Arkansas road trip ideas

5 [FUN] Arkansas Road Trip Ideas

There’s nothing quite like an Arkansas road trip to spice up life and make memories.

As a life-long Arkansan, I have been on more Arkansas road trips than I can count.

Some of them were long and required a suitcase, others where just day trips because I was feeling restless.

When I was growing up, the town of Heber Springs was about an hour and a half from my house. It was perfectly normal for us to jump in the car and drive up there simply because we wanted to go swimming.

Arkansas road trip ideas - Greers Ferry Lake in Heber Springs AR
Greers Ferry Lake. My favorite stomping grounds.

In fact, there is an Aromatique gift shop there called “Panache.” Sometimes we would drive up there just to look around.

The important thing was that the journey was just important as the destination.

Even now, as an adult with my own family, I love a drive through Arkansas. I don’t really care where we’re going just as long as we can take it slow.

I always have sunglasses, good music ready, and a scavenger hunt game for my kids. They spend their time searching out the windows for tractors, fire trucks, squirrels and water towers.

I usually spend my time asking them to “please stop looking for stop lights! We’re in the country!”

No matter which direction you point the nose of your vehicle, you’re sure to find an adventure on an Arkansas road trip.

HOWEVER, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Best Places to Go on an Arkansas Road Trip

Visit a State Park

There are 52 state parks in Arkansas and each one of them offers something unique whether you want to camp, go hiking or just soak up some history, there is an Arkansas state park for you.

Some of my favorites are:

Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro

This state park is home to the only public diamond mine in the world. You are welcome to spend all day digging out there and if you find a diamond, you can keep it!

AR road trip ideas - Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crater of Diamonds State Park. Photo credit: J. Michael Raby/Flickr

Read more here: Ancient Volcano in Arkansas: Crater of Diamonds State Park

Bull Shoals-White River State Park

Bull-Shoal White River State Park in north Arkansas has often been considered one of the most beautiful state parks for camping, fishing, hiking, water sports and just relaxing.

If you love trout fishing, this is a great state park to take a road trip to.

Full details here: [TIPS] Bull Shoals-White River State Park

Louisiana Purchase State Park

There’s just something magical about seeing where something monumental began.

An important place in history, this National Historic Landmark preserves the initial point from which all surveys of property acquired through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 originated.

Road trip idea - Louisiana State Park in Arkansas
Boardwalk at Louisiana State Park in Arkansas. Photo by Jay Gannett/Creative Commons

That’s right. The surveying for the Louisiana Purchase began right here in Arkansas.

Don’t miss all the good food.

When I was growing up, we would take a road trip just to visit our favorite catfish restaurant. It was worth it.

There is no shortage of great restaurants in Arkansas, so be sure to make them part of your road trip!

To get started, pick one of these famous restaurants in Arkansas and hit the road! It will be worth it.

You’ll find them here: [Iconic] 10 Famous Restaurants in Arkansas That Are Incredible

Arkansas Road Trip Ideas for Kids

Do you have children you can bring along? Arkansas is a wonderful playground for kids!

We have trolleys, alligators, hiking trails and even a science museum that will impress even the most reluctant learner.

AR road trip fun for kids - Mid America Science Museum
Mid America Science Museum

Depending on where you’re starting from, you can make a day trip or pack a bag and stay over night. Either way, it will be an Arkansas road trip to remember!

Start here: [Awesome] Fun Places for Kids in Arkansas That Are Unforgettable

Road Trip to a Yurt!

I love staying in yurts! They are like camping but with MUCH more comfort.

Arkansas offers many different yurts at our state parks and also private yurts. Each one is different.

Road trip idea - stay in an Arkansas yurt!
Arkansas Yurt. Photo by Jeff Gray

Some feel more like “roughing it” while others come with a hot tub.

Just pick one you like and hit the road!

Details and addresses here: 9 Yurts in Arkansas That Make “Camping” Relaxing

Take in the beauty of a canyon

There are over six beautiful canyons in Arkansas that make great hiking trips and photo opportunities.

Road trip idea - visit a canyon! Cedar Falls near Cedar Creek Canyon Trail
Cedar Falls near Cedar Creek Canyon Trail. Jonathan Ball/Creative Commons

When many people think about canyons in the United States, their minds automatically travel out west to the big canyons. Few people realize that Arkansas has beautiful canyons to explore and photograph.

Curious? Click here: 6 [AMAZING] Canyons in Arkansas that are incredible

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