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Top Ten Destinations Spots in Arkansas

Updated on November 17, 2015

10. Blanchard Springs Caverns

Located in the Ozarks, Blanchard Springs Caverns offers several trails to explore along with three levels in the cave carved out by water. This cave is called; The Living Cave, due to the formations and the cave itself is forever changing.

While Archaeologists were excavating an area of the cave, a Native American skeleton was found and dates back 5000 years.

Blanchard Springs Caverns are 58 degrees Fahrenheit all year round which make it a nice place to visit on a hot summer day, but bring a jacket just in case you get chilly.

There are campgrounds in the area along with trails to hike on. Several of these trails are used for tours as well. The tour guides are both knowledgeable and friendly.

The campgrounds are in beautiful areas in the Ozarks.There is plenty of plantlife and is surrounded by trees and a lake.

Mirror Lake Waterfall is a popular attraction and a must see. It can be seen at Mirror Lake as you walk over the the bridge. The source of these falls are from a lake rather than a river.

The Springs at Blanchard Cavern Springs

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Blanchard Springs Cavern

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9. Dardanelle Lake State Park

Located in Russellville, Arkansas, Dardanelle Lake State Park is a popular fishing attraction due to being a tournament site for bass fishing. There are also big catfish in the lake along with other types of fish.

This state park has two sections; One is the Russellville site which offers a visitor center. The other is Dardanelle. Both sections offer camping which includes; bathhouses with hot water and a shower.There are also picnic areas, pavilions and restrooms.

The Dardanelle Visitor Center houses four aquariums which hold many fish found in the area. Also housed in the visitor center are exhibits and overlooks. Russellville Visitor Center offers spectacular views of Mount Nebo which is nearby and the Arkansas River.

The Arkansas River is also part of this great park. There are also opportunities to explore the land on a trail located at the main park area. Between the land and the water, Dardanelle is a great destination spot for anyone to enjoy.

The perfect time to go is in the fall time while the colors are still vibrant and the air is crisp. Bald Eagles can be seen in the park around this time as well since they use the area for wintering.

This part of Arkansas is worth bringing your camera to since the photograph opportunities are endless. Capture Mt. Nebo, the waters and even the terrain.

The park is clean and well maintained. You wont regret visiting this entertaining state park. Enjoy your visit!

Dardanelle Lake

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Dardonelle Lake State Park

Great View of Dardanelle Lake

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8. Little Rock

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and was named after La Petite Rocha which is a rock on the banks of the Arkansas River. This is an interesting landmark to see considering it is where Little Rock got its name from.

Arkansas has many museums to choose from as well as a zoo. Shopping, dining and lodging are all in Little Rock with no troubles finding them.

Some of the historical sites are an attraction to tourists and I can see why. The Old Mill is one of them. This mill is a replica of an old water power grist mill and what is even more interesting about The Old Mill is that it was featured in the beautiful movie, “Gone with the Wind.”

Quapaw Quarter is where the Governor’s Mansion is located along with some of the historic homes dating back to before the Civil War. On average, the homes date back between 1890 and 1930.

The River Market District is a great area to stop by. They offer a farmers market and the River Market District is a great spot to grab some breakfast and sit near the Arkansas River on a peaceful day.

The Villa Marre is also located in the area and was feature in the opening of the television show, Designing Women.

Little Rock is full of both beauty and history. While visiting this beautiful city, you won't find any shortage of things to do.

Villa Marre

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Little Rock, Arkansas

The Old Mill

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7. Degray Lake Resort State Park

Located on the Caddo River, Degray Lake is a popular lake in Arkansas and offers fun for the whole family. Lake Degray can be found in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains.

Walk on one of the five trails or hit the beaches which are a great place to relax and get some sun. Picnic areas, designated swimming, pavilions, restrooms and a playground are available.

Golf, horseback riding, camping and boating are great recreations to do at Degray Lake and boating rentals are available.

Visit the Arkansas Riding Stables for a tour on horseback experience. No experience is required nor are you required to wear jeans and boots.

Degray Lake Golf Course is a popular spot to play golf in Arkansas. it is an 18 hole golf course and is open to the public.

The Blue Heron Spa is located at this popular lake and offers preferential treatment to all customers. The Blue Heron Spa offers; massages, facial treatment, body treatment, nails and waxing.

Take a stroll along your choice of five trails which will take you anywhere from in the woods to along the shoreline. Don't forget to spend some time at Caddo Bend which is a great place to soak in the sun and relax on the beach, or go for a swim.

The Ouachita Mountains

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Degray Dam and Lake

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6. Louisiana Purchase Historical State Park

The Louisiana Purchase Historical State Park is located on Little Cyress Creek and is a National Historic Landmark. In a swamp sits the granite Monument which marks the beginning of the process to the Louisiana Purchase.

Expeditions were sent to the territory when Thomas Jefferson ordered surveys on the land. Lewis and Clark were part of the expedition. In 1803 Louisiana was purchased which added an additional 830,000 square miles and doubling the size of the United States.

In 1815 James Madison ordered an official survey on the land which included what today is known as Arkansas. States surveyed were; Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota and some of South Dakota.

The initial point of the survey was undiscovered until 1921 when two surveyors found the witness trees. In 1926 the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a monument to the spot.

The Monument is located in a swamp with an elevated boardwalk above the swamp. All along the boardwalk are different exhibits which explain the Louisiana Purchase as well as the flora and fauna of the swamp.

This site is a National Historic Landmark and where you will explore the same area that was surveyed.

Louisiana Purchase Monument

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The Elevated Boardwalk

5. Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean is a gorgeous state park that offers many recreational activities as well as tells the history of the area through the land.

This majestic park offers more than twenty miles of trails to explore with one trail being the most walked. This trail is Rock House Cave Trail and houses proof of being home to Native Americans dating back to over 1,000 year ago. Rock House Cave Trail leads to bluff shelter which served as a dwelling for these indigenous people.

On the back wall of these dwelling are pictographs which explain their existence. The carvings date back to over 500 years ago. The rock formations are breathtaking on this trail and are a must see!

There are a number of other trails in this beautiful park which will all guide to to take in the views of Petit Jean State Park

This area has been used by many different people throughout the years. Following the Native American people were the French who found this area and then the pioneers.

Cedar Falls is a popular attraction in Petit Jean and is 95 feet tall. These falls are accessible by Cedar Falls Trail.

Seven Hollows Trail is another main attraction to the area. This trail gives you the opportunity to see unique arches and rock formations as well as beautiful overlooks of the park.

Petit Jean also offers fishing areas and a marina along with boat rentals, pools, playgrounds and picnic areas. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor center and gift shop.

Rock House Cave Pictographs

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Rock House Cave

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Cedar Falls Trail

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4. Buffalo National River

The main attraction at this river is called, “Float the Buffalo”, which is basically canoeing down the river.

Located in North Arkansas in the Ozarks, the Buffalo National River offers spectacular views of the scenery in the area.

A big attraction is the Buffalo Outdoor Center (BOC) offers; camping, canoes and they even have a zipline for you to experience.

Some of the terrain and water on the Buffalo National River are; sink holes, caves, springs and waterfalls. One of the waterfalls in the area is the popular Hemmed in Hollow falls which is a single drip waterfall and at 209 feet is the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies. The sandstone and limestone bluffs reach over 500 feet high and there are also plenty gorgeous rock formations.

This river is so spectacular that in 1972 it was named the first national river in the United States.

People from all over come to this gorgeous river to experience the flora and fauna in and around 135 miles of river or to Float the Buffalo.The headquarters for the Buffalo National River is located in Harrison, Arkansas.

If you like watersports or just want to soak in the spectacular views, you will love the Buffalo National River.

Buffalo National River

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Hemmed in Hollow Falls

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3. Lake Ouachita State Park

Created by the Blakely Mountain Dam of the Ouachita River, Lake Ouachita is the focal point of Lake Ouachita State Park and is close to Hot Springs, Arkansas.

This lake is the largest manmade lake in Arkansas and attracts both tourists and locals to the area.

The fish in this lake are abundant and the varieties of fish are great. Some of the fish in Lake Ouachita include; large-mouth bass, small-mouth bass, bream, catfish, walleye, crappie and striped bass. Also known as the Bass capital of the World, Lake Ouachita is known to be home of rare non stinging jellyfish and sponges. Because sponges live best in clear waters, Lake Ouachita is the perfect home for them.

Surrounded by Lake Ouachita is the Lake Ouachita National Forest which offers more to do than just fishing. The trails in the area are great for hiking and photograph opportunities. Swimming, scuba diving and boating are also popular pastimes.

The natural Three Sisters Springs is an area that attracts many. Some of the things offered in the Three Sisters Spring area are; cabins, campgrounds, picnic areas and they also have bait and supplies. There are seven cabin rentals which overlook the lake, making your stay as peaceful and beautiful as possible.

There are also golf opportunities as well as lake tours available. While visiting this park you will see beauty all around you and the trip is well worth it.

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Lake Ouachita State Park

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2. Mount Magazine State Park

Mount Magazine is the tallest mountain in Arkansas and is located in Logan County.

The visitor center offers all kinds of exhibits as well as a gift shop to browse through.

Mount Magazine is home to black bear, bobcat, coyote and deer as well as a rare butterfly. Diana Fritillary is the unique butterfly living in the habitat of the area.

Red rock cliffs surround the mountain and the top of the mountain is flat. Signal Hill is the tallest point in Arkansas.

Campsites and fishing spots are located along several lakes which include; grills and tables. There are several trails available in this breathtaking park with some of them being; bike trails, hiking trails and horseback trails.

There are many trails to choose from in Mount Magazine State Park. some will guide you to gorgeous picnic areas while others will take you to campgrounds. Signal Hill Trail will take you to the highest peak in Arkansas, Signal Hill.

The gift shop is a great place to drop in to learn about some of the history and geology of Mount Magazine.This is also where you will find workshops to join as well as guided walks.

A Diana Fritillary Butterfly

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1. Devils Den State Park

Located in Lee Creek Valley, Devils Den State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps which was one of the programs created by Franklin D Roosevelt to help with jobs during the great depression. The process of creating this park began in the 1930’s and is a main attraction in Arkansas today.

Lake Devil is a recreation area located in Devils Den National Park and offers many things to do including; canoeing and paddle boating which are both for rent close by.

Cabins and campsites are available for lodging. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and backpacking give great opportunities to see the caves and crevices as well as the bluffs and overlooks in Devils Den State Park. The cabins at Devils den State Park are fully furnished. The patios all have BBQ grills on them and are a great place to relax outdoors and read a book.

There are eleven trails at Devils Den State Park ranging from easy to strenuous. Regardless of which trail you choose to explore, the beauty in the area surrounds them all.

Some caves in the area have been closed to due preservation but many other sites are still open to the public and are specimens of beauty and nature.

A Beautiful Waterfall at Devils Den

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Entrance to a Cave at Devils Den State Park

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Devils Den

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A road map to help you get around Arkansas

show route and directions
A markerLake Dardanelle -
Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas, USA
get directions

B markerLittle Rock -
Little Rock, AR, USA
get directions

C markerLake Degray -
De Gray Lake, Arkansas, USA
get directions

D markerLouisiana Purchase Historical State Park -
Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park, Arkansas 362, Hindman, AR 72069, USA
get directions

E markerPetit Jean -
Petit Jean, AR, USA
get directions

F markerBuffalo National River -
Buffalo National River, 170 Ranger Road, St. Joe, AR 72675, USA
get directions

G markerLake Ouachita State Park -
Lake Ouachita State Park, Ouachita National Forest, 5451 Mountain Pine Road, Mountain Pine, AR 71956
get directions

H markerMount Magazine State Park -
Mount Magazine State Park, Ozark National Forest, 16878 South State Highway 309, Paris, AR 72855, US
get directions

I markerDevils Den State Park -
Devils Den State Park, 1133 Arkansas 170, Winslow, AR 72959, USA
get directions

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    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thank you both for the nice comments :):)

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile image

      Ameliam Michelle 4 years ago from London, England

      Cedar Falls Trail looks particularly striking April Dawn Meyer. I have never been to Arkansas. Your hub has kindled the desire in me to visit this American state as soon as possible. Thx for sharing information on Arkansas April, your hub will help me in planning my visit.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      aprildawnmeyer, yet another place with beautiful destinations. I liked the Parks, specially the Devils Den State Park. Blanchard Springs Caverns and Degray Dam and Lake look marvelous. It must be a pleasant experience to watch Diana Fritillary Butterfly, the state symbol of Arkansas, in Mount Magazine State Park. Beautiful and Voted up.