Take a quick look at a map of Arkansas and you’ll notice a theme. For every three towns, there seems to be one landmark that points to a spring. Those springs are everywhere, and they’re a big part of the state’s appeal.
It would take a massive road trip to see them all, so we’ve narrowed down the list to the best waterways everyone can enjoy.
Have the most perfect day ever
From the outdoorsman to the diehard romantic, Eureka Springs has something for just about everyone. A perfect day would begin with a light walk around Beaver Lake, a midday history lesson at Blue Spring Heritage Center and a ghost tour of downtown just after dinner. Don’t forget to stop at Thorncrown Chapel on your way out of town.
Bring the pole
If you’ve been waiting your whole life for the catch you can write home about, there’s a good chance you’ll get that fish at Mammoth Spring State Park. Aptly named, Mammoth is the largest spring in the entire state (and the second in the Ozark Mountains). In between angling adventures, take a break to check out the history of the area at the Frisco Depot.
Get wet and wild at Magic Springs
It may not be a natural spring, but Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Theme Park is certainly worth a visit. Located just outside Little Rock in Hot Springs, this Arkansas water park boasts dozens of rides that’ll keep the entire family cool all summer long. Pro tip: Hit the big rides like the Seven Falls Slide Tower as soon as possible so you can beat the crowds before relaxing in the Crystal Lagoon.
Relax in the spa-aah
Call it old-fashioned, but there’s something romantic about walking into a huge, Roman-inspired bathhouse in the middle of Arkansas. To add to the splendor of it all, Bathhouse Row is the only operational mineral bath left within Hot Springs National Park. As such, it’d be a complete shame not to spend a few hours in the five-star thermal baths, don’t you think?
Become a thrill seeker
When it comes to gorgeous landscapes, Arkansas earned the nickname the Natural State for a reason, but it’s what’s below the surface that really steals the show. Nowhere is this more evident than Blanchard Springs Caverns, where every day people get promoted to thrill seeker status. Let the kids lead the way through the Wild Cave Tour, you can get them back when the lights are out in the Discovery in the Dark Tour by headlamp.