Some of our dear friends got married last July in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It was my first destination wedding, and it was phenomenal. We flew out on a Thursday afternoon and returned on Sunday afternoon which felt like the perfect amount of time. I visited Eureka Springs a couple times when I lived in Oklahoma. It’s a fun little getaway from there. It’s a cutie town with a lot of spirit and an energy I can’t quite put my finger on. It almost feels mysterious and ancient. In a word: whimsical. Most of the Colorado people in attendance at the wedding had never heard of Eureka Springs. My friend grew up in the area but bounced between Eureka Springs and Oklahoma. It’s not a reasonable trip out there from Colorado unless you’re already in the area, especially with a plethora of magical places much closer. I’d recommend it anyhow. Below is my list of tips when exploring Eureka Springs.
Where to Stay:
Budget Option – Swiss Village Inn – this is where Malcolm and I stayed. It was sufficient with minimal icky-ness.
Splurge Option – the Crescent Hotel, Knotty treehouses, bed and breakfasts. There are a lot of gorgeous costly places to stay here. The Crescent is the historic haunted hotel, so it’s the most expensive. If you have funds to spend, this is a fun option. Knotty treehouses are fun little romantic getaways. They have gorgeous rooms with sprawling tubs and balconies facing a forest of green. They even have plush robes on hand to allow you to lounge comfortably. The bed and breakfasts in town are in adorable little buildings. A collection of life-sized doll houses painted pastel pinks and purples, turquoises, yellows. Blues and greens, vibrant. This is another great option if you’re into talking to people… which my husband is not 🙂
Where to Eat:
Budget Option – Myrtie’s Cafe, Three Bird Cafe – Myrtie’s has great pancakes. Three Bird Cafe is Vegan and delicious. I ordered some kind of skillet which was so good, I asked what kind of vegan cheese they used.
Splurge Option – the Crystal Dining Room in the Crescent hotel. Legend has it the Crescent is haunted by spirits a charlatan doctor killed with his inhumane treatments. There are midnight ghost tours that I highly recommend that will give you a tour of the basement, the murdering doctor’s lab.
Side note: the only food place open past 9 pm is the local McDonald’s. I stopped by to grab some fries for a quick snack, and the staff spoke to me about giant crows in the parking lot. It was… just so Eureka.
Where to Drink:
Budget Option – Eureka Live in the Grand Central hotel is welcoming and fun. Reasonable prices too.
Splurge Option – Happily, Eureka is an anomaly in Arkansas in the way Austin is an anomaly in Texas. Local bars hosted drag nights which always cost a cover because we have to pay our gorgeous queens! It will likely be $10 or more. WORTH ITTTTT.
What to Do:
Budget Options – Swim in one of the beautiful lakes near the Springs. We swam in a few different places, but our favorite was the one in which we met the dragonflies (read about that here).
There’s also a little landmark you could visit. It’s not worth going out of your way, but if you pass it, it’s interesting to see.
Splurge Options – If you are prepared to spend more on experiences, you must schedule a midnight ghost tour of the historic Crescent hotel. It costs too much (a cool $27 for adults), but I had so much fun. It was fun, a bit goofy, and enthralling. Apparently they no longer offer midnight tours, but the last time they offer is 9 pm. That is late enough for the dark to envelop you in curiosity.
Another interesting, quirky thing you could do: visit Onyx Cave (which you can read about here). They offer a variety of tours, the cheapest option ringing in at $19.50 for an adult ticket. Children’s tickets are $15 for the cheapest option. There’s a fun gift shop there as well. It’s goofy and fun. I recommend it!
Where to Shop:
Budget Options – the birthplace of Walmart lays 30 minutes away from Eureka. Their Walmarts somehow seem superior to the one down my street. Such good deals!
Splurge Options – Shops downtown on Main Street. An array of shops sell souvenirs, rocks, jewelry stores, clothing stores, everything in the store is hemp stores. There are many restaurants and bars downtown that you can sample while you’re there.
If we could afford it, we would have bought this for our upcoming wedding. I believe it was here that we started talking about getting married three months later on Halloween. We agreed on it and took a couple photos:
Thanks for reading! Where did I forget, friends?