Eureka Springs Vacation Guide

Explore the best things to do in Eureka Springs!

When visiting Eureka Springs, 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 in Eureka Springs. Use this page as inspiration for Eureka Springs vacation ideas. To help you plan your ideal visit to Eureka Springs, we have listed below places and activities either we or our guests have enjoyed. 

Eureka Springs Attractions:

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. (Pictured)

Blue Spring Heritage Center: An area favorite for weddings.  Who would have thought that the calm looking spring puts out 38 million gallons of water a day. Besides the spring, 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.

Eureka Springs Activities:

Downtown Photo By: Jonesey, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Downtown: Spend a relaxing day strolling the downtown, browsing antique shops and galleries, sample great food, or head out for an adventure. There truly is something for everyone in Eureka Springs.

Fresh Harvest: One of the largest, freshest selections of Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils, plus fused and infused Olive Oils and aged balsamic vinegars on tap in the USA.  Take a tasting tour, offered daily!

Melonlight: Dance & Yoga – Ready to try something new?  Private or Group lessons available in Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Tango, Country or Yoga.

Escape Room 13: A one hour adventure awaits.  An immersive live action story with secret messages, hidden passages, and fun that puts you in the story.  Uniquely Eureka Springs!

ESSA Eureka Springs School of Art: ESSA began in 1998, offering local artists workshops throughout the year.  ESSA has grown into a 55-acre campus with seven teaching studios located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas.

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. Celebrating over 50 years with lots to do on property prior to the performance.  Open year-round with the Play operating May – October. (Pictured)

Intrigue Theater: 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!

The Auditorium: Built in 1928 The Aud has served the City of Eureka Springs and the Ozarks for centuries.  Check out their lineup for concerts and events while in town.

Opera in the Ozarks: Surprise! Something you wouldn’t expect in small town Eureka Springs, becomes something grand every Summer. Three Operas performed by university students and graduates, from all over the region. A must see!

Outdoor Activities:

Biking, Fishing, Hiking & Water Fun

Bike Eureka: Home to some of the best mountain biking in Mid-America, Eureka Springs, AR and the OZ Trails system of Northwest Arkansas offer a huge variety of trails for mountain bikers of any experience level.  From beginners looking for a scenic ride through the breathtaking Ozark Mountains, to seasoned bikers looking for professionally developed routes, we’ve got it all!

Beaver Lake: Completed in 1966 and nestled high in the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, AR.  The 28,370-acre lake is the first of the impoundments created in Arkansas and Missouri along the lengthy White River system. Its’ 487 miles of shoreline offer swimming, canoe and boat rentals, and fishing. (Pictured)

Lake Leatherwood City Park: Home to the largest hand-laid, limestone dam in the nation.  Lake Leatherwood City Park offers 1,600 acres of Ozark Mountain countryside with an 85-acre spring-fed lake, hiking, picnicking, walking trails, camping, cabins, and a small marina for boating, canoes, and paddle boats. Open year-round.

Kings River Outfitters: Provides canoe, kayak, shuttles, and guide services.

Black Bass Lake: Black Bass Lake City Park, a facility completed by the Eureka Springs Park and Recreation Commission offers trails encircling the lake (about a one mile loop) with access to a non-motorized boat launch, a picnic area, several fishing spots, two wooden bridges and about one and a half miles of hiking and bike riding, including about a half mile of handicap accessible trail.

Home Tours & 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. (Pictured)

Haunted Eureka Springs Tours: If you are into ghosts or just want to learn some interesting Eureka Springs history, this is the tour for you! 3 Haunted Offerings available year round.

Quigley’s Castle: This attraction is an area favorite. It’s not a castle or an architecturally significant structure.  It’s just one of the most interesting places 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.

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 1.5 hour tour and is about a 20 minute drive from the inn. (Pictured)

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.

Recommended Restaurants:

A few of our favorite restaurants here in Eureka Springs are listed below.  Enjoy! Note: Many restaurants in town do not take reservations, but serve on a first come, first served basis. (Peak season and off-peak season hours may vary).

Bavarian German Czech Restaurant: Very good German-Czech food. Everything from sauerkraut soup to Sauerbraten, this place will certainly fill you up.  Don’t forget to try their German Chocolate cake.  Nice thick layers of coconut filling and then topped with a hard chocolate ganache.

Ermilio’s Italian Home Cooking: 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.

Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse: Located in an old log cabin, known for their steaks, prime rib and 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. *Reservations taken.

Grand Taverne: An upscale restaurant in a grand old hotel. The chef has created some exceptional dishes. We’ve tried several dishes from beef to seafood and have been pleased each time. *Reservations taken.

Grotto: Located in beautiful downtown Eureka Springs in a historic building that was built on solid rock with a continuously running spring, a wood fired grill and wine bar.  Menu selections offered:  chicken, beef and seafood.  We’ve yet to find a plate we didn’t like! *Reservations taken.

Le Stick Nouveau: A fabulous new restaurant in Eureka Spring, located below the New Orleans Hotel downtown.  Le Stick’s chef is constantly creating new dishes that are sure to please.  Exciting 5-7 course tasting events are offered throughout the year.  Check them out the next time you are in town! *Reservations taken.

Local Flavor: A favorite of the locals in town. We have come to really enjoy Local Flavor and we always get rave reviews from our guests about this restaurant. Their menu has something for everyone. *Reservations taken.

Mud Street Cafe: This restaurant is downstairs off of Main Street with a good variety of sandwiches, coffees 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.

Mud Street Annex: The “Little Sister” of Mud Street Cafe will delight you with its original tin ceiling, brick and limestone walls, and re purposed wood bar.  Suspended over the stream that gave “Mud Street” its name, The Annex pays homage to the force which built Eureka Springs – its water.  Where else can you eat breakfast and sip award-winning coffee while watching the water flow 20 feet below?

Rockin’ Pig: 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.

Sparkys: 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.

Thai House: Excellent Thai food and a huge menu to choose from. They also opened up a patio seating area for those who want to enjoy the outdoors while indulging in their spicy food.

For a more complete list of things to do in Eureka Springs including area attractions and activities, please visit the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Eureka Springs Tourist Bureau websites.

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