Fun things to do in Arkansas
Tourist Attractions

15 Fun Things to Do Near Arkansas (2023)

Not sure what to do on your next vacation? Check out this list of the top 15 activities in Arkansas, USA that you won’t want to miss! From strolling around and exploring parks, all the way up through sightseeing tours and historical landmarks – we’ve got something for everyone. Get ready for an unforgettable experience!

The Best Thing To Do in Arkansas

Fun things to do in Arkansas
Fun things to do in Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park

  • Address: Hot Springs, AR 71901, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (12850)
  • Phone: +1 501-620-6715
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Tuesday: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Wednesday: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Thursday: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Friday: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Saturday: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Sunday: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM

5 Replies to 15 Fun Things to Do Near Arkansas (2023)

  1. Very unique national park! Totally free park, but try to plan ahead and make a reservation if you’d like to visit the bath houses for a spa day. There’s still other opportunities to drink the water for free and there’s a small museum to spend about 30 minutes inside. There’s also several hiking trails that are easy-moderate. Not crowded during the weekday especially in January!

  2. What a delightful stop! This is worth a stop on your trip or even a destination. If you have 2 hours you can walk bathhouse row and see the gorgeous architecture of Hot springs and even take a soak in a bathhouse! If you have 6 hours then make sure you tour the cultural center, check out some of the shops, and have a meal along the main street. If this is a destination, then make sure you get an appointment to have a full pampering at the spa and bath houses, enjoy an evening walk, and stay the night at any of the gorgeous art deco hotels like The Arlington. You will not be disappointed in Hot Springs.

  3. We didn’t get to spend a lot of time here unfortunately, but it was a short and a very memorable stop on the way home. The park was pretty unique with some nice springs (hot and cold). There are spring fountains in several spots where you can bottle up for free. And then there’s a pretty scenic drive up the mountain with great views and a watch tower.

  4. This is a beautiful urban park with so much history to explore. There are hikes for every skill level and a good length scenic drive to enjoy as well which leads to a great overlook over bathhouse row.

    Fordyce Bathhouse is both visitor center and museum. It has four levels to explore and is rather labyrinthine so you’ll have to be very careful you don’t miss any doorways or turns if you don’t want to miss anything. This is where you’ll do most of the junior ranger activities and that helped us adults out with seeing everything.

    Two of the bathhouses on the row are still in operation as bathhouses but there is no way to experience the hot springs, inside or out, with children which is why I can’t give this park 5 stars.

    One of the bathhouses is empty and unused. It feels like a missed opportunity to offer something for families to enjoy together rather than as an adults only spa like the other two operate.

    Outside the kids can feel the steam coming off several pools, cascades, and fountains. Hot spring water can be collected in containers to drink. There is no opportunity to get into the hot springs, however. I knew that before going and you should too.

  5. The city of Hot Springs is super quaint. I felt like I was touring a foreign country as I walked the trails around the hot springs and walked along the downtown. There are several small waterfalls along the trails where you can see and feel the water as it comes out at about 130°. Really pretty. Fun place to walk around.

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Top 15 Things To Do Arkansas, USA

Fun things to do in Arkansas
Fun things to do in Arkansas

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

  • Address: 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (11496)
  • Phone: +1 479-418-5700
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Tuesday: Closed
    Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Friday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    A lovely way to spend several hours. I was fortunate enough to visit when school had started so the galleries were not overcrowded. The buildings and surroundings are almost as wonderful as the art contained inside. Lots of staff to answer questions. Was able to get tickets to the Frank Loyd Wright house so I took that self-guided tour. South Stopped for a glass of wine in the restaurant and enjoyed the music at happy hour in beautiful surroundings. As I was leaving I noticed many locals out taking advantage of the many trails and walking areas around the museum. Could not be better!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Fran Keal (5 months ago)
    Wonderful art museum. And the staff were fantastic. I missed out on getting a (free) ticket to see the Frank Lloyd Wright house, so they let me see one of the paid exhibits for free instead. The Dirty South special exhibit was challenging and thought provoking and very well produced. The art galleries were well laid out in (mostly) chronological order, with plenty of room for everyone who wanted to get up close to the artwork.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Kaye Dacus (10 months ago)
    This is our second time visiting this museum as we live out of town. We LOVE coming here. There is so much to do and see. We love going to the special exhibits. This is genuinely the only museum I’ve been to that has brought out different kinds of emotions through the different styles of art. This will always be a destination for us when visiting Arkansas.

    Also, we got in free with military discount!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By JasonSpade (6 months ago)
    Beautiful! Lots of groomed walking trails with art and features along the way. Inside there are 6 or so separate exhibits. There is also restaurant serving good quality food from dinner plates, burgers (good), fried, salad, soup, kids food and beer and wine selection. There’s also a full service coffee bar.
    This was our first time visiting and it was a little overwhelming. They have a lot of helpful staff that can point you in the right direction but I think there could be better signage for first timers.
    We don’t frequent museums but wanted to experience this place based on recommendations from friends. We were really happy we went! I’d say is a must see!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Mikel Burlingame (2 months ago)
    We arrived at the museum just before it closed so we only got to see two galleries of art, but each work was exceptional. You don’t have rooms full of one painter, but get to see a wide variety of work from some of the best American artists from across the country. We can’t wait to come back to see the rest of the museum. While we were closed out of the museum, there was still time to explore the beautiful park just outside. It was mid-spring and the flowers and redbuds were in full bloom. I strongly suggest spending some time walking through the gardens and art installations surrounding the Crystal Bridges Museum.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Sam Smith (8 months ago)

Crater of Diamonds State Park

  • Address: 209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, AR 71958, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.4 (5303)
  • Phone: +1 870-285-3113
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    While the allure is to get rich quick, your chances of finding anything other than sweat and a fun time are pretty low.

    That said, the cost to enter and dig ($10) was reasonable as was the cost to rent the tools ($15 for the full bundle but you can rent a la carte as well – note that a higher deposit is required but then returned).

    Getting there early is a must to secure a spot at the water trough. Since there is almost no shade anywhere except the pavilions, bring a hat at the very least and a lot of drinking water. Heatstroke can creep up on you very easily because your hands feel cool when they are in the water.

    ✭✭✭✭ By El (7 months ago)
    Campground is a little pricey at $42 a night but we still had a great time. Shower house was some of the best I’ve seen and there’s nice walking trail to the river nearby. And of course the thrill of the hunt for diamonds! We would stay again
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Lauren (a year ago)
    A unique park, to say the least. We spent three hours here, mainly digging in the dirt. We found several gemstones and many neat rocks.

    There’s a nice gift shop with very polite employees. You can purchase basic digging supplies (bucket, bag, spade/scoop). There are restrooms here. A splash pad/water area. Trails. A restaurant that was closed by the time we got there. Picnic tables and shaded areas outside the crater. Plenty of parking.

    It was a tad disappointing that they close down at 4:00 p.m. We had a long drive, and got there later than expected. We would have liked to stay another few hours, but we’re pretty happy with what we found in our time there.

    Well worth visiting! We’ll go back again (hopefully much earlier in the day) next time we’re in the area.

    There are several Pokestops and gyms here.

    ✭✭✭✭ By Nathan Flaminio (8 months ago)
    We had a good time. We stayed for about 3 hours which was long enough with 8 kids in 93 degree weather. We did not find any diamonds but we did find other minerals and crystals. Word of advice: pick a cool day. It was 93 degrees in the middle of September when we went.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Jennifer Johnson (4 months ago)
    The park is a unique and fun experience. Treasure hunting!!! Lol, as a kid I was always a fan of Indiana Jones and wanted to someday do a little treasure hunting myself. Park admission is inexpensive, the gift shop has reasonable prices (I was kind of expecting “airport prices”) and has a variety of snacks and souvenirs. All of the staff I encountered were very friendly and helpful. And all of the other tourists and treasure hunters I came across were also friendly and willing to share stories and advice for newcomers like me. I definitely recommend going when the temperature is not going to he above 80 because digging and sifting is hot work! Fun for all ages.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By clint goad (4 months ago)

Garvan Woodland Gardens

  • Address: 550 Arkridge Rd, Hot Springs, AR 71913, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (5105)

Petit Jean State Park

  • Address: 1285 Petit Jean Mountain Rd, Morrilton, AR 72110, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (5043)

Little Rock Zoo

  • Address: 1 Zoo Dr, Little Rock, AR 72205, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.2 (4293)

Mammoth Spring State Park

  • Address: 17 US Hwy 63, Mammoth Spring, AR 72554, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2936)

Buffalo National River

  • Address: Arkansas, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2856)

The Walmart Museum

  • Address: 105 N Main St, Bentonville, AR 72712, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (2787)

The Old Mill

  • Address: 3800 Lakeshore Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72116, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2749)

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

  • Address: 239 Turpentine Creek Ln, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2677)

Mount Magazine State Park

  • Address: 577 Lodge Dr, Paris, AR 72855, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2018)

Fort Smith National Historic Site

  • Address: 301 Parker Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72901, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (1849)

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

  • Address: 11901 Pinnacle Valley Rd, Roland, AR 72135, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (1679)

Arkansas Grand Canyon

  • Address: AR-7, Jasper, AR 72641, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (907)

Onyx Cave

  • Address: 338 Onyx Cave Lane, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.4 (862)

That’s it for our list of the best things to do in Arkansas! If you have any arguments or additional information, please leave a comment. We love to hear from our readers too!

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