everyday inspiration

My Arkansas Bucket List

A few things you should know about me before starting this post: 1. I’ve lived in Arkansas almost my entire life. 2. I can’t sit still.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the thing. We’re planning this super awesome trip to Europe in the fall – one that I will certainly be posting about incessantly pre- and post- trip. However, since we have limited money and limited vacation time, that means the summer is wide open. But who can live through a summer without doing anything fun?! Certainly not me. See point 2 above.

So, I’ve decided this will be the Arkansas Summer. I will go and see and do all the wonderful things my home state has to offer – some of which I’ve done before (but it’s been a while) or some of which I have yet to do, but always wanted to. For those of you who live here you know how beautiful and underrated this state is. For those of you who don’t live here, you would be shocked to see all it has to offer, and hopefully I can share a glimpse into its beauty with you.

ozarks-float-trips_0

1. Float the Buffalo River

2. Eat a famous hubcap burger at Cotham’s [Scott/LR]

3. See the new Crystal Bridges exhibit, Van Gogh to Rothko [Bentonville]

4. Dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park [Murfreesboro]

5. Climb Pinnacle Mountain [Little Rock]

6. Go to the drive-thru wilderness safari [Gentry]

7. Climb to Hawksbill Craig and take a cliche picture

8. Enjoy an evening at the drive-in movies [Fayetteville]

9. Tour the Ozarks through railway [Springdale to Winslow or Van Buren]

Other must-dos for Arkansans, but that I’ve done regularly so not on my list: Horse races at Oaklawn [Hot Springs], Weekend in Eureka Springs, NWA breweries [read my post about that here], Concert at the AMP [Rogers], Saturday morning Farmers Market [Little Rock/Fayetteville/Bentonville], Tailgate and go to a Razorback Football Game [Fayetteville]

POST UPDATE: Check out my updated bucket list thanks to your recommendations and my new series Discover Arkansas!

Have a recommendation of something to add? See something you want to do with me? Let me know! xo xo

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60 responses

  1. Thank you
    Fantastic Blog
    Good luck
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    March 23, 2015 at 4:03 am

    • Thank you for checking it out!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:09 am

  2. Dawn Moody

    10. Spend the night in a tree house at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs.

    March 23, 2015 at 10:06 am

    • Wow that sounds awesome! Thanks for the suggestion, Dawn. I will have to check that out!

      March 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

  3. Sandy Reeves

    This is exactly what I was going to add, along with the Elephant Sanctuary in Greenbriar. Two things I definitely want to do before it’s too hot!

    March 23, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    • I had no idea there was an elephant sanctuary! It looks amazing. Thanks for letting me know, Sandy. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

  4. Jodi Cook

    Tour the wineries!

    March 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    • Great idea! Thanks for checking out my blog, Jodi. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

  5. Hogwild1017

    Take an Arkansas BBQ Tour 1. Allen’s BBQ – Arkadelphia 2. Nick’s BBQ – Carlisle 3. Craig’s BBQ – De Vall’s Bluff 4. Jones BBQ – Marianna

    March 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    • SJ

      Don’t forget Mean Pig BBQ – Cabot!

      March 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    • Charlene

      Backyard BQ Magnolia the best

      March 26, 2015 at 2:15 am

    • I love bbq – so that’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing your top picks! I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

  6. float the mulberry River

    March 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    • Yes, several people have mentioned that so sounds like it’s a must-do! Thanks for sharing, Courtney. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:11 am

  7. Jann

    Diamond Cave in Jasper! Fantastic formation!

    March 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    • Diamond Cave isn’t open any longer.

      March 24, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    • That sounds amazing, I’ll be sure and check it out! I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:12 am

  8. Amanda Shook

    Attend the Annual War Eagle Craft Fair [Rogers].
    Attend Bikes, Blues, and BBQ [Fayetteville].
    For History buffs, go to the Fort Smith Historical Museum and Miss Laura’s

    March 23, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    • Thanks for sharing, Amanda! I’ve done the craft fair and bikes, blues since I live in Northwest Arkansas, but I haven’t done the Ft. Smith Museum. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:12 am

  9. Lindsay

    We did a weekend hitting as many of the cool mountain peaks as we could: White Rock, Mount Magazine, Mount Nebo, Petit Jean Mountain, Mount Judea (Sam’s Throne)… those are my favorites so far. Disclaimer: I haven’t fully explored the Ouachita Mountains yet.

    March 24, 2015 at 12:20 am

    • Great idea to spend a weekend doing that. Thanks for sharing, Lindsay! I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:13 am

  10. Martha Taylor

    War Eagle Craft Fair, spend night in haunted room Crescent Hotel in Eureka,

    March 24, 2015 at 6:27 am

    • Yes, I’ve done both of those and loved them! Thanks for sharing, Martha. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:13 am

  11. rose throesch

    Jump off the cliffs at Greer’s ferry lake. Dog races at southland greyhound park at west Memphis. Ozark music festival at Mt View

    March 24, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    • I’ve been to the dog races in West Memphis, but haven’t been to Greer’s Ferry Lake. Great idea! I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:14 am

  12. Brenda

    Baths and massages at the Arlington in Hot Springs

    March 24, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    • I did that two summers ago and it was such a unique experience! Thanks for sharing, Brenda. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:14 am

  13. Tyesa

    Definitely stay at the crescent and take the ghost tour.
    Float spring river at mammoth spring.

    March 24, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    • I’ve stayed at the Crescent, but haven’t been to Mammoth Spring. Thanks for sharing, Tyesa! I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:15 am

  14. Charlotte

    blanchatd springs cavern. Pretty incredible.

    March 25, 2015 at 7:11 am

    • That’s a great idea, Charlotte. I will definitely check it out! I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:15 am

  15. Shelli J

    Kenda Drive-In at Marshall is EXCELLENT!! Great food at concession, play frisbee or toss football under the big screen before the Show, and true “everyone’s your neighbor” kinda place!

    March 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    • That sounds amazing! I will definitely check it out, Shelli. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:15 am

  16. I’m stoked to see that you’re giving credit where credit’s due–to this beautiful state. I see that a few people have mentioned the northeastern portion of the state in their comments, and that’s what I’d suggest–venturing into the northeastern part of the Ozarks. From Mountain View (including Blanchard Springs Caverns) to Painter’s Bluff and Blowing Cave in Cushman to the lake in Mountain Home (great fishing there), there’s really a whole world of beauty here in the Ozarks. Many people (even Arkansans) consider the Ozarks to be on the western side of the state. You might read Brooks Blevins’ book “Hill Folks” if you have time this summer. No better way to acquaint yourself with the history of the Ozarks. I hope you post about your adventures this summer!

    March 25, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    • Crystal

      Painters bluff is beautiful! Blowing cave is pretty cool too! I agree they need to travel this direction!

      March 25, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    • Wow, great suggestions! I definitely need to explore that side of the state more, Bethany, and will look into the book. I love to read. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:16 am

  17. Crystal

    Also float the spring river on memorial day! Make a weekend trip of camping and floating! Also camp the ozarka for sure after the blanchard springs caverns! The ozark folk center is also pretty cool to someone who hasnt ever been! Havent been since they remodeled everything, but the little rock zoo is supposed to b alot better too! Rivermarket, esp during riverfest, is fun in little rock!

    March 25, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    • Great suggestions, Crystal! I have a lot to do! Thanks for sharing. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:17 am

  18. Emily

    While you’re floating the Buffalo, you should do some of the hikes in Newton County. Lost Valley or Eden Falls are some especially pretty ones and aren’t too far from Ponca

    March 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    • Yes, definitely! I’ve been to Lost Valley, but will have to check out Eden Falls. Thanks for sharing, Emily. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:17 am

  19. Emily

    Also, the Ozark Mountain Cafe in Jasper is wonderful and affordable if you’re looking for somewhere to eat after you hike.

    March 25, 2015 at 11:29 pm

  20. Dave

    Don’t forget Blanchard Springs Caverns, and there’s still a drive-in movie theater in Mtn. View, so you could kill two birds with one stone.

    March 27, 2015 at 12:28 am

    • Perfect! Thanks for the suggestion, Dave. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:18 am

  21. Aimee Webb

    Spend a weekend at the heifer project.
    Hike down to the waterfall at Petit Jean state park.

    March 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    • I’ve always wanted to do the Heifer Project. Thanks for the reminder – and the waterfall hike sounds awesome. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:18 am

  22. Audrey

    Trout fishing on the White River and swimming in the coolest swimming hole at Big Spring Park in Cotter, AR!

    March 28, 2015 at 10:38 am

    • Wow, sounds great, Audrey! Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll be blogging my Discover Arkansas adventures, so be sure to follow along!

      March 29, 2015 at 10:18 am

  23. Pingback: UPDATE: Arkansas Bucket List + Discover Arkansas Project | m.davis xoxo

  24. Pingback: UPDATE: Arkansas Bucket List + Discover Arkansas Series | m.davis xoxo

  25. Paula

    Visit the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott! It’s where Ernest Hemingway wrote potions of A Farewell to Arms.

    hemingway.astate.edu/

    March 30, 2015 at 5:37 pm

  26. Arkansas indeed seems to be a perfect place for vacations ! Amazing way you have described it in. πŸ™‚

    April 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm

  27. Pingback: My Arkansas Bucket List | m.davis xoxo | Heartland News Wire

  28. Pingback: My Arkansas Bucket List | m.davis xoxo | The Heartland Today

  29. Pingback: My (Arkansas) Bucket List | Don't Pick "C"

  30. Brooke

    Ahh I would recommend Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs before Gentry! They are a non profit, non breeding facility dedicated to rescuing neglected and unwanted big cats and other exotic animals kept in captivity. http://Www.turpentinecreek.org

    April 10, 2016 at 6:18 am

  31. Erin Taylor

    Hey Millie!
    I agree with your great suggestions. But… you need to go to Fairfield Bay, Arkansas (on the north shore of Greers Ferry Lake) and kayak out to Sugar Loaf Mountain and hike this incredible national scenic trail. The 1.6mile hike to the panoramic views at the top are spectacular. VisitFairfieldBay.com. :).

    October 23, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    • Hi Erin, thanks for reading and for the suggestion! That sounds amazing! I will definitely check it out.

      October 23, 2016 at 5:59 pm

  32. I’d add Jasper and seeing the Arkansas Grand Canyon. It’s kind of hokey, but it’s beautiful and Jasper is the most charming little town. I love it there.

    January 8, 2017 at 9:50 am

    • Erin Taylor

      Heather, agree on jasper & AR Grand Canyon, but if you love the country life, adventure and views, you have to add hiking Sugar Loaf Mountain island on Greers Ferry Lake. It’s at Fairfield Bay. You can get a shuttle from their marina, OR (what I did) rented a kayak w a friend and rowed out there. It’s awesome. Great Corp of Engineers trail and 360 views.

      January 8, 2017 at 10:15 am

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