Top 10 Breathtaking Views in Arkansas
You don't have go far to enjoy the beauty of Arkansas. There's a reason this state is called the "Natural State," from its pristine lakes, wooded scenery and mountain vistas, Arkansas is a vacation paradise. Here's a list of some of my favorite views that you just have to see when visiting Arkansas.
1. Petit Jean State Park
I love this place, Petit Jean is located near the city of Morrilton and this is a little piece of heaven on earth. Its natural log and stone facilities were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1933. This state park features more than 80 structures, trails and bridges with the focal point being the Adirondack-style historic Mather Lodge that overlooks the river valley below that includes the rugged Cedar Creek Canyon at the base of the canyon floor where hikers congregate to marvel at the huge waterfall that flows over the top of the canyon rocks. Make sure you also take in other scenic trails like Bear Cave, Seven Hollows, and the famous Carpet Rocks and Turtle Rocks that resemble turtle shells. Can you say Cowa-Bunga?
2. Mount Magazine State Park
If you want a romantic weekend getaway or a week to just unwind and relax that place is Mount Magazine State Park. The state's tallest mountain stands at 2,753 feet surrounded with incredible scenic views of the rugged wooded terrain and valley below. In fact, the temperature is always cooler at the top of this gorgeousness mountain retreat. The Lodge at Mount Magazine reminds me of a ski resort in Colorado and there are several cabins located through the mountain side with unbelievable views. Adrenaline junkies love coming here to hang glide and rock repel off the side of the cliffs. I guarantee, one stay here and you'll want to go back!
3. Devil's Den State Park
The first time I heard the name I thought, oh no I'm not staying here! But Devil's Den State Park is far from being scary. Situated in the scenic Ozark National Forest near the city of West Fork, it's just minutes from Fayetteville in Northwest Arkansas. With picturesque settings of the Lee Creek Valley and the iconic Yellow Rock Overlook, this park blends natural beauty with natural settings of the rustic style wood and stone architecture surroundings. Hiking, backpacking, mountain bike trails, cabin rentals are just some of the amenities that this park has to offer. There's only one word to describe this place and it's not devilish -- it's heavenly!
4. Mount Nebo State Park
Overlooking the Arkansas River Valley near the town of Dardanelle, Ark., Mount Nebo State Park is located near Mount Magazine. Rising 1,350 feet through mixed hardwood and tall pine trees with some of the most beautiful and breathtaking sunset views in Arkansas. With 34 campsites, this park is a camper's paradise not to mention 15 fully equipped rustic cabins for a stay you won't forget. With plenty of picnic areas, a pool, tennis courts, hiking trails and bike trails, this place is a must-place to stay.
5. Hot Springs National Park
This place has been one of my favorite places to visit anytime of the year. Stay for a week or a weekend getaway this spa city was named after the Hot Springs that runs underground and through the surrounding mountains. The European explorer Hernando De Soto visited here in 1541 and the Native Indians called this place the "Valley of the Vapors" believing the hot springs had healing powers. There are breathtaking views all over the city whether it's on the lake or west mountain overlooking the city and the beauty of the surrounding Quachita National Forests. There is plenty to see and do in Hot Springs for all ages including Magic Springs theme park, gambling at Oaklawn, taking an historic ride on the yellow ducks, tour Bathhouse Row or get a awesome view from the Hot Springs tower. Having lived there for almost 11 years I never got tired of what this town had to offer for residents who lived there and tourists who visited.
6. Arkansas Grand Canyon
The Cliff House Inn Jasper, Ark., offers a bird's-eye view of what is called the Arkansas Grand Canyon overlooking the beautiful Ozark mountains. This mountain retreat is situated on the edge of a mountain where guests can enjoy the sunrise from one of their decks and you'll love the photogenic scenery of the surrounding beauty and birdwatchers will see a variety of hawks and bald eagles. The Cliff House Inn was inspired by Kenneth and Fern Carter who were traveling down scenic Highway 7 in 1960 and saw a tree line that overlooked the canyon and decided at that moment he was going to build the inn in that exact spot. However, doing it required he blast through a part of the mountain with dynamite before he could build the motel rooms. Well worth the visit!
7. Talimena Scenic Byway
The Talimena Scenic Byway near Mena is probably one of the most scenic drives you can take in the state of Arkansas. Whether you ride a bike, a motorcycle or travel by car you'll see some the most beautiful countryside with rolling hills, mountains and plenty of woods. This drive eventually crosses into Eastern Oklahoma where there are numerous cabins to stay for a night or a week. Talk about a peaceful drive in the wide open country, this is the one!
8. Buffalo National River
In 1972. congress designated the Buffalo River as America's first national river and by doing so no residential or commercial development is allowed thus preserving its natural beauty. This is a great river to take a family float trip with its winding river valley and rapids at various points along the way. This river will bring the adventurous spirit out in all of us.
9. Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs is located in North Arkansas and has been nicknamed "Little Switzerland of the Ozarks" and for good reason. With its winding mountainside streets that run right through the historic downtown area with its Victorian style architecture, this makes for one great vacation spot. With an abundance of Bed & Breakfasts, cabins, and the historic Crescent Hotel featured on several ghost hunting shows, Eureka Springs is also well known for its countless boutiques, unique shops, bars and art galleries. If you want to escape from the stresses of everyday life, this is the place.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a 2,000 acre park with a summit of 1,011 feet. Its view overlooks the Arkansas River on its way toward the Mississippi. This state park is located in the state Capitol of Arkansas Little Rock. The park offers a wide variety of walking trails and two barrier-free trails for hiking. Two of the trails lead to the top of the volcanic cone shaped summit for a panoramic view. For bike enthusiasts there are more than eight miles of singletrack mountain bike trails. This is another must-see attraction in Arkansas.