hot spring? ›

How long is the drive from Little Rock to Hot Springs? The direct drive from Little Rock to Hot Springs is 54.7 mi (88 km), and should have a drive time of 58 mins in normal traffic.

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