Eureka Springs, Arkansas: A Romantic Getaway
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is in Northwestern Arkansas and is the perfect romantic get-away. Several couples book chapels and sights to be married in this quaint little town nestled in the center of the majestic Ozark Mountains. It has been ranked in the Top 25 Art Destinations for its talented artists and their shops. It has historical hotels such as the Crescent Hotel and the Basin Park Hotel, each with charming couples' spas and entrancing ghost tours for those of you who want an excuse to hold each other tight. Then you can go back to your room and “comfort” each other. There are a variety of lodging choices though ranging from the grand hotels to a regular economical room in one of the many motels to scenic cabins with a rustic feel of being alone, all of which are tailored to your romantic wants. After spending your first night in one of these charming places, you might want to spend the next day shopping and going through the magnificent art galleries along the Historical Downtown area or you may want to drive a few miles to enjoy the gorgeous, serene surroundings on Beaver Lake. Eureka Springs provides you with plenty to do without having to spend a lot of money, or you may want to buy some of the exquisite pieces of art you find in the many shops.
Hotels and Lodgings
The 1886 Crescent Hotel and New Moon Spa has been deemed as the most haunted hotel in America. Many may have seen it on the Sci-Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters program. This alluring hotel used to be known as the Cancer Hospital. It was owned by Dr. Norman Baker, and he called it his “Castle in the Air” because it sits on top of a large hill looking out over the town and beautiful countryside below. Baker turned out to be a quack, shamming vulnerable patients to experiment on them without their knowledge of his true, maniacal intent, which was to take their money as he fed them with a hope that would never be reached. It is said that his many patients roam the halls of the grand hotel. Whether you believe in the paranormal does not detract from the Crescent's charm and luxury in its unique rooms, including Jacuzzi rooms. It has beautiful gardens and is just a short walk to the Eureka Springs Downtown historical strip. One might wonder why this “haunted hotel” would be considered romantic. It has not only its spectacular spa, which will revitalize you with its health benefits of aromatherapy and expert masseuses who will also come to your room or schedule you in the spa, but also the lovely Crystal Dining Room Restaurant with crystal chandeliers, exquisite dishes, and divine views of the Ozark Mountains wherever you are seated.
The 1905 Basin Hotel with its Serenity Spa are located right on the main strip in Historical Downtown. It also includes the Balcony Bar and Restaurant that looks out into the past with the authentic stone buildings and sidewalks below. At the top of the hotel is Lucky 7 Rooftop Bar for a night cap and good music. Just as grand as the Crescent, it has valet parking and a 24 hour desk clerk to attend to your every need. The Basin also has it own history with the spiritual world and conducts nightly ghost tours for those with the paranormal curiosity. The luxurious and bewitching rooms and service will make it a favorite destination for future get-aways.
The Eureka Springs area has several other lodgings, many of which are close to serene Beaver Lake. A private cottage may be more your style with nature surrounding you in a stunning, rustic setting. Some cottages are even built in the trees, a favorite among honeymoon couples who love looking out the window to see a squirrel eating at the many feeders placed in the branches. There are a variety of weekend and vacation packages that are offered throughout the area that are filled with romance in mind. You might like one of the many Bed and Breakfasts hideaways for your romantic weekend. Where ever you decide to stay, you are going to enjoy the luxury of being treated like royalty. Eureka Springs is such a friendly and accommodating atmosphere, you might even get the chefs to share recipes with you or encounter a local who would love to be your adviser or guide.
The Best of Eureka Springs Art Galleries
There are over twenty art galleries along the Eureka Springs Historical Downtown strip, many of which are world renowned. A favorite for locals, visitors, and collectors is Zarks… a Fine Design Gallery. Zarks has the most incredible glass art in the world. Just one piece of this fabulous glass would be a wonderful addition to any home. Of course, while you are in the shop, you must meet Leo the shop cat. He is an extremely large yellow cat that lies in the window. He loves seeing you walk through the door or just pass by – a true people watcher. There is something to pique the interests of any who visit, even a precisely weighted golf club, while aesthetically pleasing it is practical on the golf course. The colorful designs of bowls, vases, frogs, turtles, jewelry, and even chandeliers that can be seen in many Las Vegas casinos are awe-inspiring.
Another must see gallery is The Jewel Box. The many artists crafting their jewelry create beautiful hand-made jewelry and collectibles to include hot glass jewelry. A Cherokee Native-American theme with jewelry made from stones, metals and carved wood make this lovely shop a jewelry connoisseur’s dream. Beauty and Mother Earth are felt in each unique piece.
A favorite among many is The 83 Spring Street Gallery, which is the home of bronze sculptor Mark Hopkins. There are several more artists who contribute to the gallery, too, but his reputation for creating unimaginable designs with bronze are known throughout the world. These are “museum quality pieces” that are in high demand for personal and corporate collections. They are full of Norman Rockwell-ish and American West scenes that inspire awe with their sense of movement and life.
Beautiful Beaver Lake
Just a few miles away from Eureka Springs is Beaver Lake. You might rent a lake cabin and spend your days on the lake. The friendly, local couple who owns Starkey’s Marina will make sure you get the right rental boat, jet ski, or pontoon. Your privacy will be enhanced by the natural beauty of wildlife and lake scenes surrounding you. The water is great for just cruising around the lake, fishing or, during the summer, swimming and water skiing. Fill your cooler with wines, beers, cheese and fruit, and enjoy time alone on this lovely, serene lake.
A Weekend to Remember
Eureka Springs with its variety of lodgings to suit everyone’s taste and financial needs, its historical downtown shopping experience, its world renowned art, and its close proximity to Beaver Lake will make it a weekend or vacation that you will want to experience again and again. You will find much to do year round in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
© 2012 Susan Holland