Escape to the Ozarks: Eureka Springs Arkansas

Eureka Springs is one of the truly beautiful places in America that few people have heard about.  What always surprises me is how beautiful Arkansas is.
I heard about this quaint, quirky town about 16 years ago.  I’d just had a baby.  My husband had just left me.  I was struggling trying to find a permanent position so that I could gain some stability in my life (not to mention medical insurance).
I needed to get away.   I needed breathing space.  I needed time for myself, so that I could really just catch my breath and think.
Eureka Springs was it for me.  I loved it.  Every single minute I spent there was pure joy. I spent three blissful nights sleeping in an attic room of the Cresent Hotel.  I parked my car and walked around town. When the hills did me in, I took the Eureka Springs Trolley.  I had massages.  I had afternoon tea.  I read books.  I wrote.
It was cathartic.
Since then, I have returned twice.  The first time was 11 years ago with my new love (and now husband) for a romantic getaway. The second time was around 6 years ago, with my baby girl (well, not so much a baby anymore..) for a girly getaway.
Eureka Springs has something for everyone.
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1886 Crescent Hotel 
I love this hotel.  I’ve stayed a few times now. It’s comfortable and spacious, with beautiful hotel gardens and views of the surrounding areas below. The 1886 in the name hints at the historical significance of the building. History not your thing?  How about the reports of ghosts haunting the halls?  My experience confirms the reports.
Some may find this hotel overpriced and while it is more than I would normally pay for a hotel, I paid for the history and for the experience of staying in a haunted hotel. Breakfast is included and presented in the Crystal Ballroom downstairs which is truly a luxurious setting for a relaxing, fulfilling meal.  You can leave your car in the parking lot as the town trolley stops at the hotel for easy transportation around town.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews
Stone Pig Ridge
Disclaimer:  I have not stayed here, BUT I have close friends that love this place and frequent it as often as they can.   This is a great getaway for some peace and quiet.  The owners are great people and they provide the basic amenities including a microwave, toaster and an outdoor grill. The views are spectacular and there are beautiful walking trails around the 60 acre property.  The Stone Pig Ridge cabin is located about 7 miles from Eureka Springs.  Just a note: be sure you check out their website regarding payment if interested.
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Local Flavor 
My mouth salivates when I think of this place.  It specialises in fresh, locally grown produce.   Lunch was divine with freshly made salsas and homemade chips. While Natalie had a burger that was full and juicy, I had a goat cheese and tapenade sandwich on sourdough. Both were divine.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews

The Stone House
This is a local recommendation:  A fun wine and beer bar with plentiful  fruit and cheese plates.  Has a GREAT atmosphere!
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews
Mud Street Cafe
Another local recommendation:  A basement cafe where the food is great for both breakfast and lunch.  Came with rave reviews.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews
Café Soleil.
A local favourite on the outskirts of town and one I personally recommend.  The food is flavourful and fresh.
Downtown Eureka
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Downtown Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs is quirky, with some truly unique shops.  One of my favorite shops is Happy Things, an old fashioned toy store that will take you back to your own childhood.  Take the time to stroll through the store.  You’ll find something fun to take home.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews
Thorncrown Chapel. 
If you need a break from the shops, spend some time sitting in Thorncrown Chapel.  Appreciate the amazing architecture and take the time to reflect on your peaceful surroundings.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews
Christ of the Ozarks. 
A unique statue overlooks the town of Eureka Springs. While I’m not into this statue for the religious reasons, the views from here are fantastic.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews.
Lake Leatherwood.  
Trails.  Canoeing.  History.  This park is located just outside of town.  It’s so pretty and peaceful here.  Grab some picnic stuff from town and head out to Leatherwood.  You won’t be disappointed.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews.
Blue Spring Heritage Center.
A lovely, deeply historical garden you can tour at your own pace. Two fun facts: 1. The spring pumps 38 million gallons of water EACH day and 2. It is noted that American Indian tribes put their differences aside when they entered the spring area as it was considered sacred ground.
Don’t just take our word for it:  Reviews.
Escape to the Ozarks
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