Explore Eureka Springs Vacation Ideas
During your time in this historic Arkansas town, you’ll soon discover that your biggest worry is deciding what to do next! You don’t have to travel far from the bed and breakfast to discover an abundance of things to do. Use this page as inspiration for Eureka Spring vacation ideas.
Spend a relaxing day strolling the downtown, browsing antique shops and galleries, sampling the great food at local restaurants and eateries, or you may choose to take in a show or head out for an adventure in the great outdoors. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy in Eureka Springs.
To help you plan your ideal visit with great Eureka Springs vacation ideas, we have listed below places and activities either we or our guests have enjoyed.
This is not a complete list of things to do, places to visit or restaurants to enjoy. For a more complete list of area attractions and activities, please visit the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Eureka Springs Tourist Bureau websites.
- Blue Spring Heritage Center
Blue Springs is Richard’s favorite place to perform weddings. And, who would have thought that the calm looking spring puts out 38 million gallons of water a day. Besides the spring we like to stroll through the gardens, feed the trout and enjoy all the sights and smells that Blue Springs has to offer.
- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
See lions, tigers and bears (oh my!), plus cougars, panthers, monkeys, and many other animals that Turpentine Creek has rescued. They have some animals in cages you can see as well as a tour out back where the animals have their own area to roam. They post the stories behind each of the animals they have rescued which makes the visit a little more personal.
- War Eagle Mill Inc
A short drive to historical War Eagle Mill, a water-powered grist mill on the War Eagle River, where the daily grind is fresh wholegrain cornmeal, flours, mixes and cereals. There is a gift shop and the Bean Palace Restaurant. If you go to War Eagle Cavern then make sure you also stop here.
- Thorncrown Chapel
Nestled in a woodland setting, Thorncrown Chapel rises forty-eight feet into the Ozark sky. We love to go and just sit as it is such a peaceful place to be with its magnificent wooden structure that contains 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass. Designed by E. Fay Jones, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, Thorncrown has won numerous architectural awards and has been featured on television programs and in national magazines.
Shows and Plays
- The Great Passion Play
Everyone should see this at least once in their life. It’s an outdoor spectacle with hundreds of actors and animals depicting the last days of Jesus. Very moving. They also have a dinner show with comedy and gospel music just before the play starts.
- Pine Mountain Jamboree
Enjoy music, comedy, and fun! Pine Mountain Jamboree in Eureka Springs is a live music and comedy stage show which has been performing for over 30 years. In 2006 Mike Bishop took over the Jamboree and has created an all new show.
- Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down
This live stage show has the same format as the Pine Mountain Jamboree but with different entertainers and skits. We like the excellent voices the casts have and thoroughly enjoy the Hee-Haw skit they do. Boy, does that bring back some good memories.
- Intrigue Theater
The newest show in town, the Intrigue Theater takes you back to the Victorian age to experience an evening of Mystery & Intrigue performed by an Illusionist & a Medium Featuring Special Guests from the other side! We attended this show and plan to go back as Sean-Paul and Juliane put on a highly entertaining show that our guests have enjoyed immensely.
Home Tours and History
- Eureka Springs Historical Museum
For a small village museum there is a lot of history packed into this building. For those visiting Eureka Springs for its history, this is the place to start.
- Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours
While the tour is long, you do get some excellent history about the Crescent Hotel’s past, both historically and ghostly. Ask us about the ghost stories our guests have told us.
- Quigley’s Castle
This attraction is among our favorites. It’s not a castle or an architecturally significant structure. It’s just one of the most interesting places we’ve been to here in Eureka Springs. If you go we think you’ll also say, “That’s interesting!” Don’t miss the butterfly wall, it’s an incredible collage.
- Eureka Springs Tram Tour
If you are looking for a quick tour of Eureka Springs, consider taking the tram tour. The tram tours are approximately 90 minutes in length and are fully narrated by a local tour guide that knows Eureka Springs inside out and upside down! If you have questions, they will be happy to answer them! The schedule varies with the seasons, so checkout their website for the latest information.
- Eureka Springs Van Tour
Eureka Springs Van Tour offers personalized tours in their air-conditioned van. These tours last about 2.5 hours and take you to a number of places the tram tour doesn’t get to. The groups are generally smaller and Michele, the owner, will probably be dressed up in her Victorian garb to make the tour seem a little more authentic, or maybe just eclectic.
Fishing, hiking, biking and water activities
- Lake Leatherwood
The largest hand-laid, limestone dam in the nation impounds a lake 1 1/4 mile long with about 3 miles of shoreline covering 85 acres. A quiet, serene place where you can enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch or try some of the excellent hiking and biking trails. There is now a handicap hiking trail also.
- Kings River
Canoe and kayak rentals, fishing.
- Beaver Lake
Swimming, canoe and boat rentals, fishing.
- Steve’s Horse Ride Stables
While we haven’t ridden at Steve’s, our guests have, and always come back saying the horses are great and Steve is a fantastic host.
- Dinner Bell Ranch & Resort Riding Stables
They have trail riding, but what makes them unique is that they offer a breakfast, lunch and dinner ride.
Caves and Caverns
- Cosmic Cavern
Cosmic Cavern was discovered in 1845, but wasn’t developed until 1927. The cave features a 9 foot soda straw – the longest known in the Ozarks, and two bottomless lakes. One of the lakes was discovered in 1993 in the “Silent Splendor” section which made national news. This was Arkansas’ most delicate discovery.
This is a guided 1 1/2 hour tour and is about a 20 minute drive from the inn.
- War Eagle Cavern On Beaver Lake
Take Cosmic Cavern and turn it on its side and you have War Eagle Cavern. Its rooms are large but not too tall (you can reach up and meet a stray bat up close, that’s if you want to of course.) This was the cavern where the movie Jesse James was filmed. When you’re done, consider visiting War Eagle Mill just a short ways down the road.
- Onyx Cave Park
Onyx Cave is the closest cave to Eureka Springs. It has a thirty minute radio headphone self-guided tour. While not as big as either Cosmic or War Eagle caverns, it offers a quick glimpse of what caves are all about.
|Our personal rating scale|
|***||Very good food|
|****||Excellent food, you can’t go wrong|
|*****||Wow, can’t live without visiting as often as possible.|
Note: Most restaurants in town do not take reservations, but serve on a first come, first served basis.
Autumn Breeze ****
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Great Coconut Battered Shrimp and we’ve enjoyed their Beef Wellington. But the thing we really like is their chocolate souffle which you must get a la mode to truly enjoy the full pleasure, hummmmm good.
Basin Park Balcony **
Hours: Open 7 days a week.
Regular type food, but sitting on the balcony overlooking Spring Street and listening to their entertainment, makes this a great place to eat for either lunch or dinner. The weekends add even more to the ambiance as they feature great live music performed by some of our talented local musicians.
Bavarian German Czech restaurant ****
Hours: Open 7 days from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Closed during the winter)
Very good German-Czech food. Try the sauerkraut soup. Sounds odd, but tastes great. Jan likes the Sauerbraten but Richard usually gets the German Platter to get his German-Czech food fix. For dessert, try their German Chocolate cake. Nice thick layers of coconut filling and then topped with a hard chocolate ganache.
Casa Colina Grill & Cantina (Mexican cuisine) ****
Hours: Open every day except Tuesday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for lunch, 3:00-5:00 p.m. for Happy Hour, 4:30-8:00 p.m. for dinner. (Winter hours vary)
They have great outdoor decks. The food is very good and we have a number of favorites we keep going back for.
Cottage Inn (Mediterranean Cuisine) ****
Hours: Open Thursday thru Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The times we have eaten there we’ve found their use of ingredients is a cut above most restaurants. The menu isn’t what we would call a true Mediterranean cuisine, but is more of a Mediterranean influence.
DeVito’s Italian Restaurant *** (***** for their trout dishes)
Hours: Open Thursday to Tuesday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for lunch and 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for dinner.
If you like trout, this is the place to go. Their trout dishes are fabulous. The DeVito family owns a trout farm only an hour from Eureka Springs so they always have very fresh trout. They have a number of preparations and Richard’s favorite is the Parmesan Pesto but Jan’s is the Italiano. They have other great Italian food but frankly, we’ve never made it beyond the trout because we like it so much. Well, except for the Muffuletta sandwich they serve for lunch which is another of Richard’s favorites.
Ermilio’s Italian Home Cooking (Italian) *****
Hours: 7 days a week, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Closed some nights during the winter)
One of the most recommended restaurants in Eureka Springs and one of our favorites also. It’s only three blocks from us, and we like the great tasting home-style Italian food. All their pastas are excellent, and they also cook a thick juicy pork chop dish. It’s a casual restaurant, and they do not take reservations.
Garden Bistro ***
Hours: Open for both lunch and dinner.
The Garden Bistro serves both lunch and dinner and we’ve always enjoyed their fresh food. They try and use as many local ingredients as possible so have a constantly changing menu based on the growing season. They have a Bleu Cheese, Pecan, Honey, Organic Apple Bruschetta that Jan loves.
Gaskin Cabins *****
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
One of our favorites. In an old log cabin, and the place for steaks. Richard craves their prime rib and Jan loves the Beef Burgundy. If you don’t like steaks, no worry, the other half of their menu has a variety of items which will please your palate. If you’re here during the week, they also have some great specials. We always save room for their delicious chocolate bread pudding.
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Ahhh, our place for pizza and subs. Richard loves the meatball sub. We both love their thick crust pizza. We have never been disappointed in their food.
Grand Taverne ****
Hours: Open nightly from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and open for Lunch Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
An upscale restaurant in a grand old hotel. The chef has created some exceptional dishes. Richard likes the Berkshire Pork with its extra marbling of fat which gives it a different, enhanced flavor. Jan likes the Grilled Flat Iron Steak. We both like the Potato Gratin Dauphinois which comes with the dishes, creamy, rich potatoes with a hint of thyme.
Local Flavor ****
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner.
A favorite of the locals in town. We have come to really enjoy Local Flavor and we’re been getting some rave reviews from our guests about this restaurant. Jan especially loves the Sesame Encrusted Goat Cheese salad.
Mud Street Cafe ****
Hours: Closed Wednesdays. Open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (they now also serve dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings)
This restaurant is downstairs off of Main Street with a good variety of sandwiches and other lunch items. They have Trivial Pursuit cards on every table, so indulge yourself while waiting for lunch. If you’re looking for dessert, they have a whole case full of them.
Hours: Open for lunch.
A classic hole in the wall. When entering, you wonder what in the world have you gotten yourself into. But their Ark-Mex food is excellent. Try the buffalo enchiladas, much leaner than beef and just as good tasting.
Rockin’ Pig ****
Hours: Sun – Thur: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Fri & Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.;
If you are looking for a great burger and rib joint, then try the Rockin’ Pig. We know barbeque is a personal taste, so when we say it’s the best barbeque around, you probably need to know our style is Texas style. The ribs are wet and smoky and fall off the bone. The burgers are top shelf. Also, try the Loaded Sweet Potato Fries, with white cheddar cheese, fresh BBQ pulled pork and drizzled with chipotle cream.
Rogues Manor ****
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
We like Rogues Manor for their great food and also because it has a little more upscale and romantic feel. Our favorites are the Greek Chicken, Seafood Casserole, or Lobster.
Simply Scrumptious Tea Room ***
Hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
This restaurant is open only for lunch but their soups, sandwiches and desserts are excellent.
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
A little bit of everything is served here. This is another place you’ll find the locals. Good burgers and some excellent specials. You can satisfy everyone’s food liking at Sparkys.