Take Your Pick
Bentonville, AR
Wally World
Birth Place of Wal-Mart (also headquarters) - Sam Walton started Wal-Mart with a simple five and dime store that still stands in downtown Bentonville. It now operates as a visitor center and museum for Wally World enthusiasts. A greeter ushers you in to see Sam Walton's old office, his favorite pickup truck (a 1979 Ford F-150), and miscellaneous awards. Packed with photos and memorabilia, the center shows how a lot of hard work can turn a dream into a cultural change. Reading "Sam's Rules for Building a Business" you will understand why he was so successful.
Brinkley, AR
Just 17 Cents per Square Mile
Louisiana Purchase State Park - In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson purchased roughly 900,000 square miles of uncharted wilderness from France for $15 million. That's a mere 17 cents a square mile, and the President almost doubled the size of the nation. He said the purchase was "a transaction replete with blessing to unborn millions of men". A granite monument in the Louisiana Purchase State Park marks the site of the initial surveyor mark. It is a short walk along on an elevated boardwalk from the parking lot to the marker. Along the way you will enjoy the trees mirrored by the black, dead calm swamp waters.
Eureka Springs, AR
Ghost Tours at the Crescent
Spas and more - Nestled in the rolling hills of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs is a relaxing and invigorating retreat for the bone weary sock monkey. Spas offer mineral baths and, steam treatments along with some great deep tissue massages. And if shopping is your thing, don't expect the usual chain stores. Here you will find specialty stores and small one-of-a-kind art galleries to fill your tote bags. There are other places to see too, the famously haunted Crescent Hotel and the whacky Quigley's Castle. Eureka Springs is the destination to leisurely enjoy the finer things in life in a 19th century venue.
Eureka Springs, AR
Great Passion Play
Christ of the Ozarks - The world's second largest statue of Jesus Christ is in little ol' Eureka Springs (the largest statue is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). The "Christ of the Ozarks" is roughly 70 feet tall, weighs over 2 million pounds and spreads his arms to embrace all who visit him. The statue is the work of sculptor Emmet Sullivan (1887-1970) and was erected in 1966. The large sculpture is located on the same road as the "Great Passion Play" (an outdoor Christian drama) and the Bible Museum (featuring nearly 10,000 Bibles in 625 languages).
Fort Smith, AR
Home of Hanging Judge Parker
Fort Smith - The US Army founded Fort Smith in 1817 to contain fighting between Native American tribes. It was later used as a supply depot and a Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Fort Smith's most prominent figure was Judge Isaac Parker (1838-1896) the "Hanging Judge". He became the youngest Federal Judge of the West on May 4, 1875, at the age of 36. In 21 years on the bench, Judge Parker heard over 13,000 cases and sentenced 160 men to death by hanging, of which 79 were actually hanged. The Fort Smith National Historic Site contains a two story barracks, Judge Parker's courtroom, and his restored gallows. Just down the street at the Fort Smith Historic Cemetery you can visit the Judge's grave in section 9, grave 4000.
Fouke, AR
Socko Creek Monster?
The Boggy Creek Monster - According to locals the Boggy Creek Monster or Fouke Monster is reported to be an eight foot tall Sasquatch-like monster that roams the Arkansas country-side near Fouke. A 1972 pseudo-documentary entitled "The Legend of Boggy Creek" chronicles this story. The film interviews the town's folk and dramatizes some of the "real life" encounters. In the present day you can stick your head through a cutout of the monster and look scary. Grrrrrr.
Hope, AR
President Clinton's Birthplace
William J Clinton's Birthplace - Arkansas's favorite son, William J Clinton birthplace is in Hope, Arkansas. Our 42nd President came into the world as William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, and lived here for four years until 1950. The 2 1/2 story, 2,100 square foot home was built in 1917 and owned by his grandparents. In 1994 the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a thorough restoration was in completed in June, 1997. Stop in at The Presidential Shoppe to pick up all of your favorite Bill Clinton souvenirs.
Hot Springs, AR
Famous Bathhouse Row
Bathhouse Row - In historic downtown Hot Springs you can unwind and enjoy invigorating thermal baths, with waters that flow from the ground at 147 degrees. The thermal waters are thought to have healing powers and for over 200 years people from around the world have bathed in these natural hot spring. To be honest, I'm a modest monkey, and having someone draw my bath and scrub me down is a little tough, but it is all part of the experience. On the outside, cool spring waters also flow from the Ouachita Valley springs and you can fill your own jugs of this magical water. On Bathhouse Row is one of Hot Springs' most noted landmarks, the Arlington Hotel, Al Capone's one time retreat.
Hot Springs, AR
Hot Springs Mountain Tower
Hot Springs National Park - In 1832 Congress created the Hot Springs Reservation and in 1921 changed the name to Hot Springs National Park. The park includes eight historic bathhouses, 47 hot springs and their watershed, and roughly 5,000 acres of land. To best view the park, head over to Hot Springs' most famous landmark, the Hot Springs Mountain Tower. Opened to the public in 1983, this 216 foot tower of fun offers fantastic views of the downtown Hot Springs, the Ouachita Mountains, and the Diamond Lakes area. You can take the elevator up or get a little exercise and climb the stairs. Either way, the view is stunning.
Little Rock, AR
Museum of Our 42nd President
William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum - Built overlooking the Arkansas River, President Clinton's Library and Museum has a peaceful, almost garden feel to it. Inside there is a full scale replica of the Oval Office, millions of documents and photographs, as well as unique gifts from other heads of state. Bill Clinton became our 42nd President in 1992 and won re-election in 1996 becoming the first Democrat to win re-election since FDR. When you watch the 12 minute film at the beginning of the tour, you can easily see how this confident, charismatic, and intelligent man from little ol' Arkansas became our President of the United States.
Little Rock, AR
Little Rock Nine
Little Rock Central High School - The year is 1957 and all eyes are on Little Rock High School. Governor Orval Faubus disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision in the Brown v. Board of Education ruling which requires schools to integrate. The Governor sent out the state's National Guard to make sure no African American students enter the school "for their safety". President Dwight Eisenhower vows to enforce the Constitution and sends 1,200 101st Airborne Division soldiers to make sure the school integrates. The President's action allows nine African American students (the Little Rock Nine) to enter the high school and ends Little Rock's desegregation.
Little Rock, AR
The Natural State Capitol Building
State Capitol of Arkansas - As you walk up to the State Capitol of Arkansas you will be nearly blinded by the six intricately designed bronze doors reflecting the morning sun. They are stunning. The doors were purchased from Tiffany's of New York in 1910 at a cost of only $10,000. Construction of the capitol itself was completed in 1915 at a cost of $2.5 million and utilizing mostly convict labor. On the grounds is a monument to the Little Rock Nine, a Liberty Bell replica, and a Granite Mountain Boulder (commemorating 100 years of statehood). Magnolias, maples, and plum trees surround the capitol and frame the capitol with flowers.
Little Rock, AR
Oldest Capitol West of the Mississippi
Old State House Museum - The Old State House museum has a marvelous collection of artifacts and is the oldest standing state capitol west of the Mississippi. Construction was finished in 1842 and since then has been used as a capitol, controlled by both Confederate and Union forces, the site of armed conflicts, and hosted two Bill Clinton presidential victory parties. Permanent collections include inaugural gowns of Arkansas First Ladies and Civil War battle flags.
Morrilton, AR
Petit Jean's Final Resting Place
Petit Jean State Park - Petit Jean State Park is one of Arkansas nicest recreational areas. Green rolling hills interrupted by shear cliffs and deep river valleys are a treat for the eyes. One of the gems of this 2,658 acre park is Cedar Falls, a 95 foot waterfall you can view from above or hike to if you are feeling energetic. Petit Jean State Park is named after a beautiful French girl, Adrienne Dumont, who was to be married the French explorer and nobleman, Chavat. Chavat was to leave on a nearly year long expedition of the Louisiana Territory prior to their marriage. Not wanting to be parted that long, Ms. Dumont dressed like a man (called Petit Jean) and sailed with her fiance as one of the crew. In disguise for over six months and just before returning to France, Petit Jean fell ill and died. Her grave is located in the State Park.
Mountain View, AR
Jigs and Hootenannies
Ozark Folk Center State Park - If you enjoy the sounds of traditional Ozark folk music, craft demonstrations, back-woods history and lively festivals all surrounded by the hilly wilderness of the Ozarks, welcome to heaven. On stage you'll find some very gifted banjo, fiddle and mandolin players that you won't find anywhere else. Walking around you can learn how to grow an herb garden and how to throw a clay pot. They even taught my little sock monkey legs how to dance a jig so purdy it brought tears to their eyes. And the Folk Center is one of only a few places in America where you can still hear the word "hootenanny".
Murfreesboro, AR
Workin' the Fields
Crater of Diamonds State Park - Where is the only place in the world where you can search for diamonds and keep what you find? You guessed it, Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro Arkansas. This place is very cool. You expect it to be a diamond mine, but it is a plowed 37 acre field where an ancient volcano once stood. You head out in the field with your shovel and start scratching the earth for diamonds. The largest diamond found here is the Uncle Sam Diamond, weighing in at a whopping 40.23 carats. Everything you need to strike it rich can be rented on site.
Norman, AR
An Arkansas Swimming Hole
Little Missouri River Falls - For nearly a quarter mile churning waters crash over a rocky riverbed and cascade over a 20 foot waterfall called The Little Missouri River Falls. Of course that assumes you are there during the high water season of Spring and it has just rained. If you are there in the low water season, don't panic, you can use the time to jump in one of several natural swimming holes. Ahhhh, Refreshing.
North Little Rock, AR
Gone with the Wind Old Mill
The Old Mill - The Old Mill or Pugh's Mill, was built in 1933 to resemble an 1800s water powered grist mill. It is featured in the opening scenes of "Gone with the Wind" and is believed to be the only structure that still exists from the film. Around the mill are various sculptures, bridges, and intertwining tree branches made of concrete. Almost every warm weather Saturday you can find a blushing bride having her picture taken amongst the blooming flowers and swaying trees. This is a great place for photos and reflecting.
Paris, AR
Atop Signal Hill
Magazine Mountain State Park - Halfway between Paris (Arkansas) and Havana (Arkansas) is the highest point in the state, Mt Magazine State Park's Signal Hill. It is about a half mile walk through a heavily wooded area up to the 2,753 feet peak, but there are benches when you get to the top. Once there, you can dance around like a monkey and sign your name in the register. There isn't much of a view, for that head to The Lodge at Mt Magazine. First off, it's a great place to stay and second the view of the Petite Jean River Valley is breath-taking. If you are lucky, you may even be able to see hang gliders jumping off the mountain.
Texarkana, AR
Only Building in Two States
State Line Avenue - State Line Avenue divides the city of Texarkana neatly in two halves, half for Texas and half for Arkansas. It is the only city in the USA that has a single building in two states. On the south side of the building is a marker stating "YOU ARE HERE", (like we didn't know that) and "LAT. 33 25 29.8 N LONG. 94 02 35.2 W". Another marker with a diagram of Texas and Arkansas divided by State Line Avenue is close by. It's a great photo op for you and the monkeys. And if that wasn't enough, just north of town is Arkansas' largest magnolia tree.