One Tank Travels: A Historic Road Trip-Hope and Historic Washington State Park








If you might be getting hungry, you can refuel at one of these places to eat:

Continue on to Historic Washington State Park in the town of Washington. The park is nine miles northwest of Hope via U.S. 278.

Here is where you can get a huge history fix in. Here is a quick rundown: The town of Washington was founded in 1824 on the Southwest Trail just 15 miles from the Red River, which then separated American lands from the Mexican territory known as Texas. Because of its border proximity, Washington played a role in Texas’s 1835-36 war for independence. Evidence suggests that Sam Houston and others discussed plans for the revolt while Houston resided in one of the town’s taverns in 1834. The town also served as Arkansas’s Confederate capital after Union forces captured Little Rock in 1863.

Today, Washington, which is a National Register of Historic Places site, is both a state park and town intermingled.


In addition to daily tours, the park is home base to an interesting mix of workshops and events throughout the year. In June, they have their Music in the Park event ( June 16), Surrey Tours, and The Art of Candle Making, Interpretive guides offer a variety of programming throughout the park, from tours of the sites to living history demonstrations. There is always have daily programming available too. More details on pricing and such can be found here.

The park also hosts archeological surveys. This summer, Mr. Jamie Brandon of the Arkansas Archeological Survey and his team will lead a Summer Dig Program there.

If you need to refuel during any part of your historic adventure, the park also has Williams’ Tavern Restaurant, which serves country fare food daily (from 11-3).