When it comes to romantic escapes, it doesn’t get much better than this — a room with a view, indoor pool, restaurant, hiking paths and wine country. Use Mount Magazine State Park as your home base while you enjoy the great outdoors, shopping, and wineries.
Towering over Arkansas Wine Country, Mount Magazine is the state’s highest peak at 2,753 feet above sea level. The state park located at the top of the mountain has long been a popular respite for campers, hikers and horseback riders. Now the exquisite lodge and cabins lure even more people.
The Lodge at Mount Magazine, the park’s resort lodge, comprises 60 guest rooms, the Skycrest Restaurant, a conference center, a business center, an indoor heated swimming pool, a fitness center, and a game room. Set on the mountain’s south bluff, the lodge offers breathtaking views of the Petit Jean River Valley and distant Blue Mountain Lake. Forty-three guest rooms have balconies and 17 feature spa tubs. Thirteen fully-equipped cabins with deck hot tubs share the same bluff and panoramic view.
Don’t underestimate the small town shopping opportunities available at the base of the mountain in towns like Booneville and Paris. You’ll find antiques and small boutiques, and even the parent company of the Warren’s shoe chain.
Three wineries – Post Familie Vineyard and Winery, Mount Bethel Winery, and Chateau Aux Arc – operate in Altus. Close-by you’ll find Wiederkehr Wine Cellars and Vineyards and Alpine Vineyards Winery in Wiederkehr Village. Cowie Wine Cellars operates in nearby Paris. Each offers tours and tasting rooms. Some offer extra amenities such as a gift shop, a restaurant, an RV park, or a bed and breakfast inn. Cowie also preserves the viticultural past of The Natural State with its Arkansas Historic Wine Museum filled with winemaking artifacts and biographical histories of winemakers. It is the only wine museum in the nation dedicated to the wine history of a state.
Nothing says romance to me like an evening meal at Weinkeller Restaurant at Wiederkerhr’s. Weinkeller serves excellent Swiss and other European specialties in charming, candlelit surroundings. The original wine cellar, hand-dug by Johann Andreas Wiederkehr in 1880, was converted to house the Weinkeller in 1967. The restaurant is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and for years has been voted “Most Romantic” and “Best Ethnic” by the readers of Arkansas Times magazine.