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What's New For 2014

Central

Arcade Building: Three-story, 56,450-sq.-ft., multi-use  facility includes archival space for Central Arkansas Library System, a 325-seat theater, home offices for the Little Rock Film Festival, space for the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and Cache restaurant. Located in the River Market District in downtown Little Rock. Clinton Ave. & Commerce Dr.

Arkansas Made Gallery: After decades of research and searching for art and everyday objects, made in Arkansas is available for public viewing in this new gallery.  The paintings, pottery, photographs, quilts, hand-crafted furniture and jewelry, among many other Arkansas Made gems, highlight the maker’s ability, how we lived and what we have valued as Arkansans. From a wardrobe made in 1850 by Izard County cabinetmaker John Lancaster to the late 20th century craft revival art baskets of Arkansas Living Treasure Leon Niehaus, the pieces are true Arkansas treasures.  Acquisitions include a rare sampler made in 1828 by a 14-year-old Cherokee girl, Nancy Graves (Ku-To-Yi), while at Dwight Mission near present-day Russellville. 200 E. Third St. Little Rock. 501-324-9351. www.HistoricArkansas.org

Bass Pro Shop: A 120,000-sq.-ft.-outdoors store situated next to a five-acre lake also has a gift and nature center, which offers a variety of items, ranging from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture. Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill, a nautical-themed restaurant and 12-lane bowling alley, is located within the store.  Large indoor aquariums and water features stocked with native fish species, a collection of museum quality fish and wildlife mounts, along with historic photos and exhibits that pay tribute to Arkansas’s great outdoor heritage are also featured. Interstate 30 & Interstate 430. Little Rock. www.basspro.com/

Downtown Conway Developments: Rogers Plaza, a new entryway to historic downtown Conway, features brick and concrete pavers, a fountain, and an archway.  Oak & Court Streets.  Conway Community Mural, on the east side of the Old Grand Theater, depicts Old Conway with scenes from early times, architectural landmarks and buildings. The present is represented by the city’s dedication to the arts, education, and continuous growth.  The future of Conway is showcased as pedestrian and bicycle friendly, new modes of transportation, and a sustainable, healthy vibrancy. 823 Chestnut St. http://arkans.as/15ri5GT

Esse Purse Museum: A showcase of the purse’s evolving function, design and its contents, illustrating the story of American women in the 20th century. “What's Inside: A Century of Women and Their Handbags (1900-1999). 1510 South Main St. Little Rock. 501-916-9022. essepursemuseum.com/ 

First Security Amphitheater:  Formerly known as the Riverfest Amphitheatre, the outdoor entertainment center in Riverfront Park has undergone a complete renovation. The familiar blue fabric top, which was destroyed in 2012 by the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, has been replaced with a permanent, domed roof.  With additional improvements and repairs, the total cost was nearly $1.2 million.  202 E. LaHarpe Blvd. Little Rock. 501-371-4770.

Kent Walker Artisan Cheese: New storefront features a manufacturing room where homemade artisan cheeses will be produced, along with a tasting room where customers can try samples paired with wine and beer.  Some of the more popular products include a variety of hard cheeses, such as Bluff Top Gouda, Leicester, Garlic Montasio, along with bloomy rind cheeses like Funky Goat, Ophelia and Petit Roche. Tours of the facility area available. 524 Main St., Little Rock. 501-301-4963. www.kentwalkercheese.com/

Little Rock Bridge Lighting Project: Eye-catching lighting display on three downtown Little Rock Bridges.  A variety of color and movement highlight the Main Street, Junction and Clinton Bridges, all which span the Arkansas River, connecting the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Mark Twain Riverboat: An authentic stern wheeler which plies the Arkansas River from its home back in North Little Rock. It offers formal or casual dining for day or evening and a bar with full view windows on the Main Deck. The boat is one of the few authentic paddle wheel boats in existence and is available for private charters and cruises. The first deck is climate-controlled for year-round cruising while the second deck is open-air.  100 Riverfront Park Dr. North Little Rock. 501-372-5777. damriverboat.com/

Rockwater Marina: A full-service marina on the Arkansas River located near downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. Services include 136 boat slips with pump-out system, a fueling station, a ship store, a large patio, and concierge services, including grocery shopping and stocking prior to arrival and departure, childcare services, personal chefs, catering, in-house massages, a round of golf, reservations for local activities, dining, or any other special requests. 1601 River Road, North Little Rock. 501-347-8275. www.rockwatermarina.com/

Roundtop Filling Station Restoration:  This unique structure is one of only two in Sherwood to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic building was manufactured in 1936 by Justin Matthews Company for the Pierce Oil Company. Pierce Oil was one of the “baby Standards” formed after the U.S. Government’s breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company in 1911. After restoration is complete in January, the round, turreted building will serve as a police substation. Roundtop Drive & Trammel Road. Sherwood. 501-425-4037.

Stone’s Throw Brewing: A nanobrewery and tasting room with seating for about 20. The bar features six to eight taps for Stone’s Throw’s beers and products from other breweries. An outdoor beer garden is available. 402 E. Ninth St. Little Rock. 501-244-9154. www.stonesthrowbeer.com.

Delta

Arkansas Welcome Center in Helena-West Helena –The 3,500-square-foot Center offers visitors up-to-the minute information on attractions, regional events, and weather conditions. The building, Informal Italianate in design, offers travelers access to computer kiosks, WiFi, and fresh coffee. The landscaped exterior offers picnic tables for those wishing to take a short break from the road. 1007 Martin Luther King Dr.  870-338-7602.  http://arkans.as/13sZ9uP.

Beth El Heritage Hall – The Temple Beth El was built in 1915 to provide a place of worship for the large Jewish population in Helena. When membership dwindled to only
twenty in 2006, the remaining congregants donated the Temple to the
Delta Cultural Center. Now called Beth El Heritage Hall, the building
has been restored and will be available as a venue for community events. Corner of Pecan and Perry Streets. 800-358-0972. http://arkans.as/150mTrP

Historic Helena Civil War Interpretation – work continues throughout 2014 in Historic Helena and Phillips County to preserve and interpret important Civil War locations. Battery C, one of the four earthen batteries erected by the Union army in 1862 and briefly fell to the Confederates during the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863, is now open to the public. Additional interpretation will be added throughout Arkansas's Civil War Sesquicentennial. http://arkans.as/145I49R

Mississippi River State Park Visitors Center – The 12,208-square-foot visitors center opened in Marianna features an exhibit gallery interpreting the Delta, Crowley’s Ridge, and the Mississippi River. Exhibits connect visitors to the natural, cultural, and historic resources of Mississippi River State Park and the St. Francis National Forest. Realistic representations of wildlife, geologic features, and other natural elements are included. 2955 Hwy. 44. 870-295-4040. http://arkans.as/1cwnAuo

Ouachitas

Board Camp Crystal Mine - This new mine in Mena is located three miles from the Wolf Pen Gap trails at 110 Polk 62. Offers opportunity for public to dig in  a native mine, no tailings.  Also includes a campground. 479-243-0771.  Boardcampcampground.com.

Diamond Adventure at Wegner’s Crystal Mine - Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines in Mount Ida opened their newest activity: “The Diamond Experience”. Each bag of diamond bearing gravel contains a minimum of ½ carat t.w. 82 Wegner Ranch Road.. 870-867-2309. www.wegnercrystalmines.com

The Five Star Theatre- Located in the same venue that formerly held The RayLynn Theater. The theater,which is Hot Springs only year round dinner theatre, is located downtown and is within walking distance of restaurants, shops and the spas of Bathhouse Row.701 Central Ave. 501-318-1600. www.thefivestartheatre.com

Portions of Albert Pike Recreation Area Reopen for Day Use -Ouachita National Forest officials have announced that some portions of the popular Albert Pike Recreation Area in Montgomery County have reopened for day use .The area has been closed since October 2010. For updated information on these or other camping or day use opportunities on the Ouachita National Forest, contact 501- 321-5202 or log on to www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita

Renovation of lodge at Queen Wilhelmina State Park- The lodge reopens in summer 2013 following a $6.2 million renovation. The lodge offers panoramic views from atop 2,681-foot Rich Mountain, the state’s second highest peak. 3877 Highway 88 West. www.queenwilhelmina.com

Zip Lines at Ouachita Bend - Located in Hot Springs, this adventure combines zipping and hiking and is the South’s only Super G zip line tour. Includes a 7 line zip line course. Groups of up to 10 can travel the course together. 501-318-3711. Ouachitabendadventures.com.

Ozarks

Apple Blossom Brewing Company: 10-barrel brewing system producing new options of local beer, primarily ales. The 200- to 250-seat restaurant serves lunch and dinner. 479-287-4344; 1550 East Zion Road; Appleblossombrewing.com

21c Museum Hotel: This boutique hotel is known for its iconic Green Penguins. With more than 12,000 square feet of exhibition, meeting, and event space, 21C presents curated, rotating exhibitions, dynamic installations and live art events. This 104-room boutique hotel with suites and fitness center is also home to The Hive restaurant. Located on the northeast corner of the Bentonville town square, it is a short walk to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 479-286-6500; 200 NE “A” St.; 21Cmuseumhotels.com

Memory Lane Museum: After 20 years of collecting items from eras gone by, Jerry Tanksley has opened his private collection to the public, and admission is free. Located in Berryville, the museum contains memorabilia from early 1900s to 1960s, including signs, glassware, automotive and amusing items. It also includes a 1953 Ronald McDonald merry-go-round, 1906 roasted peanut and popcorn machine, Barbie doll collection, early riding metal toy cars and trucks, 1920s reproduction school house, and a complete filling station set up. Open Wednesday-Sunday. The Memory Lane Car Show is held each June in conjunction with the Berryville Ice Cream Social. 870-423-3600; 645 Ark. 62 E.

Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway: The Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway is a 36-mile-long, primarily off-road, shared use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in Bentonville to the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville. The trail links dozens of popular community destinations, including six downtown areas, three major hospitals, nearly two dozen schools, the University of Arkansas, the corporate headquarters of Walmart, J.B. Hunt and Tyson Foods, arts and entertainment venues, historic sites, parks, playgrounds, and residential communities. The Razorback Greenway has been a goal of regional planners, cities, and residents of northwest Arkansas for more than two decades. This vision was supported by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, which in 2000 began a long-range planning process that included regional trails as a key component. To date, about half of the miles of the planned route have been built. The remaining miles are in planning, design or construction phases. Razorbackgreenway.com

Ozark Mountain Ziplines

Soar through the air from up to 200+ feet high with cable lengths from up to 1800 feet long over vast gorgeous, beautiful Ozark hardwood trees and limestone cliffs. The dense forest of hardwoods provides a wonderful setting for a nature filled experience guaranteed to satisfy thrill seekers from all walks of life. The zip line is designed to offer the highest degree of safety while providing large or small groups, families, and private parties an exhilarating outdoor fun and safe adventure. Trained staff operate and deliver two hours of fun per tour for any persons 3 years of age or older. Parking is limited and use of the trolley is recommended. Trolley Stop #100 (Purple Route). 479-363-6699; 208 W Van Buren

Whitewater Recreation Park: Located in Siloam Springs and positioned along the scenic Illinois River, this family-friendly, alcohol-free park features an engineered river for skilled kayakers as well as beginners with length of rapids approximately 700 feet and Class II and III difficulty. The park has specially designed riverbank access so families can enjoy the beautiful waters of the Illinois River. Additionally, there is a climbing boulder, a picnic area, accessible walking trails, rain garden and designated changing area. The park opened early 2014. 479-524-5136; 19253 Fisher Ford Road; www.siloamsprings.com

River Valley

Interactive Historical Plaques – In downtown Fort Smith, 12 historical plaques linked to online videos illustrate the past through devices early citizens could not have imagined - cell phones. Using a free downloadable application, smart phone users scan a symbol on the plaques that open their browsers to online slide shows with audio narration. The bronze plaques each have a photograph and printed captions that can be enjoyed without a cellphone, too. 

Movie House Winery – The old Petit Jean Movie Theater in downtown Morrilton has been restored and turned into a winery and supplies store. Owners Ken and Sherrie Sowers make their handcrafted semi-sweet and dry wines in small batches to sell, and also show people how to make their own favorite wine with a custom designed label on each bottle. The winery offers home wine making supplies and beer kits at an affordable price. It has a gift shop for wine lovers as well as custom made gift baskets. 112 E. Commerce St.1.3 miles off of Ark. 40, exit 107.501-215-4899 Moviehousewinery.com

Post Winery – New retail sales and visitor center is now open. Come in and see the beautiful interior. Watch through the viewing window as your favorite wines are bottled, and taste some new favorites! Also area for business meetings. This fifth-generation family-owned and operated vineyard and winery offers tours, wine and juice tastings, grape-related gift 

Timberlands

DeSoto Bluff Trail Park:  Overlooks the Ouachita River. Arkadelphia has built a paved road off North 10th Street (U.S. 67) to a small parking lot. From there, visitors can walk down a broad paved path to DeSoto Bluff. North 10th Street (U.S. Highway 67). 870-246-9864. arkans.as/17FT11N

Holiday Springs Water Park: This water park in Texarkana is home to exciting rides like water slides and the state’s largest wave pool. The multi-million dollar venture is at Crossroads Business Park, a 1,000-acre multi-use area that is quickly becoming the center of an ongoing citywide business boom. 5501 Crossroads Pkwy, 870 772-2200. holidayspringswaterpark.com

Hope Amtrak Station: Passenger rail service is available on Amtrak Texas Eagle in Hope. 100 East Division Street. 870-722-2580. Amtrak.com

New annex at Dallas County Museum in Fordyce: Highlights Redbug sports and  features a "Bear and the Bugs" display detailing the history of the famous coach and the Fordyce Redbugs. Fordyce and Dallas County have the largest number of inductees in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame of any city or county in the state. 211 N Main St. 870-352-3371. arkans.as/18BoRh9

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