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Eureka Springs-A Hidden Gem
Looking for a great get away for the family? Do you enjoy the nightlife? Or are you on the hunt for unique crafts? Eureka Springs is just the place for everyone. A local UFO conference is held here anually , and biker-only lodging is available.
When people think of the Ozarks for vacationing, they mainly think of Branson. The bright lights, glitzy shows, amusement parks, and touristy venues all seem to be great until you run into traffic. Not that Branson isn't a great spot, but did you know Eureka Springs is less than an hour away? If you want a slower paced vacation with memorable site seeing, then Eureka Springs is the place for you. The scenery alone simply cannot be beat!
Things To Do
Eureka Springs is truly for everyone, but one of the things Eureka is best known for is the Great Passion Play. It is a must see. Back 10 years ago, my husband and I visited Eureka Springs. While there, we visited the Passion Play. We enjoyed the food (but it is overpriced folks!), and the tour. My favorite part of the tour was The Parable of the Potter. It was so moving and visual!! There is also a decent museum on site. If the Passion Play is not your style, there is so much more to see! Oh and if you see a 9 1/2 fingered man singing during the dinner show, tell him I said hi!
Head on over to a hoedown! You are in the Ozarks after all. Eureka Springs offer Branson-like shows, but on a smaller scale. One of these is the Ozark Mountain Hoedown. Take a free tour of Thorncrown Chapel for a peaceful little side trip just outside of Eureka. It is well worth the trip. Finally, head on over to the Eureka Gardens for a relaxing stroll. You will enjoy the blue springs and find out why the town was named Eureka Springs.
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Activities for Kids
If your kids are looking for thrills and chills, I recommend touring The Crescent Hotel. They have awesome ghost tours, and they were voted the most haunted hotel in America. Mom and dad can enjoy themselves as well in their great spas! Do not miss this hotel, even a little peak inside is well worth it!
Turpentine Creek is a huge hit for the kids. You could literally reach out and touch lions and tigers (not recommended or allowed), but you could if you really really had the desire to. You are that close to them. I recommend going during feeding time, because it is awesome to watch these powerful animals at work. They are also the most active during this time. I think this was one of my favorite attractions in Eureka. Truly unique!
For you spelunkers, there is Onxy Cave. While it is small in comparison to other caves, you cannot beat the price at 4.25 for adults and 2.00 for children. This is a great cave for first timers. Little ones will not get bored! Check out their gift shop while you are there. We purchased a unique chess set for quite a steal!
Just when everyone starts to get cranky, you can head over to the trolleys or you could travel up towards Branson and head to Table Rock Lake to ride the ducks. Keep your quaker because you can get discounts if you head up to Branson.
For you crafty folks, your kids will enjoy watching artists at work. Eureka Springs is simply chock-full of artists. You can watch them at work at The Art Colony
A Crafter's Paradise
There is no limit to the type of crafts you will find in Eureka Springs. You can find everything from the normal everyday tourist souvenir, to the truly unique handcrafted items made by local artists. You will find every venue of crafting-metal work, fabric arts, sculpting, painting, folk art, and anything in between.
The Eureka Arts and Crafts Faire offers only handcrafted items. You will find many quality crafts at this faire. Turpentine Creek also holds a faire to coincide. If you are interested in coming to the faire, I must warn you that hotel rooms within a 50 mile radius fill up a year in advance. This fair occurs around the same time as the
War Eagle fair, which is in Rogers Arkansas. Both are very popular and tend to be crowded, but well worth it if you want a one of a kind craft!
Last year, the Holiday Chocolate Extravaganza and Arts and Crafts Show was held December 7th, so be on the lookout for the date of this year's fair here . If music interests you, then come support the students across our nation at the annual Eureka Music Festival.
A Scenic Getaway for the Whole Family
What many do not realize, is that the Ozarks is a beautiful place to visit. The fall is an especially great time to visit due to the fall colors and great craft fairs! Weather in September-October can be in the upper 80's-90's at times, with late October boardering on the 70's. Nights can be a little cool, so bring a light jacket. There are many great options to exploring the great outdoors in the Ozarks. It is the perfect time of year to ride the trails, hike, or canoe the local rivers. Branson is nearby, so do not forget that boat and train tours are available year round. You and the children will all enjoy the beauty of the Ozarks. When I visited there last, we stayed at a great inn near the middle of Eureka and there were deer about 20 feet away as we pulled in!
A Wedding Destination
Eureka has been a wedding mecca for many years now. When Thorncrown Chapel was built, many people sought out reservations to be married there. Others enjoy the scenic beauty of the Ozarks. Whatever your taste, Eureka has the perfect wedding package! Your imagination is all you need to have that unique wedding. Have you ever considered a wedding in a Tree House? Or in a beautiful Victorian setting? What about a picturesque garden? Outdoors in the Ozarks is a perfect setting for a romantic wedding. Honeymoon packages are available and many amenities are within your grasp. You can go on a carriage ride, horseback ride, canoe, take in a massage, or simple take in the sites. If that does not excite you, how about getting married amongst the big cats of Turpentine Creek?
Whatever your choice, you are sure to find a memorable experience here.
Did You Know?
Eureka Springs is called "the most unusual city in America" by Robert Ripley and is listed in Ripley's BELIEVE IT OR NOT 5 times.
The entire downtown area of Eureka Springs is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Eureka Springs is featured in the best selling book 1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die!
The Passion Play is America 's #1 attended outdoor drama.
Home to the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas is ranked number 10 in American Style Magazine's Top 25 Arts Destinations.
The Thorncrown Chapel is recognized as the 4th Best Architectural Achievement of the 20th Century.
Turpentine Creek is the Worlds Largest Big Cat Refuge.
Festivals and events span everything from blues, jazz and opera to car shows to UFOs, antiques and the arts.
Located in the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is so hilly there is not a single piece of ground flat enough for a football field!