Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a small tourist town in northwest Arkansas, often called ‘The Little Switzerland of Arkansas’ because it is embedded into the Ozark Mountains. It is also my most favorite place to go in all of Arkansas. There is something truly magical and majestic about this town that makes me feel so very much in my element and at home. I absolutely love everything about it. It’s even where Nate proposed! So yea, I’d say it’s way up there on favorite travel destinations for me. I have visited here three different times, and I’d love to go back as often as I can. It’s extremely historical-and haunted! Years ago, sick people would come here in hopes of being cured by consuming the ‘eureka springs’ but ended up dying instead, and many people believe the town (primarily the hotels that used to be hospitals) to be haunted now. Let me guide you on what to do while here so you too can fall in love.
What to do in Eureka Springs
- Stroll Downtown and Visit the Shops: Like any tourist town, there are several charming shops and boutiques in downtown ES as well as lots of older buildings and cute little parks. You could easily spend a whole afternoon or even day getting swept up downtown!
2. Go on a ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel: I highly recommend doing this activity! They even did an episode of it on Ghost Hunters. On this tour, you will learn all about the sick people who came to ES searching for a cure and the haunted aspect of the town hotel and town. They talk about the history of the town, the hotel, and ghost sightings. You get to tour the whole hotel-even this cellar thingy where they inspected dead body parts of the patients! The hotel is still kept in the Victorian era style and creaks and moans as you walk along the hallways. It’s a sight to see and you will not regret going on this tour!
3. Cave Tours: There are two cave tours you can go on: Onyx Cave and Cosmic Caverns. Both are totally legit and super cool and are very similar in comparison. Soda straws, chilly & dark climate, the whole nine yards.
4. Find the Rainbow Stairs: You may recognize this spot from my homepage pic. It can be found right downtown in between blocks in an alleyway. It’s a must for the ‘gram.
5. Quigley’s Castle: This is a house outside of downtown that you can tour. It’s filled with awesome randomness like antique shaving razors, butterfly collections, and stands made of glass bottles. It’s a little hard to describe, I just know that it’s cool okay and you need to go there.
6. Christ of the Ozarks: This is a theatrical play you can go see at an outdoor theater which includes a gigantic white statue of Jesus Christ. Yes, you read that right. While you don’t have to be a religious fanatic to go check this out and attend the play, you should still go because there’s a gigantic white statue of Jesus Christ. I’m tellin’ ya, the statue is huge, like 66 feet tall. Only in the Ozarks, people! Nate and I just rolled up here one afternoon when there wasn’t any shows playing and walked down to the statue.
7. Find Humpty Dumpty: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall in downtown ES… and we spotted him! Don’t ask me where he is, because I honestly can’t remember where we ended up finding him and anyway, it’s fun hunting for him while simultaneously exploring downtown.
8. Lake Leatherwood Dam: A beautiful lake, with a beautiful waterfall created by the dam. There are trails all along the lake where you can do some light hiking. It’s also a great place to get engaged!
My Favorite Restaurants in Eureka Springs
The Balcony Restaurant: This is inside the Basin Park Hotel, which also has a haunted history similar to the Crescent Hotel. The food is delicious and the balcony offers a lively view of downtown.
Mudd Street Cafe Annex: We stopped here for breakfast before heading out of town. I’m not much a breakfast person, but this place was good!
Sky Bar Gourmet Pizzeria: This is another restaurant that offers balcony seating inside the Crescent Hotel. Stop here for some grub after the ghost tour.
Thai House Restaurant: This place was delicious! Nate and are little fiends for all kinds of Asian food and we were blown away by our meal.
Rowdy Beaver: This is the perfect destination for some down-home southern cooking. I’m talking the good stuff folks-fried foods, burgers, BBQ all ‘at.