The Top 10 Attractions in Arkansas

Known as “The Natural State”, Arkansas is a wonderful place to visit. As well being home to mountains, forests and other natural areas, there are also many exciting and interesting places to visit including a large number of historic sites and museums.

Here are some attractions in Arkansas:

1. Battle of Fayetteville (in Fayetteville): An annual reenactment of the American Civil War battle that took place in the area.

2. Bikes, Blues and Barbeque (in Fayetteville): A large annual motorcycle rally that takes place around Dickson Street.

3. Blanchard Springs Caverns (in Mountain View): A spectacular three-level cave system that offers guided tours and is administered by the US Forest Service.

4. Central High School (in Little Rock): This school was a key site during the civil rights struggle. Famously, in 1957, President Eisenhower deployed the 101st Airborne Division to escort nine African-American students into the school. Although still used as a school, the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a designated National Historic Landmark, and contains a National Historic Site.

5. Christ of the Ozarks (in Eureka Springs): A giant statue of Jesus on top of Magnetic Mountain that overlooks the city.

6. Fort Smith National Historic Site (in Fort Smith): See the remains of two frontier forts, and the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas, where Judge Isaac C. Parker, known as the “Hanging Judge”, served for 21 years.

7. Magic Springs and Crystal Falls (in Hot Springs): Two theme parks in one (a single admission price includes access to both parks). Magic Springs includes many rides, and Crystal Falls is a water park which is open from May to August.

8. Ozark Military Museum (in Fayetteville): A museum that preserves aircraft and memorabilia from World War II and other conflicts. The museum is home to a variety of vehicles, 2 flying aircraft and 12 static aircraft.

9. River Market District (in Little Rock): A downtown area which is the main social and cultural hub of the city. The area is home to a twice weekly farmers’ market, as well as shops, galleries, restaurants, bars and museums.

10. Thorncrown Chapel (in Eureka Springs): A spectacular chapel that was designed by noted American architect, E. Fay Jones.

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Wild River Country in Arkansas – A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

Next time you are in Arkansas during the summer and want to cool down a little bit then you will want to check out the Wild River Country. This water park will have you cooled off and having fun with the entire family all day long. Not to mention, if you live near Wild River Country you can get a season pass to enjoy the water fun all summer long. The water park is located at 6820 Crystal Hill Road in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

When you arrive at the park all you have to do is pay for your admission and you are ready to go. Some of the slides require tubes, but they are provided at no cost. If you choose to ride a tube in the wave pool then you can rent it for $5. There are lockers available at the park for rent so you can store your personal belongings and forget about them. You can’t smoke inside the park, but there are smoking areas outside the park where it is permitted.

If you choose to pack a lunch there are picnic areas outside of the park, but you won’t be able to take your cooler inside. Admission prices are $29.99 for adults, $19.99 for kids 12 and under, and $13.99 for spectators. F0r those who arrive late there is a Night Water admission price of $19.99, but only after 3pm and it applies to all ages. Kids 2 and under are free as are adults 60 and over.

The water park is open from the end of May through early September when the weather is scorching hot and everyone wants to cool off outside and have some fun. Be sure to pack some waterproof sunscreen and a towel or two so you won’t get burnt and can dry off from time to time.

You will have a wonderful time at Wild River Country and you will want to plan to arrive early or else plan to visit on a weekday to try and avoid the crowds. However, if you don’t mind waiting in line then any day is a great day to hit up Wild River Country.

There is a website that has great information on USA Vacations and Unique Travel Spots Listed State By State and Season, the website is called: Seasonal Vacation Spots, and can be found at this url: http://www.seasonalvacationspots.com

By Robert W. Benjamin

You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter, or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.

Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business since the 1970’s on the C64, AMIGA, and WINDOWS Computer Systems. He has won magazine awards for the ‘Game of the Month’, and more, in several European computer magazines.

The Beauty of Arkansas Wildflowers

The idea of writing an article on wildflowers in the Natural state amused me, at first. Then I started to research the subject and was amazed at what I learned. God gave us a wonderful gift when he created the state we call home, Arkansas. The Natural State’s Wildflowers are definitely one of our prized possessions. The Natural State is blessed with more than 1,000 different species of wildflowers. You’ll find native azaleas, wild ferns, the Arkansas blue star, and many more along the road sides, river valleys, hills and mountains of Arkansas.

I do have a few favorites when it comes to the Natural State’s wildflower population. Nearly the entire state sports the Bird’s Foot Violet, (Viola pedata), which blooms from April through May. This tiny flower is only about one inch wide and its color appears in phases from light to dark violet. The leaves are what give this violet its name; they are divided into slender lobes that resemble a bird’s foot. The Goldenrod, (Solidigo Canadenis) is a large yellow flower that is separated but grouped fairly close to the main stem. The flowers are located in open areas and rocky slopes over most of the western two-thirds of the state. The Black-eyed Susan, (Rudbeckia Hirta), is definitely my favorite. You can see these blooming wildflowers from spring to fall. These beautiful flowers can be seen throughout the state in the fields and roadsides. They provide a food and cover for wildlife with their yellow petals and dark brown middles that are about two and a half inches in diameter. There are several books available detailing the many different Arkansas Wildflowers. These books make excellent gifts.

The different climates and terrains in Arkansas enable a large variety of wildflowers to grow within the state. We had relatives from other states visit us this spring. They just couldn’t believe the beauty of our state’s wildflowers. The majority of wildflowers in Arkansas are along fence lines, rural roads and secluded areas. Due to our growing population and changes in the environment, the areas in which wildflowers grow are constantly changing. Although highways and land developments have eliminated a good majority of the state’s native wildflowers, programs are under way to preserve wildflowers and bring them back to the roadways.

Wildflowers are utilized by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) to beautify the over 200,000 acres of highway roadsides it maintains. Operation Wildflower establishes new roadside wildflower populations with seeds donated by sponsors. Wildflower populations are established along interstates and primary highways with wide rights-of-ways for people to enjoy as they travel through our state. The planting sites seem to be limited due to safety restrictions, site accessibility, chemical and physical soil characteristics, and the availability of seed. Approximately 1,000 miles of highways have been included in a system of Wildflower Routes to showcase existing wildflower populations. Planting wildflowers along the right of ways helps preserve existing wildflower populations. Wildflower populations have actually increased as a result of the AHTD’s efforts to beautify our state. There are “Native Wildflower Area” signs posted along the roadsides to increase public awareness of the AHTD Wildflower Program. Through preserving existing wildflowers, planting native wildflowers along highway rights-of ways, and the Wildflower Sign Program, many of Arkansas’ roadsides now erupt into a glorious blanket of color year after year. These programs help reduce long-term maintenance costs, enhance roadside wildlife habitat, provide an attractive roadside environment, and preserve native plant populations, but most of all are beautiful to look at. Maintenance practices along these routes allow annual and perennial wildflowers to prosper and return year after year.

I don’t think I will ever take Arkansas wildflowers for granted again. The next time I see a highway roadside flooded with “Black Eye Susan’s”, I’m going to thank God for the beauty he has created and the AHTD for making it possible for all to see that beauty.

Colorado River Rafting – Choose An Adventure On The Arkansas River

The Arkansas River in Colorado is America’s most popular river, and for good reason. With trips ranging from family-friendly to adrenaline-pumping, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy whitewater rafting in Colorado. Whether you’re a soccer mom planning a beginner trip for the team, or a local who wants to push his/her limits, there are a wide variety of options depending on what each person/group is looking for.

The Arkansas River begins its journey high in the mountains near Leadville, Colorado, and gets its name because it ultimately flows into the mighty Mississippi River in Arkansas as a major tributary traveling through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. “The Ark” (as locals refer to it as) is the 6th longest river in the United States, and 45th longest in the world. The river is known for having exceptional trout fishing, including Cutthroat, Brown, and Rainbow trout, as well as some of the best whitewater rafting in the world. The Arkansas River runs parallel to the Continental Divide, winding its way through mountainous terrain that includes the highest concentration of 14,000 foot peaks in the lower 48 states. With over 100 miles of navigable whitewater in the Arkansas River Valley, the Arkansas eventually ends up flowing through the unforgettable Royal Gorge and under the world’s tallest suspension bridge.

For those interested in a “Beginner/Intermediate Level” Colorado river rafting trip, the best options would be Browns Canyon (near Buena Vista) or Bighorn Sheep Canyon (near Canon City/Royal Gorge). Both sections are considered Class II/III, and appropriate for anyone who is at least 6 years old and weighs 50 pounds. Browns Canyon is a one-of-a-kind Colorado adventure, balancing exciting rapids in between sustained calmer stretches, all while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Bighorn Sheep Canyon, about 70 miles downstream from Browns Canyon, is a great trip for those looking to combine high desert scenery, wildlife (it’s called Bighorn Sheep Canyon for a reason!), and some adventure all in one.

If you’re looking to step up the intensity level a bit, then The Numbers or The Royal Gorge would be right up your alley. The Numbers (Class IV/V near Buena Vista) is the northernmost section on the Arkansas, offering tight channels, steep drops, and non-stop white-knuckle action through an amazing high-alpine environment. The Royal Gorge (Class IV/V near Canon City) is consistently ranked among the top 10 whitewater runs in North America for its roller coaster rapids through thousand-foot tall towering granite walls. Late May/early June is typically when the river is at its highest levels as this is when the snow begins to melt in the mountains.

Are you looking for a way to enjoy the beautiful Colorado scenery without any of the rapids? Then a Family Float trip would be perfect for you. With a minimum age of 5 years old, the Family Float (near Buena Vista) includes rafting through the “Milk Run”, just above Browns Canyon, and viewing amazing vistas along the Continental Divide.

Colorado river rafting definitely should be high on the summer “To Do List” for anyone interested in combining breath-taking scenery and world-class whitewater. Whether it’s breathtaking scenery while rafting Browns Canyon, adrenaline-pumping whitewater while rafting The Numbers or Royal Gorge, or family-friendly rafting through Bighorn Sheep Canyon, once you spend a day on the water with American Adventure Expeditions you’re guaranteed to leave with a lifetime of memories.

Top Reasons You Must Vacation in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas is a feast for the body and mind, with a charm and history unmatched anywhere else in the world. Fall in love with the first federally-protected reservation in the history of our great nation – the Hot Springs. These natural thermal hot springs boast a staggering 147ºF to compliment the elegant history and beauty of the surrounding town.

Whether your dream vacation consists of an exhilarating nature hike through the trails of the Ouachita National Forest, tours of the historic Fordyce Bathhouse and Visitor’s Center, or the most relaxing bath massage and spa you’ve ever experienced, Hot Springs, Arkansas is your dream vacation spot come true.

Renowned for its historic landmarks and distinctive architecture, downtown Hot Springs features classic hotels, Victorian-style buildings, world-class art studios, sumptuous cuisine, and a dynamic nightlife. It even includes the finest antiques, collectibles, fine art, souvenirs, and boutiques.

But nobody said that you need to stay downtown for your entire trip. You can’t go to Hot Springs, AR without visiting the Diamond Lakes region of the scenic Ouachita Mountains. Choose your own adventure with hiking, golf, water sports, fishing, camping, site seeing, horseback riding, and even crystal hunting – all available year-round to cater to even the most finicky schedule.

Stay as long as you want, until you can feel the relaxation that can only be found in natural thermal hot springs. Hot Springs has been entertaining guests from around the globe for hundreds of years and have perfected the art of the ultimate relaxing vacation.

Hot Springs knows what it is to have company, and is sure to provide you with the perfect home-away-from-home for your taste and budget. Whether you prefer a cozy bed and breakfast inn, a famous historic hotel, a lake-view resort, an intimate cabin, an economy motel, or a luxury hotel, Hot Springs has a vast range of options from which you’ll easily find the ideal place to stay. If you’re looking for something a little different, Hot Springs also provides campgrounds, RV parks, and even houseboat rentals for those truly special memories.

With all the culture that beats in the heart of Hot Springs – from the Oak Lawn horse racing to the documentary film festival – the town brings you not only fine arts, but fine cuisine to suit every taste bud in your mouth. You’ll dine in style in our many enchanting restaurants tucked within the walls of delightful Victorian buildings in the Historic Downtown District. You’ll pleasure gourmet foods and quality friendly service to your heart’s delight.

Arkansas Owes Residents $100 Million

Arkansas- home to a certain libidinous but pardoned former U.S. President, the Razorbacks, and the Crater of Diamonds State Park where professional and amateur prospectors can search for quartz, garnet, diamonds (the official state gem), amethyst and other precious gems. State Auditor Jim Woods, however, is urging both current and former residents of the Ozark state to search for a different kind of wealth. And they don’t even need to don prospecting gear while doing it.

Over $100 million in Arkansas unclaimed money and property is just waiting to be claimed by their long-lost owners who may number around 240,000. Even Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s names have come-up on the list! “Ten percent of the people in Arkansas have unclaimed property here and all they have to do is come forward to claim it,” Jim Wood, State Auditor, says in a report done by the Arkansas News Bureau. Over the course of time, people lose track of their assets due to change of address, change in name (i.e. Marriage), death, or plain forgetfulness. Businesses also may be owed unclaimed money from abandoned assets brought about by lapses in their record keeping during the course of operation.

According to the NAUPA, (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators), “Unclaimed property (sometimes referred to as abandoned) refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or a longer period. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.”

The latter are the only tangible assets that the state holds for the owners, and puts them on public display (State Fairs, malls, etc.) every October and November in an effort to reunite them with their owners. No one knows what might come out of these abandoned safe deposit boxes: savings bonds, old coins, magazines commemorating the Razorbacks’ 1994 college basketball championship, an authentic Texas Rangers law-enforcement badge, even several 10-ounce bars of silver. If not claimed within a certain period, these items are put on sale on eBay and the proceeds put back into the state fund where they can still be claimed.

Annual lists of new owners of Arkansas unclaimed money and property are also published in newspapers and booths set-up at state fairs (over $18 million is added to the Arkansas unclaimed property fund ever year). Full lists of owners can be found online or calling by telephone.

As the figures show, these efforts by the State Auditor’s office is still inadequate and most state residents are still unaware of the presence of unclaimed money, Most people that do know think it’s too much of a hassle and don’t even bother to find-out how to access lost cash in Arkansas. It’s way simpler than you think. Get started on your own treasure hunt right now.

Arkansas Land Information – Why is Arkansas a Good State For Land Investments

With the state of the economy today, people are making moves all around the United States. Different people have different reasons for moving, but most are in search of a better life and many are traveling south. Arkansas is one of the more fertile southern states; bordered on one side by the Mississippi River. There is plenty of land to be had in Arkansas.

As compared to other states, there are significantly fewer miles of metropolitan area and fewer people. Needless to say, the fertility of the land makes it a hot spot for people who want to start a new life whether it is build a home or for farming. Either way, there is plenty of opportunity for a return on investment for the right investor. Investing in land has a lot of perks, and when it comes to a desirable area such as Arkansas the opportunities to make such an investment are plentiful.

Potential investors may be interested in the reasons why they should bother investing in land in Arkansas. The southern states are some of the most desirable places for people to move, and land is in demand, fertile land especially. With the perfect proximity to the fertile land near the Mississippi and the beautiful mountain vistas that Arkansas land provides it has the potential to be a hot spot for the right investor.

When looking into Arkansas land, it is important to get the right information before even considering a purchase. If you are not from Arkansas, you may want to get some sound advice on zoning requirements, taxes, and ideas for land use that can be used to market and sell the land. Information on mineral rights and other natural resources as pertaining to the land might also be helpful to find and can have a great deal of power over how much the land is worth in the first place. You may have more than you bargained for on your hands, and that can be a positive or a negative thing.

No matter whom you are, if you are looking for a good investment consider Arkansas land. When potential investors think of great places to flip land, it is not often that they consider a state such as Arkansas; be ahead of the pack and consider Arkansas land for your own financial purposes.

Being a good investor is about knowing when to follow the pack and when not to. There are fifty states in the United States and they all have their merits when it comes to land investments; Arkansas happens to be home to fertile land and is situated up against a major U.S. waterway, the Mississippi. Land near such major arteries have always been in high demand.

Don’t miss the boat; Arkansas land is a great investment if you play your cards right and you deal with the right land and the right people. With a little effort on your part, you can be much richer in a few months from the sale of that land. Do your research and get started looking into Arkansas land today.

Arkansas Gay Clubs

The capital of Arkansas, Little Rock, is where you will find most of the Arkansas gay clubs that the gay community in Arkansas have come to call home. Little Rock does not have a very visible gay community, and this is largely due to the conservative flavor of the state. However, there are many gay friendly businesses in Little Rock, and many Arkansas gay venues in Little Rock that cater strictly to gay clientele.

The River Market District in Little Rock is a downtown section of town where you will find to be the primary cultural and social hub of the city. During the day, you can spend some time enjoying the farmer’s market. Or perhaps culture is more your flair, and you can visit the art galleries, museums, and quaint shopping district. After you have sampled all of the culture that Little Rock has to offer during the day, kick your heels up at night in one of the funky Arkansas gay clubs in Little Rock.

Eureka Springs is another area of Arkansas that is largely unnoticed when it comes to size. This small town of only 2,500 is famous throughout the state as being the ‘gayest’ city in Arkansas. For a true flavor of Arkansas gay scene, Eureka Springs is definitely an area you want to visit. The gay community is strong here, and gay travelers are welcomed in many of the gay friendly bed and breakfasts and gorgeous hot spring spas. After you have been pampered at the spa, enjoy a cocktail from Arkansas wine country in any of Arkansas gay venues.

If you are looking for nightlife and fun when you are in Arkansas, look no further. Use our online directory to find the listings in your city of choice!

Capital Cities Tour: Discover Little Rock, Arkansas

The Arkansas River, flowing northwest to southeast, divides
the state in two. Little Rock, the state’s capital and largest
city sits on a bluff on the south bank of the river. Founded in
1812, the city got its name from the French “la petite roche,”
or “little rock,” a stone outcropping on the bank of the
Arkansas River used as a landmark by early navigators.
Called “Little Rock” to distinguish it from a huge cliff
upstream called “Big Rock,” it became a convenient spot to
land before venturing into the Ozark and Ouachita mountain
ranges. Before the Civil War, the little rock outcropping was
larger, but the railroad chipped out a few tons of it to build a
bridge foundation. So, little rock is littler today.

Things to See in Little Rock:

o State Capitols

Little Rock has three state capitols. The original is in the
Arkansas Territorial Restoration, a collection of historic,
pioneer-era buildings.

The second Capitol–the oldest surviving state Capitol west
of the Mississippi and the first site of the state
legislature–is now the Old State House Museum, a classic
Greek Revival on the bluffs of the Arkansas River. It’s also
the site of President Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996
election-night celebrations. The museum houses Arkansas
state history, native art, a collection of Civil War battle flags
and the state’s First Ladies’ inaugural gowns.

The current Arkansas State Capitol, designed in 1899 and
completed in 1916, is a gold dome, quarter-scale replica of
the nation’s Capitol. It sits on a hilltop west of downtown
Little Rock at the former site of the old State Penitentiary.
Made of Arkansas white marble and granite, the building is
similar to the nation’s Capitol but with the unique distinction
of six, 4-inch thick, handcrafted Tiffany brass doors that
shine like six gold bars.

Check it out: . . . At Christmas the Capitol is ablaze in white
lights that reflect off the elaborately carved brass doors.
Amid all this twinkling white light is the word “Peace”
spelled out in a cool sapphire blue from five circular
windows above the main entrance. Beautiful.

Tip: Another seasonal feature is the 100 Christmas trees on
the lawn, representing Arkansas counties. Each tree is
decorated based on the unique feature of the county. A
festive way to learn about Arkansas counties.

o MacArthur Park Historic District or Quapaw Historic District

Downtown Little Rock’s oldest surviving neighborhood is
MacArthur Park Historic District (also known as Quapaw
Historic District, named after the Quapaw Indian tribe). The
focal point is MacArthur Park, located on 36 acres originally
set aside in 1837 for an arsenal to protect the fearful settlers
from Indian attacks, which never came. In the late 1800s
German immigrants settled around the arsenal, building
homes ranging from modest cottages to some of the most
elegant 19th century homes. The neighborhood is also the
birthplace of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur
born in April 1880. The Quapaw Historic District preserves
these classic Victorian homes from Little Rock’s past, one
of which is the 1881 Villa Marre featured in the opening
scenes of the former television show “Designing Women.”

o Central High School National Historic Site

Now a national historic site, Central High School was the
scene of the 1957 school integration crisis in which nine
black students showed up to attend Little Rock Central High
School under a 1954 Supreme Court ruling against racial
segregation. Although the city expected to be one of the first
southern cities to comply with the new law, the governor
called in state troopers to block the students from attending,
fearing violence and property damage from protestors. After
three weeks the troops were withdrawn and the local police
escorted the students through a side door, only to be
ushered out again four hours later. U.S. Congressman
Hays and Little Rock Mayor Mann appealed to the federal
government and President Eisenhower dispatched one
thousand soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division of the
U.S. Army to the site, and that settled it. The nine students
entered the school, stayed the full term and eventually
graduated. Central High Museum and Visitor’s Center
commemorates this historic event.

o The Old Mill

Fans of the movie “Gone With the Wind” will enjoy a visit to
the Old Mill in North Little Rock. A historic re-creation of an
19th century water powered grist mill, it was featured in the
early scenes of the classic film.

Adventure Travel Arkansas

Adventure in Arkansas? The state of Arkansas has some great adventure and soothing locations. If you have never been I recommend giving it a try. You can search for diamonds, travel to wine country, hike in the mountains, fish, take a ferry ride, or just relax at the natural hot springs.

Things to do in Arkansas

Hot Springs became the first National Park in 1847 you can choose from a selection of 47 different hot springs. In the old days you could just venture into the woods and take a relaxing hot water treatment. Today there are bath house vendors in the park or you can use a Spa. The health benefits of the the thermal hot springs have been recognized for well over a century. The Indians considered this area a no fight zone. For more information call: 1-800-SPA-CITY.

Diamonds anyone? If you find that you have a desire to prospect diamonds can be yours. You have a really good chance of finding diamonds in Arkansas. You will want to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park located in Murfreesboro. Here you can prospect on over 37 acres of plowed ground in search of diamonds. The location has been unearthing diamonds for over a hundred years and continues to produce precious stones to this day. You can lease all the equipment you need at the park the fee is in addition to equipment rentals. There is a fee of 7.00 for adults and kids under 6 are allowed to dig for free.

If you enjoy a great bottle of wine the wineries in Arkansas are just the ticket. Boasting of 3 family owned wineries that have been in operation for over 150 years. The grapes have their own unique taste. The newest addition has a tasting room and tour on how the wine making process works.

You have heard of the distinct character of the Ozarks Mountains. The beauty of the area is really why people never left the area and developed the own unique culture. You can take in the views with a great hike with over 165 miles of trails. The Ozarks Highland trail is 5.5 miles and runs along the shoreline Of Lake Fort Smith. Once you enter the National Forest you will go across hills and hollows and see numerous waterfalls. Curious about medicinal herbs the mountain folk of the Ozarks had to know with no doctors around. You can learn what they used by a visit the visitor centers gardens.