Hit the Road
Five one-tank road trips to satisfy your wanderlust.
(page 4 of 6)
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Distance: 227 miles; 3 hours, 48 minutes
Joplin, Missouri, provides a great pit stop for history buffs to check out the Bonnie & Clyde Garage Apartment, 3347½ Oak Ridge Drive. It’s the hideout where the notorious outlaws holed up for 13 days during the Depression. It can be seen from the road, but is not available for tours.
downtown Eureka Springs | photo courtesy of eureka springs city advertising and promotion comission
REASONS TO GO
With its quaint European look, Eureka Springs is affectionately called “The Little Switzerland of the Ozarks” or “The Stair-Step Town” because of its steep, winding, up-and-down streets and walkways. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, the entire city is on the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts more than 60 mostly chef-owned restaurants, 65 natural springs punctuated by pocket parks, and a downtown filled with unique shops and historic lodging. Oh, and then there’s its art! Eureka Springs has more than 350 working artists, performers and musicians, and more than 20 art galleries.
White river valley | Photo courtesy of eureka springs city advertising and promotion comission
The No. 1 attraction in this vibrant art village is its charming downtown, with daytime and nighttime adventures to be had. Other attractions are the well-known Great Passion Play that brings to life the epic drama surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection; the Thorncrown Chapel made of glass in a woodland setting; and the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge that is a haven for rescued “big cats” and its accompanying safari lodges, suites, tents and treehouses. You feel like you’re spending the night in Africa because all night long you hear lions and tigers roar. The town also boasts one of the largest city parks in the U.S., Lake Leatherwood Park.
Turpentine creek tiger, eureka springs
Make sure to include a stop at Ermillio’s Italian Home Cooking, in the city’s downtown. Winner of the Arkansas Times’ Readers’ Choice 2016 Best Restaurant award, this eatery provides “comfortable, just-like-home” fare. Because it’s so popular and doesn’t accept reservations, guests play board games in its upstairs bar while waiting for their tables. Another favorite worth mentioning: Mud Street Café. Located in what locals call “Underground Eureka Springs,” (tours are available) the restaurant has wonderful old limestone walls, stained-glass lighting, large wooden beams, and its dining room centerpiece is a turn-of-the-century oak bar with beveled mirrors.
Choices include charming bed and breakfasts and several resorts with amenities like golf, spas and healing water soaks. Particularly appealing is Arsenic and Old Lace Bed and Breakfast, a Queen Anne Victorian-style mansion that features a “Tree-Top Suite” that has two stories of floor-to-ceiling windows and the “Patio Room,” which has a separate entrance and large courtyard patio covered with ivy walls that make you feel like you’re in a world of your own. A popular downtown hotel is the 1905 Basin Park Hotel. Guests get two free tickets to the downtown tour “Hellraisers, Hoodlums, and Heated History.”
SAVE THE DATES
April 14-16: The 30th Annual Ozark Mountain UFO Conference will feature speakers from various professions, including physicists, investigative reporters and authors.
May 1-31: The 30th Annual May Festival of the Arts features dozens of exhibits, demonstrations, gallery walks, free concerts and more.