As one of the West South-Central states, Arkansas offers both extensive wilderness areas as well as small and mid-sized cities with amenities that rival those of bigger cities. Explore miles of hiking trails in numerous state parks, take a river trip down the Father of Waters, or discover more about art, architecture, science, and the Civil Rights Movement at the state's many top-notch museums.
If you live in the center of the state in or near Little Rock, you're in prime position for exploring as it's no more than a few hours' drive from here to each of the state's corners. Find out more with this guide to Arkansas tourism.
National and state parks
Arkansas’ nickname of The Natural State is well-fit: the state boasts one national park, 52 state parks, and numerous other forested and mountainous areas. The Ozark Mountains cover much of the northern part of the state. The Mississippi River—on which visitors can go paddling and canoeing or take a river cruise—forms the eastern boundary of the state. Take a scenic drive in the Ouachita National Forest in the western part of the state.
Arkansas contains an endless wilderness where you can seek out solitude and get away from the rush of everyday life.
Hot Springs National Park
Established by Congress in 1832 (more than eight decades before there was a National Park Service), Hot Springs National Park preserves the hot springs that flow down from Hot Springs Mountain. The town of Hot Springs also features Bathhouse Row, a series of bathhouses and other structures located along Central Avenue that offer mineral baths and other hydrotherapy services. The temperature in the baths here exceeds 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Book a reservation for one of the bathhouses to experience its spa-like services.
Hot Springs National Park also offers unique activities. Hike the West Mountain trails in the park's more remote forested section for some peace and quiet. Bring your binoculars, and try to spot the several bird species that call the park home. Depending on the season, you may see herons, falcons, owls, hummingbirds, wrens, and starlings. Take a two-wheeled trip on your bike on the paved roads in the North Mountain or West Mountain sections.