“Paws” to Enjoy Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs

Historical and picturesque Eureka Springs is the perfect pet-friendly getaway for a week or weekend.  Several hotels welcome pets, as do some outdoor dining patios so you don’t have to worry about shuttling the dog back and forth to your hotel between visiting attractions, shopping, and enjoying a nice meal. Many shop owners put out water bowls for visiting doggies, although not all of them welcome them inside their shops.

Downtown Eureka Springs

This quaint village of Eureka Springs grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water. Back then there were about 65 springs near what is now the downtown area.  Today, grottos around town preserve some scenic spring spots. This resort community in the Ozark Mountains, with an entire downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights full of adventure, live music, special events, galleries, unique shopping, entertainment, and fine dining.

Day 1

Arrive in Eureka Springs and head downtown. Basin Spring Park, next to dog-friendly Basin Park Hotel, is a great place to socialize with your dog. It’s often filled with artists and musicians as well as other tourists and locals enjoying the day. From here you can walk the streets to see beautiful Victorian architecture.

Eureka Grill is nestled in a great little spot on one of the main shopping thoroughfares of downtown. It’s the perfect place to take a break, enjoy a beverage, or grab some grub when exploring the downtown. Take advantage of the cozy outside paws-friendly patio. 

Late afternoon, check in at one of several pet-friendly lodging options, including the historic, castle-like 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa located on a hilltop in the middle of town — which also offers haunted tours. Or spend a night or two at The Retreat at Sky Ridge, just nine scenic miles west of Eureka Springs and offering pet-friendly cabins on 140 acres containing woods, water, and wildlife. Call 479-253-7333479-253-7333 for information on additional motels and hotels that welcome furry friends. When you make your reservation, be sure and tell staff that you would like to bring your dog.

For dinner, grab a seat on the patio of The Pied Piper Pub, also in the downtown historic district. Grilled Jalapeno Hummus, Black and Blue Greens, Bangers and Mash, Mushroom Swiss Burger, French Dip, and Chicken and Chips are some of the tasty menu items. This is a hot spot, especially on the weekends.  Or cook in your cabin if you’ve opted for a closer-to-nature stay.

Day 2

Treat yourself and your pet by hopping aboard the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway, an excursion train that takes you on a nostalgic 4.5 mile ride through the hills of the Ozarks, rain or shine. You’ll get a taste of how it was when rail service brought the first visitors to Eureka Springs in 1883. Between trains is a good time to learn about the area’s railroad history through all the other exhibits, including a restored turntable, a handcar, vintage locomotives, and even an automobile outfitted to run on the rails. Stop by the Snack Car for refreshments during your browsing and visit the Baggage Room Gift Shop for a large assortment of railroad souvenirs. The train runs April through October. Call for reservations and the schedule.

Farm to Table FRESH is a bistro located just up the street from the railway. Fresh is focused on using seasonal ingredients to create menus that use both local and organic food whenever possible. It’s vegan friendly and there’s tons of free parking. It’s also a culinary marketplace with gourmet items to go. 

After riding the train and eating lunch, it’s time to stretch your legs. The Eureka Springs Bark Park has shaded play areas for both small and large dogs. It’s located in Harmon Park at the corner of Grand Avenue and Polk Street. Head north on Main Street from downtown, hang a left at the Train Station (Grand) and follow it up the hill and around to the stop sign. The Bark Park will be directly in front of you. Turn right and follow fence line to parking lot. Properly vaccinated, socialized and spayed/neutered dogs welcome.  After your special buddy has had his romp through the park, travel over to Blackie's Backyard to pick up some well-earned treats. Then it's time to treat yourself to dinner.

The New Delhi Café, serving Indian and American cuisine, is a great place for dinner. This three-level restaurant and bar is located at Basin Spring Park right in the center of downtown. Sit outside on either the covered or the multiple elevated patios. This area features the main stage right next to the well into which Basin Spring flows. Enjoy the lavishly maintained gardens as you watch all the people, or maybe one of the many parades, go by. 

Extended Stay Ideas

  • Rent a canoe at Lake Leatherwood and paddle around with your pet. 
  • Float or fish the White River. Call Can U Canoe. They rent canoes and kayaks but will shuttle you if you prefer to use your own.  The Can U Canoe Riverview Cabins are also pet-friendly.
  • Enjoy Beaver Lake. Rent a ski boat or sailboat on at Starkey Marina or rent a pontoon or ski boat on Table Rock Lake at Holiday Island Marina. You can also camp in one of several campgrounds around the lake.
  • Take a scenic drive to Beaver Bridge. This historic wooden suspension bridge, built in 1949 and known as the "Little Golden Gate of Arkansas," is a hidden delight.  A single-lane, wooden construction bridge that is 554 feet long and only 11 feet wide that spans the White River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s located about 16 miles from Eureka Springs.
  • Pizza Hut is also pet-friendly.

Additional pet-friendly Lodging in Eureka Springs

We recommend you call ahead and confirm you are bringing a pet. Businesses may have changed policies since last check.  Some only allow small pets, so it’s best to check first before you book your vacation plans.

This is just a sample of the pet-friendly destinations and state parks you can visit in Northern Arkansas. Want more ideas for pet-friendly getaways?