Arkansas is one of the most underrated states in the USA and has a surprising amount of exciting things to do. Known as the Natural State, Arkansas is full of hiking trails, outdoor activities, and spectacular parks. You'll find culture too with Blues music, the legacy of Johnny Cash, and some unique museums. You can learn about life as a pioneer in Washington State Parks or soak up the beauty of the natural world at Eureka Springs. There are so many exciting and diverse things to do in Arkansas that you'll be spoiled for choice. Whether you want an active vacation or a more cultural experience, Arkansas will have you wanting to return again and again.
The Ozark Mountains are one of the best open spaces in Arkansas for an outdoor vacation. Eureka Springs is an area popular with hikers and bikers but is also famous for zip lining over the tree canopy. You'll find yourself 300 feet in the air, soaring over limestone cliffs and the hardwoods so characteristic of the Ozarks. It's an experience that will leave you exhilarated.
Wegner Crystal Mine has several mining experiences for visitors. You can visit the open-air Crystal Forest Mine and search for quartz and other crystals used in jewelry. If you want a more adventurous experience, you can dig along rock veins here for crystals. Or, go underground on an escorted mining tour to search for diamonds. Mining experiences are just one of many exciting things to do in Arkansas.
The eastern part of Arkansas in the Mississippi Delta is home to Blues music. Helena is the birthplace of Blues music and where you'll find the King Biscuit Blues Festival each year. You can follow the Arkansas Music Trail, see where Johnny Cash lived as a child, and the place where BB King King called his guitar Lucille. You'll find lots of blues bars and rock-and-roll-themed diners designed to appeal to those who love their music.
In the heart of the Ouachita Mountains is the aptly named city, Hot Springs. The area is full of naturally heated mineral waters, and springs thought to be beneficial to health. You'll find bathhouses and natural pools in Hot Springs National Park. There are trails there too and some beautiful scenery. Back in town at Hot Springs, you can admire the architecture in Bathhouse Row and relax after an exciting day exploring some of nature's wonders.
Arkansas has some of the best hiking trails in the USA. There's the Yellow Rock Trail within Devil's Den State Park. It's a three-mile hike, but you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view. The White Rock Rim Trail in the Ozark National Forest is another scenic trail for hikers. Another top hike is the Lost Valley River Trail. Situated in the Buffalo River area, this hike includes a natural bridge, a cave, and even a swimming spot at Eden Falls- so pack a swimsuit. Another hike in the Buffalo National River area is the Indian Rockhouse Trail, with caves and a natural swimming pool.
One of the most exciting things to do in Arkansas is to ride a trail on horseback. There are six national parks offering horse riding as one of their activities. You'll find lots of ranches offering accommodation too. Horse riding ranches and stables in Arkansas offer a mix of guided trails, trekking, and even chuck-wagon experiences. There are some spectacular mountain and forest trails for horse riders in Arkansas that are ideal for all standards of rider.
There's nothing more exciting than catching your first fish. But even if you are an experienced angler, Arkansas has some amazing places to fish. There are 9700 miles of fishable rivers in Arkansas and 600,000 acres of lakes, so you'll never be spoiled for choice. You'll find species like catfish, trout, bass, alligator, and much more. Some of the best areas to fish include the White River in the Ozarks, famed for its trout. The Little Red River in the North East of Arkansas is also popular for trout, while Lake DeGray is a delightful spot to find catfish. You'll need a permit but will find some excellent fishing in Arkansas.
Although Arkansas is a landlocked state, it is very popular with scuba divers and snorkelers. The abundance of clear lakes makes it perfect for diving. Some of the best places to go are Lake Ouachita and also Lake DeGray, famed for their abundance of fish, mussels, and aquatic plant life. That crystal clear water is clean, too, making it an ideal scuba diving environment.