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Sample Itineraries

Northwest Region- Fort Smith-Where the West was Fun!

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Day 1

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 2:00 p.m. - Arrive at Miss Laura's Visitor Center. Tour the former bordello, the first to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. With prior arrangements, Miss Laura will be in costume to greet your group and give you the tour of this historic old "hotel." Catch a trolley for a tour of the historic district or have a step-on guide to join your group.
 
3:30 p.m. -
Arrive at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. You can walk where soldiers drilled, pause along the trail of Tears, and stand where justice was served. Tour the Courtroom of Judge Isaac C. Parker, the Hanging Judge. You will be able to visit the gallows where 79 men met their fate, and step inside the old jail known as "hell on the border" to hear voices from the past. The history of the Fort Smith area abounds with tales of heroism, battles, and social justice. The Fort Smith National Historic Site includes the remains of two frontier forts and the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. 

 5:00 p.m. - Check into your accommodations

6:30 p.m. - Meet for an Italian dinner at the Hall of Taliano's. The Taliano's tradition lies in teh Italian passion for family, friends, and fine food. Enjoy fine Italian dining in the restored 1887 Sparks Mansion, listed on teh National Register of Historic Places. They serve salads, vegetables, appetizers and deserts.
 
OR 
6:30 p.m. - Enjoy seafood at The Lighthouse Inn.
 
7:30 p.m.  With prior arrangements, your group can enjoy Miss Laura's Players presenting "The Medicine Show on Hanging Day," which is an original musical/comedy now in its 14th year.
 



Day 2

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Tour Ft. Smith Historic District and Take a Train Ride
 
9:00 a.m. - Arrive at the Darby House. This is the boyhood home of General William O. Darby, leader of Darby's Rangers in World War II. The house contains personal military memorabilia of the General and World War II memorabilia. There are also tributes to Darby as well as artifacts from Cisternal, Italy.

10:00 a.m. - Arrive at the Arkansas & Missouri Railway. Board the train for a one-way or round-trip excursion through the Ozark Mountains. The Arkansas & Missouri Railway was established in 1986, as a Class III Railroad operating a 150 mile route from Monett, Missouri to Fort Smith, Arkansas.
 
1:30 p.m. - Time to enjoy High Tea at the Clayton House. Walking through the doors of this magnificent home automatically takes you back in time to an era of elegance. This wood-frame antebellum house served for years as teh family home of William Henry Harrison Clayton, the federal prosecutor in the court of celebrated frontier Judge Isaac C. Parker. 

3:00 p.m. - Return to the hotel.
 
4:00 p.m. - Board the motor coaches for a short trip east on Interstate 40 to view Arkansas Wine Country. Less than an hour from downtown Fort Smith, you can discover the "Wine Capital of Arkansas," in and around teh quaint community of Altus, Arkansas.
 
6:30 p.m. - Arrive at Wiederkehr's Weinkeller Restaurant. Wiederkehr's Weinkeller restaurant serves excellent Swiss and other European specialties in charming, candlelit surroundings. The Wienkeller's menu offers delicacies from teh German, French, and Italian regions of Switzerland, as well as specialties from central Europe and America.
 
OR
4:00  p.m. - Allow time for shopping in Historic Downtown Fort Smith.
 
6:00 p.m. - Enjoy dinner at The Whole Hog Cafe. The Whole Hog Cafe prepares the same award-winning recipes that won top honors in teh 2000, 2002, and 2008 Memphis-in-May World Barbecue Championships.
 
7:30 p.m. - Enjoy dinner, return to the Fort Smith National Historic Site to sit in on Judge Parker's Courtroom. Be part of the jury that hears the case of United States of America vs. Crawford Goldsby, aka Cherokee Bill that occurred in 1895. The National Park staff will assume the roles of lawyers, judge, and other court personnel. At the conclusion, the historical verdict will be revealed and discussed.
 



Day 3

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9:00 a.m. - Start your day with a tour of the Fort Smith Arts Center. The Arts Center is shifting from a small Art Center to a state-of-the-art museum that meets national standards and will present an exciting opportunity for cultural growth in the region.

10:00 a.m. - From the Fort Smith Arts Center, traverse to the Fort Smith Museum of History. For over 100 years, the museum has been the "keeper and teller" of Fort Smith's rich and colorful history.
  
11:00 a.m. -
Hop on a restored electric trolley and travel to the Fort Smith National Cemetery. The Fort Smith National Cemetery is the final resting place of Judge Issac C. Parker and General Darby.
  
11:45 a.m. -
Keep your appetite up. Travel to The Park at West End for lunch. The Park at West End is a pocket park of concentrated vintage charm on the west end of historic Garrison Avenue in downtown Fort Smith. An iconic 56-foot Ferris Wheel that was featured in teh 1935 World's Fair offers an unparalleled view of downtown Fort Smith, The Fort Smith National Historic Site and teh Arkansas River.

1:00 p.m. - Tour the First Lutheran Church. This church dates back to the 1840s. First Lutheran is the oldest Lutheran Church in Arkansas. The church was completed in 1904 in a classic Gothic style, and features a sanctuary laid out in the form of a giant cross, with a white and gold altar and symbolic stained-glass windows.
 
OR
1:00 p.m. - Tour the Immaculate Conception Church. Communication comes in many different forms. For over 150 years, the parish of Immaculate Conception has been proclaiming Christ thought the Word and Sacrament.
 
1:45 p.m. - Arrive at Saint Scholastica Convent. Arkansas had been a state only 43 years, and the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock had been in existence only 36 years when a national eagerness to develop the whole Continental US in teh 19th Century inspired the government to give large grants of land to railroad companies willing to encourage settlers to populate both sides of the track in western Arkansas. W.D. Slack, land commissioner for the railroad company, made an attractive deal for German and Irish Catholics to settle in Arkansas on both sides of the Arkansas River.
 
2:30 p.m. - Depart for Fort Smith
 
 

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