As an Arkansas native, I can assure you that this EPIC Arkansas Bucket List will prove to you that Arkansas is a state that truly does have it all. There are infinite things to do in Arkansas!
Whether you like to be outdoors, visit museums, take beautiful photos, learn something new, get an adrenaline rush or eat the best pie in the world, you can do it all here in Arkansas.
There are so many things to do in Arkansas and I’ve got 100 EPIC Arkansas bucket list items just to get you started!
Honestly, I could come up with 100 more. Arkansas is so diverse, rich in history, blessed with amazing scenery, and full of friendly people. There are endless things to do in this beautiful state that I’ve called home my entire life.
So, if you’re looking for unique things to do in Arkansas, things to do in Arkansas with kids, the best places to eat pie in Arkansas, or just where to find some good kayaking, you will find it on this Arkansas Bucket List!
Let’s get started. There’s no time to waste!
100 Epic Arkansas Bucket List Things to do
1. Attend a Razorback baseball game
Popcorn, peanuts, and the seventh inning stretch. It doesn’t get much better than a Razorback baseball game! You can watch them live at the beautiful Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Check out their schedule here!
2. Gurdon Light Mystery
Personally, I don’t like ghost stories or creepy mysteries. However, some people do and this one just might creep you out! Supposedly, a light from a lantern appears near the railroad tracks in Gurdon, Arkansas.
“According to folklore, the light originates from a lantern of a railroad worker who was killed when he fell into the path of a train. The legend states that the man’s head was separated from his body and was never found, and that the light that people see comes from his lantern as he searches for it.” Wikipedia
It’s creepy, I know. But, if you want a little mystery on your Arkansas Bucket List, the Gurdon Light Mystery is it!
Just don’t ask me to go with you.
3. Visit Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs has so much to offer! My favorite places are all the “mom & pop” shops and boutiques with handmade Arkansas products.
My husband and I spent one of our first Valentine’s Day weekends in Eureka Springs after we married. It’s a beautiful place to stroll the streets, shop, and eat!
There are so many unforgettable things to do in Eureka Springs!
4. Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari in Gentry
In my thickest, Southern accent, I have to say, “Y’all. Is this not the coolest activity you have ever heard of?!” This is one of the best zoos in Arkansas.
“Wild Wilderness Drive-through Safari is a family travel destination in Gentry, Arkansas. The 400-acre safari is home to a variety of exotic animals. For these animals, we provide a natural environment with a beautiful Arkansas landscape and several large ponds.” Wilderness Drive-Through Safari
5. Visit the Arkansas Railroad Museum in Pine Bluff
My kids are fascinated with trains, so this museum is a natural fit. The trains are enormous and breath-taking to look at. They even have a caboose for the kids to climb in!
Check out the Arkansas Railroad Museum website here.
Also, if you love trains then you will also love trolleys! Be sure the check out all the ADVENTUROUS things to do in Fort Smith, Arkansas including the working trolley museum!
6. Eat at the Wooden Spoon Restaurant in Gentry, Arkansas.
The Wooden Spoon Restaurant came highly recommended from a friend. The food is amazing, and the location is gorgeous!
The Wooden Spoon building is actually an old building! Built originally as a horse barn in central Michigan prior to 1870. It was dismantled and moved to our location at 1000 South Gentry Blvd.source
7. Go hiking!
Arkansas has many beautiful places to go hiking and enjoy this amazing Natural State. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it! Here are the BEST hiking trails in Arkansas and if waterfalls are your thing, don’t miss all the Arkansas hiking trails with waterfalls.
8. Arkansas & Missouri Railroad
My husband and I took a ride on this train several years ago. It was absolutely delightful! I can’t wait to go back and take our kids.
This was my first ever train ride. The train, the scenery, the TALL bridges…it was all so amazing. It really takes you back to a different time in America.
Don’t forget to purchase a sack lunch on the train!
Learn more and get tickets at the Arkansas Missouri Railroad Website.
You will also love: Is a Vacation in Arkansas Worth It?
9. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs
That’s right! Arkansas offers more than one safari-style experience! This is one of many UNFORGETTABLE things to do in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Turpentine Creek is a wildlife refuge for big cats and bears. You can take tours and they even have lodging. It’s a wild experience!
10. Go boating, camping and swimming at Greers Ferry Lake
I grew up enjoying all that Greers Ferry Lake has to offer. I learned how to knee board there while we camped in the summers. We jumped off the cliffs into the water, swam and always had a great time. Here you will find some of the best places to picnic in Heber Springs.
Greers Ferry Lake is one of the best Arkansas Lakes to live on, too!
With over 30,000 acres of water surface, the lake serves as a playground for all kinds of water sports. Eighteen parks around the shoreline provide modern campgrounds, boat launches, swim areas and marinas.Greers Ferry Lake
Don’t miss my Dam Site Campground on Greers Ferry Lake REVIEW.
11. Visit all 52 state parks
Arkansas has 52 state parks, and all offer something unique to do. You can kayak, horseback ride, dig for diamonds, camp, fish and even snorkel!
“Our state parks are incredibly diverse with beautiful wetlands, rocky mountains, clear streams and lakes, and quiet hollows. Our parks have no entry fees, beautiful overnight facilities including grand lodges, cozy cabins, and a wide variety of campsites, historic battlefields, museums, and interpretive/visitor centers.” –Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas has some of the best state parks for camping!
12. Drive in movie in Marshall
Since opening in 1966 Kenda Drive-In has been a local favorite and continues to draw local and out of town crowds every week. Be sure to come hungry! We have great food at great prices.Kenda Drive-In
13. Visit Arkansas’ Grand Canyon
Vance Randolph once said about the Ozarks, “It’s not that the mountains are so high but that the valleys are so deep.” And that eloquently describes the huge valley southeast of Jasper running alongside AR 7, dubbed “Arkansas’s Grand Canyon.”source
14. Go fishing
Arkansas is home to many beautiful lakes and rivers that offer amazing fishing experiences.
Don’t miss all the BEST Fishing in Arkansas according to the locals!
15. Eat (and stay!) at the Cliff House Inn Hwy 7 Jasper
The spectacular view of the Ozark mountains is reason enough to stop at the Cliff House Inn, Restaurant, & Cabins. The reasons for staying are just as delightful. Our location on Scenic Highway 7, just 6 miles south of Jasper, is ideal for exploring the many attractions in the Buffalo National River and northwest Arkansas area.Cliff House Inn
16. Travel the Arkansas Wine Trail
If you love Arkansas, wine, Arkansas wine, and traveling, this is your kind of weekend!
“Arkansas wine is a natural byproduct. Two European families settled in the Arkansas River Valley, attracted by its fertile sandy soil and moderate climate. These pioneers of the American wine industry were Jacob Post, who came to America in 1872, and Johann Wiederkehr, who immigrated to Altus from Switzerland in 1880. Area conditions reminded them so much of the fine wine-making regions of Germany and Switzerland that they each established vineyards, the beginning of viticulture in Arkansas.” –source
17. Go horseback riding at a state park
Take a guided tour at DeGray Lake Resort or Lake Catherine state parks. Venture on your own equestrian journey through the rolling hills and beautiful forests of Crowley’s Ridge at Village Creek State Park. Head to Devil’s Den State Park to take in the picturesque views of the Ozark Mountain Valley, which features over 20 miles of horse trails.Arkansas State Parks
18. Float the Buffalo
Floating the Buffalo River is one of my favorite memories as a teenager! The scenery is gorgeous and the floating can be easy or rapid depending on rainfall.
19. Travel the Pig Trail National Scenic Byway
“The Pig Trail Scenic Byway is a Forest Service Scenic Byway. Beginning in the southeast corner of the Ozark National Forest near I-40, The Byway extends north along Highway 23 for 19 miles to Highway 16 at Brashears. With its many steep inclines and sharp curves, driving the Pig Trail may be likened to riding a roller coaster.” –source
If you are a motorcycle rider, the Pig Trail is a must!
“The rugged and forested Boston Mountains region of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains provides the setting for the Pig Trail, which often runs through a tunnel of foliage during spring, summer and fall. Spring wildflowers and brilliant autumn foliage make the scenic route especially popular during those seasons of the year – whether you ride or drive.” –source
20. Go to the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery
The Greers Ferry Fish Hatchery is one of our favorite stops in Heber Springs. It’s fun to observe the rainbow and brook trout at their various stages of growth!
I remember going there as a child and I have also taken my kids there. It never ceases to amaze me.
21. Watch the Arkansas Travelers Play in North Little Rock
Take me out to the ballgame, y’all! Watching Minor League Baseball in Arkansas is one of our favorite activities!
The Arkansas Travelers, also known informally as The Travs, are a Minor League Baseball team based in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The team, which plays in the Texas League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.source
Get their full schedule and buy tickets here!
22. Visit the Museum of Discovery
Our kids love the Museum of Discovery! Wait…I love the Museum of Discovery!
If you’re looking for a place to lie on a bed of nails or learn about gravity, this is it!
The Museum of Discovery is Arkansas’s premier science and technology center, and our mission to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences.source
23. Hike to Hawksbill Crag
The Hawksbill Crag, also known as Whitaker Point, is located along the northern edge of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness in the Ozark National Forest, just south of the Buffalo National River. It is easily one of the most photographed and recognizable features in Arkansas, and is often seen on publications depicting the outdoors in Arkansas.source
You will find Whitaker Point on one of the “MUST DO” Hikes in Arkansas.
24. See Christ of the Ozarks
Christ of the Ozarks statue is a monumental sculpture of Jesus located near Eureka Springs, Arkansas, atop Magnetic Mountain. It was erected in 1966 and stands 65.5 feet tall.source
25. Hike at Pinnacle Mountain State Park
This day-use park offers a variety of outdoor adventure on the Big and Little Maumelle Rivers, in the Arkansas Arboretum, and along over 15 miles of trails including 7 miles of challenging mountain bike trails. Hike to the top, explore the rivers, or take in one of the many interpretive programs.source
While you’re in the area, don’t miss all the FREE Things to Do in Central Arkansas!
26. Eat at The Root Café in Little Rock
This is one of my all-time favorite places to eat! Their brats are out of this world!
At The Root Cafe, we source absolutely as much as we can from small farms and producers here in Arkansas. This includes 100% of the meat, eggs, and bread we serve, as well as the majority of our vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheeses.source
27. Rent a cabin at Mount Nebo State Park
Mt. Nebo is a gorgeous place to stay. Their hiking trails are gorgeous and they have plenty of places to play and picnic!
“Situated in the Arkansas River Valley just 45 minutes from Arkansas Wine Country, this state park sits atop the 1,350-foot Mount Nebo. The 1930s-era Civilian Conservation Corps constructed many of the rustic-style cabins, pavilions, bridges, and 14 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Cabin 1 was the first cabin rental in state park history.” –source
One of the trails on Mount Nebo was even named one of the BEST Arkansas Winter Hikes!
28. Go see the Elk in Ponca
Elk tend to feed in the fields that lie along the Buffalo National River between Ponca and Boxley, just after sunrise and then again in the late afternoon. To find them, simply drive from Ponca down Hwy 43 to the south, keeping an eye on the fields on the east side of the road.source
29. Devil’s Den State Park
“Some of the park’s unique characteristics are rock formations and caverns. An impressive rock dam spans Lee Creek forming Lake Devil, an 8-acre lake for fishing and boating with canoes and pedal boats for rent. The park’s hiking, backpacking, mountain bike, and horseback riding trails lead to the surrounding Ozark National Forest.” –source
Devil’s Den even has some of the BEST Hike-In Camp Areas in Arkansas.
30. Visit McGee and Me Farmer’s Market in North Little Rock
On everyone’s Arkansas Bucket List should be a trip to an awesome Arkansas Farmer’s Market! McGee & Me Market comes HIGHLY recommended by many Central Arkansas locals.
“Located in just outside of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Me & McGee Market provides an outlet for local farmers and producers. In a relaxing environment, Arkansas products can be found such as meats such as grass-fed beef, buffalo, pork, lamb and poultry. As well as, plants, eggs, honey, fresh produce, spices, jams and jellies! An extension of these farmers and artisans, we cherish the retail responsibility of our partnerships, especially interacting and connecting with customers.” –source
31. Visit Garvan Woodland Gardens
Garvan Woodland Gardens is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas. It is located in the Ouachita Mountains of Southwest Arkansas. It is a popular place for gorgeous weddings, Yoga in the Gardens, health walks (bring your strollers and pets), as well as many photo opportunities.
There is an admission fee. You can check that out here.
“Garvan Woodland Gardens is an example of The Natural State at its best: a canopy of pines reaching skyward providing protection for delicate flora and fauna, gentle lapping waves that unfold along the 4 ½ miles of wooded shoreline, and rocky inclines that remind us of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains.”source
32. Stone Drive-In Theatre in Mountain View
Nothing says, “Let’s check off that Arkansas Bucket List and have some fun” like a drive-in movie!
33. Dig for Diamonds in Murfreesboro, Arkansas
Hmm…what would be fun to add to our Arkansas Bucket List? How about digging for diamonds? YES, you can do that in Arkansas!
Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the only diamond-producing site in the world where the public can search for diamonds in their original volcanic source. The policy here is “finders, keepers,” meaning the diamonds you find are yours to keep. Visitors search for diamonds atop a 37 1/2-acre plowed field, the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic crater.source
Did you read that? FINDERS, KEEPERS!
These diamonds are one of four things you can only get in Arkansas!
34. Visit the Old Mill in North Little Rock
I’ll admit that I’ve never actually made it through the movie “Gone With the Wind.” It’s just too long, y’all. However, I’ve lived in Arkansas all my life and I’ve been to the Old Mill countless times!
Actually, my husband and I took our kids there to picnic recently!
“The Old Mill is famous for the opening scene in the movie, “Gone With The Wind”, made in 1939. (It is believed to be the only remaining structure from the film.)
The park is open to the public and a great setting for photographs or a picnic lunch. It is a very restful site with flowers blooming twelve months of the year. Sculptured concrete work known as faux bois, includes numerous bridges, benches, baskets, etc., sculpted to look like real wood. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.” –source
35. Scuba Dive in Lake Ouachita
It’s time to check off that Arkansas Bucket List and go scuba diving in Lake Ouachita!
“Because of the state’s abundance of clear water, rock lined lakes in Arkansas, the state park boasts a number of picturesque settings for Arkansas scuba diving and snorkeling. Explore the 40,000-acre Lake Ouachita, the largest lake completely within Arkansas’s borders and one of cleanest lakes in the nation. (It’s also one of the BEST Arkansas Lakes to live on!)
The natural beauty of The Natural State is here underwater, too. Check out the fish, rocks, plants, and mussel shells.” source
Lake Ouachita also has the BEST Striper Fishing in Arkansas.
36. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt said, “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
“In 1957, Little Rock Central High School was the epicenter of confrontation and a catalyst for change as the fundamental test for the United States to enforce African- American civil rights following Brown v. Board of Education. Learn how the sacrifice and struggle endured by the Little Rock Nine have provided opportunities and opened doors for those seeking equality and education around the world.” –source
While you’re in town, you might also wonder “Does Little Rock have an aquarium?”
37. Enjoy the underground at Blanchard Springs Caverns
Blanchard Springs Caverns is a wonderful place to visit. In fact, it’s breathtaking. I’ve never seen something so amazing! I’m glad I’ve already checked this one off my Arkansas Bucket List. If you haven’t yet, you can check them out here.
In the area, you will also find one of the BEST Arkansas Hikes with Kids.
38. Watch the Northwest Arkansas Naturals play in Springdale
If you like baseball, Arkansas is the state for you! We have so many options!
“The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are a Minor League Baseball team based in Springdale, Arkansas. The team is member of the Texas League, and serves as the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at Arvest Ballpark, which opened in 2008 and is located at the intersection of Gene George Boulevard and Watkins Avenue.”source
Get tickets here.
39. Eat a Hubcap burger at Cotham’s
If you haven’t eaten a Hubcap burger from Cotham’s, then you haven’t lived! It’s big enough to share so bring friends…or family if you like them…
Don’t forget the fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, corn fritters, and chicken + dumplin’s.
And if you’re a real Southerner, finish it off with some Mississippi Mud.
Don’t worry, they have lugnut burgers for your kiddos.
Check it all out here.
Cotham’s is one of many FAMOUS Restaurants in Arkansas.
40. Visit Tiny Town in Hot Springs
Move over Mr. Roger’s. There’s another cool town…in town.
“Tiny Town is the 50-year creation of a man and woman who are no longer with us, Frank and Louise Moshinskie. Mr. Moshinskie began work on this miniature town at the age of 13.
Mr. Moshinskie created Tiny Town mostly from household scrap items or trash. There are people carved out of wooden spools. Weeds became trees. Wood clothespins became people. Dryer motors were refurbished to power the lights and run the trains of Tiny Town. It is amazing to see and run the trains.” –source
After you visit Tiny Town, be sure to check out the BEST restaurants in Hot Springs!
Get 60 MORE EPIC Arkansas Bucket List Things to Do here:
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