OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
State of Arkansas
October 1, 1997
Dear Ms. Sarsfield:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding your Discover America journey. I am delighted to hear that Arkansas: The Natural State is on your itinerary.
Here are listings of notable attractions in each region of the state
Highways: Scenic highway 7 is the most famous, with numerous viewpoints (between Harrison and Russellville)
Lakes : Filled with bass, crappie, bream and catfish are B eaver, Bull Shoals, Norfork and Greers Ferry
Rivers: Popular trout streams are the White, the Little Red, and the Spring. Then there's the Buffalo National River, the country's first national river park, established in 1972
Cities and towns: Eureka Springs is a Victorian fantasy... Fayetteville is the home of the University of Arkansas... Rogers has a restored downtown... Bentonville is the headquarters of Wal-Mart... Mountain Home is fishing headquarters... Mountain view is the "folk capital of America" and home of the Ozark Folk Center. Magnificent Blanchard Springs Caverns is 14 miles to the northwest... Hardy has crafts and antiques galore... Fort Smith and Van Buren are gateways to the Ozarks with a rich Western history
Highways: Scenic SH 10 has horse farms, antique shops, and nearby Pinnacle Mountain State Park just west of Little Rock.
Rivers : The Arkansas River is a major bass fishery in the shadow of downtown skyscrapers. A series of locks and dams between Tulsa and the river's Mississippi River mouth control the flow of the stream for navigation and recreation. One of the locks is in western Little Rock.
Cities Little Rock attractions include the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, Old State House (capitol from 1836 to 1911), present State Capitol, Arkansas Arts Center, Decorative Arts Museum, Quapaw Quarter of restored homes, new River Market and Museum Center, Little Rock Central High Museum visitor Center (commemorating the integration crisis of 1957).
OUACHITAS (Southwest Arkansas):
Highways: Scenic 7, Talimena Scenic Drive (between Mena, Ark, and Talihina, OK)
Rivers: Cossatot i s the state's wildest stream...Ouachita is popular with canoeists...Saline is a good fishing stream and one of the state's longest undisturbed rivers.
Lakes: Catherine and Hamilton, south of Hot Springs, have private homes, condominiums and resorts, as well as visitor attractions like the Belle of Hot Springs excursion boat (on Hamilton). Big Lake Ouachita is surrounded by Ouachita National Forest, has more than 100 islands, is Arkansas's largest lake at over 48,000 acres. Greeson and DeGray (with DeGray Lake Resort State Park) are other reservoirs in the region.
Cities and towns: Hot Springs and Hot Springs National Park are the focal point for this region of the state. Noteworthy are Bathhouse Row in the park, the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitors Center, the Grand Promenade behind the row. Hot Springs Mountain Tower offers 360-degree views. Artists' galleries line Central Avenue in the business district, and several traditional resort hotels are of interest...At Murfreesboro, you can dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park...Quartz crystal mines are plentiful around Mount Ida...Mena is the eastern gateway to the Talimena Scenic Drive (with Queen Wilhelmina State Park along the Drive).
DELTA (Eastern Arkansas):
Rivers: the Mississippi borders Arkansas, bustling with barge and steamboat traffic
Highways: Follow green and white pilot wheel markers along highways in eastern Arkansas to parallel the Mississippi River. Arkansas Post National Memorial, Arkansas Post Museum, Hampson Museum, and Village Creek State Park are along the way.
Cities and towns: Helena is Arkansas's Natchez or Vicksburg, an antebellum town of memories. Visit its preserved homes and the Delta Cultural Center which puts the area's influences on display, including its rich blues heritage. Jonesboro is the home of Arkansas State University. . . Stuttgart is the "rice and duck capital of America" and its Agricultural Museum is worth a visit...Lake Village is on the shores of Arkansas's largest natural lake, Lake Chicot.
TIMBERLANDS (Southern Arkansas):
Highways: U.S. 82 is a beautiful, forested route crossing the Southern counties from east to west.
Lakes: Enterprise is bordered by stately cypress trees festooned with Spanish moss. Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge has 65,000 acres of green tree reservoirs and prime hunting land...white Oak is a popular fishing lake with a state park...Millwood is one or the hottest bass lakes in the South
Cities and towns: El Dorado has a restored courthouse square...Smackover is the home of the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources...Magnolia's court square has a handsome courthouse, many businesses, and murals....Hope is the home of giant watermelons and the birth home of President Clinton (his birth home has been restored and is open to the public, along with a fine small museum in the refurbished train station. Hope also happens to be my hometown)...Old Washington Historic State Park is a Greek-Revival town dating from the 1830s where historic events occurred...Texarkana is two cities with two city governments on the border of Texas and Arkansas. At the Post Office and Federal Building you can have your picture made with a foot in each state...Pine Bluff has impressive murals throughout its downtown area along with the Southeast Arkansas Arts and Science Center and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
- State Capitol, Little Rock
- Old State House, Little Rock
- Bathhouse Row, Hot Springs
- Digging for diamonds, Crater of Diamonds State Park, Murfreesboro
- Bass fishing on Lake Dardanelle, Russellville-Dardanelle
- Cedar Falls, Petit Jean Mountain
- Canoeing, Buffalo National River
- Blanchard Springs Caverns, near Mountain View
- Main Street 1880 Mural, Pine Bluff
- Hikers, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, west of Little Rock
- Victorian houses or Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs
- Antebellum and Victorian houses, Helena
- Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith
I hope that this information will help to orient you as you plan your coverage of The Natural State. Under separate cover, we are sending you an Arkansas Vacation Planning Kit.
Have a great trip, and enjoy your Arkansas travels!