Eureka Springs, Arkansas Pictures - Refreshing Step Back into Victorian Time
Eureka Springs, Arkansas is one of the most unique towns one could ever hope to find. The entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is located in the northwest part of Arkansas and is situated amidst the beautiful Ozark Mountains. This town offers a refreshing step back into time.
My mother and I visited Eureka Springs a number of years ago and only spent two nights there. If we were to go back, I would certainly allow many more days in which to take in more of the attractions and allow time to soak up the ambiance of this area.
Victorian styled houses, from the tiniest of cabins to larger mansions predominate by way of the type of buildings that are there to be seen. Many of these were built before 1900 and some of them are open for tours.
Most of the public buildings were rebuilt years ago using native limestone after earlier fires destroyed them.
The town's population is small (around 2,000 + or -) but tourism swells the numbers of people enjoying the sites at any given time.
There are a great number of lodgings that can accommodate travelers and these vary from cute little bed and breakfast inns to motor lodges to the large and historic and haunted Crescent Hotel where spirits can keep one company.
The Crescent Hotel is reported to be one of the most haunted of hotels in the entire United States!
Crescent Hotel is haunted...
Trolleys are offered to move people through various parts of the town and transportation is accessible from almost every lodging site and other designated areas.
One is encouraged to make use of these trolleys which are color coded, depending upon which area one wishes to see. They run on average about every 30 minutes and can be boarded at a number of stops throughout the town.
There are few parking spots in this town and the streets loop around the historic buildings with a number of circuitous U, V and S twists and turns. Believe it or not, there is not one perpendicular street crossing!
The speed limit through town is 10 and 15 miles per hour in many places.
Considering that these buildings were originally constructed during horse and buggy days and automobiles were not yet in existence, it reminded me of some of the European villages that I have visited where the buildings and roads are more pedestrian friendly and automobiles simply have to cope with the more narrow spaces.
Naturally occurring fresh mineral water springs are located in Eureka Springs and in the early days some people attributed these waters with having curative powers. As the word spread, more and more people sought these so-called cures and an industry developed.
The railroad could bring health seekers and vacationers to Eureka Springs, and the elegant bathhouses and hotels took care of their needs. The trolleys which were also in existence in those days moved people from one location to the next.
The band shell in the town park provided a venue for musical entertainment. Much of this remains today as it was in those earlier days.
One can relax and enjoy mineral baths, sauna treatments and massages.
There are no chain stores in this historic town. Shopping can be an adventure and a pleasure. Among the treasures to be found are more than 20 art galleries plus other unique stores.
There are a great number of museums in Eureka Springs. Included among others are the following:
- Gay Nineties Button and Doll Museum
- Hammond Museum of Bells
- Bible Museum near The Great Passion Play
- Harp's Doll Museum
- Miles Musical Museum
There are other sites in and around Eureka Springs that are worth a visit.
Christ of the Ozarks and The Great Passion Play brings in thousands of visitors annually.
Thorncrown Chapel is well worth a visit! I have expanded on this subject in another post. My mother and I loved the serene setting of the glass and steel enclosed building set into the midst of a wooded area.
We also visited the Natural Bridge which was a subject of a Ripley's "Believe it or not" column. Pivot Rock, another one of Ripley's points of interest can be found in the same area. The top of the rock is 15 times as large at the top as the base upon which it rests.
Visiting Thorncrown Chapel as well as Natural Bridge and Pivot Rock lead us into the wooded settings of the beautiful Ozarks which surround Eureka Springs.
There are nearby lakes which offer aquatic activities such as swimming, boating and fishing.
Natural Bridge outside of Eureka SpringsClick thumbnail to view full-size
My mother and I chose to stay at the Swiss Village Inn while in Eureka Springs which is a little outside the downtown area. We were very happy with the amenities.
One evening we chose to dine at Cafe Luigi which an ad stated was "Recommended by National Geographic Traveler." Delicious Italian cuisine is their specialty. We dined while seated at their outdoor patio fully enjoying the experience.
We were kept busy with only two days to be spent in this lovely and charming area.
If I was back there right now, I would sign up for "The Works" at the Palace Hotel and Bath House. We toured the facility but did not have the time to devote to being pampered as we had more sightseeing we wanted to do. I kept the list of their rates and services and in the year 1995, the year of our visit, this is what $59.00 would have purchased:
- Whirlpool mineral bath in a claw-footed tub (All baths are drained and sanitized after each use)
- Eucalyptus steam treatment in a wood barrel used at the turn of the century
- Clay mask treatment
- 1 hour Swedish massage given by a state licensed therapist
Ah...doesn't this sound heavenly?
Eureka Springs offers a definite step back into the time of another slower paced era where one can be refreshed by nature, the mineral waters, pampering at the spas and so much more.
Real photos of Eureka Springs artistically enhanced with computer art colors...Nice!
Have you ever visited Eureka Springs?
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
© 2009 Peggy Woods